Today, the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) delivered 971 postcards from LGBTQ Asian Americans, South Asians, Southeast Asians, Pacific Islanders (APIs) and allies from across the country urging Mr. Trump and Congress to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The program has helped thousands of LGBTQ API young people trying to work, study, and improve their lives in this country. The elimination of DACA will take away employment opportunities, educational opportunities, and even the slightest relief from fears of deportation.
APIs are the fastest growing racial group in the United States today and the largest segment of new immigrants. 169,000 APIs are eligible for DACA. There is an estimated 267,000 undocumented immigrants who are LGBTQ, of which a disproportionate share is API. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, about 16,000 people from South Korea, the Philippines, India, and Pakistan have benefitted from DACA.
Glenn D. Magpantay, NQAPIA Executive Director, said: “DACA was never a perfect program, but it was a step in the right direction. President Trump’s mean-spirited cancellation of DACA will force 800,000 people to live in even greater fear. Hard-working DACA young people are the ones who are truly making America great.” For example:
Tony Choi is a 28 year-old, gay, Korean DACA beneficiary from New Jersey. In 2010, his options were to live a closeted life taking care of his mother with cancer in the US or return to Korea where his LGBTQ identity would subject him to harsh hazing for two years in the mandatory military service. Korean military penal law also criminalizes homosexuality. Watch Tony’s story.
Bupendra Ram is a South Asian from Fiji who came to the United States when he was only 2 years old. With the support of his mother, he is the first person in his family to attain a college degree. Read Bupendra’s story.
These stories demonstrate how DACA and other programs have protected LGBTQ APIs from harassment, discrimination, and hardship.
Sasha W., NQAPIA Organizing Director, added: “By taking away DACA, like enacting the Muslim Ban, the Trans Military Ban, and more, Trump continues to make large numbers of the American people vulnerable to continued attacks. We will never stop fighting with and for our undocumented LGBTQ API people, and all queer and trans people of color.”
Magpantay continued, “NQAPIA, which has long fought hard to preserve DACA and for immigrants’ rights, will take our fight to Congress. We urge Congress to codify DACA into law.”
Sign the National Immigration Law Center petition to help defend DACA.
#HereToStay nqapia.org/uncovering-our-stories #DefendDACA
What is Texas Senate Bill 4?
On May 4, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law SB4, one of the nation’s most rigorous anti-immigrant laws passed since Donald Trump took office. It bans “sanctuary cities” where immigrants are protected in that local police officers are limited in asking for or disclosing someone’s immigration status.
The Texas bill would enable local police to ask about someone’s immigration status when they are initially detained — even if they have not yet been charged with a crime. Those who do not comply with the law could be fined up to $25,500 per day and face misdemeanor charges.
The bill is scheduled to go into effect on September 1, 2017.
What has the response been so far?
Just one day after Texas’ governor signed the bill into law, city and county officials in Texas filed a lawsuit against both the Governor and State Attorney General Ken Paxton. Since then, the four largest cities in Texas – Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, and Austin – have joined the lawsuit, along with other organizations throughout Texas. Supporters of the lawsuit argue that the bill would violate the Constitution by impeding free speech and equal protection. Several local and national civil rights groups, labor unions and legal experts have condemned the law.
How would Texas Senate Bill 4 affect LGBTQ and API communities?
Immigrants’ rights and LGBTQ rights are deeply intertwined.
Asian Americans are the fastest-growing racial minority group in the country. Asian Americans are also the largest segment of both legal and undocumented immigrants coming to the U.S. One million Asian Americans are undocumented. In Texas, 44% of the state’s population is Latino, Asian American, or Arab American. Texas SB 4 would equally subject both Latino and Asian Americans to illegal profiling regarding immigration status.
There is an estimated 263,000 LGBTQ API immigrants, of which nearly 40,000 are undocumented. Studies have found the LGBT undocumented immigrant population to be disproportionately Asian.
Texas SB 4 would subject LGBT people who are ethnic and racial minorities to discriminatory stops and unlimited questioning about their immigration status by local law enforcement.
Moreover, LGBT people have also been historically harassed by local law enforcement. Not too long ago, same-sex sexual relations were illegal and police often raided gay bars. We must take a stand against Texas Senate Bill 4, because no one should be singled out and discriminated against merely for looking Latino, gay, Asian, queer, Muslim, or trans.
What you can do?
Second, help your LGBTQ and API family take a stand against the bill by writing a letter to city mayors, council members, and other local officials in Texas localities that have not yet joined the lawsuit challenging the bill. For instance, Fort Worth City Council has not yet voted on the matter.
Third, join the fight. NQAPIA works with several LGBTQ API community groups in Texas, including Coalition of Houston Asian Americans (CHAA), Khush-ATX in Austin, and Dragonflies in Dallas who are standing up for our community.
This is a difficult time for many of us. It’s hard to find support with the deluge of despicable declarations that have been coming from the White House. But, we have to support each other. And, there are several champions in our community who have supported the queer API community and efforts to keep or community safe and fight for immigrants’ rights, racial justice, and LGBT equality.
NQAPIA is working hard to keep our community safe and secure. You can help by making a donation.
Later this month, NQAPIA will be hosting our annual Community Catalyst Awards Celebrations in New York City and Washington, DC. They are celebrations of our community, reunions with old friends, and time to inspire a new generation of leaders. Join us!
For me, they are more than just fundraising banquets. They showcase the people who inspire me and have worked hard to defend our community. Let me tell you about them and why they are so special to me.
Community Catalyst Awards Banquet in Washington, DC on March 11
Gautam Raghavan is a first-generation immigrant from India and served as President Barack Obama’s liaison to the LGBT community and the Asian American & Pacific Islander community. Before, he was Deputy White House Liaison for the U.S. Department of Defense and led efforts to undo the Pentagon’s anti-LGBT “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. He is now Vice President of Policy of the Gill Foundation where he drives federal and state efforts to ensure a level playing field for all LGBT Americans.
Miriam Yeung was most recently the Executive Director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) leading the country’s advocacy on behalf of AAPI women and girls. Miriam has brought fierce intersectional analysis, practical policy advocacy, and a deep belief in powerbuilding from the base up. I recognize her as a leader in reproductive justice, immigrant rights, economic justice, and racial justice movements.
For 20 years, Asian and Pacific Islander Queers United for Action (AQUA DC) has been promoting positive identity and advocating for the general welfare of the API GBTQ male-identified members of the of the Washington, DC metro area. I’ve know the “AQUA boys” for over 15 years and have always admired their advocacy, coalition building, education, networking, outreach, and support.
Community Catalyst Awards Banquet in New York City on March 25
Ongina (born Ryan Ong Palao) is flying in from Los Angeles and is originally from the Philippines. She was part of the 1st Cast of RuPaul’s Drag Race and was best known for her sweetness, fashionable runway presentations, and coming out to the world as HIV+. She now hosts Logo’s series “HIV and Me” to tell the stories of those living with HIV. Ongina inspires me with her views drag as artistic expression and an outlet for a woman stuck in a gay man’s body to come out and let loose and have fun. I can so relate.
The Ng Family is one where each member of the family has done so much for the LGBT API community (pictured left to right: Jonas, Virginia, Maxwell, and John).
Father John Ng, was educated in Hong Kong and came to the U.S. in 1974 looking to better his life and provide an opportunity for the next generation. He has spoken on several panels being the proud father of a transgender son. He has been married to his wife Virginia for 43 years.
Mother Virginia Lou Ng, has been involved in the Asian American community for over 35 years and is best known for her work at OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates (formerly the Organization of Chinese Americans) and Charles B. Wang Community Health Center. Virginia served as New Jersey Chapter President and OCA National Vice President.
Son Maxwell Ng chairs the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition. Last summer, MTPC passed legislation to protect Trans people in public accommodations. Maxwell also serves on the Steering Committee for the Queer Asian Pacific-Islander Alliance (QAPA). Founded in 1979, QAPA, is the oldest Asian queer organization in the US.
Brother Jonas Ng is a Vice President at Nationwide Bank. He has excelled as a member of the Bank’s executive leadership team and before was a Managing Director for Discover Card. He is a staunch LGBT ally and has promoted Diversity and Inclusion is at several Fortune 200 financial institutions.
I love that we are honoring a drag queen and a family.
It’s up to the community to support the work of NQAPIA in cultivating a new generation of LGBT API leaders, building local capacity, fighting for immigrants’ rights, and promoting family acceptance. We cannot rely on foundations, corporations, and the rich. So, at each of the dinners, Anish Tailor from KhushDC and Patrick Lee from GAPIMNY will share their personal stories and why they are supporting NQAPIA and the Queer Asian movement. All support at any level helps.
If you cannot come, please consider supporting someone else to come so that they can be in community with us. NQAPIA believes that money should never be a barrier to participating. You can donate a ticket by purchasing a ticket for either or both dinners in New York and Washington, DC.
And at the very least, a donation of any amount will help continue the critical work of these amazing honorees. Donate at bit.ly/supportcca.
I hope you can join us and be in community with us either in-person or as a donor. We need your support now more than ever.
In community and solidarity:
Glenn D. Magpantay
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)
#NQAPIA bit.ly/supportcca #Catalyst2017
MEDIA RELEASE for January 26, 2017
Contact: Sasha W., NQAPIA Organizing Director, 909-343-2219, firstname.lastname@example.org
NQAPIA Blasts Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration
The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance blasted Mr. Trump’s executive orders calling them “detrimental to the interest of the American public—immigrants and citizens alike,” according to Glenn D. Magpantay, NQAPIA’s Executive Director.
Yesterday, Mr. Trump authorized spending U.S. tax dollars on building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, notwithstanding that net migration from Mexico has decreased over the last 10 years. He decreed the creation of more detention centers, 5,000 additional border patrol agents, and a reinstatement of 287(g) that requires local police enforcement of complicated federal immigration laws. His orders threaten to cut all federal funding from sanctuary cities and to reinstate Secure Communities, a deportation program that was discontinued due to ineffectiveness and increased distrust among immigrant communities.
Today, NQAPIA is anticipating that Mr. Trump will fulfill his campaign promise of implementing a Muslim ban. For 30 days, individuals from Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Iraq, and Iran will be banned from entering the U.S., simply because they live in Muslim-majority countries. Individuals from these countries will be unable to receive visas, even if they are already approved, intend to seek asylum, or have family members in the U.S. For 120 days, no refugees from these same countries will be allowed to enter the U.S. The only exception will be refugees who are religious minorities in their countries—in other words, refugees who are not Muslim.
Sasha W., NQAPIA’s Organizing Director, said, “Building a wall, constructing detention centers, and banning Muslims does not make us safer. Instead, these executive actions demonize and criminalize our communities. Trump campaigned on Islamophobia, xenophobia, racism, anti-LGBT bigotry, misogyny, and ableism—not facts or policy. Our communities have already faced significant backlash during his campaign; now, the hate violence is solidifying into federal policy.”
In NQAPIA’s #RedefineSecurity Week of Action, during the beginning stages of Mr. Trump’s campaign, NQAPIA lifted up the stories of institutional Islamophobic and xenophobic hate violence against our LGBTQ API communities. We told the stories of an Indian transwoman harassed by immigration officials; a Pakistani traveler being invasively examined by TSA, in her body and belongings; a queer South Asian organizer whose home was raided; and a Bangladeshi traveler who has been on the “no-fly list” since she was a child.
Last year, in the midst of this national uptick in hate and vigilante violence, NQAPIA submitted a model guidance to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), urging DHS to adopt protections against profiling on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, national origin, and religion. Instead, Mr. Trump is doing the opposite—he is choosing to embolden the white nationalist, Islamophobic, and xenophobic elements of his campaign.
Sasha W. concluded, “Mr. Trump is continuing to enact policies that simply do not work and that make our communities feel more unsafe in this country.”
If you want to take action against these policies, get trained with us! Sign up for NQAPIA’s direct action organizing series (in Los Angeles, Oakland, Seattle, DC, Philadelphia, New York City, and Chicago) at bit.ly/datrainings.
#NoBanNoWall #RedefineSecurity #NotOurPresident
The National LGBTQ Task Force sponsors and organizes the Creating Change. The 29th Creating Change will be held at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown in Philadelphia from January 18-22, 2017.
Many of these events are open to all, and we encourage active participation. If you do not identify with the event, please respect requests for safe spaces.
9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Queer API Institute: Building a Queer Asian American & Pacific Islander Movement
9:00 AM – 10:30 AM • Workshop Session 1
Jeh Johnson, Can You Hear Us Now? Organizing Against Islamophobia & Legalized Profiling
10:45 AM – 12:15 PM • Workshop Session 2
Faith and Family Acceptance in the API Community
6:30 PM – 7:30 PM • Caucus 1
Asian/South Asian/Southeast Asian/Pacific Islander Caucus
9:00 AM – 10:30 AM • Workshop Session 5
Building Queer Asian/South Asian Community and Movement
4:45 PM – 6:15 PM • Workshop Session 8
Loving with Our Whole Hearts: A Mother and Transgender Son
6:30 PM – 7:30 PM • Caucus 2
6:30 PM – 7:30 PM • Caucus 2
South Asian LGBTQ Caucus
11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Bunch and Closing Plenary
Glenn D. Magpantay Receives the Haas, Jr. Award for Outstanding LGBTQ Leadership for Immigrant Rights
In Case of Emergency
December 26, 2016
Barack Obama, President of the United States
Jeh Johnson, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security
Felicia Escobar, Special Assistant to the President for Immigration Policy, White House Domestic Policy Council
Manar Waheed, Deputy Policy Director of Immigration, White House Domestic Policy Council
Over the past two years, we have been in communication with this administration about guidance from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to end its reliance on profiling on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, color, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity as a method of national security and immigration enforcement.
As organizations representing diverse Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ), Asian Pacific Islander (API) and people of color communities, we urge the Department to adopt and issue guidance immediately.
To assist you in developing this guidance, attached is a model language, drafted in typical legal guidance form, developed by the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA). The model language lays out the necessary policy changes to end existing practices of profiling. We ask that you take this guidance under consideration and enact these protections against profiling. We must keep our communities as safe as possible in the years to come.
Some highlights of this guidance include:
- Examples detailing the inappropriate use of profiling, without exemption for matters concerning border security, national security, or state and local law enforcement.
- A clear process for addressing allegations of profiling based on race, ethnicity, national origin, color, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
- A remedy for when inappropriate profiling is used. Resulting detention or deportation should be deemed improper and revoked, as already exists in criminal proceedings where wrongfully obtained evidence is suppressed.
In the final weeks of this administration, this issue is increasingly urgent. We ask that you take action before you leave office.
For further conversation, please contact Sasha W., Organizing Director for the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA): email@example.com.
Alliance of South Asians Taking Action
API Equality LA
API Equality Northern California
Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
Asian Americans Advancing Justice
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO
Asian Pacific Islander Queer Society
Asian Queers United for Action
Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations
Black and Pink
Center for Black Equity
CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers
DRUM – Desis Rising Up & Moving
Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement
Family Equality Council
Gay Asian Pacific Alliance
Muslim American Women’s Policy Forum
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs
National Council of Asian Pacific Americans
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Federation of Filipino American Associations
National Immigration Project of the NLG
National LGBTQ Task Force
Network on Religion and Justice
OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates
Providence Youth Student Movement
South Asian Americans Leading Together
South Asian Bar Association of North America
Southeast Asia Resource Action Center
Transgender Law Center
Washington Peace Center
Witness to Mass Incarceration
Attachment: DHS Guidance by NQAPIA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DECEMBER 23, 2016
TIME TO CLOSE THE IMMIGRATION LOOPHOLE AND END ILLEGAL PROFILING
Advocates submit policy guidance to DHS to close profiling loophole
At critical moment, as Obama Administration dismantles Muslim special registry, guidelines to end profiling in immigration enforcement gains urgency, momentum
Today, the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) submitted a widely supported policy guidance to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to prohibit profiling on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, color, religion, language, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Staff from the President’s Domestic Policy Council requested the model guidance language, after a year of relentless advocacy by NQAPIA.
In this time of political uncertainty and uneasiness, the administration’s dismantling of the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) – which gave rise to “special registration” that targeted Muslims and devastated immigrant communities after the September 11 attacks – was welcomed by advocates.
“The LGBTQ communities of color that NQAPIA represents have faced an unprecedented acceleration of violence and continue to be mistreated and singled out at airports, their neighborhoods, and peaceful gatherings,” said Sasha W., NQAPIA Organizing Director.
”Now is the time for DHS to build upon the elimination of National Security Entry-Exit Registration System and close the loophole to prohibit profiling in immigration enforcement,“ said Glenn Magpantay, NQAPIA Executive Director.
He continued, “Currently there is no policy against profiling in immigration enforcement. The U.S Department of Justice issued a guidance in 2014 barring profiling, but exempted the Department of Homeland Security and its agencies. As a matter of federal public policy, it is actually permissible for TSA, ICE, and CBP to assert that someone is a threat based on no other information other than what is profiled.”
A model for change
For the past year, racial justice and immigrant rights advocates have been pushing to close this gaping loophole. To assist in DHS in is effort, NQAPIA developed the model guidance language to enact desperately needed protections against profiling.
The model guidance prohibits DHS and its agencies from using race, ethnicity, gender, national origin, language, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity as the sole basis for monitoring, investigating, stopping, detaining, questioning, or searching an individual, or placing an individual into detention or removal proceedings. It also details:
- Examples of inappropriate uses of profiling in border security, national security, and state and local law enforcement.
- A complaint process for addressing allegations of profiling.
- A remedy for when inappropriate profiling is used. Resulting detention or deportation should be deemed improper and revoked, as already exists in criminal proceedings where wrongfully obtained evidence is suppressed.
Racial profiling has been used in federal programs that have ravaged communities of color such as the “War on Drugs,” “War on Terror,” and in immigration enforcement abuses that created laws like Arizona’s SB1070 and other collaborations between Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) and local law enforcement.
Profiling has been widely rejected both on moral grounds and because of its ineffectiveness. Republican President George W. Bush issued the first set of federal guidance barring profiling in law enforcement in 2003. There is widespread and bipartisan support against profiling and support for closing the DOJ loophole.
To that end, NQAPIA delivered over a thousand postcards and hundreds of e-petition signatures to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, demonstrating mass-based support for the end of profiling in DHS. NQAPIA also organized a protest on the 15th anniversary of 9/11 demanding an end to legalized profiling.
“There is no more urgent time than now to close the profiling loophole and end illegal profiling. We urge the President to take immediate action on this issue,” concluded Magpantay.
Contact: Glenn D. Magpantay, NQAPIA Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) is a federation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizations. We seek to build the organizational capacity of local LGBT AAPI groups, develop leadership, promote visibility, educate our community, enhance grassroots organizing, expand collaborations, and challenge homophobia and racism.
There are a number of measures that LGBTQ APIs should do to protect themselves and their families under a Trump Administration. NQAPIA has consulted with immigration lawyers, public policy experts, and other attorneys to identify issues of particular importance to LGBTQ Asian Americans, South Asians, Southeast Asians, and Pacific Islanders.
Many of these applications will not be granted until after Trump takes office. But, even if Trump tries to eliminate everything that we have won, it is virtually impossible for changes to be retroactive. Applications filed today will be decided and granted on the basis of the laws and rules while Obama is in office. So, take care of these soon.
Transgender LGBTQ APIs
President Obama’s administration allowed for people to change and update their federally-issued identity documents, including gender-marker on passport and names on social security cards. Trump has vowed to eliminate all of Obama’s executive directives on January 20. You must apply and make and changes now. Adult passports last 10 years, so they will outlive a Trump presidency.
Young Undocumented Immigrants
President Obama created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program by executive order so that undocumented young people could be free from deportation and gain work authorization. Trump has given mixed messages on DACA, and at one point, he stated he has “no problem” with it.
If you are fearful about what Trump will do with current DACA enrollees, know that NQAPIA, countless advocacy organizations, and high powered lawyers will do everything that we can to protect you and your family.
If you have DACA now but it will expire in the next 6 months, file a mandatory renewal now. Not filing a renewal could subject you to noncompliance and makes you a higher priority for investigation. Those who follow the rules, as they are now, are less likely to be gone after.
If you have never applied for DACA, you should consult with an immigration attorney before filing a new application. Click here to find an attorney.
Health Insurance through Obamacare
If you do not have health insurance, you should apply for Obamacare through the federal system or one of your state health exchanges. Open Enrollment is now. Although Trump and Congressional leaders have promised to eliminate the Affordable Care Act, that will not happen at least for another year. The more people who are in the system now, the more difficult it will be to get rid of the system. Efforts to repeal may also “grandfather” current enrollees and allow them to maintain their health insurance while declining to take any new people.
Immigrants Eligible for Green Cards or Naturalization
If you are eligible for a green card or eligible to become a U.S. citizen, you should file your application now. They take several months to process, but becoming a permanent resident or a citizen substantially increases your security to live in America. If you have any criminal history or entered the U.S. without permission, consult an attorney before filing any paperwork.
LGBTQ Immigrants Seeking Asylum
LGBTQ people are persecuted in many countries in Asia and the Pacific. Foreign nationals may seek political asylum in the United States based on the sexual orientation or gender-identity. But, federal law has a strict one-year time limitation for people to file an application from the date of entry. This cannot be undone by Trump. If you are seeking political asylum you should consult with an attorney, and apply now.
Same-Sex Marriage is Safe
Don’t Get Married if You Don’t Want To
The right for same-sex couples to legally marry was decided by the US Supreme Court and is based on the US Constitution. Trump cannot undo marriages or take the right away. Even if he appoints an anti-marriage Supreme Court Justice, the majority of justices that ruled twice in favor of marriage equality will remain on the Court. There is no need to rush to get married now.
LGBTQ APIs with Children
Protect Your Relationship with Them
If you have a child, you should apply for a second-parent adoption or a joint adoption if you do not have a legally recognized relationship to the child, like birth. Even if your name is listed on the child’s birth certificate, that may not be enough.
Trump may eliminate the Obama Administration’s hospital visitation policy. So, it is prudent to have family planning protections in the event of a tragedy. This includes a Last Will and Testament, Health Care Proxies, Medical and Financial Powers of Attorney, designation of guardians, and Living Wills. It is not limited to couples but includes single people and people in more dynamic relationship and family structures.
Need a Lawyer?
The above are prudent steps to take, but everyone’s legal situation is different.
To speak with an attorney for a legal consultation, complete NQAPIA’s Legal Intake Form, or find an attorney from this list.