Weekly Digest
November 13, 2018
2017 National Hate Crime Statistics Released
The FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program released its annual Hate Crime Statistics report for 2017. The overall number of reported hate crimes increased 17% since 2016. 59.6% of reported incidents were based on racial/ethnic bias, 20.6% on religious bias, and 15.8% on the basis of sexual orientation. The incidence of hate crime against every major ethnic group increased since 2016. In the previous two years, the number of reported hate crimes rose 12% marking the first time since 2001 with three consecutive years of increased incidents.

JACL notes that there was a 20.5% increase in incidents of hate crimes against Asian American and Pacific Islanders. Most troubling in the data was a 37% increase in incidents targeting Jewish people. We saw the ugly manifestation of this rising tide of anti-Semitism just days ago in Pittsburgh.

It must also be noted that this report is compiled from jurisdictions that track and report hate crimes statistics to the FBI. There are still many jurisdictions that do not record hate crimes information, so many incidents continue to remain uncaptured by this report. The FBI and DOJ must continue to work with local law enforcement to improve participation in this survey to fully understand the challenge we are faced with in addressing hate based crime in this country.

President Seeks to Curtail Asylum Seekers
On Friday, the Trump administration signed a proclamation restricting the right to asylum to only those migrants who cross into the country through an official port of entry, withholding the right to seek asylum and the path to a green card and/or citizenship from all others who come into the country via another path. United States law is clear that any alien "whether or not at a designated port of arrival" may make a claim for asylum. Already, The American Civil Liberties Union, Southern Poverty Law Center, and Center for Constitutional Rights have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the asylum ban proclamation

The proclamation has been issued as an interim final rule which means it is effective immediately. The government is accepting comments for a 60 day comment period through January 8, 2019, but may or may not incorporate comments into the effective rule.

For the Japanese American community, it is worth noting that the legal basis for issuing this rule is based upon the legal reasoning for the upholding of the Muslim Travel Ban, that there is an emergency threat to the United States that the President must act upon. As JACL has stated previously, the legal basis for upholding the Muslim Travel Ban, was a direct parallel to the flimsy use of national security threat to incarcerate Japanese Americans during World War II. While it would have been unconscionable to use Korematsu as precedent for any current law, the Muslim ban has now provided a palatable basis for discrimination that the government can and clearly is using as legal precedent.

JACL Condemns Proposed Changes
to Public Charge Definition
Take Action: Submit a Comment!
"The Department of Homeland Security published its proposal to alter the public charge classification for immigrants to the United States opening up the 60 day public comment period. Public charge is the classification of some immigrants who utilize public benefits such as Temporary Assistance to Needy Families or Supplemental Security Income. The proposed rules will dramatically alter definition of Public Charge to include utilization programs such as Medicaid/Medicare, the Housing Choice Voucher program, and food assistance programs."

"The administration has likely proposed these changes for the potential cost savings that will result from reduced utilization of services. However, the decision by immigrants to not seek benefits fundamental to survival can have deeper impacts over time. Delaying health care access due to fears it may impact citizenship opportunities could result in devastating health problems for the individual and their family, disproportionately affecting vulnerable populations such as children or the elderly. Limiting access to basic health care such as vaccines could have negative impacts beyond the individual, putting populations at higher risk for communicable disease. Discouraging access to healthcare, housing, and food benefits for a family is inhumane and yet another low blow for this country to impose upon our immigrant communities.These policy proposals continue a legacy of anti-immigrant policies that have long existed in contrast to the lofty ideals of our nation."  See Full Statement from JACL Here

Submit a Comment about the proposed change by December 10th !

Before the “public charge” rule can be finalized, the administration is required by law to review and respond to every unique public comment they receive about the proposed regulation. Tell them why everyone should have access to public services and how the proposed change would impact you.
JACL DC Chapter Joins JAVA to Honor Veterans
On the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, JACL joined the Japanese American Veterans Association (JAVA), the National Japanese American Memorial Foundation (NJAMF), and Pan-Pacfic American Leaders and Mentors (PPALM) at the National Japanese American Memorial.

In his remarks, David Inoue, JACL Executive Director emphasized the importance of non-Veterans organizations such as JACL to participate in recognizing our Veterans. He also tied the importance of our rights as citizens and the sacredness of the right to vote, which had been exercised by millions of Americans earlier that week.

The keynote address was provided by Bel Leong Hong, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence (C3I), and the first female AAPI civilian senior executive to become the Deputy Commander of the Joint Interoperability and Engineering Organization. Her remarks focused on the importance of Asian Americans to be engaged in the process.

National Park Service seeking interns
The National Park Service is hiring interns for the Community Volunteer Ambassador program to work at national parks around the country, including the Manzanar National Historic Site, for a year. Participants will receive a stipend and health insurance. Learn more and apply here .
AARP celebrates November Caregivers Month
DATE: Tuesday, November 13, 2018
TIME : 5:30 PM reception, 6:30 PM program
LOCATION : AARP, 601 E St NW, A6-400
Washington, DC

SPEAKERS : Major General Tony Taguba, (Ret.), AARP Community Ambassador; Lily Liu, AARP Historian Emerita & AARP Multicultural Family Caregiver Spokesperson; and Karen Kwok, MSN, FNP-BC, MPH, Family Nurse Practitioner.

JACL is Hiring!
JACL National is hiring a new business manager to be placed immediately at the San Francisco headquarters with the possible option of long term placement in Washington, DC.

See HERE for more information about the business manager position.