The Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County’s (APABA-LA) members, like those of OCBA, are diverse attorneys who have a vast range of backgrounds, from families who helped build this nation in its nascent days to first-generation immigrants. APABA-LA strongly condemns the inflammatory language in Mr. Baroni’s column suggesting that America is under “unprecedented attack” by immigrants.
Regardless of our origins, we attorneys have all sworn an oath to support the Constitution, including the principles of equal protection and free speech. Yet Mr. Baroni appears to advocate equal protection and free speech only for those who voice uncritical nationalism. The Constitution protects dissent and those who are in the minority, whether they are minorities based on race, immigration status, or viewpoint.
As such, attorneys have a responsibility to guard against the wielding of laws to silence communities, and erase the experiences of immigrants, Native Americans, and other minorities. Attorneys have a responsibility to protect the rights of those who seek equal protection from law enforcement. We are disappointed that Mr. Baroni seems to encourage otherwise.
OCBA’s Vision Statement says: “We will demand inclusivity, charity, and relevancy by and for our members . . . .” APABA-LA encourages Mr. Baroni to honor OCBA’s Vision Statement, and ensure that OCBA stands for inclusivity and equal protection for all of its members and those community members who rely on OCBA’s services.
CONTACT: Jade Leung