Asian American Legal Defense Fund

AALDEF represents the individuals and community groups most directly affected by racial and economic injustice: immigrants, the working poor and people who do not yet speak English. From Chinese delivery workers in New York and Nepalese domestic workers in New Jersey to young Vietnamese Americans in Louisiana and Bangladeshi voters in Michigan, AALDEF serves the legal needs of various Asian-American groups. AALDEF`s anti-trafficking initiative, launched in October 2005, provides free legal representation to women and youth workers. In addition to the protections that exist for all workers in the United States, federal and state laws protect and support survivors of human trafficking. According to the German government, hundreds of thousands of victims are trafficked across international borders each year, and tens of thousands are currently being deported to the United States. Up to a third of these individuals – the largest group – come from Asia and the Pacific Islands. In 1974, a small group of lawyers, activists, and students came together in Lower Manhattan to form a new organization focused on the legal needs of the Asian-American community. AALDEF was the first Southeast Coast nonprofit organization specifically focused on advocating for the civil rights of the Asian-American community. In 2016, AALDEF won its legal challenge against a Texas election law that requires interpreters to be registered voters in the county where they provide language support. The Federal Court of Appeal of 5. The district confirmed that the state law violated the Voting Rights Act. AALDEF represented the Greater Houston OCA and Mallika Das, an Indian-American voter who died of cancer before the judge`s decision. His son Saurabh said he was proud that his case could help many other voters in the future.

In 2005, AALDEF launched its Anti-Trafficking Initiative to provide legal assistance to Asian women and girls who have survived human trafficking. In a 2009 case, AALDEF represented a Filipino woman who sued her employer, a consular official, when she was forced to work as a domestic worker for $100 a month and was prevented from leaving the residence. [10] She overcame the defence of her employer`s diplomatic immunity against her allegations of human trafficking, involuntary servitude and forced labour,[11] and the case was resolved. AALDEF has negotiated several precedents on behalf of low-wage Asian immigrants, earning millions of dollars in retrospective wages and overtime pay owed to these workers in the restaurant industry[15][16] and the nail salon industry. [17] [18] Working in multiracial coalitions, AALDEF introduced Asian-American perspectives into political debates and organized campaigns to end hate violence, police misconduct, and human trafficking. After the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, AALDEF defended the civil liberties of South Asians, Arabs, Jews, Iranians and Muslims, who were targeted for racial and ethnic profiling. AALDEF has worked with grassroots groups to promote educational justice and youth rights, and to ensure that Asian Americans have a greater voice in the political process. AALDEF has trained hundreds of young lawyers and students through its internship programs and has encouraged Asian Americans to use their legal skills to serve the community. AALDEF was pleased to host its first summer cocktail in two years since the pandemic first disrupted face-to-face events.

The AALDEF 2022 summer cocktail took place on June 27, 2022 at 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar in New York City. We were thrilled to welcome hundreds of Asian-American lawyers, professionals, students, and community attorneys to our latest fundraiser to support AALDEF`s legal and educational programs. Read more › After the 11th. In September 2001, just eight blocks from the World Trade Center, AALDEF held a series of emergency meetings with advocates in Chinatown and Lower Manhattan to begin the reconstruction process and address environmental health. Housing and employment problems for displaced residents and workers. As part of the Beyond Ground Zero network, AALDEF helped establish a free clinic at Bellevue Hospital to treat residents and workers with 9/11-related health conditions. AALDEF has also defended the rights of South Asians, Arabs, Jews, Iranians and Muslims imprisoned without criminal charges or evidence of wrongdoing. AALDEF challenged the unfair enforcement of immigration laws after 9/11 and advised hundreds of immigrants who were about to be deported to legal clinics. Early efforts by the AALDEF advocacy group include: calling for the hiring of Chinese-American construction workers at Confucius Plaza in Manhattan`s Chinatown and conducting a campaign to stop the deportation of Filipino doctors recruited to fill the shortage of medical personnel in the United States.

AALDEF`s volunteer lawyers represented Chinese Americans arrested during a protest against police brutality in Manhattan`s Chinatown and joined a rally in support of an innocent passerby, Peter Yew, who was beaten by police after complaining about their mishandling of a minor traffic accident. In 1977, AALDEF organized free legal counseling clinics at Hamilton-Madison House, the Korean Senior Citizens Society, and other community organizations in New York City. In a first affirmative action case, AALDEF intervened on behalf of the Asian American Law Students Association at Doherty v. Rutgers Law School and defended the inclusion of Asian Americans in minority admission programs in a lawsuit filed by a rejected white law school candidate. AALDEF also submitted an amicus letter to the U.S. Supreme Court in Fullilove v. Kreps, supporting the set-aside of minority companies, including Asian-American companies. Dear friend, you are invited to a roundtable discussion on hate crimes and incidents against members of the Asian American and Pacific Island (AAPI) community. Hate crimes raise a variety of legal, ethical, linguistic and cultural issues for lawyers to decide if, how and to what extent they should engage. This Continuing Legal Education (CLE) program, the first of its kind in the country, brings together experts in AAPI history, legal history, criminal law, advocacy for AAPI communities and . In 1993, when the cargo ship Golden Venture ran aground in Far Rockaway, Queens, AALDEF was among the first legal groups to gain access to the Varick Street prison camp, where hundreds of Chinese nationals were being held.

[5] AALDEF then represented Chinese immigrants seeking political asylum. [6] AALDEF employs 14 people, including six lawyers. The organization works with more than 300 volunteers, including pro bono lawyers, community workers and students. AALDEF receives financial support from foundations, companies, individual contributions and special fundraising events. AALDEF does not receive any funding from the State. In 1985, the North Star Fund awarded AALDEF the Frederick Douglass Award for „outstanding contributions to the struggle for political, social and economic justice.” In 2012, AALDEF intervened in a challenge to the New York Congressional plan to redivide electoral districts. Through joint efforts with other civil rights groups, AALDEF developed a unified map that was adopted by the Federal Court to provide equitable representation of the growing Asian-American population in Queens. This redistribution plan led to the election of Grace Meng, the first Asian American woman to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in New York. At the local level, AALDEF represented Dr.

Kaushal Sharan, one of many South Asians attacked in Jersey City by a hate group called „Dotbusters.” Although federal civil rights charges against his attackers were dropped,[3] AALDEF later worked to pass a hate crime law in New Jersey and testified before the United States. House Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights on the Rise of Anti-Asian Violence.