Blog / Opinion


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 […]

Free Speech is a Hallmark of “Civil” Society: UC Davis New Expression Policy Looks Promising

December 2, 2014

By Yaman Salahi, Staff Attorney National Security & Civil Rights  When politicians or powerful interests slander critics of government policies with crude epithets like “anti-American” or “pro-terrorist,” it can be much harder for folks to summon the courage to speak up. For years, the Asian Law Caucus has received complaints from students and academics describing […]

Criminalizing the Next Generation: A Report Back from #FergusonOctober on How Young People are Leading the Way

October 23, 2014

By Tejal Mankad, Communications Associate  Yesterday, October 22nd, marked the 19th Anniversary of the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and Criminalization. Throughout the country, actions took place to demonstrate resistance to police violence. Earlier this month, I traveled to Ferguson, MO as part of a National Weekend of Resistance that brought […]

A Father’s Perspective on the Humanitarian Border Crisis

September 23, 2014

By Chris Punongbayan, Executive Director  *This article originially appeared on the Huffington Post on September 18, 2014.  I’m a dad and I was shocked this week to read a news story about the five children who had been deported back to Honduras who were later targeted and killed by local gangs, specifically because they were children. What […]

America’s Racial Border

July 30, 2014

By Anoop Prasad, Senior Staff Attorney Immigrant Rights  In the past few months, over 57,000 refugee children from Central America have fled gang violence in search of protection at the United States-Mexico border. Politicians have argued over what is causing the children to flee – coyotes smuggling the children, irresponsible parents, ineffective governments, or the Obama […]

Lawsuit challenges Suspicious Activity Reporting’s surveillance, racial and religious profiling of innocent Americans

July 10, 2014

Today, Advancing Justice-ALC filed a federal lawsuit to challenge a domestic surveillance program called Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) with the ACLU and Bingham McCutchen LLP. The SAR program turns local police departments and even private citizens into the “eyes and ears” of the federal government by encouraging them to report supposedly “suspicious” activities to local fusion centers, which investigate the reports and determine whether to share them with law enforcement agencies around the country.

Why We Need to Keep Yuri’s Legacy Alive

June 24, 2014

By Chris Punongbayan, Executive Director  *This article originially appeared on the Huffington Post on June 23, 2014.  Civil rights hero Yuri Kochiyama recently passed away at 93 years old. She came to my college campus in 1995 in Providence, Rhode Island and keynoted our Asian American Pacific Islander History Month celebrations. Having grown up in […]

Why are Social Media Giants Partnering with Fusion Centers?

May 13, 2014

By Yaman Salahi, National Security & Civil Rights Staff Attorney  Tech companies have had a testy relationship with San Francisco this year on issues ranging from gentrification to public transit. But it still comes as a surprise that Twitter will be lending its downtown offices to San Francisco’s local “fusion center” this Wednesday, May 14, […]

Who Should We Deport? No One.

March 27, 2014

  By Anoop Prasad, Immigrant Rights Staff Attorney I know it sounds unreasonable to say that we should stop all deportations when ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) is deporting 400,000 people a year.  Over the past decade, I’ve talked to thousands of people being deported. I have yet to ever walk away thinking that we’re a better […]

This Grandfather Was Saved From Deportation. Most Aren’t So Lucky.

January 22, 2014

  By Anoop Prasad, Immigrant Rights Staff Attorney For ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), they are priority targets – criminal and fugitive aliens.  For Aliti Viriviri, nine years old, they are nana and tata (grandma and grandpa).  As calls grow louder for President Obama to reign in immigration enforcement, the Viriviri family’s experience shows what […]

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