Los Angeles, CA, January 17, 2017 – In response to the recent presidential election, we the Directors of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County (APABA) wish to reaffirm our organization’s purpose and values to our members, the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in Los Angeles County, and the greater legal community.
APABA was founded on the principles of social justice, self-empowerment, and community service. To these principles we remain more committed than ever. In light of the 2016 presidential election, today some in our communities face social, economic and legal uncertainties. APABA will use all resources at its disposal to educate, assist and empower those who are affected. APABA members are immigrants and the children of immigrants. We must stand together now against injustice and discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability or religion. We urge our elected officials to condemn inflammatory language and fear-mongering and reject discriminatory policies.
In the coming months, APABA will engage the community through education, outreach and activism. Starting in January, we will hold a series of four town halls to discuss possible changes in immigration laws and their impact and march in Women’s March - LA. We will also continue to hold clinics, sponsor continuing education courses, and plan community events in the spirit of APABA’s founding principles. To our members we urge you to participate in the planning of these events and volunteer in pro bono efforts. To our sister organizations and community partners we look forward to working with you so we can collectively engage the broadest possible audience.
In closing, we recall Justice Frank Murphy’s dissent in Korematsu v. United States that “All residents of this nation are kin in some way by blood or culture to a foreign land. Yet they are primarily and necessarily a part of the new and distinct civilization of the United States. They must, accordingly, be treated at all times as the heirs of the American experiment, and as entitled to all the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.”
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The Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County is a nonpartisan member organization comprised of attorneys, judges and law students throughout Los Angeles County. It is a voice for issues of concern to the Asian Pacific American community. APABA provides legal education and assistance to underserved communities and sponsors programs in professional development, community education and law student mentorship.
CONTACT: Dinh Luu