Blog / Opinion


What Asian Americans Owe African Americans

October 5, 2015

By Chris Punongbayan, Executive Director *This article originally appeared in The Huffington Post on October 2, 2015. Trayvon Martin. Eric Garner. Sandra Bland. Michael Brown. It feels like nearly every day I’m confronted with yet another video in the news with raw scenes of violence against African Americans. We are in the middle of a […]

Make History, Don’t Repeat It

October 5, 2015

Co-authored by Chris Punongbayan (Executive Director) and Stewart Kwoh (President and Executive Director, Advancing Justice – Los Angeles) *This article originially appeared in New America Media on September 25, 2015. At this pivotal moment in our nation’s ongoing struggle with racism, California can and should lead the nation in fair policing. Instead, our state shamefully leads the […]

Why did ICE lock up a father of three and leave his family homeless?

May 26, 2015

Co-authored by Jenny Zhao and Anoop Prasad, Immigrant Rights Program Earlier this month, after more than six months in immigration detention, Benito Flores won his case and went home to his wife and children. The immigration judge granted him a green card as a longtime community member of good moral character whose U.S. citizen family […]

Exposing Immigrants to Death Dust? No Thanks

May 6, 2015

Co-authored by Anoop Prasad (Immigrant Rights) and Julia Harumi Mass (ACLU NorCal) *This article originally appeared on the ACLU Blog on April 8, 2015.  ICE should think twice before exposing immigrants to valley fever Immigration detention centers are notorious for extreme isolation and inhumane conditions, especially detention centers run by private corporations. So we were more […]

FBI Ordered to Disclose its Surveillance Tactics on Communities

March 24, 2015

Co-authored by Nasrina Bargzie (National Security & Civil Rights) and Julia Harumi Mass (ACLU) Today, a federal district court in San Francisco issued an important ruling for government transparency and accountability. Judge Richard Seeborg disallowed the FBI’s attempt to use a “law enforcement exemption” in the Freedom of Information Act to shield from public disclosure […]

ICE, What Part of Unconstitutional Do You Not Understand?

March 20, 2015

Co-authored by Angela Chan (Criminal Justice Reform) and Jon Rodney (CIPC) *This article originally appeared on the Huffington Post on March 20, 2015. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has a new director, Sarah Saldaña, but she made it apparent on Thursday that the agency is stuck making the same old mistakes. As she testified before […]

America Never Abolished Slavery

March 2, 2015

Co-authored by Angela Chan (Criminal Justice Reform), Anoop Prasad (Immigrant Rights), and Winnie Kao (Workers’ Rights) *This article originially appeared on the Huffington Post on March 2, 2015. This past Black History Month, millions of students were told the story of how America abolished slavery 150 years ago with ratification of the 13th Amendment. The story […]

Moving Forward From Torture: Lessons Learned from “Human Dignity” Event

February 26, 2015

By Reem Suleiman, Community Advocate National Security & Civil Rights  The government of Poland has recently announced it will comply with an order from the European Court of Human Rights to answer for its complicity in the CIA’s illegal rendition, torture, and detention programs by paying compensation to the victims. Yet, the U.S. has failed […]

Heading to the Supreme Court This Valentine’s Day

February 17, 2015

By Chris Punongbayan, Executive Director *This article originially appeared on the Huffington Post on February 14, 2015.  Valentine’s Day takes on a special meaning at the Supreme Court this year. The first case on the docket delves straight into the matter of love and rights. Specifically, the Court is asked whether a U.S. citizen can be […]

Safe San Francisco Civil Rights Ordinance: Third Year Report

February 11, 2015

By Nasrina Bargzie, Senior Staff Attorney National Security & Civil Rights  It has been three years since Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian community members joined forces with 79 civil rights and community organizations to pass the Safe San Francisco Civil Rights Ordinance in June 2012. The Ordinance requires San Francisco police officers who […]

Records Show Customs Officers Send Traveler Reading Habits to FBI

January 13, 2015

By Yaman Salahi, Staff Attorney National Security & Civil Rights The routine is familiar. Your international flight lands in the United States.You are finally home. You grab your luggage and proceed through customs. “Where did you travel? Was it business or pleasure? Welcome home.” For the vast majority of travelers, that’s it. But over 5 […]

Suspicious Activity Reports Go to Court

January 9, 2015

By Nasrina Bargzie, Senior Staff Attorney National Security & Civil Rights  Yesterday a federal judge in the Northern District of California held a hearing to determine whether our lawsuit challenging the U.S. government’s domestic surveillance program called Suspicious Activity Reporting could proceed. The American Civil Liberties Union and Asian Law Caucus are representing five men […]

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