Advocates Monthly
June 2015
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OCA Calls for End to Anti-Immigrant Laws

Earlier this month, OCA co-sponsored a rally on Capitol Hill hosted by Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) to call for the end of deportations of undocumented immigrants. This event was attended by Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27) and co-sponsor organizations from the Asian American and Pacific Islander and Latino communities, including the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC), League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC), National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF) and the Refugee and Immigration Ministries.

Since the President's Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program took effect three years ago, there have been numerous legal challenges to disrupt this provision of relief from deportation for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. Most recently, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals declined to stay an injunction on a suit against the Presidents executive actions, thereby stopping the expansion of DACA or the implementation of the President's Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program. The DAPA program would have also protected the parents of citizens and legal permanent residents from deportation. This rally was called to counter these challenges with the voice of the people and to reestablish America's place as "a nation of immigrants".

Below are excerpts from Kham Moua, OCA's Policy and Communications Manager's remarks at the rally:

"Today, many of us are here to remind Congress that our families did not risk it all, suffer and die, so we could be turned away at the gates of liberty. We stand with our Southeast Asian American community members - survivors of American foreign policy, democratic intervention, and one of the worst genocides of the 20th century; refugees who crossed rivers and oceans, and waited months, years, decades in camps until arriving in America. Who, in spite of that history, are being detained and deported at incredibly high rates back to the violence and poverty their families escaped.

So together with our AAPI, Latino, and Black immigrant brothers and sisters, united in a just cause, to speak clearly, to speak loudly and to speak firmly and say to our representatives, our senators, and our country that forcing our families to wait over two decade for a visa to be reunited: WILL NOT STAND; to tell them that indeterminate detention and the absence of due process protections for immigrant communities: WILL NOT STAND; and to tell them that to take away the DACA and DAPA lifeline to the American Dream from our undocumented brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers, the very people who do most of the heavy lifting in our country WILL NOT STAND.

Our country is experiencing a historical shift - Asian and Latino Americans are the fastest growing racial groups. Asian American voters are projected to double to 12.2 million by 2040. Soon, a new America will rise, comprised of a majority of minority Americans from Asian, Latino, and African American backgrounds. Our numbers are growing, and we are watching - SHOW THEM we are watching. Tweet your representative, your senator, your state and local officials now and demand pro-immigrant policies; an end to anti-immigrant rhetoric; and a return to the values this country was founded on.

We must work together to change the laws of this country in order to eradicate anti-immigrant laws that are separating families and the relentless attacks against DAPA and DACA. That is why OCA continues to mobilize our chapters, and why, together, we must continue to organize our local communities.

We must remain ever vigilant, loud, and proactive in our march to justice for Southeast Asian Americans, for the collective Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, and for all immigrants here or awaiting reunification with their families in the United States. No justice for immigrants in America is an America without justice for anyone."

Convention Updated: 2015 OCA Outstanding Citizen Achievement Award Honorees Announced!

OCA is proud to announce the honorees for the
2015 OCA Outstanding Citizen Achievement Award.

This year, OCA will be awarding the OCA Outstanding Achievement Award toCalifornia Chief Justice Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye, entrepreneur Ginger Lew, community activist Sululagi A. Palega, and Major General Antonio Taguba, US Army, Retired.

"We are proud to honor a diverse and incredible group of APA leaders who have made a strong impact toward this country," says OCA President Michael W. Kwan. "Their contributions, dedication, and service have paved the way for APAs to pursue their own passions to make a difference in their community."

All will be presented their awards at the OCA National Convention Gala Awardson Saturday, July 4, 2015 at the Hilton Union Square

"This year's honorees are wonderful advocates and inspire a new generation of leaders in our community" says OCA Chief Executive Officer Ken Lee. "They truly demonstrate the highest aspirations of what we can achieve."

The OCA National Convention is a three-day event of programs, workshops, events, and activities designed to foster the next generation of APA community, government, business, and corporate leaders. This year's annual convention will take place on July 2 -5, at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square.

For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact the OCA Development Department at (202) 223-5500 or CLICK HERE to register.

OCA - Asian Pacific American Advocates is a national membership-driven organization of community advocates dedicated to advancing the political, social, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs).

OCA Summer Internship has begun!

The 2015 OCA Summer Internship has officially begun! This year, we have a total of 21-intens. Please check the OCA website next week for a list of our interns, their bio & placements!

MAPP Session Completed in Chicago and Houston, on to Georgia and Sacramento!

The most recent MAPP sessions hosted by OCA-Chicago and OCA-Houston concluded last month. The program was able to continue its success in pairing young professionals with mentors that match their interests and experiences from the local area. According to one participant, "I have gained so much by participating MAAP program already. MAAP is great channel for me to meet other people in the network. I can't thank you enough."

Are you looking for a mentor? Interested in building relationships with fellow APA professionals? If so, the OCA Mentoring Asian American Professionals (MAAP) Program is for you! Now in its 7th year, MAAP has fostered mentorship, networking, engagement, and personal skill development to empower the next generation of APA professionals. Join OCA-Georgia on Saturday, June 27 and OCA-Sacramento on Saturday, July 25 for their first MAAP convenings of the year! The program is free to all OCA members, UPS Employees, and VSP mentors in the Sacramento area. For non-members, it's $40 for the entire program & a complimentary 1-year OCA membership.

For more information, click here or contact Program Associate, Monica Lee at or 202-223-5500 ext. 114

APA-Y Advocate Visits OCA-Georgia This Month

Generously sponsored by State Farm, this half day program focuses on the development of APA High School youth in our communities. With the generous help of funders and our local chapters, we have been able to reach students in Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Tucson so far this year. However, OCA needs chapters to help us host this half-day training program. Interested chapters please click here to apply.

Upcoming sites for this month include:

6/29: OCA - Georgia

John Creek Korean Church Community Center

7830 McGinnis Ferry Road

Suwanee, GA. 30024

6/30: OCA - Georgia

Center for Pan Asian Community Services, Inc. (CPACS)

3510 Shallowford Road NE

Atlanta, GA 30341

Generously sponsored by:

2015 OCA Corporate Achievement Awards Location and Date Set

The Annual National Asian Pacific American Corporate Achievement Awards are dedicated to celebrating and recognizing APAs in the corporate sector who exemplify not only excellence in their profession, but also leadership and commitment in their respective communities.

This year will take place at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia on October 16, 2015. Save the date today!