Fact Sheet: Deportation

Stop the Deportation of Our Communities

For the last two decades, the federal government has been pursuing an enforcement-first approach to immigration that prioritizes mandatory detention and deportation. The Obama administration is no exception: President Obama has deported more than 2 million individuals, and this number continues to rise. In November 2014, President Obama announced an Executive Order that expands relief beyond DACA to provide nearly 5 million people administrative relief from deportation. This expansion is being challenged in courts and therefore delayed in launch. Even with this relief, millions of families will be left out and still face separation and deportation. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has intensified raids in immigrant communities, deporting thousands of community members, some of whom qualify for relief.

The impact on Southeast Asian refugee communities is often neglected in this massive deportation machine. In response to this, NQAPIA stands firm to elevate the grassroots work of our Southeast Asian partnersPrYSM, Freedom Inc, and SOYall part of the Southeast Asian Freedom Network (SEAFN), as they launch an international human rights campaign to end US deportations to Cambodia. 2015 marks 40 years since Southeast Asian refugees were displaced by militarism and war and began resettlement in the US. Decades later, people are being deported back to countries they fled or have never stepped foot in.


Timeline Chanravy Proeung, National Organizer of SEAFN, stated, “We have been rooted in an intergenerational struggle over the last five decades to keep our families together against unjust forces of US militarism, war, systemic poverty, education inequity, imprisonment, institutionalized racism, discrimination, and deportation. With over 500 Cambodian-American families broken apart since 2002, and over 4000 more awaiting the same fate, our human rights fight today, is deportation.” NQAPIA calls for an end to deportations under the Cambodian Repatriation Act and to all countries until the U.S. implements human and civil rights for all communities.


NQAPIA Info-graph:

deportation infographic

Uncovering Our Stories: Linda Khoy

“My parents are from Cambodia and fled to America to escape the genocide that took place in the 80s. They both legally arrived here with my older sister, who was barely one at the time. Lundy was born in a Thai refugee camp during the war. I came into their lives under a year later and my brother soon after. Aside from me being gay, I never knew that I was different from my parents or my sister. I knew they carried with them a card that read “Permanent Resident Alien,” and later we soon discovered that there is a huge difference between being a US citizen and a green card holder. We grew up in a very strict household and my parents did the best they could with raising Asian American children, keeping the Cambodian values while trying to adapt the American way. When Lundy was barely 19 years old, while she was in college and in her experimental phase like most college kids, she made a mistake by carrying a few ecstasy pills for her and her friends. Her honesty that our parents instilled in us changed the course of her future. She is 32 years old now, and due to the lack of judicial discretion that immigrations judges have, her mistake is considered an aggravated felony, which is an automatic ground for deportation if you are not a US citizen to a country she has never set foot in.” Read Linda and Lundy’s story.

Other Resources

Community Conversations

South Asians Demand Immigrant RightsWe want to concentrate our conversation on the deportation of Southeast Asian communities. The following are videos that are strong conversation starters, along with questions to guide your conversation.


One Love Movement Rally, 2011 Deported Diaspora, 2009 Providence Youth Student Movement, 2003


  1. Given the example of SEAFN in needing to understand the root causes of deportation in order to build grassroots movement against it… What do you believe are the root causes of deportation in your community?
  2. The criminalization of Southeast Asians in the U.S. pushed our communities into the deportation pipeline. What are other ways that people in your community get trapped into deportation proceedings?
  3. Deportation is part of a larger narrative of forced Southeast Asian migration, beginning with the onset of wars in Southeast Asia. How does militarism and imperialism affect the migration of your communities to the United States?
  4. SEAFN and the movement against Cambodian deportation was started by Southeast Asian queer folks and women. What role do you see queer and trans APIs play in the struggle for just immigration policies?

Sign the Petition to End Deportations Here!

Southeast Asian Freedom Network logo Southeast Asian Freedom Network (SEAFN) is a national collective of Southeast Asian grassroots groups working towards radical and transformational change led by those most impacted by systemic injustice.


Download the NQAPIA & SEAFN End Deportation Fact Sheet.

May Day and What’s at Stake for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month for the LGBT Community

The beginning of May is meaningful for millions of people in the United States and countless more people around the world for the celebration of May Day and its recognition of international workers, as well as for the kickoff of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. For the LGBT community, this is an opportunity not only to stand in solidarity with immigrant workers and the AAPI community, but to lift up those voices in our community and to recognize the scope of diversity in our rainbow. Current events and the political climate we’re now in not only provide a unique backdrop to think about this diversity, but underscore the urgency to make sure we continue to fight for as broad a vision of social justice as possible.

NQAPIA is proud to kick off May and AAPI Heritage Month with our local partners around the country and with our allies in both the AAPI and LGBT movements. It is an opportunity for us to expand beyond stereotypes and bring our complete selves to the collective narrative of the AAPI community. President Obama’s intent to appoint fourteen new Commissioners to the White House Advisory Commission on AAPIs, including openly LGBT Michael Byun from ASIA Ohio, and actor Maulik Pancholy is evidence of the heights our community has reached, as well as other luminaries such as Helen Zia, Urvashi Vaid, George Takei, and Margaret Cho who have achieved greatness in many other areas of public life. Progress is not just measured at the top though, and we are just as proud of the unheralded but just as critical moments that happen every day as brave LGBT AAPIs change hearts and minds in their families and all of our communities.

The actions that are happening around May Day focusing on immigrants’ rights and international workers are very real reminders of why LGBT and straight alike, we all need to fight for immigrants’ rights This movement has always included LGBT people, but in recent years, brave people like Jose Antonio Vargas, Bupen Ram, Erika Nunez, and others highlighted in our “Uncovering Our Stories” campaign have made the connection between coming out of the closet and coming out of the shadows and we are proud to lift up their journeys particularly this month. Here in Washington, DC, LGBT stalwarts like our friend Rea Carey from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force put their bodies on the line  leading up to this May Day calling on the Administration and the Congress to keep our families together and fix the broken immigration system.

The theme for AAPI Heritage Month this year is “I Am Beyond” and our work this month will continue to push beyond traditional perceptions of what the AAPI community is and how we build love and community there. We will continue to push beyond silos of identity politics and bring movements together to fight for legislative and administrative policies for immigrants and our families. We do these two things because we look to a future, beyond the here and now, where all our communities live free and just lives.

White House: Inside and Outside

This week, Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander (AAPI) LGBT people spent a lot of time engaging the White House on a range of issues. On Thursday April 24, the White House honored the most recent round of “Champions of Change,” recognizing AAPI advocates who worked to improve access to health care in our communities. NQAPIA was on hand as Bruce Thao, who is an Advisor for Shades of Yellow, was recognized as a Champion of Change for his work at Hmong National Development.

WHChamps 24April2014

caption: Shades of Yellow’s own Bruce Thao at the White House (second from the right)


Later that afternoon, the White House continued to recognize another set of individuals from the community as it named fourteen new members of the Advisory Commission for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Among the fourteen were openly LGBT people like Michael Byun from ASIA Ohio, one of the major direct service agencies for AAPIs in the Midwest, and the actor Maulik Pancholy. They will undoubtedly build on the work their predecessor Hector Vargas from the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association.

On April 25, dozens of immigrants’ rights activists converged on the White House on the outside this time, calling on the President and the Department of Homeland Security to designate “temporary protected status” for Philippine nationals in the aftermath of Hurricane Haiyan.  The rally included people from the Relief 2 Recovery coalition, the #Not1More campaign, the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA). NQAPIA Co-Director Ben de Guzman addressed the crowd on behalf of NCAPA, saying “We know that relief means relief for gay and straight alike!”

NQAPIA continues to work on immigration issues and will be bringing a number of local partners back to Washington, DC to continue to bring AAPI LGBT perspectives to bear with representatives from the White House in May as part of Asian American/ Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Keep an eye out for the latest we’ve got going on via our blog, on Facebook, or Twitter.


Happy New Year!

NQAPIA wishes love, joy, health, and prosperity to all our family and friends who are celebrating the Year of the Horse today.  NQAPIA board, staff, and partners are in Houston at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Creating Change conference. As part of the AAPI Planning Institute, NQAPIA Co-Director Ben de Guzman and Alice Y. Hom from AAPIP’s Queer Justice Fund gave Lunar New Year greetings to the 4,000 attendees to the conference.

Ben de Guzman and AAPI Institute Planning Committee giving Lunar New Year greetings at Creating Change 2014

Ben de Guzman and AAPI Institute Planning Committee giving Lunar New Year greetings at Creating Change 2014


The video for their presentation is online here: (the presentation starts at the 10:20 mark in the video)

The text of their comments is below.

Ben de Guzman:

On January 31, billions of people around the world will celebrate Lunar New Year and welcome the year of the Horse.  On behalf of the AAPI Institute Planning Committee we’re heppy to bring you greetings and jointly welcome the New Year together with you, our Creating Change family.

Lunar New Year is celebrated by billions of people around the world whose families trace their roots to places like China, Vietnam, and Korea. Here at our AAPI Institute, some of the fiercest East Asian  and Southeast Asian queer activists and leaders in our community came to share wisdom and learn with South Asian and Pacific Islander folks as well. For everyone who is here celebrating Lunar New Year we give you specific AAPI Creating Change love.

But we also know that even more of our communities are NOT with us this weekend. Even more fierce voices from our communities are not able to be here because they’ve made the choice to be with their biological families, their cultural families with whom they learned to celebrate Lunar New Year, They’re not here because they’ve made the choice to be with their movement families that are doing the hard, but important work this weekend to build visibility of queer people in AAPI communities that are celebrating Lunar New Year this weekend.  Our Open Letter talks about this and we invite you to read it in your Program book.

Two stories that have been happening this weekend that we’re particularly proud of. In Westminster, CA, Vietnamese Rainbow Orange County are leading a queer contingent in their Tet Parade in the largest Vietnamese community in the United States after waging a years long battle to be included. On the other side of the country, a Lunar New Year for All queer contingent will march in one of the country’s oldest Chinatown New Year’s parades.

The work they’ve done to engage straight families and communities in a linguistically competent and culturally resonant way is cutting edge because NOBODY ELSE IS DOING IT. They embody the goals of inclusion and multicultural outreach to people of color and immigrants that we as a movement are talking about here this weekend and we couldn’t be more proud of them.

One final story we wanted to share with you tonight is here with us and I wanted to bring her up to share her thoughts about what it means to be here at Creating Change this weekend.  I’m proud to call her a colleague, a co-conspirator, and most importantly, my movement spouse.  Alice Hom


Hello Houston!

Thanks, Ben. I’m the youngest daughter, gender nonconforming daughter, in my Chinese immigrant family and I made a difficult decision to be at Creating Change this year. My mom is 86 years young and while she is still in good health, I’m consistently aware that she is aging and that I may not have many more lunar new year celebrations with her.

Early this month, my mom talked about our lunar new year dinner that takes place on the eve of the holiday and would have been tonight. When I told her that I wouldn’t be in Los Angeles because of a conference, she didn’t miss a beat. Like many immigrant parents, she rolled with it. So we celebrated our lunar new year early with dinner last Sunday.

But still, it’s a bit bittersweet moment that my family willingly accommodated this choice when there shouldn’t have to be choice in the first place. I’d rather not have to choose between being Asian or being queer. I’m privileged that I can be all of my identities at the same time and that I am accepted and a welcomed member of the many communities that I’m a part of. I run the Queer Justice Fund for Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy and AAPIP works with AAPI LGBTQ organizations to address the culture of homophobia in ethnic communities and the culture of racism in LGBTQ communities.  I do this work with those who attended the 4th Queer API Institute today and with many of you as allies and partners at Creating Change.

So while I can’t be with my family of origin tonight, I am grateful to have the opportunity to be with my chosen family of lgbtq folks who will take the time to think about the structural barriers that keep others from being here. Thank you and may the Year of the Horse bring you much love, peace, rainbows, glitter, unicorns, and a trouble making spirit to make our world a better place for all of us.

NQAPIA and Roe v. Wade

This week marked the 41st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. The Supreme Court decision that made sure access to abortion services legal continues to be a key protection for women to make their own decisions about their health and their families. The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance holds values such as autonomy, access to reproductive services and health care, and empowerment for people of all genders and is proud to stand in solidarity with the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum in the fight for reproductive justice.

Many of the NQAPIA family have joined the NAPAWF #ImInThe78% campaign. We raise our voices, and our smart phones to proclaim our part in the 78% of Asian Americans who support some form of legal abortion.

From NQAPIA Co-Director for Programs Ben de Guzman’s selfie:

Ben Selfie NAPAWF Tumblr

To NQAPIA Board Co-Chair Joy Messinger with the NAPAWF-Chicago sisters:

NAPAWF Chicago Selfie


To the number of NQAPIA friends, homies, and allies:


Go to to see the real pics of ALL our friends taking part in the 78% and what you can do to join!


Williams Institute Releases Study on AAPI LGBT Communities

The Williams Institute has just released “LGBT Asian and Pacific Islander Individuals and Same-sex Couples,” a study that provides data on a variety of social, economic, and demographic characteristics of the Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.  NQAPIA recognizes the lack of sufficient research on our communities and commends the Williams Institute for taking this important step.

Because of the diverse nature of the AAPI population, with over 18 million people representing over 40 ethnic communities, aggregate data for the community masks some of the realities and disparities in our community.  For example, while data on educational attainment for AAPIs overall trends higher than other ethnic groups and perpetuates a “model minority myth,” we know that challenges of language access and socioeconomic status are a part of a more complex picture where groups like Southeast Asians and Pacific Islanders have dramatically lower levels of education.

The Williams Institute’s inclusion of separate data for Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders is a good step to take, and while we are glad that they acknowledge the need for disaggregated data, the overarching conclusions and key findings about success for AAPI same-sex couples require a closer look about how different ethnic groups may have dramatically different outcomes.  We also know that language matters and that the methodologies for multilingual survey research in our communities that are conducted in the languages we speak are better able to access a more representative sample.

We welcome the opportunity this important study provides to have a conversation about AAPI LGBT communities and are eager to engage the Williams Institute, as well as other institutions that create and use this kind of research about how best to work with our communities to get the best information.

NQAPIA Supports the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington

NQAPIA is proud to take part in activities around the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

We are joining AAPI national organizations in a contingent to take part in the National Action to Realize the Dream March & Rally on Saturday, August 24.  People interested in joining us in Washington, DC can meet up at 8:00am at the southeast side of the World War II  Memorial.

RSVP for updates and logistics:


We have also joined a list of over forty LGBT organizations supporting the March that signed the following open letter .

An Open Letter in Support of 50th Anniversary of March on Washington

Over the past year, our community has celebrated tremendous wins in the fight for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality and justice.

We have collectively cheered the first ever Senate committee markup of an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), the Social Security Administration’s modernization of its gender marker policy, and U.S. Supreme Court wins on marriage equality in the Windsor and Perry rulings. But we remain frustrated that ENDA is still not the law of the land and we’re angered and deeply disappointed with the Court’s decision to turn back critical parts of the historic Voting Rights Act in Shelby.

We must channel this frustration and disappointment into action to tackle employment discrimination, voter suppression tactics, immigration reform and racial profiling, to name only a few.

This month we have an opportunity to bring the combined energy from our victories to a major gathering that will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs & Freedom. History was made that day 50 years ago when thousands came to Washington, D.C. to lift up their voices in support of civil rights, employment protection and an end to racial segregation in our nation’s schools. On August 24, 2013, we will rededicate ourselves to that dream of equality and justice.

It has been over 40 years since Stonewall and the birth of the modern LGBTQ rights movement. As national, state and local LGBTQ organizations, we know that while there have been many advancements over the last four decades since Stonewall and the five decades since the 1963 March, there is still much more work to be done. We are proud to commemorate the 1963 March and, once again, come together and collectively take action to “Realize the Dream.”

At a time when the nation still does not have clear federal laws barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, we still need to step up and be visible. We believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to find and keep a job in a safe work environment with a living wage regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. We also believe that all members of our community, whether they are seniors, middle-aged or youth, deserve to be safe from violence, harassment, exploitation and racial profiling when they are at home, school, work, or in any other public places. As LGBTQ people, we believe that quality health care should be accessible, affordable and culturally competent. We believe that the 11 million undocumented immigrants, including at least 267,000 undocumented LGBT people living in this country, should have a real pathway to citizenship and people from all backgrounds should be able to stay with their families. We believe these are issues that cut across all lines of gender, race and ethnicity, gender identity and sexual orientation, ability and immigration status. It’s time to join forces and demonstrate our collective power.

Take Action

Working together, this rally and mobilization is an opportunity to lift up the voices of LGBT people as part of a broad progressive agenda for social and economic justice. Please join us on Saturday, August 24, 2013, at 8 AM – 3 PM in Washington, D.C. at the DC War Memorial at 900 Independence Ave, SW, Washington, DC 20245.  (The Memorial is located across Independence Ave. from the Martin Luther King Memorial), as we come together in support of freedom and justice!

In Solidarity,

Get Equal
Human Rights Campaign
National Black Justice Coalition
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Pride at Work, AFL-CIO



Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice
Believe Out Loud
Bethel Christian Church, DC
Bisexual Resource Center
Center for Black Equity
CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers
The Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals
Equality Federation
Family Equality Council
The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries
Freedom to Marry
Freedom to Work
Gay-Straight Alliance Network (GSA Network)
GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders)
GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality
GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network)
Harvey Milk Foundation
Immigration Equality
Lambda Legal
Leadership Team of NASPA GLBT Knowledge Community
Marriage Equality USA
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
PFLAG National
Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE)
The Trevor Project
Trans Advocacy Network
Trans People of Color Coalition
Transgender Law Center
Unid@s, The National Latin@ LGBT Human rights Organization

AAPI Heritage Month, LGBT Pride Month, and Immigration

By Steven

This month has been incredible. From attending a meeting with Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren to participating in an immigration rally at the capitol, I felt myself thoroughly integrated into both the political environment of DC and the national immigration movement it facilitates. In hearing about Cambodian refugees, same-sex binational couples, and LGBT DREAMers at events like the ECAASU Youth Forum and different coalition meetings, it became clear that the immigration issue intersects multiple communities and various causes. The fact that so many of these communities are denied citizenship status means one thing. It means that while we are a nation of immigrants, we are not yet a nation for immigrants. And for me, making the latter a reality so that the former is truly celebrated has been what this movement is about.

As Asian Pacific American Heritage Month drew to a close and LGBT Pride Month began, I am proud to say my celebration of LGBT pride didn’t start in June, nor did my celebration of my AAPI heritage end in May. As an individual whose identity refuses to be singular and whose identities intersect, my own experiences led me to appreciate how issues that affect LGBTs also affect AAPIs, and vice versa.  For me, this symbiotic relationship between different identities and the communities that grew around them reminds us of why we need to stand with one another on issues like immigration. Through hearing from influential members of the DC community, like Jason Tengco and Congressperson Mee Moua, I understood how our leaders were once in the same position as me. While structures of oppression make queer, immigrant people of color work harder for positions of power, I am empowered in knowing that it is not impossible for me to change these structures.

Intern Blog: NQAPIA at the White House for AAPI Heritage Month

This is the first in a series of blog posts by NQAPIA 2013 Summer Intern, Steven.  Welcome aboard, Steven!


My name is Steven Cong, and I’m a 1.5 generation, queer Chinese American student at UC Berkeley. This summer, I have had the wonderful opportunity of building my professional development as an intern for NQAPIA. Within my first week of work, I received more opportunities to strengthen my networks and improve my skill-sets than I would have first imagined.

I still find myself processing the fact that I saw President Barack Obama in person at a White House reception for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month during my very first day of work. I also had the chance to see renowned queer AAPI s like dancer Dana Tai Soon Burgess,  writer Helen Zia, and White House staffers Jason Tengco and Gautam Raghavan at the event. With that inspiring LGBT and AAPI representation, I had the privilege of being affirmed as a queer person of color in the United States, which excites me for more great experiences to come this summer.


Video:  President’s speech at White House AAPI Heritage Month Event, 5/28/2013

Capture. POTUS Video AAPIHM 28May2013