And justice for all? AAJC lends a hand to Japanese American
Last updated 3-26-09 at 7:00 a.m.
The Asian American Justice Center (AAJC) and its affiliates filed a friend of the court brief in support of petitioner Manoj Nijhawan, who has been in this country for more than two decades raising a family and working as an accountant with a sole criminal record of a nonviolent, white collar conviction that will subject him to deportation.
Nijhawan was convicted of conspiracy to commit money laundering at the place of his employment. As the evidence shows, he received literally nothing from the loan schemes in which his employers were engaged in, and his guilty verdict did not involve any assignment of amount of loss or amount laundered by Nijhawan. During the sentencing, the court assigned a figure in excess of $10,000 for the purpose of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. While serving his sentence, removal proceedings were initiated against Mr. Nijhawan, and the immigration judge made a determination of removability that was neither based on the language in the Immigration and Nationality Act nor on the criminal charge of which he was convicted, but rather on sentencing stipulations that the crime exceeded a loss of $10,000 and therefore, rendered Nijhawan removable as an aggravated felon.
“The Third Circuit Court decision to make Nijhawan subject to removal and deportation radically departs from the current categorical approach of aggravated felony determinations under the Immigration and Nationality Act,” said Vincent A. Eng, the deputy director of AAJC. “Essentially in Nijhawan’s case, the government is trying to remove him based on conduct that he was not convicted of and is contrary to the principles of due process and fairness.”
AAJC’s brief focuses on highlighting case stories that illustrate the harsh consequences to families and individuals removed who have been longtime lawful permanent residents of the country, have citizen children, and have little resources to adequately defend themselves in criminal and immigration court. The approach considered by the Supreme Court would allow immigration judges great latitude in utilizing unreliable documents to determine removability. (end)
Ready or not, dragon boaters …
Last updated 3-26-09 at 7:02 a.m.
The 2009 Asian American Dragon Boat Association (AADBA) Dragon Boat Festival will be held at Thea’s Park in Tacoma on Aug. 8.
In addition to hosting one of the largest dragon boat competitions in Washington, there will be Southeast Asian traditional art demonstrations, traditional dances, Hip Hop, music, and martial arts performances.
Registration is currently in progress — the AADBA is looking for dragon boat teams. It is also accepting donations and registering volunteers, dand board positions are open. (end)
For more information, call 425-876-0859 or visit www.aadba.org.
USCIS announces $1.2 million citizenship grant program, much of it going to immigrants
Last updated 3-26-09 at 7:03 a.m.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on March 13 that a competitive grant program is being offered through Grants.gov for a $1.2 million grant to support citizenship preparation programs for legal permanent residents.
USCIS, through the competitive grant program, will provide funding to community-based organizations (CBOs) that serve one or more priority immigrant groups in areas of the United States that contain a large representation of the country’s immigrant population.
To be eligible for funding, CBOs must have demonstrated experience in providing citizenship and/or immigration related services to legal immigrants. (end)
For an organization that intends to apply for funding under this program, first send an e-mail to email@example.com by April 15. To apply for this funding opportunity, visit the Grants.gov Web site at www.grants.gov.
Are you ready?
Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week is coming
Last updated 3-26-09 at 7:46 a.m.
In 1978, a joint congressional resolution established Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. The first 10 days of May were chosen to coincide with two important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants (May 7, 1843) and contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad, completed on May 10, 1869. In 1992, Congress expanded the observance to a month-long celebration. Per a 1997 Office of Management and Budget directive, the Asian or Pacific Islander racial category was separated into two categories: one being Asian and the other Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander.
- In 2007, Asian Americans comprised about 5 percent of the total population.
- States with a high Asian American population: California, New York, and Texas.
- In Hawaii, Asians made up the highest proportion of the total population (55 percent), followed by California (14 percent), and New Jersey and Washington (8 percent each).
- In 2007, Chinese Americans were the largest Asian group, followed by Filipinos, Asian Indians, Vietnamese, Koreans, and Japanese. (end)