From local and national elections to critical court rulings, as well as ongoing direct services and community engagement, this month has been a whirlwind of activity for our team at Chinese for Affirmative Action. 

Pollworkers staff the ballot drop-off station in Chinatown's Portsmouth Square on Election Day, where for the first time 1,600+ voters were able to submit their ballots this year.
Poll workers staff the ballot drop-off station in Chinatown’s Portsmouth Square on Election Day, where for the first time 1,600+ voters were able to submit their ballots this year.

US Courts Issue Key Rulings on Immigration

The CAA Immigrant Rights team has been active educating the community on several court rulings that will help dictate the future of U.S. immigration. After a federal district court in Illinois vacated the public charge rule, which amounts to a wealth test for immigrants, the Seventh Circuit issued an administrative stay of that decision on November 3. This latest ruling allows the Department of Homeland Security to implement the public charge policy. The CAA team has been working to address panic and answer questions among Chinese immigrants. 

Later in the month, another federal court invalidated a memo that reduced DACA renewal periods from two years to one and refused the submission of new applications. This was a huge win for CAA and the immigrant communities we serve.

AAPI Leaders Convene to Discuss What’s Next

CAA co-led a convening of the AAPI led organizations, named the Shared Liberation Network, from across the country to celebrate the important role we played in engaging voters on key progressive issues such as immigrant rights, racial equity, and universal access to health care as well as the sobering realities of deep-seated racism. Together, we identified the need to continue to invest in local, regional, and national movement-building strategies and infrastructure development. 

Affirmative Action at Harvard Prevails Again

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston ruled that Harvard College will be allowed to continue to consider race as one of many factors in its admissions criteria. CAA was proud to join the amicus brief filed by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) in support of affirmative action, and we applauded the court’s decision. Universities should be able to take into account the unique barriers and experiences that applicants of color face, and offer a fairer and more equitable pathway to higher education for students nationwide.

After Trumpism

Record numbers of voters, and especially people of color, turned out to reject the demonization and disenfranchisement of immigrants and communities of color that have intensified over the past four years. Asian Americans throughout the country were part of this massive voter mobilization, and our growing electoral participation indicates that we can and should engage ourselves in coalitions to advance progressive change. Read our post-election roundup to find out what the election results mean for Chinese Americans.  

Thank You From Prop 16 

In just four months, CAA’s leadership on the Yes on 16 Campaign yielded extraordinary accomplishments: winning more than seven million votes, enlisting support from hundreds of local, municipal, and statewide AAPI leaders and groups, and building for the future of racial justice work in California. Read the full statement by CAA Co-ED and Yes on 16 Campaign Co-Chair Vincent Pan.

CAA in the News

(NPR) What It’s Like For Asian American Candidates During A Pandemic Marked By Racism

(NBC) 70% of Asian Americans Support Affirmative Action. Here’s Why Misconceptions Persist

(CTV) Asian Americans Could Play a Crucial Role in Battleground States