November 2018 - In This Issue:

In gratitude
Last week, we set out to accomplish something that we've never done before -- raise $20,000 in just five days to support the fight ahead of us in 2019. We're not going to lie; it was nerve-wracking to venture into the unknown. However, you responded in a big way and showed us that we were in it together. As of this morning, 203 supporters helped raise $26,900! Ninety-nine of you will be entered into a raffle to win an iPad, and seven of you have a chance to join us for our Equity Summit celebration in October 2019. Thank you so much for giving us fuel to continue demanding equity and justice for Southeast Asian Americans and for all immigrant and refugee communities. We are energized to keep this momentum going into next year, our 40th anniversary year.
Please follow us on Facebook to see us announce the raffle winners in a video we'll be posting tomorrow at noon EST.


Say no to public charge
Today, SEARAC joins Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizations across the country in denouncing the White House's public charge proposal during an AAPI Day of Action. 'Public charge' refers to the Trump Administration's effort to broaden the set of government assistance services that is considered when determining whether an individual excessively relies on public benefits. If a person is considered a public charge, he or she may be denied a green card. We've put together a toolkit that further explains this proposed rule, which you can check out here

Join us in rejecting this attack on immigrant communities.  Please help us reach our goal of submitting 1,000 comments by adding your signature at this  linkWe have 575 comments and 10 days to go!


(From left to right): Anna Byon, SEARAC education policy advocate; Dr. Phitsamay Uy, professor at University of Massachusetts-Lowell and SEARAC board member; Alyssa Tulubut, SEARAC training manager; and Sovanna Pouv, executive director of Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association of Greater Lowell. 

Supporting local leaders and advocates in Massachusetts
On Nov. 15, SEARAC joined the Massachusetts Asian American Commission (AAC) in Boston for an AAC Advocacy Day. The event convened AAPI-serving community-based organizations and community members from across the state for an advocacy training session. Participants learned how to conduct legislative visits and, afterwards, put their training to practice by visiting state legislators' offices to talk about issues that AAPIs face in Massachusetts, like the importance of collecting disaggregated data to reveal wide-ranging academic disparities among diverse AAPI communities. The convening also featured experts who spoke about the impact of education, immigration, health care, and labor policies on AAPI communities, as well as a keynote speech by Dr. Phitsamay Uy, a professor at University of Massachusetts-Lowell, and a current SEARAC board member.


Members of Congress speak out against unjust deportations
Congresswomen Judy Chu (CA, D-27) and Pramila Jayapal (WA, D-7) circulated a letter in the House of Representatives urging the Department of Homeland Security to stop wasting funds deporting Southeast Asian Americans with old criminal convictions. SEARAC supports their efforts and will continue to outreach to members of Congress to increase opposition against ICE deportation efforts. You can sign our petition here to express your support for a more just immigration system.

Fighting for immigrants' right to thrive
SEARAC submitted two comments to the Department of Homeland Security this month. The first expressed opposition to the public charge proposal, which would threaten the ability of immigrants who use public benefits to gain a green card. The second expressed deep concern around a proposal that would make it more difficult for low-income immigrants seeking to naturalize to obtain fee waivers. Many SEAA community members already live in fear of deportation. Both proposals harm their' abilities to provide for their families' well-being without fear of being targeted and vulnerable for removal. You can read SEARAC's comment on the public charge rule here and view the second comment around naturalization fee waivers here

Tell the Trump Administration to stop targeting asylum seekers 
This month, the president signed a 90-day proclamation banning individuals who enter the United States outside of "legal ports of entry" from applying for asylum. Additionally, the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security introduced policy that would make it more difficult for individuals to apply for asylum in the United States. Read SEARAC's statement applauding a recent rule by a federal judge temporarily blocking this order. Individuals or organizations interested in filing a public comment to oppose this terrible proposal can click here for more information. The deadline for the comment period is Jan. 8, 2019.


A right step in health justice for all
This month, Sen. Mazie Hirono introduced the  Health Equity and Accountability Act (HEAA) of 2018 following the  House introduction  by Rep. Barbara Lee in May. Read SEARAC's statement  supporting this effort to ensure that immigrant and refugee communities have access to culturally and linguistically appropriate health and mental health services, supported by the collection and reporting of disaggregated data. Southeast Asian Americans continue to be uniquely impacted by physical, mental, and emotional trauma decades after the war in Southeast Asia, and they are often unaddressed. SEARAC applauds this bicameral effort by members of Congress to pursue true health equity for all communities.


Meet our newest team member
We're thrilled to announce the latest addition to our growing team, Immigration Policy Advocate Kham S. Moua.

In A love letter to America, Kham explains why he chooses this country in spite of its flaws and how he plans to ground his work in love and community.

APAICS fellowship and internship applications open
The Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) has announced that applications are now open for its Congressional Fellowship and
summer internship program. The APAICS Congressional Fellowship Program offers full-time legislative and public policy fellowships in Washington, DC, providing exceptional graduates and young professionals with an opportunity to work on policy issues as staff members in a congressional office. The program aims to build leadership skills, encourage political civic engagement, and foster a strong interest in public service careers. The APAICS Summer Internship Program is an eight-week program that provides undergraduate students with the opportunity to work in Washington DC and experience American politics and public policy. APAICS interns are placed in US congressional offices and federal agencies. 

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