How AAPI Voters Will Shape
the Future of Texas

Recognizing the potential power of AAPI voters – the fastest-growing electorate in the country – Asian Texans for Justice (ATJ) commissioned a polling project, the first of its kind from a Texas-based AAPI organization, designed to better understand AAPI voters’ political views and policy preferences.

People are behind voting booths with a dog, waiting.

Op-Ed: How some states are making it even harder for limited English voters to cast ballots

This November, as voters go to the polls to cast their ballots, some U.S. citizens will face insurmountable challenges. 

That’s because a growing number of voters who need assistance at the voting booth live in jurisdictions where election officials may not allow them to get that help despite federal requirements established under the 1965 Voting Rights Act. That federal statute remains one of the most powerful tools to address this nation’s legacy of racial discrimination at the ballot box. Its protections extend to voters who have limited English proficiency and those with disabilities. 

Yet states and counties are failing to comply with an important provision in that law that guarantees individuals who need assistance in casting a ballot the right to bring the helper of their choice into the voting booth. Limited English proficient voters often rely on individuals they trust to help them read and cast English language ballots. 

Read the full story here. 

The American Flag in a stylized image, with the stripes as a fuse.

A New Civil War in America?

When rioters, encouraged by the President, stormed the Capitol, one year ago, to overturn the results of the election, the idea that such a thing could play out in America was stunning. But the attack may have been just the beginning of an ongoing insurrection, not a failed attempt at a coup. David Remnick talks with Barbara F. Walter, the author of the new book “How Civil Wars Start: And How to Stop Them.” Walter is a political scientist and a professor at the University of California, San Diego, and a co-director of the online magazine Political Violence at a Glance. She has studied countries that slide into civil war for the C.I.A., and she says that the United States meets many of the criteria her group identified. In particular, anti-democratic trends such as increased voting restrictions point to a nation on the brink. “Full democracies rarely have civil wars. Full autocracies rarely have civil wars,” she says. “It’s the ones that are in between that are particularly at risk.”

A Mexican Chinese superhero brings a forgotten part of history alive

Images from the “Comandante Chong” issue of the Mexican American comic book, “El Peso Hero.”

A new issue of the Mexican American “El Peso Hero” comic book tells a story about Mexico that very few readers know about. “There is a long history of Chinese immigration to Mexico,” said the comic book’s creator, artist and educator Héctor Rodríguez, in an interview with NBC News about “El Comandante Chong,” a new issue released Monday. “But there is also a history of anti-Chinese movements, including deportations, expulsions and genocide. And this history has been forgotten or purposely put away.” 

Read more here.

Once struggling, United Farm Workers gains new clout in California, wants to use it

Officially, the three-week pilgrimage is aimed at pressuring Gov. Gavin Newsom into signing a bill that would allow farmworkers a choice, including vote-by-mail, in how elections are held in unionization drives. But the purpose is broader: to signify that United Farm Workers is emboldened despite decades of diminishing membership. 

The new law is crucial for protecting farmworkers, who are often undocumented and at risk of not just being fired but also deported if they displease their bosses by trying to join a union. The law is also deeply symbolic: It will show that California has the will to protect all its workers, even its most vulnerable. 

Read more here.

SEAFN – Southeast Asian Freedom Week of Action Communications Toolkit

Southeast Asian Freedom Week of Action Communications Toolkit 

A political education and freedom campaign to end the detention and deportation of Southeast Asian migrants and refugees. 

Topline messages: 

  • The U.S. government is an agent of anti-Asian violence each time it detains and deports Southeast Asian migrants and refugees.
  • Detention and deportation are extensions of U.S. imperialism, whereby our people are continuously displaced from our homes and families by the U.S. government, as we had been in Southeast Asia.
  • Southeast Asian migrants and refugees are unconditionally deserving of dignity. The immigration system is bereft of that.
  • Detention and deportation does not create safe communities. In fact, it exacerbates violence and injustice.
  • Southeast Asian liberation is deeply intertwined with the freedom struggles of other migrants and refugees and of the Indigenous nations of the U.S. whose lands were also pillaged by the U.S.
  • Fighting anti-Blackness is a central pillar in ending the oppression of Southeast Asian people internationally.

Share the toolkit:

#StopSEAADeportation: SEARAC’s New Series of Video PSAs

Video PSA Series on SEAAs and Deportation

The Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) proudly presents a series of deportation-focused public service announcements (PSAs) featuring the stories of five impacted Southeast Asian American (SEAA) community members and their families. This video series is designed not only to educate the broader Southeast Asian community on the impact of deportations on our families and communities but also to build public support for the need to end deportations.

These PSAs come on the 25th anniversary of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRAIRA), which enables the mass deportation of noncitizens with who have come into contact with the criminal legal system and increases punitive measures against immigrants and refugees. Through this new series of PSA videos, SEARAC seeks to honor the individuals and communities who have been devastated by the heightened deportations of Southeast Asian Americans, a practice that began with the passage of IIRAIRA and continues today. 

To view any of the videos below, click on their image or their title. You can also find all videos on SEARAC’s YouTube channel.

Statement on U.S. Treatment of Haitian Refugees | Freedom Inc.

View the full statement here

Freedom Inc. knows too intimately the struggles and experiences of Hmong, Khmer and Black refugees and immigrant stories. Over the last 20 years in providing services to Hmong and Khmer refugees and organizing Queer, Trans, women, and youth around issues like deportation, domestic, and police violence, we are outraged at the United States’ treatment of Haitian people seeking refuge at our borders.

Immigration is a decision that refugees have to make in order to protect themselves and their families. They come here looking for solace and are instead placed in cages by our government. This country has a deep, terrible history of violence against refugees from non-white countries, and particularly toward Black refugees. Why is it that Black people must be put in cages whenever they cross our borders? The right to asylum is a foundational part of this country, but it is constantly denied to people on the basis of their race and nationality.

We’ve seen the world be appalled by the horrific photos of Afghan refugees being left behind by U.S. evacuation planes, but that same empathy is missing for the Haitian asylum seekers imprisoned at the border. The unrest that is driving Haitians away from their home is the direct result of Western imperialism, especially the environmental impact of the United States. Just like with our Afghan refugees, they are here because we were there.

We are a product of failed refugee resettlement programs. The impacts of this cruelty last for decades, leading to poverty and generational trauma in these communities. These asylum seekers deserve to be let into our country in their pursuit of a better life. They deserve to be treated with compassion and given the foundation for a better life. Freedom Inc. demands the acceptance of any and all refugees, but that acceptance must also come with support and access to life-sustaining resources.

We stand with organizations like the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) and echo their demands: The US government must allow Haitian asylum seekers across the U.S. border and offer them asylum without detention. Once accepted, these refugees must be given the support and resources necessary for them to build new lives. Finally, all deportations and expulsions of Haitian nationals must cease immediately.

Love & Power,

Freedom, Inc.

Statement of Solidarity From the Asian American Leaders Table on 9/11

From the Chinese Progressive Association:

To mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the Asian American Leaders Table invited us and our colleagues in the Asian American and racial justice movements to remember and reflect on the past 20 years. We asked ourselves: How did the tragedy affect me, us, and our community? What are we still grappling with as communities of faith and communities of color? How do we use our collective power and resources to build a truly inclusive nation? Click the link below for some reflections that our Arab, Muslim and South Asian leaders offered and for the full statement of solidarity from the Asian American Leaders Table with additional resources: