JACL Action Alert Network
July 30, 2010
Support Edward Chen's Judicial Nomination for United States District Court
The Senate is now considering Magistrate Judge Edward M. Chen for the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. He has served as a magistrate judge since 2001 and has recently been reappointed for another 8 year term. He was unanimously rated well-qualified by the American Bar Association. If confirmed, Judge Chen would be the first Asian American to serve on California's northern district bench.
Judge Chen was first nominated in August of 2009 and this week would mark the one-year anniversary of his nomination. His confirmation has been delayed longer than any other judicial nominee this term. The JACL needs you to TAKE ACTION to contact your Senators to get Judge Chen confirmed before the August recess.
WHO SHOULD I CONTACT?
Here is a list of a target Senators:
Sen. John Barrasso (WY)
Sen. Robert Bennett (UT)
Sen. Christopher Bond (MO)
Sen. Scott Brown (MA)
Sen. Sam Brownback (KS)
Sen. Jim Bunning (KY)
Sen. Richard Burr (NC)
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (GA)
Sen. Tom Coburn (OK)
Sen. Thad Cochran (MS)
Sen. Susan Collins (ME)
Sen. Bob Corker (TN)
Sen. John Cornyn (TX)
Sen. Mike Crapo (ID)
Sen. Jim DeMint (SC)
Sen. John Ensign (NV)
Sen. Michael Enzi (WY)
Sen. Lindsey Graham (SC)
Sen. Chuck Grasskey (IA)
Sen. Judd Gregg (NH)
Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (UT)
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX)
Sen. James M. Inhofe (OK)
Sen. Johnny Isakson (GA)
Sen. Mike Johanns (NE)
Sen. Jon Kyl (AZ)
Sen. George LeMieux (FL)
Sen. Richard Lugar (IN)
Sen. John McCain (AZ)
Sen. Mitch McConnell (KY)
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (AK)
Sen. James E. Risch (ID)
Sen. Pat Roberts (KS)
Sen. Jeff Sessions (AL)
Sen. Richard C. Shelby (AL)
Sen. Olympia Snowe (ME)
Sen. John Thune (SD)
Sen. David Vitter (LA)
Sen. George Voinovich (OH)
Sen. Roger Wicker (MS)
The Congressional August recess is approaching quickly so this matter is urgent. Please call your Senator and ask him or her to support Judge Chen's nomination. To find your Senator's contact information, you can call the Capitol Switchboard at
January 12, 2010
The AAPI Week of Action for Immigration Reform Starts Today
Fair and comprehensive Immigration reform is a battle that the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) fought for decades. As the oldest and largest Asian American civil and human rights organization, it is time for us to stand up for more recent immigrants who are facing the same attitudes we faced in the 1920's and 1930's. For this week's National Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Week of Action, WE ASK JACL MEMBERS AND ALLIES TO TAKE ACTION.
The National AAPI week of action from January 12-20 is a collaborative effort among national, state and local AAPI organizations and allies to demonstrate the collective power and voice of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the comprehensive immigration reform debate. Coordinated outreach and events across the nation will engage community members in the broader Reform Immigration FOR America campaign and show Congress that the AAPI community is serious about demanding reform this year.
Text "AAPI" to 69866 with your cell phone to receive timely action alerts and updates. The JACL National Youth Student Council has taken the lead on the texting campaign (http://bit.ly/4TikwW) and all JACL members should take advantage of this easy and innovative opportunity to learn more about the immigration reform debate.
Write in your Chapter Newsletter to engage local JACL members about immigration reform and start a discussion among members. You could use this prompt: "Knowing the history of JACL and the historic struggles of Asian American immigrants, why is it important in 2010 for Asian Americans and JACL to be involved with immigration reform? How is reform different than previous times? How is the JACL different? Why do these things matter?"
Call or write your Congressmembers to ask them to support comprehensive immigration reform.
Join a local event. Find out more by visiting http://ri4a.eventbrite.com or contacting us to find out if there is an event being held in your area and how to get more involved.
Write your JACL Policy Office in DC Whether you support immigration reform, do not support it, or know little about it, the JACL Washington DC Office would like to hear your thoughts on immigration reform policy. Feel free to email any comments, concerns, or questions to email@example.com with your current JACL Chapter affiliation (if applicable).
With special stakes in immigration reform, we as the AAPI community must voice our needs to Congress and the White House to assure the passage of legislation that benefits our community. For example, nearly 60% of the nations 15 million AAPIs are immigrants, 30% of all family-based immigration visas are used by AAPIs, and the longest waiting periods for uniting with family members from aboard are for AAPIs (up to 6 to 23 years). AAPIs also face the same problems as other communities with many undocumented immigrants having no fair way to become citizens even if they wait their turn and pay fines, and being put into detention centers with inhumane care and no due process. If our voices are not heard, then AAPIs will miss out on this opportunity for large scale reform.
Like all American families not excluding JACL families, immigrants came to this nation for a better life. They contribute to the country economically just as in 2009 when 1.1 million Asian-owned businesses provided jobs to 2.2 million Americans and had brought $326.4 billion into the nation. Reforming the immigration system means justice and equality to immigrants, jobs for the nation, and a more stable economy. GET INVOLVED IN THIS WEEK'S AAPI WEEK OF ACTION!
For more information on why our country needs immigration reform, please check here: http://reformimmigrationforamerica.org/blog/why-reform/
January 7, 2010
Applications for FY2010 Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program Available
Congress established the Japanese American Confinement Sites grant program (Public Law 109-441, 16 USC 461) for the preservation and interpretation of U.S. confinement sites where Japanese Americans were detained during World War II. The law authorized up to $38 million for the entire life of the grant program to identify, research, evaluate, interpret, protect, restore, repair, and acquire historic confinement sites in order that present and future generations may learn and gain inspiration from these sites and that these sites will demonstrate the nation's commitment to equal justice under the law. For Fiscal Year 2010, Congress appropriated $3 million for the use of this grant program; an increase from the $1 million Congress appropriated for fiscal year 2009.
Grant application materials for the FY2010 Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program are currently available. Please visit the grant program website to download all application materials: http://www.nps.gov/history/HPS/hpg/JACS/index.html
Informational meetings for interested grant applicants will be held in major cities across the nation in late January through mid-February 2010. Dates, times and locations will be made available on the grant program website as soon as possible.
Application packages must be received by Thursday, March 4, 2010.
Postal Service delivery:
National Park Service
ATTN: Kara Miyagishima
P.O. Box 25287
Denver, CO 80225-0287
or Express delivery:
National Park Service
ATTN: Kara Miyagishima
12795 West Alameda Pkwy.
Lakewood, CO 80228-2838
If you have any questions, please contact one of the NPS regional
representatives below for more information:
AZ, CO, MT, NM, OK, TX, UT, WY
AR, IA, IL, IN, KS, MI, MN, MO
ND, NE,OH, SD,WI
Rachel Franklin Weekley
Pacific West Region
AK, CA, ID, NV, OR, WA, and other states not listed
925.943.1531, ext. 122
808.541.2693, ext. 723
January 1, 2010
The JACL Launches 2010 Census Webpage: How Can You Take Action in 2010?
The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) wishes you a Happy New Year. With the new decade upon us, the JACL released a new 2010 Census page on the JACL website. You can visit the page under the Public Policy section or go here: www.jacl.org/public_policy/census2010
The JACL encourages you to take action by educating yourself about the 2010 Census, educating others, and filling out your form. JACL Chapters are encouraged to take action by writing about the Census in their chapter newsletters. The Census Bureau is currently hiring many temporary workers. If you or someone you know is interested in working for the Census, more information can be found here: http://2010.census.gov/2010censusjobs.
The page also includes a countdown timer until Census Day on April 1, 2010, a 2010 Census YouTube video with Congressman Mike Honda, and links/downloads for more information. At the bottom of the page is Census Short Stories, a weekly column in the JACL DC Digest that tells one story about the Census each week until Census Day. This month's stories will feature events from the past decade that affect the Census. For this week's Census Short Story please look below.
Census data is crucial for communities to receive their share of over $400 billion in federal funds, political representation, and services such as transportation, schools, and health care. It also monitors civil rights laws like the Voting Rights Act and hate crimes cases. If one person is not counted in the 2010 Census, his or her region could lose up to $1300 each year for the next 10 years.
Have a Happy New Year and make sure to fill out your 2010 Census form by April 1, 2010.
CENSUS SHORT STORY #7/20: THE CENSUS AND NEW MEDIA
As we enter into the new decade, the month of January's Census Short Stories look into events from the past ten years that drastically effect the count of the nation on April 1, 2010. With the launch of JACL's 2010 Census webpage, this Census Short Story reports on how new media impacts the 2010 Census.
From 2000 until 2009, several forms of New Media including blogs, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites have emerged as everyday sources of news and networking. These are exciting innovations for the Census Bureau who plans to use new media to outreach to groups like Asian Americans, Latino Americans, and the "wired generation" who rely on new media for everyday life. If you look at the JACL 2010 Census webpage, you will see examples of the rise of social media such as a YouTube census promotional video and links to Twitter and blog accounts.
However, the new media environment also presents challenges for the Census Bureau. They have established a media response team at the highest levels of the bureau to make sure blogs and other sources are factual to census messaging. Lastly, the Census Bureau's Chief Information Officer and IT security officials will work to combat internet scams and misuse of 2010 Census logos as the number of cybercrimes has risen in the past decade.
New Media by groups like the Census Bureau and JACL help build networks and get out important messages such as this one: The 2010 Census is in 14 weeks! Make sure you count!
JACL New Media (in order of most to least updated):
Facebook: JACL Fan Page
JACL Blog: www.jaclblog.wordpress.com/
Census Bureau New Media:
Director Robert Grove's blog: www./blogs.census.gov/2010census/
The Census Project blog: www.censusprojectblog.org/
Videos and Photos media center: www.2010.census.gov/mediacenter/index.php
December 16, 2009
Call Senator Reid and Baucus to Lift Unfair 5-year Waiting Period
With Senators continuing to debate on amendments for the Senate version of the Health Care Reform bill, an opportunity has arrived to give fair access to health care for immigrants who legally arrived and reside in the country. Currently, they must wait a harsh 5-years before they can access Medicaid.
Though the House of Representatives failed to include this in their bill, an amendment proposed by Senator Menendez gives hope of lifting the 5-year bar. This opportunity is TIME SENSITIVE so please call NOW with the message below:
Majority Leader Harry Reid (202) 224-5556
Senator Baucus (202) 224-2651
"We urge you to include the Menendez amendment, SA 2991, in the manager's amendment to HR 3590. This amendment helps restore fairness to our health care system, removing a harsh five-year waiting period that prevents legal immigrants from accessing Medicaid."
Please also call these Senators who also need urging and forward this email to residents from these target states who wish to include everyone in health care reform:
Pennsylvania: Senator Casey - (202) 224-6324
North Dakota: Senator Dorgan - (202) 224-2551
Montana: Senator McCaskill - (202) 224-6154
Colorado: Senator Udall - (202) 224-5941
November 11, 2009
The JACL Encourages Members to Participate in November Town Hall Meeting on Immigration Reform
The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) encourages JACL members to participate in a national telephonic town hall meeting about immigration reform hosted by Congressman Luis Gutierrez (Illinois). Participants are encouraged to hold house parties and call in on Wednesday, November 18, at 8:00PM Eastern time (5:00 PM Pacific). There are also prearranged events around the nation that members can attend.
The JACL has always fought for the civil and human rights of immigrants. In 1965, The JACL helped pass the Immigration and Nationality Act that increased quotas for Asian ancestry immigrants and changed the face of our nation. That law was created almost 50 years ago, and the current law has become outdated and harmful to immigrants, their families, and our nation. The current immigration system needs to be fixed as undocumented immigrants need a fair pathway to citizenship, new immigrants go through long wait times of up to 22 years, and families are being split apart.
The JACL strongly supports immigration reform and encourages JACL members to join the town hall. By joining thousands of people hosting house parties and listening to the call, you're involving yourself in your community and advancing immigration reform as momentum builds toward the critical early months of 2010.
Instructions for holding a party and calling in are below. For more information please contact your regional office or the Washington DC office at (202) 223-1240 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOSTING A PARTY
TO JOIN AN EXISTING PARTY: Search Here
For more information about Asian Americans and the November 18th town hall on immigration reform, please go here: http://www.advancingequality.org/immigrationpubs/
November 9, 2009
Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program - Upcoming Listening Sessions
In preparation for the Fiscal Year 2010 appropriation and the next grant cycle, the National Park Service (NPS) would like to hear your thoughts on this first year of the grant program. Individuals are encouraged to provide comments on the components of the grant program that they would like to see continued, and any aspects of the grant program that they would like to see changed. As part of that information-gathering process, the NPS will host a series of “Listening Sessions” in early December at several locations throughout the country. NPS invites you to provide your thoughts in person at one of these Listening Sessions, which are scheduled as follows:
Date: Monday, November 30, 2009
Time: 10 am—12 noon
Location: National Park Service
Intermountain Regional Office
12795 W. Alameda Parkway
Phone: 303-969-2885 (RSVP encouraged)
Date: Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Time: 7:00 pm—9:00 pm
Location: Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) Chicago Chapter
5415 North Clark Street
Phone: 402-661-1928 (NPS)
Little Rock, Arkansas
Date: Thursday, December 3, 2009
Time: 2:00 pm—4:00 pm
Location: Little Rock Central High School
NHS Visitor Center
2120 Daisy Bates Drive
Phone: 402-661-1928 (NPS)
501-374-1957 (Little Rock NHS)
PACIFIC WEST REGION
Date: Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Time: 6:00 pm—8:00 pm
Location: Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project
1416 S. Jackson Street
Phone: 925-943-1531, ext. 122 (NPS)
Los Angeles, California
Date: Thursday, December 3, 2009
Time: 6:00 pm—8:00 pm
Location: Japanese American Cultural and Community Center
244 S. San Pedro Street, Suite 505
Phone: 925-943-1531, ext. 122 (NPS)
San Francisco, California
Date: Friday, December 4, 2009
Time: 6:00 pm—8:00 pm
Location: Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Northern California
1840 Sutter Street, Suite 201
Phone: 925-943-1531, ext. 122 (NPS)
Date: Thursday, December 3, 2009
Time: 6:00 pm—8:00 pm
Location: Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai`i
2454 South Beretania Street
Phone: 808-541-2693, ext. 723 (NPS)
If you cannot attend one of the listening sessions, NPS encourages you to provide your comments directly to the NPS via the public comment website at: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/imro or by sending your written comments to the NPS to the address listed below:
National Park Service
Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program
Attention: Kara Miyagishima
12795 W. Alameda Parkway
Lakewood, CO 80228
For additional information on the upcoming listening sessions, FY 2009 Grant Awards, and additional program information, please visit the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program website at:
November 6, 2009
SUPPORT AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE FOR AMERICA - CONTACT MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TODAY!
Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives unveiled H.R. 3962 Affordable Health Care for America Act. National health care reform is close to coming to fruition as the House is scheduled to hold a vote as early as TODAY, Friday, November 6th. Affordable Health Care for America Act is the strongest bill currently in Congress and will ensure:
- No more co-pays or deductibles for preventative care
- No more rate increases for "pre-existing conditions"
- Annual cap on yearly out-of-pocket expenses
- Keep your doctor, and your current plan, if you like them
- The choice of a public health insurance plan option, available
- Individuals participating in the exchange will have the choice
of choosing among private insurers or the public health
Stability & Peace of Mind:
- No more coverage denials for pre-existing conditions
- Immediate help for the uninsured who were denied care due
to "pre-existing conditions"
- Employers are required to offer coverage to their workers
and their workers' families
As members of Congress prepare to debate and vote on the health bill, it is imperative that they know their constituents are depending on them to pass this monumental piece of legislation. Please call your Representatives TODAY and send a strong resounding message in support of H.R. 3962 Affordable Health Care for America Act.
Call Your member of the House of Representatives:
- To find your Representative:
Visit: http://clerk.house.gov/member_info/index.html- Contact your representative by calling the U.S.Capitol
Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to your representative's office.
The Message: "I am calling in support of H.R. 3962 Affordable Health Care for America Act. This bill is the strongest health care bill in Congress and will bring about meaningful change. Americans have waited long enough for real health care reform. As your constituent, I urge you to vote for Affordable Health Care for America Act on the House floor. Thank you."
Please take a moment to call Congress, and pass along this message to your networks. We appreciate your support and the action you will take to help pass health care reform.
October 21, 2009
TELL CONGRESS TO TREAT IMMIGRANTS FAIRLY: HEALTH REFORM MUST OPEN MEDICAID TO LEGAL IMMIGRANTS
The National Immigration Law Center is hosting a call in day, tomorrow, Thursday, October 22, 2009 to voice to the House of Representatives that it is crucial to eliminate the five year waiting period for legal immigrants in Medicaid, Medicare, and CHIP when it moves its health care reform legislation forward this week. As it stands now, most recent legal immigrants are forced to wait five years before using these programs, even though they pay the same taxes as citizens to support these programs.
As the U.S. House of Representatives move to finalize its health reform legislation this week, immigrants continue to be left out. Your voice is needed to urge the House of Representatives to act right now to give immigrants a fair opportunity for affordable health insurance. It is critical that the House of Representatives take action now to end the unfair 5-year bar in Medicaid, Medicare and CHIP (the Children's Health Insurance Program). This will only happen if enough people call and demand fairness.
Here's the key message to share when you call Representatives:
"I want to end the five year waiting period for legal immigrants in Medicaid, Medicare, and CHIP. I expect Congress to do the right thing, and treat legal immigrants the same as citizens in health reform."
- Speaker Pelosi at (202) 225-0100 or by email at http://speaker.house.gov/contact/
- Majority Leader Hoyer at (202) 225 -3130 or by email at: http://democraticleader.house.gov/email_and_rss/email_the_leader/
- Your member of the House of Representatives:
- To find your Representative:
- Visit: http://clerk.house.gov/member_info/index.html
- Contact your representative by calling the U.S.Capitol
Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to
your representative's office.
Unless Congress hears from you, legal immigrants with limited income will be left out of health care reform and will not be able to find affordable health insurance forthemselves and their family. Please take a moment to call Congress, and pass along this message to your friends. We appreciate your support and the action you will take to help repeal the 5 year waiting period.
October 13, 2009
SAVE THE CENSUS: OPPOSE THE VITTER AMENDMENT
Please contact your Senators and urge them to oppose the Vitter amendment to the Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Bill for FY2010. The Vitter Amendment would add an extra question to the 2010 census asking about legal immigration status. This will intimidate many immigrant communities from filling out their census forms including legal and native-born immigrants. It will also prevent the Census Bureau from completing the census by its deadlines and waste $7 billion in research and planning.
The JACL is committed to ensuring that the Census fulfills its goal of counting EVERY PERSON in the nation. Since its founding in 1929, the JACL has been through 8 censuses and understands its importance for allocating federal funding and redistricting political representation lines. The Vitter Amendment is trying to prevent immigrant communities from filling out their census forms and receiving these funds. Please contact your Senators today and oppose the Vitter Amendment. You may also email them as this is a time-sensitive matter.More information can be found at The Census Project blog. Talking points are below.
- If enacted, the Vitter amendment would stop the 2010 Census in its tracks and prevent the forms from being mailed next spring. The amendment would require a new question to be added to a broad range of materials used for the 2010 count. The resulting delay would prevent Congressional reapportionment after 2010 and redistricting of congressional and state legislative districts. Ultimately, the Vitter amendment would waste $7 billion in research, planning, and preparation that has occurred for Census 2010.
- Asking about immigration status in the 2010 Census is unnecessarily intrusive and will raise concerns among all respondents - both native-born and immigrant - about the confidentiality and privacy of information provided to the government. This will deter many residents from responding, and result in an inaccurate Census count.
- The Vitter amendment fundamentally undermines the goal of the U.S. Constitution which is to ensure that we have an accurate portrait of America in every decennial Census. The 14th Amendment to the Constitution clearly states that the apportionment of members of the House of Representatives is based on a full count of residents in each state. The 14th Amendment clearly contemplates that persons without voting rights will be counted in the Census for apportionment purposes - the amendment was enacted when women and Native Americans did not have the right to vote, and the Amendment did not exclude them from the count. This amendment was also enacted in part to repeal the provisions in Article I in the Constitution which counted slaves as only three-fifths of a person.
October 7, 2009
JACL ASKS FOR HELP TO SAVE MINIDOKA
Washington, D.C. -- The conflict of self interest versus national interest has been existent from the foundation of this great nation. While the values embodied in the market system of life that have governed the nation's economy have been the catalyst for economic and material progress, the nation has had the wisdom to harness self interest when its goals have lead to devaluing of natural monuments and national parks. The Minidoka National Historic Site of the National Park System faces endangerment because the forces of economic development feel a need to construct a power line over the property.
The names of Mathers, Albright, and Ickes bear the scars of the battle of preserving nature versus the interests of profit seeking corporate America. These three pioneers have been depicted in the present Ken Burns' television series, "The National Parks: America's Best Idea" as saviors of nature. Their major confrontations occurred against the corporations which cried out that economic development should always be the trump card that sacrificed our nation's natural beauties and historical lessons. These leaders fought greed but won the battle in behalf of the American people.
Today another battle is erupting in the southern region of the State of Idaho where the power company hopes to ignore the lessons and battles of the past with the sacrifice of a national park facility in the name of expediency and economic development. The Minidoka National Historic Site is the target of a power line which is planned to pass directly over the heart of the site. Those who want to preserve the park-like nature of this site, which is a remembrance of the unlawful imprisonment of American citizens who were placed there simply because of the country of their heritage, are but an insignificant economic force in the game of economic development. Yet the lesson for which the monument was intended has enormous value to the understanding of what it means to be a citizen of this great country. This was the reason President Clinton initially used his authority under the Antiquities Act to name this small space of land a National Monument.
The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), the nation's oldest and largest Asian American civil and human rights organization, urges all who are involved to take a breath and look to the national heritage of national monuments and national parks. Will the lessons of historical preservation be ignored and will expediency and economic interests only determine the path of the ugly power line that would prove a hazard to those who would visit this historical place? The JACL urges all to place the national interests above any short-term objective of rapidly completing a power line.
The JACL asks that those who wish to preserve the valuable lesson that this site provides contact the offices of the Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar and their representatives in Congress to let them know that the Minidoka National Historic Site should be left intact and the power line should be redirected.
Mr. Ken Salazar
U.S. Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20240
September 24, 2009
Ask for a Health Care Bill that does NOT Exclude Illegal Immigrants!
The health care debate is still heated up from summer and as fall approaches immigration reform is getting pulled into the argument. Many recognize that Congress should debate these issues separately, but as the health care bill is debated and amended, we should make sure that Congress creates a bill that does not prevent immigrant communities from receiving affordable health care. Some current anti-immigrant amendments include a 5-year wait time for legal residents and even taking away private insurance options for undocumented immigrants.
The JACL was established in the midst of strong anti-immigrant attitudes among much of the country. We understand what it means to be an immigrant and how discriminatory legislation can deter and sometimes destroy the American Dream. As the nation's oldest and largest Asian American civil rights organization, we support immigrant inclusion in health care reform. Get rid of anti-immigrant legislation by taking action: Call Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (202-224-2651) and PresidentObama (202-456 1111) and tell them you want:
1. ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE FOR LEGAL IMMIGRANTS:
We cannot continue to exclude legal immigrants from programs such as Medicaid and, in some states, the Children's Health Insurance program for five years. Please SUPPORT the Rockefeller Amendments #C19 and #C22 which removes the 5-year waiting period for low-income, non-pregnant legal immigrant adults in Medicaid.
We support the Senate Finance Committee's efforts to allow legal immigrants access to health-insurance tax credits, but some members are proposing to create yet another waiting period. Please REJECT Kyl's Amendment #C12 & #C14, which prevents legal immigrants from accessing affordable health care by adding a 5-year waiting period for tax credits.
On the House side, call the Committee on Energy and Commerce at (202) 225-2927 and REJECT Rep. Deal's Amendment to impose the five-year waiting period for subsidies.
2. ENSURE CHILDREN HAVE HEALTH CARE COVERED:
Many children who are citizens or legal immigrants live in households with an undocumented parent. They will not benefit equally from the affordable health insurance that other children will receive. In determining the tax credits that legal immigrant and citizens would receive, the Senate Finance Committee wants to count household income, including that earned by household members without documentation, and then only count members who are citizens or legal immigrants for household size. Many children would appear to live in higher-income households than they actually do. SUPPORT the Menendez/Bingaman Amendment #C2 that protects mixed status families by using the existing Medicaid formula for income eligibility for tax credits.
We also want the Children's Health Insurance Program to continue after 2013, when it expires. Say YES to Senator Rockefeller's Amendment #C22 to extend CHIP until 2019 and Amendment #C12 that protects access for legal immigrant children, pregnant women, and children in CHIP and Medicaid.
3. OPPOSE ADDITIONAL CITIZENSHIP VERIFICATION MEASURES
We want to ensure that those with a right to health care benefits do not face additional, burdensome proof-of-citizenship requirements. Say NO to Senator Ensign's Amendment #C2 and Senator Grassley's Amendment #C8 that prevents U.S. citizens and legal immigrants from accessing Medicaid due to onerous identification requirements. And NO to Schumer's Amendment #C11 which requires use of a biometric system to authenticate U.S. citizens who need health care through the exchange.
Thank you to our friends at the Asian American Justice Center and South Asian Americans Leading Together for helping us assemble this action alert.
September 21, 2009
At the national level, JACL has recently partnered with the US Census Bureau in order to promote full participation in the upcoming 2010 Census. As a Census partner, the JACL will publicize the 2010 Census to its members in an effort to ensure all Americans are counted.
Below is a brief synopsis of why the Census is important for the JACL as well as the Japanese American and broader Asian American populations. As the key instrument of measuring the demographics of our nation, the Census provides data that will ultimate lead to political reapportionment and redistricting as well as determining fund allocations at the federal, state, and local levels of government. Remember that privacy and confidentiality is ensured for all personal identification information under penalty of federal law.
It is tremendously important for our community to be accurately counted to ensure that we are adequately represented in the political process. Here are a few ways your your district and chapter can help:
1. Publicize the 2010 Census in your chapter or district newsletter and/or website. Encourage members in your chapter and district to vote. Include an article or editorial about the important of the census in your district or chapter newsletter or place a link to more information about Census on your website.
2. Take an active role in census data collection by working full- or part-time for the Census Bureau. Between now and March 2010, the Census Bureau is seeking motivated individuals for employment as field or office workers to aid in the collection process. Fieldworkers help collect Census information by traveling within the community and making sure everyone's information is collected. Office staff aid in supervisory and clerical roles. For more information about 2010 Census employment visit: http://2010.census.gov/2010censusjobs/
3. Fill out your Census Form on April 1, 2010. The shortest and simplest census form in history will be sent to your home in March 2010. With only 10 questions, the questionnaire should take less than 10 minutes to fill out completely. When you're done, simply seal it and put it back in your mailbox.
Thank you for helping the JACL do its U.S. constitutional duty in promoting a full census count in 2010! If you have any further questions, please contact National Director Floyd Mori at email@example.com or Jean Shiraki at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why the 2010 Census Matters:
It's Important. Not only is filling out the Census required by law (regardless of citizenship), it's important for our community to be counted. Currently, census is the only source for disaggregated data on the Japanese American population. This is particularly important given the increasing diversity of our community along lines of immigration status and multiracial and multiethnic backgrounds. According to the 2000 census, foreign-born Japanese Americans make up 30.6% of the community. Additionally, nearly one third of Japanese Americans identify themselves as multiracial and/or multiethnic. Both segments of the community continue to grow. While not perfect, Census is a valuable means for understanding and addressing our community's diverse and dynamic needs.
Furthermore, Census data is used for political reapportionment and redistricting, allocation of over $400 billions of federal, state, and local funding, and planning and service provisioning by government and non-government institutions. Census data also aids in the tracking of discrimination and enforcement of civil rights laws.
It's Safe. Today's Census is safe and all personal identification information will be kept private and confidential under penalty of federal law. While the Census Bureau admitted that census information was used in the rounding up of Japanese Americans for the purposes of mass internment during the Second World War, measures have been taken to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of all census respondents. In 2000, Census Bureau Director Kenneth Prewitt issued a formal apology for the Census's role in the mass incarceration of over 120,000 Japanese Americans during the war. Privacy and confidentiality is paramount for the Census Bureau. Information pertaining to name, address, social security or employer identification numbers, or telephone numbers cannot be disclosed by the bureau to any government or non-government entity. Under Title 13 of the U.S. Code, any violation of this confidentiality will face federal prosecution and may include penalties of up to five years imprisonment and/or up to $250,000 in fines.
It's Easy. The 2010 Census will be one of the easiest and shortest forms ever. With only 10 questions, the questionnaire should only take about 10 minutes to complete. The questionnaire will be sent to your home in March 2010. Just drop it back in the mail after filling it out!
For more information about the 2010 Census please visit the Official US Census website at http://2010.census.gov and the Census page of the Asian American Justice Center's website at http://advancingequality.org/census-2010/.
August 19, 2009
CALL YOUR SENATOR AND REPRESENTATIVE
Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (AAs and NHPIs) need quality affordable
health care. One in six Asian Americans and one in four Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are
uninsured. Even with coverage, AAs and NHPIs experience disparities in health outcomes and quality
APIAHF, the Asian American Justice Center and the National Asian Pacific American Women's
Forum are hosting a national Call-in Day today, August 19, to support health care reform.
- Call 1-877-264-4226. (Special thanks to our friends at Health Care for American NOW! for extending the use of their line.)
- Ask the operator to connect you to your Senator or Representative and give the operator your zip code.
- Once the operator connects you to your Representative or Senator's office, a staffer in the office will answer the call.
- Say: "My name is ___________ and I want affordable health care. Please support the public plan that keeps costs down and makes health coverage affordable for everyone. All children and pregnant women should be covered. I also want everyone to be treated fairly. I think it's unfair for tax-paying, legal immigrants to have to wait five years before they can get the help they need. Please remove the five year bar on Medicaid.
Please let your friends and networks know about today's AA and NHPI Call-in Day. We need your
July 23, 2009
CONTACT SENATORS TO FUND SERVE AMERICA ACT
The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) has received this request from Service Nation for assistance in contacting senators. Your help will be greatly appreciated.
Subject: Funding for the Serve America Act
As you may know, the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act was passed in April 2009. While it is a milestone for the service movement, there is one last hurdle to jump. We still have to work to ensure the full funding of the Serve America Act.
The Senate Appropriations Committee will meet on Tuesday, July 28th to discuss the FY10 Labor, Health and Human Service Appropriations Bill. At this hearing, critical decisions will be made concerning funding levels for the Corporation for National and Community Service. Before these decisions are made, we need to make a big collective push. We need the Senate to fully fund the President's request for the Corporation for National and Community Service ($1.149 billion). Join us as we call Senate leaders and ask them to fund the President's FY10 request for the Corporation for National and Community Service in its totality. It is critical that we take action now!
We encourage you to call Committee leaders – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS), as well as your Senators before close of the business day, Friday, July 24. Ask them to fully fund the Serve America Act by supporting the President's Request for $1.149 billion for the Corporation for National and Community Service.
Call Senator Harkin at 202-224-3254.
Call Senator Cochran at 202-224-5054.
Call the Senate Operator to be connected to your Senators: 202-224-3121.
HOW TO CONTACT MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
- If you need help determining your U.S. Senators, visit www.congress.org. This database will provide you with contact information for your elected officials.
- You can call your Senators directly or be connected to their offices, and the offices of Senators Harkin and Cochran, through the Senate Operator (202-224-3121).
- Once connected to the Senator's office, identify yourself as a constituent and ask to speak to the Legislative Assistant in change of Labor-HHS Appropriations, so that you can make your case directly to a staffer. (If you leave a message with the receptionist, it will undoubtedly get lost in the hundreds of communications received by the office that day.)
TALKING POINTS TO DELIVER BY PHONE
- Please fully fund the President's FY10 Labor-HHS budget request for the Corporation for National and Community Service, $1.149 billion.
- The House bill underfunded the President's request by $90 million and provided less funding for AmeriCorps, Volunteer Generation and the Social Innovation Fund.
- The economic downturn has placed an enormous burden on local social service agencies who are overwhelmed by increased demand for services. National service provides human capital to struggling nonprofits, schools and community agencies.
- Demand for AmeriCorps positions has long outstripped the number available, but now it is exploding even further in response to the tough job market and the President's repeated calls for Americans to serve. Americans are eager to give back, and CNCS reports that AmeriCorps applications have increased over 200 percent this year.
- AmeriCorps is a cost effective way to employ people who are having a difficult time finding jobs in a down economy. For a small investment, we can provide people with a low cost "job" working in our economically hardest hit communities. In return they receive training that prepares them for future employment and an education award to make higher education attainable.
- The Serve America Act passed Congress in March with broad bipartisan support. Funding the programs authorized in the bill at the President's requested-level is a good first step in delivering on the promise of that important bill.
June 30, 3009
DEMONSTRATE YOUR SUPPORT FOR HEALTH CARE REFORM
Earlier this year, President Obama challenged Congress to make health care reform a top priority. Both chambers of Congress rose to the challenge with the Senate HELP committee releasing their health bill the second week of July and the House releasing their version late last week. As these bills go into mark up, the health care debate is picking up steam. Among the many supporters there are also skeptics who are utilizing fear mongering tactics in an attempt to derail efforts of passing health care legislation this year. The following weeks are key times as organizations and supporters continue to build and sustain momentum for health care reform. It is important to get the message out loud and clear to Congress that health care reform cannot wait! Please demonstrate your support by participating in the following upcoming events:
"We Believe Together" Interfaith Gathering
What: People from a variety of faiths will gather in Washington D.C. for an interfaith service of prayer and witness for health care reform.
When: Wednesday, June 24, 4:00-7:00 p.m.
Where: Freedom Plaza, Washington, DC
Find out more: Visit http://www.familiesusa.org/resources/faith-based-resources/interfaith-service.html
Lighting the Night: Health Care Equality '09
What: Participants will rally, speak out, and take part in a candlelight vigil to shed light on the suffering caused by health care inequalities that need to end once and for all.
When: Wednesday, June 24, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Where: Freedom Plaza, Washington, DC
Find out more and RSVP at: http://action.seiu.org/page/event/detail/healthcareequalityproject/jjl
HCAN Health Care '09: We Can't Wait Rally
What: Activists from around the country will come to Washington to rally and tell members of Congress that "Health Care Can't Wait!"
When: Thursday, June 25, 11:30 a.m.
Where: Upper Senate Park, Capitol Hill, Washington, DC
Find out more: Visit www.healthcareforamericanow.org
National Call-In Days
What: Organizations and individuals are coming together to flood the Hill with phone calls in support of health care form as the Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to mark up their bill and preparing for pending floor votes.
When: July 6th and 7th
The message: We need health care reform that gives every American quality, affordable health care and we need it now.
Toll free number: 1-866-210-3678
June 23, 2009
CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL
The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) has received this request from the Japanese American Veterans Association (JAVA) for assistance in contacting your senators. Your help will be greatly appreciated.
Subject: Congressional Gold Medal
Folks, we surely can use your help to contact senators from your state and also other states, except Hawaii, to request them to cosponsor a Senate Bill known as S. 1055. This Bill will authorize the conferring of the Congressional Gold Medal to honor Japanese American WW II veterans. To obtain their names and contact information please go to website: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm?OrderBy=state.
It would be appreciated if you can put this request on your PRIORITY list of things to do. Please send this message to your friends to request their assistance..
When you call or send emails to their offices, say something along the following lines: "I am contacting you to ask Senator ___ to cosponsor S. 1055, a bill that would grant the Congressional Gold Medal to the Japanese-American 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team of the U.S. Army in recognition of their dedicated service during World War II. We feel that it is important to recognize and honor these brave soldiers with a Congressional Gold Medal for their heroic contributions in defense of the United States and we hope we can count on the Senator's support."
Senator Boxer has issued the following press release concerning the Congressional Gold Medal to honor Japanese American WW II veterans.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today introduced legislation to grant the Congressional Gold Medal to the Japanese-American 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team of the U.S. Army in recognition of their dedicated service during World War II. Senators Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Daniel Akaka (D-HI), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) have signed on as original cosponsors of the measure. Companion legislation introduced by Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) passed today by a vote of 411 to 0 in the House of Representatives.
Senator Boxer said, "I am so pleased to introduce this long overdue legislation to honor the brave members of the 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team with a Congressional Gold Medal. These noble Japanese-Americans enlisted in the army and bravely fought for their country while many of their family and friends were being sent to internment camps. These soldiers made a bold and honorable sacrifice and should be recognized for their patriotism."
These military units, which are also known as the "Go For Broke" regiment, earned several awards for their distinctive service in combat, including: 7 Presidential Unit Citations, 21 Medals of Honor, 29 Distinguished Service Crosses, 560 Silver Stars, 22 Legion of Merit Medals, 15 Soldier's Medals, 4,000 Bronze Stars and over 4,000 Purple Hearts, among numerous additional distinctions.
Thank you for your help. If you have any questions, please contact Terry Shima (301-987-6746)
FEDERAL IMMIGRATION LEGISLATION NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT
Let your voice be heard—sign the petition today!
June 18, 2009
Since the late 1800’s, Asians have immigrated to the United States with hopes of building a better life. These early immigrants moved to this great nation to flee religious persecution, escape economic adversity, and for a chance for their families to be reunited and contribute to their new home. Today’s immigrants desire to come to the United States for the same reasons as our Asian ancestors. They come here equipped with a desire to be with their loved ones and a confidence in all the endless opportunities America has to offer.
But today’s immigrants who desire to come here are faced with a broken immigration system, a system in which there are currently 5.8 million individuals backlogged, nearly half of which are from Asian countries. The current system, characterized by failed policies and an outdated definition of family, has barred same-sex partners from reuniting as well as hindered immigrants who applied for visas in their prime from admission until retirement age, undermining the immigrant’s economic potential and contribution to this country.
On June 4, 2009, H.R. 2709: Reuniting Families Act, sponsored by Democratic Representative Mike Honda of the 15th District of California, was introduced and referred to the House Judiciary Committee. This important piece of legislation seeks to fix our nation’s broken immigration system. The Reuniting Families Act is greatly needed since our nation’s family-based immigration system has not been updated in the past 20 years, which has kept loved ones apart and waiting for as long as 22 years before the opportunity to reunite with family. This bill will assist in clearing the backlog of family members by incorporating practical and legal mechanisms that will ensure visas are allocated more efficiently, lengthy wait times that keep families separated for years are kept to a minimum, and eliminate the discriminatory practice of barring same-sex partners from reuniting with their families.
The JACL supports the preservation, unification, and strengthening of families and strongly supports the Reuniting Families Act. Please join the JACL and other Asian American organizations like the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC), Asian Pacific American Legal Center, Asian Law Caucus, and the Asian American Institute in informing members of Congress that our broken immigration system needs to be fixed now. The AAJC hopes to capture 1,000 signatures in support of the Reuniting Families Act to send to Congress by the end of summer. We urge you to sign the petition today and let your voice be heard.
Sign the petition here: http://www.advancingequality.org/FamilyPetition/. We appreciate your support and the action you will take to help reform our broken immigration system.
April 27, 2009
FEDERAL HATE CRIMES LEGISLATION NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT
Call Members of Congress
Monday, April 27- Wednesday, April 29
To: JACL Members, Chapters, and Friends
From: Floyd Mori, JACL National Executive Director
In our increasing diverse nation, hate crimes are a persistent problem. Each year, Asian Americans are victims of bias-motivated hate crimes. It is imperative that hate crimes be taken seriously because of the crippling effect it exerts on the victim as well as the community as a whole. JACL has been a resilient advocate for hate crime prevention and supports continuing efforts that aspire to put an end to all hate crimes.
On April 2, 2009, H.R. 1913: Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 (LLEHCPA), sponsored by Democratic Representative John Conyers of Michigan, was introduced and referred to the House Judiciary Committee. The bill has been voted out of committee and is expected for a vote before the House as early as Wednesday, April 29, 2009.
LLEHCPA primarily seeks to ensure federal assistance for States, local jurisdictions, and Indian tribes to prosecute hate crimes. Aside from financial assistance funded through a grant program to combat hate crimes, the bill additionally seeks to ensure technical, forensic, and prosecutorial assistance in criminal investigations or prosecutions of felonious violent crimes motivated by prejudice. The legislation will provide much needed uniformity to federal state hate crime laws and ensure that hate crimes will be investigated or prosecuted properly.
LLEHCPA is needed to ensure that all individuals have the right to be safe from physical harm and intimidation. Prior to the vote, it is imperative that a high volume of constituents voice their support for the bill. We urge all members to call their representative Monday-Wednesday, April 27-April 29, and request that their representative support H.R. 1913. Call the House switchboard at (202) 225-3121 to contact your representative and urge his or her support of LLEHCPA which will provide safety and security for all individuals. We appreciate your support and the action you will take to help fight hate crimes.
The Watsonville-Santa Cruz JACL Chapter recently sent letters to over 400 Nikkei registered voters in Santa Cruz County in California, urging them to vote "no" against Proposition 8 on November 4 as part of the "No on Prop 8" campaign. Proposition 8 would amend California's constitution to recognize marriage as valid only if it is between a man and a woman.
When the California Supreme Court overturned the ban on gay marriage on May 18th of this year, National JACL President Larry Oda stated, “The JACL commends the California Supreme Court for its decision regarding marriage equality for all Californians. We believe all people should have the right to marry whom they choose.” Proposition 8 “would blatantly deny a specific group of people the respect and dignity of equal treatment under the law,” Oda added.
The JACL urges those registered to vote in California to vote against Proposition 8 in November 4 to guarantee the same rights and equality of every Californian. Click here for the letter sent by the Watsonville-Santa Cruz JACL Chapter. Please direct comments or questions to Northern California/Western Nevada/Pacific Regional Director Patty Wada, email@example.com
The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2007 (NHGRA) or HR 505 is scheduled for a vote before the House on Wednesday, October 24 --that's TOMORROW! We need urgent action on your part and ask that you contact your Representative to urge a YES vote on the bill and reject any motion to recommit HR 505. A motion to recommit sends the bill back to the committee which essentially kills the bill.
This bill will establish Native Hawaiians as a federally recognized Native governing entity functioning in the US along side local, state and federal governing entities similar to the recognition American Indians and Alaska Natives enjoy today. It also ultimately protects Native Hawaiian culture as well as existing Native Hawaiian programs. The complete language of the bill 'The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2007' or HR 505 is attached. More importantly, you'll find a sample letter you can edit and complete to send to your Representative.
A letter from National JACL will also be going to the House leadership. We appreciate your support. An action alert has been sent out but please pass this along to your chapter presidents as attachments are not possible in the action alerts.
FAX a letter of support and/or CALL your Representative TODAY. VOTE YES on HR 505.
The vote will be held tomorrow morning!
House Switchboard: 202.225.3121
Fax or Email: go to www.house.gov and enter your zip code in the top left hand box
The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) is extremely disappointed with President Bush’s recent decision to take away health care coverage known as State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) from millions of low income children.
SCHIP is a federally funded program which provides health insurance for families who earn too much money to quality for Medicaid, but cannot afford to buy their own private insurance. Created in 1997, SCHIP was designed to address the problem of the increasing number of children with no health care coverage.
Congress recently passed an extension of SCHIP that would have added $35 billion to the program over the next five years to cover funding shortfalls identified for those already eligible for coverage as well as give states the ability to reach out to additional eligible uninsured children. Approximately 10 million children will be affected; 6.6 million children of whom are currently enrolled and 4 million who will not have any health care coverage without this measure.
While President Bush claims that $35 billion is too much, his proposed $5 billion would not have been enough to meet current demands to cover all the children currently enrolled in SCHIP. Even with strong bi-partisan support for the expansion of SCHIP, President Bush has vetoed the measure making basic health care inaccessible to these 10 million low income children.
The House will convene again on October 18 to take a vote to override the vetoed SCHIP measure. If Congress doesn’t override the veto, millions of children will be left behind.
JACL, the nation’s oldest Asian American civil rights organization, recognizes that access to basic health care is essential. By investing in our children, we are investing in our future. We cannot let our most vulnerable children go without access to basic health care.
TAKE ACTION TODAY!
Urge your Congressmember to override President Bush’s veto of SCHIP.
Contact your Congressmember by calling the House switchboard at (202) 225-3121 and ask to be connected to your Representative.
To find out who your Representative is, visit www.house.gov and enter your zip code in the top left corner of the page.