Anti-deportation rally, Andrew Yang, Asian Americans and speaking English: Your AAPI Newsletter

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Good afternoon! It is Wednesday, Oct. 9, and this is The Sacramento Bee’s AAPI weekly newsletter brought to you by yours truly.

Here’s a recap on the stories I recently covered and issues I’m following:

Around a hundred people gathered at the state Capitol on Oct. 3 to rally against the feared deportation and detention of Cambodian Americans by the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Nathaniel Tan, community organizer with the Asian Prisoner Support Committee, said the group turned out in support of keeping families together. He said Sacramento has a sizable Cambodian community, but that he hasn’t heard about raids here.

Deportations of Cambodian Americans have increased 279 percent since 2017 as a result of visa sanctions the Trump administration imposed on some Cambodian officials and families, according to an NPR report last year. Deportations of Cambodians began in 2002 after the Bush administration signed a repatriation agreement with the government of Cambodia, but stopped temporarily after the deal fell apart in 2017.

ICE spokesperson Paige Hughes told NBC News in an email that as of Sept. 21, 1,764 non-detained Cambodian nationals had a final order of removal, of whom 1,276 were convicted criminals. As of that date, there were 24 Cambodian nationals in ICE detention with a final order of removal, of whom 21 were criminal, she added. The agency had deported 80 Cambodians in the current fiscal year as of Sept. 21, and 70 were convicted criminals.

The number of native-born Americans of Asian heritage who speak only English increased by 45 percent between 2010 and 2018 in Sacramento County, according to data recently released in the U.S. census American Community Survey.

Robyn Rodriguez, professor and chair of Asian American Studies at UC Davis, noted how the aggregated statistics make it hard to reflect specific situations of ethnic subgroups. For example, the Chinese community may have more economic capital to fund Chinese language institutions. For the Filipino community, it is not unusual for them to speak English exclusively due to the colonization history of the Philippines by the U.S. and resulting law and politics conducted in English.

In other news, as Asian Americans age, many look for options that allow them to remain in their homes, NBC News reports.

The National Asian Pacific Center on Aging’s research found that 42 percent of Asian Pacific Islanders provide care to older adults, as compared to 22 percent of the general population. Many studies show that cultural traditions instruct Asian Americans to care for their older adults though many may not have the resources to choose their preferred care situation.

In 2016, 11.8 percent of Asian Americans, ages 65 and older, were at or below the poverty level. In comparison, the rate for older Americans overall was 9.3 percent, the report states.

Read Frank Shyong’s opinion article on how Andrew Yang faces his critics in the Asian American community for his jokes on the campaign trail about Asian dads and how Asians are good at math. Shyong provides a context on how white racism was essential in creating the model minority, tracing back to the shadow of World War II when the incarceration of Japanese Americans was called for after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

For Punjabi New Yorkers, applying for a driver’s license means going on a 3,000-mile westbound expedition - to California, to get over the language barrier, a Juggernaut article reports.

American truck drivers are inching towards earlier retirement, with the average age at 46. In 2017, there was a shortage of 50,700 trucking jobs, a number that is expected to grow. The median pay in the trucking industry is $43,680 per year, higher than the overall U.S. median income of $33,700. The less restrictive dress code is a plus for many Punjabis with turbans and beards, the report states.

The Atlantic’s article on how “Satellite Babies” are raised abroad, then return to the U.S. with their parents, outlines how it’s been fairly common for more than two decades for some Chinese-immigrant parents to send their American-born infants to China due to expensive child care, especially when recently immigrated parents are working long hours and without networks of friends and family to lean on.

For good stuff in Sacramento, make sure you don’t miss R. Tolteka Cuauhtin who is going to speak at UC Davis today on the topic “Save Ethnic Studies in California - The Struggle Continues.” Cuauhtin co-chaired the California AB2016 Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Advisory Committee in Sacramento.

Mark your calendars for “The Last Mile - Embracing the Contributions of Chinese Railroad Workers,” an event organized by the US-China Railroad Friendship Association at the California State Railroad Museum on Oct. 26.

Last but not least, there will be a screening of the film “Chinatown Rising” in Sacramento on Oct. 24 at 7 pm. The film is a take on the emergence of Chinese American activists in the late 1960s through the early 1980s in San Francisco. Tickets can be purchased here.

That’s it for this week’s newsletter. For tips, please send to tyu@sacbee.com. Can’t wait to hear from you. Thanks for reading!

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