October 2019 - In This Issue:

Creative expression at Moving Mountains 2019
Through a generous fundraising effort by filmmaker Sahra Nguyen, SEARAC had the opportunity to bring graphic facilitator and community organizer Tracy Nguyen to our recent Moving Mountains convening in Sacramento. Tracy masterfully captured visual notes of all our plenaries, including our  special pre-launch of our national demographic profile report "Southeast Asian American Journeys: A National Snapshot of Our Communities" (read the executive report here). Check out her beautiful work below and see her in action at this link


Congress debates higher ed bill
In October, members of the House Education and Labor Committee debated on the College Affordability Act. The CAA, introduced by Committee Chairman Bobby Scott, is the House's effort to overhaul the Higher Education Act (HEA) and make critical updates to federal higher education policy. Check out SEARAC's priorities for HEA reauthorization and watch the committee markup on their website.

AANAPISI funding expired Sept 30
Mandatory funding for the Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) program and other Minority Serving Institutions expired on Sept. 30, but Congress has yet to pass critical legislation to renew funding. Let your elected officials know why AANAPISIs are important to you and urge them to act immediately to restore funding.

White House proclamation takes aim at uninsured immigrants
The Trump Administration issued a presidential proclamation this month restricting immigration into the United States for uninsured individuals who are unable to pay for their own healthcare. In addition to the president's ongoing efforts to make healthcare inaccessible for many immigrant families, this policy further targets people seeking to reunite with loved ones through the family-based visa system and would also impact people with diversity visas, employment-based visas, etc. Read SEARAC's statement on the Administration's most recent heinous policy to hurt and alienate our communities.

Opposing public charge

The immigrant rights community welcomed a recent decision by three federal courts to block Trump Administration policy that would make it more difficult for low-income immigrants to obtain a green card. This "public charge" regulation has been in the making since last year and was scheduled to go into effect on Oct. 15, intimidating many immigrant families from accessing critical health, housing, and nutrition programs. While this is an important victory that will temporarily delay the Administration's attempts to hurt our communities, SEARAC joined  OneNation partners this month to remind everyone that we must continue to fight in order to ensure that this policy is never implemented.

ACA open enrollment begins November 1
Thanks to the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) under the Obama Administration, uninsured rates among Southeast Asian Americans were cut in half. Yet, despite the availability of affordable, quality coverage under the ACA, the Trump Administration has continued to threaten open enrollment for the program through the spread of misinformation. Remember to sign up for coverage starting on Nov. 1 and spread the word among your family and friends. Click here for more information.


Rally to stop Cambodian deportations
AAAJ - ALC, ASPC, SEARAC, SEAFN, and VADN held a rally at the Sacramento Capitol and in front of the Sacramento ICE office pushing for more pardons in California and denouncing deportations of Cambodian Americans. Over 100 individuals joined the rally and march to ICE.

Immigration reform: A New Way Forward
SEARAC, the Southeast Asian Coalition, and other partner organizations held a webinar detailing a New Way Forward, principles for immigration reform addressing detention, deportation, and criminalization. The webinar also briefly gives an overview of the New Way Forward Act, an immigration due process bill that SEARAC and other organizations have been working on and that will likely be introduced before the end of the year. You can view the webinar here. We encourage interested individuals to reach out to their members of Congress to encourage them to champion these principles in the national immigration reform conversation to ensure all immigrant and refugee communities have adequate due process protections. 

2018-2019 CA budget and legislative cycle in review
As 2019 quickly comes to a close and a new decade emerges, SEARAC reflects on the wins and hopes of the 2018-2019 California budget and legislative cycle. Gov. Newsom and the CA state legislature passed a $218 billion budget in June 20197, expanding capacity for 2020 Census community outreach and education, increasing access to education for low-income students and families, and advancing health and mental health care. 

On Sunday, Oct. 13,  Gov. Newsom capped his first year in office by making decisions on legislation that made it to his desk.  Our communities experienced some major victories this legislative cycle. We also experienced some losses, but this is only the beginning. More than ever, Southeast Asian American organizers, advocates, and community members are out in strong numbers in California to fight for equity, access, and human rights. 

2020 is a pivotal year for everyone, especially for Southeast Asian Americans, as it marks the 45th year of our community's arrival as refugees to the United States. We will keep fighting forward. 

Click through each section to read more about specific legislative wins and wishes for the community:

Join SEARAC's Rapid Response Network!
SEARAC's advocacy work is only as strong as our ability to work with community to mobilize for change. Do you want to support advocacy for civil rights issues for Southeast Asian Americans by:
  • Sharing your story?
  • Educating your family and friends?
  • Contacting or meeting with your lawmaker?
If so, consider joining our newly launched rapid response network by filling out this short form!

New staff blog post: Building community 

SEARAC's Director of National Policy Katrina Dizon Mariategue penned the most recent addition to our staff blog. Check out her reflections on the relationship-building that has been the highlight of her four years at SEARAC. 

Participants needed for research study
A study out of Oregon State University is seeking participation from Southeast Asian women administrators working at community colleges. The study will explore  the narratives of Southeast Asian women's cultural identities based on the Vietnam War, and the pathways to leadership for Southeast Asian women through their experiences in administrative positions at community colleges. Participants should currently work as a dean level or higher administrator and have ethnic roots, nationality, and cultural backgrounds consisting of countries from the Southeast Asian to countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Hmong. For more information, click here
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