North Carolina has one of the fastest growing immigrant communities in the nation. The current administration’s threat to end birthright citizenship fans animosity toward Latinx, Asian American and other immigrant communities here and nationwide, and it risks the safety and security of our families, neighbors and friends.
As a coalition of Latinx and AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) community organizations, El Pueblo, N.C. Asian Americans Together (NCAAT) and the Southeast Asian Coalition (SEAC) tirelessly work for the inclusion and representation of immigrant communities in our government. The coalition partners have consistently and historically held free citizenship fairs, voter registration drives and get out the vote efforts in communities across the state.
Collectively we and other immigrant-led groups in North Carolina will not be discouraged by the current administration’s disregard for immigrants and reaffirm our commitment to the visibility, representation and safety of our communities.
Through grassroots mobilization, we ensure that we protect our communities, that they are heard at the ballot box, and that our communities’ votes count. Birthright citizenship is among the long-held values of the United States, meant to empower disenfranchised groups by coming out of the shadows and gaining a seat at the table in government representation.
“There is no constitutional basis for what the president is threatening to do,” said Angeline Echeverría, Executive Director at El Pueblo. “The fact that he is declaring this at the same time that he is ordering troops to the US-Mexico border to block asylum-seekers is another sign that he is continuing to push his racist agenda which must be condemned by anyone who supports equity and opportunity.”
The Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment has a particular resonance for the Asian American community, as determined through an 1898 U.S. Supreme Court case, U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark.
In that case, the high court held that that the son of a Chinese national — who was forbidden under the Chinese Exclusion Act from ever becoming a U.S. citizen — should not be deprived citizenship because of his parents’ immigration status. The Court ruled that every child is born with the same rights as every other U.S. citizen, and this has been the law of the land for more than a century.
“Naturalization and citizenship is only one step toward full representation and acknowledgement of our communities,” said Chavi Khanna Koneru, Executive Director of NCAAT. “The administration’s unconstitutional threat at stripping citizenship from infants shows how important it is for our communities to be heard through the electoral process.”
With only one week left before Election Day, our community organizations are focusing attention on getting our communities out to the polls through phonebanks and door-to-door canvasses. Despite the administration’s distracting and unlawful proposal, the coalition will continue to advocate for and empower our communities toward a more equitable future where every individual has access to the safety and opportunity that they deserve, regardless of background, ethnicity or immigration status.
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El Pueblo is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Raleigh, N.C., specializing in leadership development for both youth and adults among Wake County’s growing Latinx community. For more information visit www.elpueblo.org.
Contact: William Saenz, Communications Coordinator; 335-430-8917; email@example.com
North Carolina Asian Americans Together (NCAAT) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization committed to supporting equity and justice for all by fostering community among AAPIs and allies in North Carolina through civic engagement, leadership development, grassroots mobilization and political participation. For more information, visit www.ncaatogether.org.
Contact: Ricky Leung, Communications Director; 919-695-7187; firstname.lastname@example.org
The Southeast Asian Coalition (SEAC) cultivates grassroots power through community engagement, social justice, and youth organizing. SEAC exists to reinforce and uphold integrity, empowerment, inclusion, tradition, leadership, and critical consciousness at the grassroots level.
Contact: Cat Bao Le, Executive Director, 704-261-3218; email@example.com