*** PRESS RELEASE ***
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Nisha Vyas
Los Angeles, CA, August 29, 2015 – The Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County (APABA) condemns the use of the derogatory term “anchor babies” by lawmakers and those who seek public office. Whether directed toward Asian Pacific Americans, Latinos, or any other ethnic group, the use of this demeaning term is deeply disrespectful to immigrants and natural born United States citizens alike, and harmful to any productive civic conversation about citizenship and immigration reform.
“We need a constructive debate about immigration that acknowledges and honors the immeasurable and crucial contributions that immigrants have made to our shared American history and culture. Offensive terms have no place in that debate," said Judy Suwatanapongched, APABA’s President.
APABA opposes any attempt to roll back settled constitutional law on immigration and citizenship that has helped make this country great. In fact, Asian Pacific Americans played a pivotal role in deciding and settling this issue. In the case United States v. Wong Kim Ark, the Supreme Court ruled that a man born in San Francisco must be recognized as a citizen, despite the fact that his parents had emigrated from China and were excluded by federal law from becoming United States citizens themselves. The United States Supreme Court confirmed the constitutionally-enshrined right to birthright citizenship, stating that that the 14th Amendment of our Constitution “affirms the ancient and fundamental rule of citizenship by birth.”
Instead of inflammatory race-based rhetoric and fear-mongering, APABA urges American leaders to discuss productive ways in which we can make our immigration system more fair, just and inclusive.
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.
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