Community Spotlight
National Week of Action to #StopTheRaids recap
Last week, the Southeast Asian Deportation Defense Network (SEADDN) launched a Week of Action in response to revelations that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was preparing to conduct potential raids against Cambodian community members. ICE’s actions this month followed a pattern that we have seen before: the last time ICE took these same steps, it led to ICE tearing apart families and deporting the largest number of Cambodian community members in the history of the United States. 

Dozens of community organizations came together and held virtual events to drive calls and emails to President Biden and ICE to #StopTheRaids. SEADDN created a social media toolkit to support the actions and help educate the public on the devastating impacts that ICE raids have on our families. This not an isolated incident but reflects chronic over-policing and refusal to invest in Southeast Asian American communities. We encourage you to check out the toolkit to learn more.
Civic Engagement
Official Portrait of the Hon. Ketanji Brown Jackson, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (photo via Wikimedia Commons)
SEARAC proudly supports SCOTUS nomination
​​SEARAC congratulates Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for making history as the first Black woman nominated to the US Supreme Court. We also applaud President Biden for upholding his commitment to ensure that the Court’s white, patriarchal legacy moves closer to reflecting the diversity of our country. Judge Jackson’s well-deserved nomination comes at a critical time, when the basic rights of communities of color, including Southeast Asian American communities, are being decided. We urge the Senate to act swiftly to confirm Judge Jackson. 
Work with SEARAC
SEARAC is hiring a California Policy Manager
SEARAC seeks a full-time California Policy Manager to lead our state-level advocacy activities through policy analysis and advocacy, coalition building, and support with stakeholder engagement. The position aims to build key policy champions, provide technical assistance to local partners, and support and produce key legislation to advance SEARAC’s priorities in immigration, criminal justice, health, and education.

This position will be based out of our Sacramento, CA office, but exceptional candidates elsewhere in the state of California will be considered. Click here to learn more and apply. Apply by Mar 28 for priority consideration!
College Scorecard
The Department of Education has updated the College Scorecard, an interactive tool for students and families weighing college options. The tool features metrics that help compare institutions’ costs, graduation rates, post-college earnings, and more. 
Civil Rights Data Collection should be disaggregated
The NCAPA Education Committee recently sent a comment letter to the Department of Education on recommendations to the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) for 2022. The letter urges the Department to prioritize the collection and reporting of disaggregated AANHPI student data as part of the CRDC. This includes data on student access to equal opportunity in educational achievement, school discipline rates, the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, and student bullying and harassment. 
Moua (left) and Dokmai are two individuals whose lives were torn apart by the visa sanctions imposed on Laos. They have been fighting tirelessly to reunite. You can read their story here.
Biden Administration ends Trump immigration ban on Laos
Earlier this month, the Biden Administration lifted the immigration and travel ban on Laos by shifting the visas sanctioned on the country. This action is a major victory for Southeast Asian American communities since our Iu Mien, Hmong, Lao, and other Laotian family members can now resume immigration to the United States through the family reunification system or travel to the United States on tourists and other temporary visas.

However, despite this win, the 243(d) visa sanctions on Laos remain in place, along with other countries like Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, and Eritrea. Given that these sanctions are used as a tool to pressure those countries to accept the deportations of our communities, SEARAC remains steadfast in our efforts to lift all Department of Homeland Security visa sanctions and eliminate this tool for use by future administrations. You can view SEARAC and LANA’s statement here
DHS introduces new proposed rule on Public Charge
Earlier this month, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) posted a draft public charge proposed rule, starting a comment period that closes on Apr 25. Along with other health and immigration advocates, SEARAC will analyze and submit comments and encourages other concerned individuals and organizations to also send comments to the notice. Under the Trump Administration, DHS redefined public charge, creating a chilling effect that prevented many immigrant families from accessing public benefits.

Last spring, the courts struck down the Trump Administration’s definition and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services have stopped implementing the previous rule. See here for more information about public charge as it is currently applied. 
What to know about the COVID-19 vaccine for young children
Many families are awaiting a pediatric vaccine to protect children under 5 years of age from the coronavirus. Currently, there is no date for when the vaccine will be available, but officials hope to have it available as early as mid-April. Trials for the pediatric vaccine continue and once results are available, the FDA and CDC will review the evidence and make their recommendations. In the meantime, make sure your child is vaccinated against other diseases.
How to decide whether to go maskless as mandates drop
Coronavirus cases continue to fall in much of the country, and governors in many states have eased mask mandates. Before deciding to leave your mask at home, make sure to ask yourself these questions: 

  • How big is the space?
  • Will it be crowded?
  • How well ventilated is it? 
  • Do I have any underlying medical conditions? 

If you are going to a crowded indoor venue and are unsure of the vaccination status of people around you, consider masking. However, the most critical tool that we have for protecting ourselves against the virus is getting vaccinated. To find a vaccination site, you can call your pediatrician or local health clinic, text your ZIP code to 438829, or use this vaccine finder to find a clinic.
SEARAC in the News
NBC News: “Biden administration lifts what critics call ‘backdoor immigration ban’ on Laos”
Earlier this month, SEARAC joined community members and organizations across the United States in celebrating the lifting of the visa sanction against Laos. In this new article from at NBC News, our Director of National Policy, Kham S. Moua, speaks with reporter Kimmy Yam about the impacts that the sanctions have had on Southeast Asian Americans. “Over the last few years, they’ve been unable to sponsor their spouses or kids … because of these arbitrary sanctions that are very ethnically based,” Kham said. “For us to see the administration take the steps for lifting was a really great first step to undo some of the harm that’s been done by the Trump administration.”
AAPI Data is hiring a full-time Data Fellow
The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), in partnership with AAPI Data, seeks to hire a full-time fellow to serve as the NCAPA/AAPI Data Fellow. The position will be responsible for supporting NCAPA and AAPI Data’s collaborative work around data equity. Click here to learn more and apply.
SEARAC is a national civil rights organization that empowers Cambodian, Laotian, and Vietnamese American communities to create a socially just and equitable society. As representatives of the largest refugee community ever resettled in the United States, SEARAC stands together with other refugee communities, communities of color, and social justice movements in pursuit of social equity. 

Find out more at