March 2020 - In This Issue:

Our partners at The Cambodian Family in Long Beach, CA, demonstrate how to get out the count safely at home. 

Join the 2020 Census Week of Action
The 2020 Census is officially underway, and it has never been easier to respond without having to meet anyone in person. You can get counted from the comfort of your own home online and over the phone (in 12 non-English languages , including Vietnamese). We need a full, accurate count  of Southeast Asian Americans to make sure that our communities do not lose out on our fair share of funding for schools, food stamps, housing, and hospitals. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, SEARAC and our partners are turning to Facebook Live streams and other digital strategies to continue promoting census participation and to provide updates on any shifts of census operations due to COVID-19. 

Watch the recording of this month's community call to learn more about important 2020 Census updates. You can also visit SEARAC's 2020 Census website for videos, shareables, and resources.

Voter guide launch
This month, we  launched our voter education guide for the 2020 presidential election. We hope this resource serves as a useful tool for SEAA voters to learn more about the candidates' views on issues impacting SEAA communities and empowers them to make informed decisions at the polls this fall. 


Ten-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act
On March 23, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) turned 10. After President Obama signed it into law, this landmark policy led to historic improvements in health coverage for many Americans and cut uninsured rates for SEAAs in half. However, since the Trump Administration took over the White House in 2016, the ACA has been repeatedly challenged through judicial and legislative channels. Read SEARAC's statement celebrating this bill and calling to protect it.

COVID-19 economic stimulus package
On March 27, Congress  passed  a $2 trillion bipartisan emergency relief package to support families as COVID-19 shuts down much of the country, as well as provide additional funding for hospitals and community health centers, food banks and food stamps, unemployment benefits, federal loan programs, and temporary student loan relief. While the package was a critical first step, it fell short of supporting some of our country's most vulnerable communities. Read our full statement.  

Detained immigrants at risk 
Despite the spread of COVID-19, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) continues to detain immigrants and refugees across the country. ICE detention centers have a long history of poor medical support and infection contagion, with at least one confirmed COVID case. Six members of Congress sent a letter to DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf urging for the release of certain immigrants in ICE detention and requesting the agency take immediate steps to prevent an outbreak in its facilities. 

If you are Southeast Asian with a final order of removal and have been asked to check-in with ICE soon, contact (415) 952-0413 to speak to a lawyer. This number does not accept collect calls. If you do not reach someone, please leave a message with your contact information, the person's name, A-Number, and where they are detained. You can also contact You can consult this guide from SEARAC for background information and resources. If you are an individual originating from Laos with an order of removal, you can also view this statement for contact information of organizations doing work around this issue.

For more resources and information regarding legal services, visit

School shutdowns
Schools across the country have closed in response to COVID-19, disrupting learning for at least 55 million K-12 students and for students at hundreds of shuttered college campuses. SEAAs may be particularly affected. Many SEAA children are low-income students or English learners with fewer resources to access digital learning from home, such as internet access and computers to EL-appropriate digital instruction. SEAA students in higher education may be impacted by their inability to work during the public health crisis, which may pose future challenges to paying for school when institutions re-open. We applaud everyone - students, teachers, families, administrators, social service providers - who has worked hard despite the uncertainty. We must support all schools to find innovative ways during this unprecedented time to reach all students from a distance, including SEAA students and other vulnerable students, such as  low-income students, English learners, students of color, students living with disabilities, students experiencing homelessness or foster care, justice-impacted students, students who are highly mobile, and students who are parenting or working. At the same time, schools must continue to fulfill their legal obligations and protect their civil rights under federal laws.

Work with SEARAC
SEARAC seeks a full-time Director of California to lead our California advocacy activities, primarily by building and maintaining deep community engagement with community partners and individual advocates, building key policy champions that align with SEARAC's national equity agenda, and building a strong team. Apply by April 10 for priority consideration. Click here for the full job description. 

Other job openings
Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association of Lowell (CMAA) is seeking a Civic Engagement Coordinator to manage the organization's non-partisan voter registration, persuasion, GOTV, GOTC, and advocacy work. The ideal candidate has a strong commitment to social, racial, and economic justice movements, is results oriented, enjoys working with a team, and has a demonstrated ability to work with a diverse array of stakeholders. Click here for more information.

CPEHN is seeking a full-time Communications Manager based in Oakland, Sacramento, or Los Angeles, to lead efforts to develop and implement the organization's communications strategy. The Manager will be responsible for creating content and messaging for diverse audiences and platforms and managing projects and relationships with key stakeholders and consultants. The Manager will work with all staff to increase organizational visibility, promote our policy agenda, and develop media relationships. Click here for more information.

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