New Mexico Governor Signs Language Access Bill HB0022

“SANTA FE — New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty (NMCLP) announced that Wednesday, after over a decade of work by families and community leaders seeking fair access to state agencies for New Mexicans who don’t speak English, the governor signed a bill mandating state agencies create and implement plans for translation and interpretation services. 

House Bill 22: Limited English Access To State Programs goes into effect July 2023.

“This law will ensure more New Mexicans their rights to public resources, alleviate small grassroots organizations of the burden of being a catch-all to fill gaps in accessible services, and give informed decision-making power and agency back to New Mexicans,” said Sachi Watase of the New Mexico Asian Family Center. “Our communities have asked for equitable language access. Today, we are thrilled that our state is taking this step to honor the commitment and decades of work from my predecessors and ancestors, community-based organizations and advocates, our bill sponsors, legislators and public officials, essential workers who have witnessed the harm language barriers have caused first-hand, and of course, the generations of individuals, families, communities and allies across New Mexico who have worked tirelessly to lay the groundwork to help us get here today.”

Sponsored by Representatives Kay Bounkeua and Patricia Roybal Caballero and Senators Antoinette Sedillo-Lopez and Mimi Stewart, HB 22 requires all state agencies with secretaries to collect data on language use by families the agency serves and to develop and implement plans for ensuring meaningful access to state services through translation and interpretation. 

“Our state’s cultures and languages are some of our greatest strengths,” NMCLP attorney Verenice Peregrino Pompa said. “We thank the governor for demonstrating her commitment to racial justice by signing this bill into law. We also thank the bill’s sponsors and the New Mexico Asian Family Center for leading this effort for fair access to state services for all New Mexicans regardless of the language they speak.””

Governor Signs Bill Ensuring New Mexicans Speaking Languages Other Than English Can Access State Services (

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Excess Deaths During the COVID-19 Pandemic, March to December 2020 | Annals of Internal Medicine

Read the entire report here:

Background: Although racial/ethnic disparities in U.S. COVID-19 death rates are striking, focusing on COVID-19 deaths alone may underestimate the true effect of the pandemic on disparities. Excess death estimates capture deaths both directly and indirectly caused by COVID-19.

Objective: To estimate U.S. excess deaths by racial/ethnic group.

Design: Surveillance study.

Setting: United States.

Participants: All decedents.

Measurements: Excess deaths and excess deaths per 100 000 persons from March to December 2020 were estimated by race/ethnicity, sex, age group, and cause of death, using provisional death certificate data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Census Bureau population estimates.

Results: An estimated 2.88 million deaths occurred between March and December 2020. Compared with the number of expected deaths based on 2019 data, 477 200 excess deaths occurred during this period, with 74% attributed to COVID-19. Age-standardized excess deaths per 100 000 persons among Black, American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN), and Latino males and females were more than double those in White and Asian males and females. Non–COVID-19 excess deaths also disproportionately affected Black, AI/AN, and Latino persons. Compared with White males and females, non–COVID-19 excess deaths per 100 000 persons were 2 to 4 times higher in Black, AI/AN, and Latino males and females, including deaths due to diabetes, heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, and Alzheimer disease. Excess deaths in 2020 resulted in substantial widening of racial/ethnic disparities in all-cause mortality from 2019 to 2020.

Limitations: Completeness and availability of provisional CDC data; no estimates of precision around results.

Conclusion: There were profound racial/ethnic disparities in excess deaths in the United States in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in rapid increases in racial/ethnic disparities in all-cause mortality between 2019 and 2020.

Primary Funding Source: National Institutes of Health Intramural Research Program.



Give in May

This Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we invite you to imagine a more just and joyful future with us. A future where we all have the power and resources to thrive in safe and welcoming communities. Where we can shape the decisions that affect us. Where we take care of each other.For many of us, the past year has been defined by rapid response, as we showed up to support each other in the face of COVID-19, individual and systemic acts of anti-Asian violence, the deportation of community members and other crises. Yet at CAAL, we know the work doesn’t end when the headlines move on. In the midst of calls to rebuild and return to “normal,” we need leaders who can build from crisis moments toward our long-term work fighting for our shared future.

Through the month of May, CAAL is looking to our community to reach our goal of 150 donors to sustain our ongoing work; any contribution you make, whether it be $1 or $1000, will make a difference. Will you join us?

Stop Asian Hate~ VAYLA

For Immediate Release: March 20, 2020
Contact: Ellen Lu, Program Coordinator,

New Orleans, LA – Earlier this week, the current White House Administration double-downed on Sinophobic rhetoric regarding COVID-19. The name “COVID-19” was chosen specifically to maintain public discussion without stigma during a global public health crisis. By referring to the virus as anything other than its designated name (“Chinese virus,” “kung flu,” et al.), the nation’s leaders are eliciting further violence against the Asian American community when we must all practice social responsibility.

“This is a time of crisis and tension for all of our communities, but for Asian American communities and the Vietnamese community in New Orleans, it is an especially triggering time. We come from a diaspora that has survived despite war, colonization, environmental catastrophes, and limited access. Our focus should be on saving lives and building solidarity as we continue to share resources. Words have power. And phrases like ‘Chinese virus’ or ‘Kung-Flu’ to refer to COVID-19 affect our community and their safety while perpetuating anti-Asian sentiments. We call on the President, elected officials and all our leaders to set an example for all Americans.” said Jacqueline Thanh, Executive Director of VAYLA New Orleans.

VAYLA joins the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans and more than 260 other organizations in urging congressional leaders to publicly denounce the increase in racist attacks and discrimination against the Asian American community, in the wake of COVID-19. VAYLA encourages the President and elected officials to do the same.

Stand up against discrimination so we can ensure our most vulnerable young people, elders, patients, medical care providers, store clerks, and all community members are able to access the help they need. Together we must denounce discrimination. #VirusesDontDiscriminate

Report any incidents of hate using
Donate to our Emergency Relief Fund for undocumented folks and non-citizens at

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: May 2021

APRIL 19, 2021

In 1978, a joint congressional resolution established Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. The first 10 days of May were chosen to coincide with two important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants (May 7, 1843) and contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad, completed May 10, 1869.

In 1992, Congress expanded the observance to a monthlong celebration that is now known as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Per a 1997 U.S. Office of Management and Budget directive, the Asian or Pacific Islander racial category was separated into two categories: one being Asian and the other Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander. Thus, this Facts for Features contains a section for each.

The following facts are possible thanks to the invaluable responses to U.S. Census Bureau surveys. We appreciate the public’s cooperation as we continuously measure America’s people, places and economy.”

A More Diverse Nation

Learn more about it here.

CAAL & HPHA Report – Press Release

For Immediate Release: March 15, 2021
Contact: Julia Gay, | (216) 744-4956

New COVID-19 Report Shows Disproportionate COVID-19 Mortality Rates in Minnesota’s Asian Community

St. Paul, Minnesota – The Coalition of Asian American Leaders (CAAL) and Hmong Public Health Association (HPHA) released a new groundbreaking report, A Race to Close the Disproportionate COVID-19 Mortality Rates in Minnesota’s Asian Community, highlighting preliminary data on COVID-19 mortality rates among Asian Minnesotans. The findings draw attention to the disproportionate COVID-19 mortality rates among Hmong, Karen, Karenni community members, and affirm the community’s concerns about the inequities many predicted would exist for this population. CAAL and HPHA hope this report urges policy-makers to use and publish more disaggregated health data related to COVID-19 infections and mortality.

Download the Press Release Statement here.

VAYLA: Letter from Jacqueline Thanh

“Beyond Asian hate and the continual targeting of our elders across the country, the violence and murder of Asian women in Atlanta yesterday illuminates the complex intergenerational traumas of exploitation, sexual violence, poverty, colonialism, and erasure experienced by Asian women. Working-class Asian women are the backbone of families, communities, and our cultures. VAYLA is an Asian Womxn-led organization and we are grieving deeply with our diaspora. We must stop Asian hate. We must continue to speak up and keep each other safe in the face of terrorism.”

Read the full statement here.

NAPAWF: Stop Asian Hate

Condemn Hate and Violence Against Asian American Women
“We are appalled, devastated, and angry at the violence in Georgia that has taken eight lives, six of whom were Asian American women. Many NAPAWF members and staff are especially shaken because they or their family members work in the service industry and have already been experiencing increased racism at work because of COVID-19. We mourn with the families of the victims, with our Georgia community, and with our broader community as the effects of anti-Asian racism are felt across the country by all of us.

While officials now have announced the shooter’s motivations were based on a “sex addiction” and not racial bias, we know firsthand that sexual violence, sexism, and racism are intertwined for Asian American and Pacific Islander women. In the wake of COVID-19, racist scapegoating have fed this sexist fetishization as part of the spike in the incidents of hate.

We must call this moment what it truly is: white supremacy, anti-Asian racism, sexism, and sexual violence against Asian American women. More than 68 percent of reported incidents of anti-Asian harassment and violence have been from women, and new polling commissioned by NAPAWF has revealed that nearly half of AAPI women have been affected by anti-Asian racism in the past two years. Racism intertwined with sexism has always been a part of our lives — this horrific mass shooting laid bare what we used to face unnoticed.

We need a response to these attacks that centers Asian American women and elders. Intentional centering of women and elders must result in true aid, community support, government support, and an emphasis on our lived experiences, so that relief flows to those who need it most. We do not need more law enforcement – time and time again, more law enforcement did not lead to protection and safety. It instead leads to more violence aimed at and control of Black and Brown communities, including our own community members.”

Send a message to your elected officials: The federal government, state, and local community responses to incidents of AAPI hate must be intersectional and responsive to the needs of Asian American women and elders.

Testimony to Congress on Anti-Asian Violence

On March 18, the House Judiciary Committee – Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties held a hearing on Asian American Discrimination and Violence. The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum submitted two testimonies. One was signed by 130 other organizations calling attention to this country’s long history with anti-Asian violence and its disproportionate impact on women. The second testimony calls on Congress to take action to provide holistic and interagency responses to the rise in harassment and violence targeting Asian Americans and make investments in communities of color to support true community safety.

Download Testimony
Download Sign-On Letter