Media Release: Time to Close the Immigration Loophole and End Illegal Profiling

DECEMBER 23, 2016


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,



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.

Showing Up in Solidarity #15YearsLater: Reflections from our Accomplices & Family

This past Sunday, on the 15th anniversary of 9/11, over 60 people created mock checkpoints across Washington, D.C. and shut down the intersection of 14th St and U St NW for two hours. As queer and trans Muslims and South Asians, we demanded an end to the legalized profiling of our people, especially by Secretary Jeh Johnson and the Department of Homeland Security.

Our partners, accomplices, and political family showed up in solidarity. They recognized that our movements for freedom are deeply connected. They recognized themselves in our struggles, and showed up in deep solidarity for our collective liberation. Here, in their own words, they explain why they took part in our #15YearsLater action, and their vision for our shared liberation.


#15YearsLater Black Muslim Lives Matter PC: Nate Atwell

Angela Peoples, GetEQUAL – PC: Nate Atwell

Angela Peoples, GetEQUAL:

We cannot commemorate the tragic events of September 11, 2001 without also addressing the devastating violence and harm that stemmed from racist profiling and criminalization of our communities, all in the name of “safety” and “national security.” LGBTQ people of color feel the impact of this culture of fear, Islamophobia and anti immigrant sentiment every day. We will continue to stand with our Asian American and Pacific Islander family to reject this violence and demand an end to all institutions and systems that criminalize our existence.

API Resistance:

Right now Muslim majority countries in West Asia are going through the series of exploitative, Orientalist wars that plagued East and Southeast Asia in the 20th century. When one quarter of Muslims in America are black or of African-descent and when the countries with the top four largest Muslim populations are in Southeast and South Asia we need to realize that we can no longer divide our identities by race or religion. We must forget the borders that have been imposed on our lands and on our bodies. We must stand up against injustice everywhere. We will not be free until each one of us is free.

Darakshan Raja, Muslim American Women’s Policy Forum:

This was one of few multiracial, people of color led actions that centered Islamophobia. At a moment when Muslim women, femmes, trans, queer and gender non-conforming folks are being specifically targeted, it is important to build solidarity. And we need to be real that we have so much more work to do.

photo credit IG @themauricio

Lakshmi Sridaran, SAALT – PC: IG @themauricio

Lakshmi Sridaran, South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT):

It was important for SAALT to support this weekend’s action to go beyond words and help people get a snapshot of the kind of profiling and surveillance our communities have experienced in the last 15 years to illustrate the largely untold story of the victims of post 9/11 government policies. It was powerful to be on the streets to educate white people and also share common experiences with other people of color and people who identify as queer and transgender who experience this impact on a daily basis.

Maha Hilal, National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms:

As we work towards ending the destructive policies of the post 9/11 era, we recognize the role of simultaneously empowering our communities to take action against these policies. We hope this will bring us one step closer to getting justice for ALL those who have been impacted by the policies of the War on Terror.


We are part of movements larger than ourselves. We are part of fights for queer people of color liberation, Black liberation, immigrant rights, justice for Muslims, API liberation, and more. Only through movement building across our communities will we be able to achieve freedom for all our people.

The participants in #15YearsLater demonstrated that building such movements is not just necessary, but possible. We can – and we will – take the streets together, build political family, and have each others’ backs. We will achieve our liberation, together.

Thank you, again, to everyone who showed up for our collective liberation this Sunday. We will be in struggle with you, side by side, until we all get free.

The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) is a federation of LGBTQ Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizations. We seek to build the organizational capacity of local LGBTQ AAPI groups, develop leadership, invigorate grassroots organizing, and challenge queerphobia and racism.

Parents of LGBTQ Korean Americans Launch Effort to Build Acceptance in Korean Immigrant Communities

Korean American Rainbow Parents (KARP) will kick off its outreach program in New York City with a film screening and community discussion, to be followed by a day-long seminar in Washington, D.C., for parents, activists, and allies from across the U.S. and Korea.

KARP Dol Screening

NEW YORK CITY, September 5, 2016 – Today, Korean American Rainbow Parents (KARP) announced the start of a national program of outreach and education for family members and allies of LGBTQ Korean Americans.

The initiative starts in New York City, with a film screening and community discussion on September 11, 2016, co-hosted by The Least of These Church in downtown Manhattan, the only LGBTQ-affirming Korean church in the Greater New York area. LGBTQ Korean Americans will share their stories and experiences of living with LGBTQ identities while being part of a community often known to be homophobic and transphobic. The event will also feature a screening of “Dol (First Birthday),” a short film by a Korean American director, Andrew Ahn, who made the film as a way of coming out to his parents as gay.

KARP’s outreach and education series will continue with a national seminar in Washington, D.C., on October 15, 2016, which is expected to bring dozens of Korean American parents and allies from across the country and from South Korea together for the first time. This watershed event will be the first chance for parents from across the country to build community with one another and start a conversation around how to support their LGBTQ family members’ struggle for rights and acceptance. Professor Namsoon Kang from Brite Divinity School will give a keynote address on acceptance of LGBTQ people in Christian communities.

The goal of KARP’s initiative is to provide Korean American families, especially those with LGBTQ-identifying members, with tools and strategies to see beyond their initial feelings of guilt, shame, and fear – and to instead celebrate their loved ones and help make the world safer and more accepting for them.

The need for KARP’s national effort is tremendous: Even within the broader Asian American and Pacific Islander community, LGBTQ Korean Americans face some of the strongest homophobic and transphobic pushback from their families and friends. Many cultural and historical forces drive Korean anti-LGBTQ sentiment. This has torn families apart, forced many Korean Americans to leave the community as they came out. And so far, there have been no known efforts by Korean American parents and allies to visibly support the LGBTQ community.

KARP – a coalition of accepting parents who openly support their LGBTQ kids – aims to change that. With the continued struggles of LGBTQ people in both South Korea and the U.S., it’s a crucial time for closeted parents and family members to come out in full solidarity with their LGBTQ loved ones.

Members of the media interested in learning more and/or attending both the New York City and Washington, D.C. events may contact Clara Yoon at Interviews with Korean American parents and their LGBTQ loved ones may also be arranged by request.

September 11, 2016
4-6 PM
The Least of These Church (Judson Memorial Church, Garden Room) , New York, NY 10012

October 15, 2016
Holy Cross Korean Episcopal Church
Fairfax, Virginia

These events are being sponsored or supported by following Korean American LGBTQ and Ally organizations:
Nabi USA – Washington DC (Butterfly for Hope Fund)
Coalition of Korean American (National and DC Chapter)
D.C. Korean Methodist Church
Holy Cross Korean Episcopal Church, Fairfax, Virginia
AAPI LGBTQ Parent Support Group of Greater Washington DC
API Rainbow Parents of PFLAG New York City (ARP PFLAG NYC)
The Least of These Church, New York, NY
Dari Project
National Queer Asian and Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)*

*NQAPIA is our fiscal sponsor.


Clara Yoon – Korean American Rainbow Parents
Phone Number: 917.716.6705

Read PDF versions of the KARP Press Release in English or KARP Press Release in Korean.

NQAPIA & NCAPA Opposes the Anti-LGBTQ Bias in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act





April 2, 2015


Mini Timmaraju (NCAPA),, (832) 452-7038;

Glenn D. Magpantay (NQAPIA),, (917) 439-3158


The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) today opposes the anti-LGBTQ bias in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act passed by the Indiana State Legislature last week. While Indiana Governor Mike Pence enacted “fixes” to the law, NCAPA believes these measures are not sufficient in prohibiting discrimination in the name of religious liberty.

“While RFRA laws are vital, especially in protecting the religious expression of minority faith communities, NCAPA strongly opposes legislation that purports to protect religious freedom but in fact sanctions discrimination against the LGBT community,” said Gregory Cendana, the first openly gay Chair of NCAPA and Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance.  “The fixes that were made in Indiana and Arkansas’ laws do not adequately protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals from discriminatory practices. NCAPA recognizes the importance of RFRA laws for many religious minorities, especially within Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, and we are willing to work with lawmakers in Indiana, Arkansas, and across the nation to craft more responsible RFRA legislation.”

“The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) is undeterred and stands firmly against Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).  We still fear that the law could allow employers, landlords, and business owners to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Asian Americans, South Asians, Southeast Asians and Pacific Islanders on religious grounds,” said Glenn D. Magpantay, NQAPIA Executive Director.  “As long as they don’t ask, victims can’t tell. It’s still discrimination.” NQAPIA is a member organization of NCAPA.

On March 26, Indiana lawmakers passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a law that uses the guise of religious freedom to allow business owners to refuse goods and services to customers who they perceive as LGBT. Passage of the law sparked national debate, and resulted in many businesses and organizations rejecting the measure as regressive and discriminatory. On Thursday, Indiana lawmakers passed new legislation in an attempt to clarify that the RFRA cannot be used to support anti-LGBT discrimination.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson refused to sign a similar RFRA bill on Wednesday, which also included provisions that would potentially permit businesses to deny service to LGBT customers. On April 2, he signed into law a bill that is similar in nature to the 1993-passed federal RFRA law, which does not address discrimination at all.



The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), founded in 1996, is a coalition of 34 national Asian Pacific American organizations. Based in Washington D.C., NCAPA serves to represent the interests of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AA & NHPI) communities and to provide a national voice on policy issues and priorities.

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.