Press Release

Asian American groups speak out against the president’s anti-immigrant executive orders and enforcement actions


Today, AALDEF participated in a press conference with Asian American groups in New York City to describe the impacts of the president’s recent executive orders and ongoing immigration enforcement raids upon local Asian American communities.

Annie Wang, a staff attorney in AALDEF’s Immigrant Access to Justice program, said: “While AALDEF applauds the Ninth Circuit decision last Thursday upholding the U.S. district judge’s temporary order blocking implementation of the Jan. 27 executive order, this is not the end of the road for the president’s discriminatory executive actions on immigrants and refugees. We will also continue to closely monitor the status of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. In light of the ICE enforcement actions over the past week, it is more critical than ever that we provide legal advice about their immigration options to individuals affected by the travel ban, as well as to DACA recipients and their families.”

On Jan. 27, the president signed an anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim executive order, which would have suspended the U.S. refugee admissions program for 120 days, indefinitely halted the admission of Syrian refugees, and banned immigrant and nonimmigrant entries of nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries (Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen) for at least 90 days. The Jan. 27 order is currently on hold due to a successful legal challenge brought by Washington State, in which a federal district judge issued a temporary restraining order. The suspension of the travel ban was affirmed on Feb. 9 by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and is in place until the administration takes its next steps to address this court decision.

AALDEF’s team of staff attorneys is also closely monitoring the president’s Jan. 25 executive order on interior enforcement and its impact on Asian immigrants and their families. Over the past weekend, there have been widespread media reports of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducting enforcement actions in 11 states, including the greater New York area. The raids last week, which ICE claims are part of its “routine, daily targeted operations,” have resulted in the arrest of more than 680 individuals around the country and 41 individuals in the New York City area. AALDEF will offer free legal consultations to immigrants and their families affected by these executive orders and enforcement actions and will conduct legal workshops and trainings.

The other Asian American groups participating in today’s press conference at New York Immigration Coalition were: Bangladeshi American Community Development & Youth Services, Chinese Progressive Association, Chinese American Planning Council, OCA-New York Asian Pacific American Advocates, MinKwon Center for Community Action, New York Immigration Coalition, and Pilipino American Unity for Progress.

For more information, contact:
Annie Wang, Staff Attorney
212.966.5932 x213