Category Archives: AANHPI

US Immigration Denies Travel Visa to Sister Whose Stem Cells Would Save Cancer Patient’s Life

September 20, 2017
The Huynh family, including Helen Huynh (center, red shirt). (Photo credit: GoFundMe)

60-year-old Helen Huynh’s health deteriorates daily as she waits to receive a stem cell donation that would save her life from the acute myeloid leukemia (AML) — a cancer of the bone marrow — that has ravaged her body. Over the last year, US immigration has repeatedly denied a travel visa to her sister, Thuy Nguyen, whose blood and bone marrow holds the key to saving Huynh’s life.

Now, Huynh’s life hangs in the balance, as her family scrambles to find legal help in their fight to appeal US immigration’s inexplicable denial of Nguyen’s travel visa.

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Families of Plaintiffs in Iconic SCOTUS Japanese American Incarceration Cases File Joint Brief Against Trump Muslim Ban

September 19, 2017
Gordon Hirabayashi, Minoru Yasui and Fred Korematsu in a photograph taken in 1983. (Photo credit: copyrighted Bob Hsiang Photography. Please direct any requests for photo usage directly to Mr. Hsiang.)

In an historic move, the families of Gordon Hirabayashi, Minoru Yasui, and Fred Korematsu  — the three men behind three landmark Supreme Court cases that challenged the constitutionality of Japanese American incarceration (JACL’s Power of Words) — filed a joint amicus brief to the Supreme Court yesterday paralleling President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban with the forcible imprisonment of Japanese Americans in camps during World War II.

In 1942, Gordon Hirabayashi and Minoru Yasui filed separate Supreme Court cases challenging the constitutionality of a federally-imposed curfew on Japanese Americans, a precursor to removal orders that led to the World War II incarceration of Japanese American citizens. That same year, Fred Korematsu was arrested after he refused to report for removal and relocation orders, and his appeal of that arrest formed the basis of his Supreme Court challenge of Executive Order 9066. These three cases — along with the Ex Parte Endo decision — form the bulk of the Supreme Court case history on federal targeting of specific racial or ethnic minority groups under the auspices of national security.

One need not try too hard to see the relevance of this case history on today’s fight to stop Trump’s attempt Muslim travel ban.

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Fate of White House’s Black, Hispanic, and AAPI Education and Community Outreach Initiatives In Doubt Under Trump

September 18, 2017

In a major feature story published today, NBC News reports that three major White House Initiatives — each designed to coordinate outreach to and enhance educational opportunities for communities of colour — have not had expected or scheduled meetings with anyone in the White House since President Trump took office in January.

The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics (WHIEEH), the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans (WHIEEAA), and the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI), are all housed under the Department of Education, and each was originally formed with the mission of improving educational access and outcomes for their respective communities. WHIAAPI was formed in 1999 by President Clinton, but under President George W. Bush, WHIAAPI was directed to shift its focus towards the economy and growing Asian American small businesses. WHIAAPI was later reestablished under the Department of Education to continue its original mission by President Barack Obama.

The three Initiatives each have their own Presidential Advisory Commissions comprised of a mixture of government officials and public advisors — many of them educators — as well as full-time staff to help carry out the Initiatives’ ongoing projects and objectives. Each have been instrumental in developing community outreach programs, sponsoring summits, and providing internship opportunities for their respective communities; and, many of those efforts remain ongoing even after Trump’s inauguration in January. With regard to the Asian American & Pacific Islander communities, WHIAAPI served as a communications hub that helped coordinate efforts between the federal government and community organizers on topics as wide-ranging as health disparities, language inaccess, data disaggregation, and classroom bullying. Furthermore, WHIAAPI provided unprecedented access for the AAPI community to voice public interest concerns directly to the White House.

However, according to NBC News, none of the White House’s three Presidential Advisory Commissions addressing Black, Hispanic, or AAPI communities have met since January, and there has been no communication between the Trump administration and commission members. The three Initiatives associated with these Commissions have received no direction from the Trump White House on their mission over the four years of the president’s term in office, and indeed, it remains unclear whether the three Initiatives will even continue to exist under the Trump administration.

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Widow At Risk of Deportation Following Hate Crime Murder of Her Husband

September 14, 2017
Srinivas Kuchibhotla (right) and his wife Sunayana Dumala (left). (Photo credit: AP)

Earlier this year, I reported on the hate crime murder of 32-year-old Srinivas Kuchibhotla, an engineer shot and killed at a bar in Olathe, Kansas by a man who yelled “Get out of my country!” moments before pulling the trigger. The shooting left Kuchibhotla dead and his co-worker — with whom he was enjoying happy hour drinks — critically injured; a third bystander who attempted to stop the crime, was also hurt.

Afterwards, the killer — 51-year-old Adam Purinton — fled the scene of the crime and was later apprehended nearly 70 miles south at an Applebee’s, where Purinton had boasted of killing two Iranians. After he was arrested, Purinton faced federal hate crime charges; he currently awaits trial on those charges.

Heartbreakingly, Purinton didn’t just take the life of Srinivas Kuchibhotla that night in February; the shooting also placed Kuchibhotla’s widow — Sunayana Dumala — at risk of deportation. Dumala, who was born in India, worked as a developer for InTouch Solutions; however, her residency status was linked to her husband’s H-1B visa. When Kuchibhotla was murdered in February, Dumala’s residency permit was terminated and she became at risk of deportation.

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Daniel Dae Kim in Talks to Join “Hellboy” Cast as Major Ben Daimio

September 11, 2017
Daniel Dae Kim

Variety reports today that actor Daniel Dae Kim (Hawaii Five-OLost) is in talks to join the upcoming Hellboy reboot as Major Ben Daimio, a role vacated by actor Ed Skrein (The Transporter: RefueledDeadpool) following online controversy over whitewashing. The character of Major Ben Daimio is Japanese American. Skrein is not Asian American, whereas Kim is Asian American (but not Japanese American).

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