Asian Americans are not your model minorities. We are not your wedges. We are not your license for guilt-free anti-blackness. We are not your proof that President Donald Trump isn’t racist.
Representative Judy Chu, the first Chinese American woman elected to the US Congress and the current chairperson of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), was arrested earlier today on the steps of the Capitol Building. Chu was attending a demonstration demanding the passage of a clean DREAM Act to protect thousands of DACA recipients facing uncertainty and possible deportation after President Trump announced he was ending the program instituted by the Obama administration.
According to a photo and article posted by Los Angeles Times‘ Congressional reporter Sarah D. Wire, Chu was seated in the front row of the demonstration holding a banner that read “Defend Our Immigrant Communities” when she was arrested. She was arrested by Capitol Police after the protesters were repeatedly ordered to disperse.
By Guest Contributor: Christine Chen, Executive Director of APIAVote (@apiavote)
Edison town council member Sapana Shah realized something was wrong the moment she checked social media, learning that she and her neighbors received the same anti-Asian mailer Wednesday which featured a “deport” stamp on the photos of two Asian school board candidates. The postcard also read, “The Chinese and Indians are taking over our town.”
Targeting candidates based on bias and hate toward various ethnic, racial or religious identity is not new. And Shah is no stranger to it as a candidate. She recounted multiple incidents to me over the phone. Shah, a long-time resident in the Edison township of Middlesex County, New Jersey, was told to go back to her country when she ran for local elected office. She once found her campaign signs inscribed with the words “dot head,” an offensive racial slur. As a town council member, Shah endured insults from residents who shouted her down at the end of a public meeting for voting to include Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, as a school holiday.
When individuals are targets of hate, it not only affects them but also entire communities.
The Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) reports that over one hundred Cambodian American refugees have been arrested and detained for deportation after one of the largest Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) mass round-up operations in history.
The arrests come shortly after the Cambodian government announced over the summer that they would temporarily halt the issuing of travel visas for refugees facing deportation by the US government to Cambodia. Cambodian officials are seeking renegotiation of a 2002 U.S.-Cambodia agreement to address the separation of deported refugees from the American families.