By Terry Ao Minnis and Anika Raju

Eight years ago, the Supreme Court of the United States decided the injurious Shelby County v. Holder case. The case gutted a key provision in the landmark Voting Rights Act (VRA), without which an integral safeguard for marginalized communities vanished. Since then, voter discrimination has increased exponentially against communities of color. To fully understand what occurred on June 25, 2013 and the consequent voter suppression attempts, let’s break down the Shelby County v. Holder decision and the current state of voting rights, starting with The Voting Rights Act.

The Voting Rights Act (1965)

Michael Milan (right) with his family, who have waited for more than 30 years in the immigration backlog to be reunited. (Photo courtesy of the Value Our Families campaign)

By Jaeho Lee

One of President Biden’s first initiatives in office was to propose the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, a comprehensive immigration bill that would legalize the 11 million undocumented immigrants and modernize and reform our immigrant visa system, clearing the backlogs of visas and elevating U.S. immigration.

For the Milan family, this is 35 years overdue. Michael Milan was born in Los Angeles in 1975 to immigrant parents from the Philippines. His father served in the U.S. Navy and his mother, Richel, was a registered nurse who traveled across the country before settling in California. She worked hard…

Asian American scientists and researchers, particularly of Chinese descent, have been subjected to heightened scrutiny as a result of government overreach under the Department of Justice’s “China Initiative.”

Representative Judy Chu, CAPAC Chair, and Representative Jamie Raskin, Chair of the Oversight Subcommittee on CIvil Rights and Civil Liberties hosted the first Congressional hearing on Chinese American scientists.

By Danica Yu and Gisela Kusakawa

This month, Representative Jamie Raskin, Chair of House Oversight Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and Representative Judy Chu, Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), held the first Congressional hearing ever to address the racial profiling and surveillance of Asian American scientists, particularly of Chinese descent. The roundtable, “Researching While Chinese American: Ethnic Profiling, Chinese American Scientists and a New American Brain…

By Danica Yu

This year’s transition to the Biden Administration has meant progress in many areas of U.S. immigration policy, from the end of the Trump Administration’s discriminatory “Muslim Ban” and of their harmful public charge rule to reported plans to finally address the nation’s growing immigration application backlog. Still, urgent immigration issues remain that need to be confronted, one of which is the nation’s mass incarceration of immigrants.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, a member of the Defund Hate Campaign, is disappointed that President Biden’s first budget proposal is seeking to continue immigrant detention funding at Trump administration…

By Daishi Miguel-Tanaka

When I was six years old, I came to America with my parents on temporary visas in the hopes of being sponsored by my U.S. citizen grandfather. But we did not know that there was a 25-year green card backlog for married adult children being sponsored from the Philippines (my Lolo, my grandfather, would sponsor my Filipino mother and my father and I would be included in her application). Like one out of every seven Asian immigrants in the U.S., we became undocumented. We couldn’t legally get jobs, driver’s licenses, or a home loan.

For the American…

By Juo-Hsi (Sylvia) Peng

Last December, the Asian American Federation (AAF) where I am a Community Navigator, partnered with Sapna NYC, a nonprofit serving South Asian new immigrants. Together, we decided to hold a six-week virtual digital literacy class with a cohort of around 20 students. Almost every class ran over because the students had many questions both out of their enthusiasm, and the need to clarify what had been taught. Despite audio problems and children making noise in the background, the students enjoyed the class so much that Sapna held another six-week program. …

By Nicole Morgenstern and Emily Chi

To address the affordability of broadband service the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rolled out the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) as part of a COVID-19 relief program to help families with limited access to internet services. The EBB program provides qualifying households a $50/month discount toward broadband service and $75/month discount for those on tribal land. While the EBB provides immediate assistance to communities who are struggling to get connected, this program is temporary and the funds allocated by Congress are limited. …

How Asian Counseling and Referral Service adapted during the pandemic

By Alex Olins

At the Asian Counseling and Referral Service based in Seattle, we offer a 10-week introduction to digital literacy class for clients with support from Comcast. We have a computer lab and we offered three-hour classes on Friday mornings in our lab to up to 20 students. This is how we had been doing things since 2016. Then, at the end of the winter quarter in 2020, COVID-19 came to the United States, and it changed everything about how we offered digital literacy programming and everything else that we do.

Thankfully, after a few weeks of envisioning how…

Highlighting the importance of digital access and literacy

By Andrew Neill

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of internet accessibility became clearer than ever. As social distancing, isolation, and quarantine became more common, more people had to rely on the internet to do their jobs, send their children to school, and access social services. Unfortunately, the people who need the internet the most to do these things tend to have little to no access to the internet. …

By Emily Chi and Nicole Morgenstern

Last spring as 42 states and territories issued mandatory stay-at-home orders, and millions of people faced questions around what it meant to live, work, and learn from home, our need for quality broadband service grew. While the pandemic may have heightened our awareness of the digital divide and the staggering number of households who are unable to benefit from digital services and opportunities, many communities across the nation have been left behind by the digital divide long before the pandemic, including many Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.

Although studies have shown that 95%…

Advancing Justice | AAJC

Fighting for civil rights for all and working to empower #AAPIs to participate in our democracy. Follow: @johncyangdc @tao_minnis @meganessaheb

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