Guidance on Profiling – Letter to President Obama and DHS

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):


Sasha W.
Sasha W.
Organizing Director

API Chaya
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
GALA, Inc.
Gay Asian Pacific Alliance
Hotpot! Philly
Lambda Legal
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
Trikone NW
U.T.O.P.I.A. Seattle
VAYLA-New Orleans
Washington Peace Center
Witness to Mass Incarceration

Attachment: DHS Guidance by NQAPIA

We’re Thankful for these Precautions before Trump Takes Office

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

Apply or Update Passport

passportPresident 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.

Apply for Passport from the U.S. State Department

Young Undocumented Immigrants

Renew DACA

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

Apply Now
Apply for Obamacare
Update your Obamacare Plan

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

Apply Now

Green Card ExampleIf 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

Apply Now

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

Graphic of the White House in Rainbow ColorsThe 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.

Personal Protections

last will and testamentTrump 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?

Ask Us

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.No Human is Illegal

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Media Release: LGBT Asians Deeply Disappointed in U.S. Supreme Court Decision Denying Immigrants’ Rights

For Immediate Release: Thursday, June 23, 2016
For More Information, Contact: Glenn Magpantay, 917-439-3158,

LGBT Asians Deeply Disappointed in U.S. Supreme Court Decision Denying Immigrants’ Rights
But is relieved that Court upholds affirmative action

Week of Action #RiseUp - New York CityWashington, DC … Today, a badly divided U.S. Supreme Court issued a 4-4 decision in the case U.S. v Texas. The decision upholds a lower court’s ruling to block President Obama’s Executive Actions on immigration, which expanded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and created a new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program.

NQAPIA Executive Director Glenn D. Magpantay said, “We are extremely disappointed in today’s ruling which would have benefited up to a quarter million LGBT Asian Americans. Immigration laws and policies have a direct impact on the lives of LGBT people. Today’s decision diminishes our equality.”

NQAPIA, with the pro bono assistance of McDermott Will & Emery LLP, had filed an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief in the case illustrating the impact of the case on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. View the brief in DropBox or as a PDF.

The President’s expanded DACA and DAPA immigration programs could have helped up to 5 million undocumented immigrants, including 400,000 Asians, to be free from deportation and gain work authorization. An estimated 267,000 undocumented immigrants are LGBT, of which a disproportionate share is API.

Fortunately, the original DACA program remains unaffected, and more than 100,000 undocumented Asian Americans remain potentially eligible for this program but have not yet applied. Learn more about DACA on NQAPIA’s website.

Magpantay continued, “NQAPIA vows to educate more LGBT Asian Americans to apply for DACA and to provide legal assistance.”

In another decision, the Supreme Court also upheld the University of Texas affirmative action-based admissions programs. NQAPIA has supported affirmative action to ensure that more Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander young people can obtain a college degree.

Last April, NQAPIA and local groups organized a national Week of Action on Immigrants’ Rights protesting the US v. Texas lawsuit in New Orleans and New York City.

The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) is a nationwide federation of 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, and expand collaborations to better challenge homophobia and racism.

# # #

Immigration Injunction 101: What’s Happened So Far, and What We Are Waiting For Now

The process and language around the injunction blocking the expanded DACA & DAPA programs can get confusing. President Obama announced executive action on immigration in November 2014, but expanded DACA and DAPA have been caught in a legal debate ever since. Here are some fast facts for LGBTQ AAPI folks to stay informed!

Arpaio vs. Obama:

  • Joe Arpaio, our favorite xenophobic & racist sheriff from Arizona (remember S.B. 1070?) immediately filed a court case against the Obama administration. He claimed that the Executive Action would directly harm him because “criminals would not be deported” under the new law.
  • Arpaio lost this challenge.

Texas vs. United States:

  • 26 states filed a lawsuit against the United States, claiming that the Obama administration overstepped their constitutional authority with the Executive Action on November 20th.
  • The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas issued a preliminary injunction, or temporary block, of the expanded DACA & DAPA programs, pending a trial. This is why these programs have not yet opened for applicants.
  • In response the U.S. government asked the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, a higher federal court, for an emergency “stay,” or pause, on the injunction during the appeal process. In other words, the Obama administration asked the court to allow expanded DACA & DAPA to proceed while the lawsuit continues. On May 26th, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the request for a stay. So for now, the new programs are still not running.
  • The U.S. government also appealed the preliminary injunction itself to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, on an expedited basis. A hearing for this appeal will take place on July 10th in New Orleans. This is the next big step in this court case.
  • If the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rules to uphold the injunction against the Obama Administration, next steps for the U.S. government could include:
    • Asking for a review by all 15 judges on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. (Currently, only 3 judges are hearing this case.)
    • Appeal the decision of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • If the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals strikes down the preliminary injunction , and rules in the Obama administration’s favor, we expect the expanded programs will finally be open for applicants.

As a reminder: the injunction & court cases are only regarding expanded DACA & DAPA. If you qualified for DACA before Executive Action in November, you should still apply! Contact if you have questions or need support.

Ask President Obama to End Racial and Religious Profiling, Detention, & Deportation!


The President’s Immigration Action paved a path for administrative relief for many people in our communities. It also created a new set of priorities for immigration enforcement that have resulted in thousands of people being profiled, detained, and deported in a matter of months.

Racial and religious profiling is rampant all over the country, including in immigrant communities. There is little to no accountability of law enforcement. The revised Department of Justice’s guidance on profiling sets a standard but has no accountability measures and exempts the Department of Homeland Security’s enforcement agencies.

Sign the Petition to Demand Accountability!

The Immigration Action states that vulnerable populations should not be prioritized for detention, yet LGBTQ folks continue to be locked away in detention centers where they are harassed and beaten. Trans* folks continue to be housed in centers based on their assigned sex, not gender identity, and put in solitary confinement for their supposed “protection” from others in the detention center.

Sign the Petition to Demand Accountability!

Communities of color, including Cambodians, continue to be fed into the school-to-deportation pipeline. Many from Cambodian communities are locked away and in the process of being deported back to a country from which they took refuge.

Tell President Obama to hold his administration accountable to ending racial and religious profiling, detention, and deportations.

Sign the Petition to Demand Accountability!



Help us collect petitions!

Download the President Immigration Enforcement Petition PDF, and send them to Email with any questions.

AAPI and LGBT Events for 2013 Inauguration








Washington, DC will welcome thousands of visitors for President Obama’s Inauguration.   The weekend of the 57th Inauguration will feature a wide range of events, and NQAPIA has been tracking activities that have special interest for AAPI and LGBT communities.

NQAPIA is NOT officially connected to any of these events, this list is only information we have gathered from a variety of partners and allies.  Please contact event organizers directly for more information.

Are you coming to Washington, DC?  Let us know!  Our NQAPIA family in the nation’s capital is eager to welcome you!


Looking forward,


Ben de Guzman, NQAPIA Co-Director for Programs


Thursday, January 17

National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) Open House

Time: 5-7PM

Cost:  Free (RSVP)

Location: 1100 H St. NW, Suite 540

Wine and cheese reception to celebrate a new year and a new office. Please RSVP to Eleanor Palacios at


Friday, January 18

White House LGBT Policy Briefing

Time:  9:00am- 12:00pm

Cost:  Free (RSVP required)

Location: Herbert Clark Hoover Building Auditorium

1401 Constitution Ave, NW


The White House Office of Public Engagement invites you to a policy briefing and engagement forum focused on issues of importance to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community.


AAPI Inaugural Welcome Briefing

White House Initiative

Cost:  Free

Time: 2-6PM

Location: U.S. Department of Education, Barnard Auditorium, 400 Maryland Ave., SW

The White House Initiative on Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) and the White House Office of Public Engagement invite you to a briefing and discussion focused on issues of importance to the AAPI community.  Senior Obama Administration officials will share first term accomplishments, hear feedback from participants, and discuss opportunities to work together in the months and years ahead.

Click here to RSVP.  You are welcome to share this invitation with your friends and colleagues, but please note that seating is limited.


Inauguration Kick Off Happy  Hour

Presented by Night Life Agency with South Asians for Obama and the Washington Leadership Program

Cost:  Free

Time:  7-10pm

Location: Josephine

1008 Vermont Avenue, NW

Come celebrate, mingle, and network with top South Asian Americans from the campaign, in the Administration, and on the Hill!


Saturday, January 19

Salu-Salo (“get together”)-  Kaya: Filipino Americans for Progress Planning Meeting

Time: 8:30- 11:00am

Cost:  Free (donations accepted)

Location:  National Education Association

1201 16th Street, NW (at M Street)


This will be a planning meeting for Kaya: Filipino Americans for Progress for activities in the coming year. For more information, e-mail Marita Etcubañez at


APAICS (Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies) welcomes new CAPAC Members to 113th Congress

Time: 1-3PM

Cost: Free

Location: Communication Workers of America, 501 3rd Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20001

Please join APAICS in welcoming the new AAPI Members of Congress on Saturday January 19, 2013 at 1 pm.  There will be a short program with Mayor Ed Lee of San Francisco and new AAPI members Representative Ami Bera and Representative Mark Takano.


Forward. LGBT Democrats Celebrate President Obama’s Inauguration

Cocktail Reception hosted by the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, the DC Center and Trans United for Obama

Time: 5-7pm

Location: Black Fox Lounge

1723 Connecticut Ave., NW

Celebrate with the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, Trans United for Obama, and the DC LGBT Center at Black Fox Lounge.


SAALT (South Asian Americans Leading Together) Inauguration Reception

Time: 6-8pm

Cost:  $75

Location: National Association of Broadcasters, 1771 N Street NW, Washington, DC 20036

Network with DC’s thought leaders and opinion shapers at SAALT’s Jan 19th inauguration reception, including Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA) and White House AAPI Initiative Executive Director Kiran Ahuja.


Indiaspora Inaugural Ball

Time: 8PM

Cost: $300

Location: Mandarin Oriental — 1330 Maryland Ave SW

Leaders from the 3-million-strong Indian American community, compatriots from India and American well-wishers will celebrate the combined achievements of the two nations and cultures. Guests may choose traditional “black tie” or Indian formal attire.


Hawai’i Presidential Center Inaugural Gala

Time: 7-10pm

Location: The Hay-Adams Hotel, Rooftop Terrace


Contact AJ Halagao the gala organizer at


Mabuhay: Inauguration Event by Kaya: Filipino Americans for Progress

Time: 7-10pm

Location: Cause- The PhilanthroPub

(Upstairs Tree House Room)

1926 9th Street, NW (9th and U)


Join Filipino American progressives in celebration of the inauguration of President Barack Obama.


LezGetTogether’s Pre-Inaugural Bash in Celebration of Equality

Time: 7:00 – 11:00pm

Local 16 (1602 U St., NW, Washington, DC)



Sunday, January 20


Center for Black Equity Happy Hour

MOVA (14th street)

Sunday 1/20 3-5pm

The Center for Black Equity works with African American LGBT organizations.


Philippine Embassy Reception

INVITE ONLY (contact for more information)

Time:  4pm


Presidential Pearl Gala


Time 8:30 am – 1pm

Location: Mandarin Oriental, Ballroom C, 1330 Maryland Ave, SW, Washington DC 20024


There will be a variety of panels during the morning’s briefing.

Please join us for the 10:15 am session on AAPIs and Policy Change. This session will be moderated by Deepa Iyer, NCAPA Chair and SAALT Executive Director, and feature Kathy Ko Chin, APIAHF President and CEO, and Mee Moua, AAJC Executive Director.



Date Sunday, January 20, 2013

Time 7pm to midnight

Location Mandarin Oriental, 1330 Maryland Ave, SW, Washington DC 20024

Purchase Tickets: Click


Peace Ball

Time: 7:30PM – 1AM

Location: Arena Stage, 1101 6th Street Southwest, Washington, DC 20024

Tickets $135+ processing fee

Confirmed Guests: Angela Davis, Amy Goodman, Ralph Nader, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Alice Walker, Van Jones, Sonia Sanchez, Danny Glover, Nicole Lee, Avis Jones-DeWeever, Julian Bond, Marian Wright Edelman, Medea Benjamin, Etan Thomas, Dave Zirin, Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr., Barbara Ehrenreich, Phyllis Bennis, Jack Halberstam and more!

LGBT & Lesbian Ladies Love Obama Inauguration Party (Alero Lounge @ 3345 14th St NW )

The Ladies Who Love Ladies Love Obama!

Time: 10:30pm-3am

Cost: $10 before 11 & $15 After

Strictly For Women!

More Info @


Monday, January 21

LGBT Out for Equality Inaugural Celebration

Time: 8pm

Location: Renaissance Mayflower Hotel — 1127 Connecticut Ave NW

Tickets start at $375.

NQAPIA Joins National AAPI Statement About 2012 Elections

NQAPIA joined our colleagues at the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) in issuing a statement on the 2012 Elections.  The joint statement is on their web site here, and appears below.

National Council of Asian Pacific Americans Congratulates President Obama on his Re-election

Exit Polls: Asian American Voters Prefer Obama by Over 45-Point Margin

Wednesday, November 7, 2012
CONTACT: Dana Chapnick

Washington, D.C. – The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), the nation’s largest coalition of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA & NHPI) groups, congratulates President Barack Obama on his re-election. 74 percent of AA & NHPI voters cast their ballot for President Obama versus 25 percent for Governor Romney – a 22-point increase from 2008 – according to national exit polling by the Associated Press; and 72 percent versus 26 percent according to the Asian American Election Eve Poll, a joint project of the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD) and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF).

AAs & NHPIs – the fastest growing racial group in the United States – represent 6 percent of the total U.S. population. NCAPA, a project of the Tides Center, and its 31 member organizations are hopeful the Obama Administration will work with the U.S. Congress to address the opportunities and challenges presented in theNCAPA 2012 Policy Platform: Framing Issues and Recommendations to Improve the Lives of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Communities (available at


AA & NHPI community members look to President Obama for continued and renewed leadership on several key issue areas: (1) ensuring community members are treated as full and equal members of society through strong protections against discrimination and language access; (2) promoting a lifetime of learning by creating accessible and inclusive educational environments that are informed by disaggregated data on the community; (3) protecting, improving, and fully funding the Affordable Care Act; (4) addressing the needs of low-income community members through community development, asset building, and financial security; and (5) passing Comprehensive Immigration Reform and the DREAM Act.

In addition to addressing the policy issues and recommendations in the NCAPA 2012 Policy Platform, NCAPA strongly believes the Obama Administration needs to work with the AA & NHPI community to continue to strengthen the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Furthermore, NCAPA hopes the Obama Administration will continue to identify, recruit, appoint, and hire qualified AA & NHPI candidates to serve in all levels of government.

Finally, NCAPA would like to welcome all newly elected Members of Congress. Official results have been declared for the following: Congresswoman-elect Tammy Duckworth (IL-8), Senator-elect Mazie Hirono (HI), Congresswoman-elect Tulsi Gabbard (HI-2), Congresswoman-elect Grace Meng (NY-6), and Congressman-elect Mark Takano (CA-41).NCAPA is excited about the added diversity that these newly elected members will bring to the House of Representatives and Senate and looks forward to engaging with these new leaders.


At the time of release, the following NCAPACoalition members have signed onto this statement:

  • Asian American Justice Center, Member of Asian American Center for Advancing Justice
  • Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO
  • Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy & Leadership
  • Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations
  • Japanese American Citizens League
  • Hmong National Development
  • Laotian American National Alliance
  • National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum
  • National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association
  • National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development
  • National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians
  • South Asian Americans Leading Together
  • Southeast Asia Resource Action Center