01/22/2018

AAAFund Stands for Reuniting Families, DREAMers, and the Diversity Visa

Strongly Objects to Family Ban for Immigrants, Calls on Endorsees to Do Same

Contrary to what President Trump’s hateful comments about not wanting immigrants from certain countries, the board of the Asian American Action Fund (AAAFund) fully supports and welcomes immigrants from all countries to the United States. The President is supposed to be a president for all Americans, not just some. Tearing families apart is cruel, and we call on our endorsed candidates and elected officials to stand strongly and vocally for family reunification. We oppose any attempt to shoehorn the xenophobic and anti-family RAISE Act into what should be a clean DACA bill and negotiations over a self-imposed crisis that President Trump created by ending DACA authorization. Family is a central value to Asian cultures, and many Asian American households have multigenerational families helping to raise children and start successful businesses.

The AAAFund supports legalization for the 800,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients, including many young Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. We vociferously object to ending family reunification and the visa diversity lottery. It is wrong to end family reunification for the hardworking immigrants who came as children, or to study and start businesses, many of which succeed because of the blood, sweat, and tears of a whole and united family. Over 80 percent of Asian Americans are in the United States because of family reunification, whether through siblings, spouses, or sons and daughters.

As the children of immigrants who saw our parents and our friends’ parents start businesses from scratch, we know that making families whole is fundamental to the American Dream. And to successful businesses, which grow the economy. We saw our parents working with their siblings and our grandparents to staff mom and pop shops from restaurants to dry cleaners to tech startups.

It is wrong to end family reunification for DACA recipients and for people who have waited for over 20 years to be reunited with family members, the way that applicants from the Philippines do. Asian Americans and Filipino Americans have served proudly alongside and in the US military, at times sacrificing their lives for American freedoms. In two decades, children have grown into adults, estranged from loved ones by an ocean and antiquated immigration policy. So we would call for a fix to the family reunification backlog to shorten wait times, not to end family reunification altogether.

AAA-Fund is a progressive political organization that is dedicated to empowering Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across the United States. Through the AAA-Fund, Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) from different ethnic groups and from all over the country work together to increase the voice of the AAPI community in local, state and federal government. We do this by helping to elect AAPI and other political candidates who have a demonstrated commitment to the community, and by engaging AAPIs in the political process.

Asian American Action Fund Reached Thousands of Minority Voters in Alabama’s US Senate Race

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Local Alabamans reached out to Asian American, Latino voters

Today’s Senate victory by Democratic Senator-Elect Doug Jones in Alabama demonstrates the importance of base vote outreach. The Asian American Action Fund (AAAFund), a national Democratic political action committee, provided resources in Alabama to support activists on the ground. Local Alabamans reached out to voters in their communities at gathering places such as ethnic groceries through in-language conversations and literature translated into English, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Spanish. In a sign of the uniqueness of the race, this marks the first time AAAFund has made an investment in Alabama.

Irene Bueno, AAAFund Endorsements Co-chair, stated, “The Asian American Action Fund was pleased to be able to support local Alabamans by providing the resources necessary for them to reach voters in multiple languages and in their communities. We believe supporting diverse candidates and turning out the base vote is how we elect Democrats up and down the ticket, and achieve better policies for the middle class and new Americans.”

Hanh Hua of Mobile, Alabama, said, “I strive to include our AAPI community and promote civic engagement as a basic duty of being American and the core of why we love America. When Irene reached out to help make this possible with only 1.5% of AAPI in AL, my team and I rejoiced since the dream was now taking form.

Expanding our voter outreach to Alabamans in multiple languages gave us more momentum to push forward. I’m thrilled the AAA Fund and AADC helped me make this a reality! I’m also really proud of my state for uniting to lift Doug Jones to victory and being on the right side of history. Seeing a Democrat win the US Senate seat in Alabama for the first time in a quarter century is amazing. It speaks to the power of his progressive vision and commitement to reach out to diverse voters.”

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The Asian American Action Fund (www.aaafund.org) is a Democratic Asian American and Pacific Islander PAC founded in 1999. AAAFund’s goal is to increase the voice of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) in every level of local, state and federal government in the United States.

Post Election Thoughts on the 2017 VA Governor’s Race

The below is from our 2017 Joe Montano Fellow Sharon Kwon on the Ralph Northam campaign. It is the last in her series of weekly campaign updates. Congrats to Sharon and the Northam campaign on victory.

I want to take this opportunity to thank and congratulate the DPVA, our candidates, and the AAPI community for a victorious election night last Tuesday November 7.

By working together we were able to not only achieve victory but to exceed all expectations. The margins by which Ralph, Justin, and Mark won would not have happened if the AAPI community did not step up and invest in this campaign.

During my time on this campaign I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with so many amazing people within the AAPI community. The volunteers, donors, and supporters were also amazing people from all walks of life that brought their talent and desire to make a difference in their community. Together we were able to knock on more than 3 million doors, make over a million phone calls, and mobilize a blue wave across the state that energized our party and gave hope to so many in despair over the current White House administration.

Looking back I wish I had more time just to enjoy the small victories we had along the way. Whether it was a visit to local AAPI owned businesses, cultural events, or places of worship, each stop provided opportunities for community members to present their thoughts on issues, hear from the candidates, and build relationships. These experiences proved vital to our campaign and opportunity for growth and understanding between our candidates and the AAPI community. Election day meant so much more because groups like the Democratic Asian Americans of Virginia (DAAV), the Democratic Asian American Club, Korean Americans for Organizing (KAFO), and members of the Progressive Vietnamese American Organization (PIVOT) invested their time and resources into the campaign.

Being part of a campaign meant being part of a team and I think that is one of the biggest lessons I am taking away from this experience. It proved challenging to coordinate events with field operations, different campaign schedules for surrogates and candidates, and even with different campaign departments. Without the hard work and support of other volunteers, organizations, and staff members it would have been impossible to do this job.

I never met Joe Montano in person but I saw the impact he had in many of the people I worked with. The same spirit of service he brought to Virginia politics remains alive and well in so many throughout the AAPI community and I hope will live on through this fellowship.

Thank you!

AAAFund Endorses Two Historic Korean-American Candidates

GOP-held Seats Will Help Decide Control of Congress

We have endorsed two outstanding candidates vying to oust Republicans in highly contested seats for the U.S. House of Representatives. Both are history-making Korean-Americans challenging Republicans who voted for the recent tax bill that directly harms Asian Americans by raising taxes on middle-class families and taking away health insurance from millions of Americans.

David Min for California’s 45th Congressional District (Orange County). David is a UC Irvine law professor and former Center for American Progress policy director challenging Rep. Mimi Walters. We endorse David for his legal expertise and emphasis on climate change. The district is 25% AAPI and voted for Hillary. Donate at DaveMin.com.

Andy Kim for New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District (Burlington, Ocean Counties). Andy is a Korean American who has spent his life in public service. He served on Obama’s National Security County as the Iraq Director, as Counter-ISIS war coordinator, advisor to Gen. Petraeus and Gen. John Allen in Afghanistan, and is a Rhodes and Truman Scholar who grew up in the district. He is challenging Rep. Tom MacArthur who famously led the effort to repeal Obamacare in a district Obama won twice. Donate at AndyKimForCongress.com.

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