When the Asian Law Caucus helped Kiky receive temporary status and a work permit under the Obama Administration’s new deferred action policy for DREAMers, or undocumented youth, her family was overjoyed (names changed to protect confidentiality). Kiky, a 17-year-old honors student, could now finish high school. But the family was soon confronting new challenges, as Kiky’s parents’ asylum application was denied and they were facing imminent deportation. While the new deferred action policy provides some protection for DREAMers, family members remain vulnerable, making the benefits of this policy inaccessible for many youth. This is the complicated reality of the new policy that remains untold in mainstream media.
ALC was there for Kiky and her family, obtaining a stay of deportation while we continue to advocate for Kiky’s parents to be granted permission to remain with their daughter. At the same time, we are working to make sure that policymakers understand the full reality of Kiky’s family and of the hundreds of thousands of other immigrant families caught dangerously between contradictory immigration policies and hoping for a real path to citizenship and to contributing fully to this country.
This is the kind of nuanced understanding and deep commitment we bring to the pressing civil rights issues facing our community. As ALC supporters, you know how unique and important this perspective is to ensuring that the laws and policies that affect our community reflect community members’ reality and needs.
And our work is making a difference, to Kiky and her family, and to thousands of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) families across California:
- Since reopening our employment and labor rights program in April 2011, we have won over $1.1 million for low-wage workers in back pay and settlements.
- We have ensured a strong AAPI voice for immigrants’ rights by co-sponsoring the Trust Act, which has been hailed by The New York Times and other voices around the country as one of the most promising alternatives to the virulent anti-immigrant legislation in states like Arizona, Alabama, and Georgia.
- In the last year alone, we have helped over 300 Bay Area AAPI families retain access to affordable housing.
- By spearheading the campaign to pass the Safe San Francisco Civil Rights Ordinance, we protected the rights of innocent people targeted by the FBI based solely on their ethnicity or religion.
- This past election day, we mobilized over 250 volunteers to protect language access for AAPI voters at 400 polling sites throughout the Bay Area. There will be even more at stake in 2013, as we anticipate the first opportunity in years for broader, national immigration reform. A strong AAPI voice will be more important than ever.
None of this is possible without you. This year, your contribution has the potential to double the impact. A visionary donor has pledged to match every new or increased donation to ALC dollar-for dollar up to $2 million, through 2016. For current donors, this means that the value of every dollar you give above your average yearly gift is automatically doubled. For new donors, your entire gift will be matched, one-for-one.
I hope you will join us in this unprecedented opportunity to ensure that our communities continue to have access to the most effective and responsive civil rights advocacy possible.
P.S. We understand the challenges of giving in this economy, and that’s why your gift is even more precious to us. For online giving or for more information about the Asian Law Caucus, please visit our website at www.asianlawcaucus.org.