Officer Wenjian Liu emerges an Asian American hero, gunned down with cop partner in New York City

NYPD Officer Wenjain Liu

NYPD Officer Wenjian Liu

I can’t help but feel for NYPD Officer Wenjian Liu, 32,  and his partner, Officer  Rafael Ramos, 40, gunned down on Saturday in Brooklyn as they sat in a squad car.

The shooter was a man who dared to invoke the names of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.

This was a blasphemy to the memory of those two men. The gunman, who eventually took his own life, took the names of Garner and Brown in vain.

But he only confused the situation by shooting Liu and Ramos.

It does, however, clarify  an important point and hopefully can inform the misguided.

When people have protested the deaths of Garner and Brown, they weren’t anti-cop. They were anti-senseless gun violence.

In fact, they were pro-justice, pro-community, pro-humanity.

The senseless killings of Officers Liu and Ramos were not pro-justice, pro-community, pro humanity.

No one is anti-cop. We’re anti-bad police work.

As an Asian American of Filipino descent, I feel for Wenjian Liu, his wife, his family and his fallen partner Rafael Ramos.

We talk about the need for diversity in law enforcement.

We need it on the other side of the equation too–on the officer side.

The gunman couldn’t have picked a more diverse team of cops in the NYPD.  Liu, a seven-year veteran. Ramos, a two year vet. Both sitting in their car, without even a chance to defend themselves.

This from the New York Times:

Officer Liu, whose family comes from Taishan, in Guangdong Province, China, attended the College of Staten Island and Kingsborough Community College. He was an auxiliary officer before becoming a police officer in 2007.

Bin Fin Liang, 56, said Officer Liu would drop by his restaurant supply shop on the way home from the Police Academy. Mr. Liang asked him why he wanted to be an officer.

“I know that being a cop is dangerous but I must do it,” Officer Liu replied, his friend said. “If I don’t do it and you don’t do it, then who is going to do it?”

Mr. Liang, who often takes the Manhattan Bridge to work, said that he would see Officer Liu on patrol at the foot of the bridge on the Brooklyn side.

A family friend, Dr. Jonathan Chang, 55, emerged from the house and said the widow was in bed, inconsolable. Officer Liu’s parents had not eaten yet, and it was already late in the afternoon. The officer’s father irons in a garment factory. “Completely distraught,” Dr. Chang said in Mandarin. They repeated, over and over, “My son is gone.”

R.I.P. Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos.

 

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Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration? My sources say it’s about time; Updates with reaction from different Asian American groups; AALDEF statement,American Immigration Lawyers Association, and New York Immigration group’s practical view on how the action applies to real people. President still cracks down, but prioritizes hardline on “felons not families.”

This is from AALDEF 11/20/14, 5:20 pdt:

Tonight, President Obama announced his plan to provide administrative relief to certain groups of undocumented immigrants living in the United States. The following is a statement by Margaret Fung, executive director of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund:
“We welcome President Obama’s use of executive authority to provide relief from deportation to millions of undocumented immigrants and their families. The Asian American population nationwide is 19 million, and close to 1.5 million Asian immigrants are undocumented. Current deportation and detention policies have separated Asian American families, harmed low-wage workers, and created fear and mistrust of local law enforcement. With the continued failure of Congress to enact comprehensive legislation, President Obama’s action to delay the deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants is long overdue. 
In our exit poll of 4,100 Asian American voters in the 2014 midterm elections, 65% expressed their support for executive action on immigration. The measures announced tonight are an important step in the right direction, in order to ensure that the enforcement of U.S. immigration laws adheres to human rights principles and reflects American values of fairness and family unity.
The omission of large numbers of undocumented immigrants with strong ties to the U.S., such as the parents of immigrants who have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), is disappointing. AALDEF will continue to support organizing and advocacy efforts that seek long-term solutions to our unworkable immigration policies. Such actions will pave the way for Asian immigrants and their families to gain a pathway to citizenship, contribute more fully to their communities and to our country as a whole, and protect the rights of all Americans, both native-born and immigrants.”

Update: 11/20/14  5pm pdt

This from a Memo from the American Immigration Lawyers Association:

Based on a briefing on 11/20/14 by the White House, the following is a summary of the elements expected to be part of the Administration’s announcement of executive actions on immigration. Our understanding is that details (and memos) are still being worked on at this time. Many items are still unclear, and the merits of many may not be known until the details are known. Some will require regulations, but others can be done by memo.

Here are the principal components as we currently understand them:

1. Enforcement Priorities. Many of the existing memos on enforcement priorities and prosecutorial discretion will be replaced by a new memo that will name three enforcement priorities, which will be operational immediately:

1. Suspected terrorists, convicted felons (including aggravated felonies), convicted gang members, and people apprehended on the border;

2. People convicted of serious or multiple misdemeanors, and very recent entrants (i.e., those who entered after 1/1/14);

3. Those who, after 1/1/14, failed to leave under a removal order or returned after removal.

 

The memo will contain “strong language” on using prosecutorial discretion appropriately. While most other memos on the subject will be rescinded, the victims of crime memo and the USCIS memo on issuance of NTAs will stand.

2. Border Security. The Secretary of DHS will announce a South Border “command and control” campaign to coordinate and better use resources at the border.

 

3. State and Local. Secure Communities will be discontinued and replaced by a Priority Enforcement Program (PEP). What it means that Secure Communities will be discontinued is unclear. Unclear if they will stop fingerprinting people and unplug the technology and interoperability of the federal and local databases. Detainers will be discontinued for all except national security cases. Instead of detainers, there will be a request for notification when a law enforcement entity is about to release a convicted criminal.

 

4. Nothing on family detention will be included in this package.

 

5. No changes to Operation Streamline which targets immigration entry and reentry for federal prosecution.

 

6. Two deferred action initiatives that combined are estimated to benefit 4.4 million:

 

a. Deferred Action for Parents (DAP). Parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (of any age) who have been continuously present since 1/1/10, and who pass background checks and pay taxes, will be eligible to apply for deferred action, which will

 

 

be granted for a 3-year period. The plan is to stand this up within 180 days (for applications to be accepted). Note that parents of DACA recipients are not eligible.

 

b. Expansion of DACA. DACA will be revised to get rid of the age cap, and to change the date that continuous presence must have started to 1/1/10. It also will be granted for 3 years (including those with pending renewal applications). Ready in 90 days.

 

7. Pending Proceedings. There will be a review of cases currently under proceedings to see who is prima facie eligible for the relief stated in this program, and those cases will be closed.

 

8. Immigration Court Reforms. There will be a package of immigration court reforms that will include qualification of accredited representatives and ineffective assistance of counsel issues.

 

9. U/T Visas. Three more types of offenses will be added to the list of offenses for which DOL can certify for U status. No specifics were available regarding which offenses will be added. T visa eligibility may also come into play with respect to DOL.

 

10. Worksite Enforcement. DOL will coordinate with other agencies regarding worksite enforcement activities.

 

11. Foreign Entrepreneurs. Certain investors will be able to be paroled into the U.S., or be granted parole in place if already in the United States, for job creation (no further details at this time). This will be done by regulation. Also, entrepreneurs, researchers, inventors, and founders will be eligible for national interest waivers. This will be implemented through policy guidance.

 

12. Timing of Filing for Adjustment of Status. The ability of individuals with an approved employment-based immigrant petition who are caught in the quota backlogs to file for adjustment of status will be advanced to permit them to obtain the benefits of a pending adjustment. This is expected to impact about 410,000 people. This will be done by regulation.

 

13. AC21. “Same or similar” will be clarified.

 

14. L-1B. The guidance will be released.

 

15. H-4 EADs. The regulation will be finalized, probably in December or January.

 

16. OPT. The length of time in OPT for STEM graduates will be expanded and the relationship between the student and the school will be strengthened for this period. Other changes, such as allowing STEM OPT post-master’s degree where only the first degree is in a STEM field is under consideration. This will be done by regulation.

 

17. PERM. A full rulemaking will be undertaken to modernize the PERM program.

 

18. I-601a Waivers. The provisional waiver will be expanded to include spouses and children of LPRs. The definition of extreme hardship will be expanded and clarified.

 

19. Advance Parole. There will be a new advance parole memo that will address the issues raised in Matter of Arrabally-Yerrabelly and make clear that CBP should honor the advance paroles issued by USCIS.

 

20. Parole in Place. PIP will be expanded to include families of individuals trying to enlist in the armed forces.

 

21. Visa Modernization. There will be a Presidential Memorandum directing the agencies to look at modernizing the visa system, with a view to making optimal use of the numbers of visa available under law. Issues such as whether derivatives should be counted and whether past unused visa numbers can be recaptured will be included in this effort.

 

22. Integration. A second Presidential Memorandum will set up a Task Force on New Americans.

 

Updated:

11/20/14

Here are some details on the President’s Plan to be released tonight from the New York State Immigration Action Fund:

5 Things to know about how President Obama’s Actions Impacts Undocumented Immigrants

The President’s Immigration Accountability Executive Actions are an important step to fix our broken immigration system. Millions of undocumented immigrants who live in the shadows but want to play by the rules and pay taxes have no way to correct their immigration status under the law. That’s why the President is taking
immediate action to fix as much of the problem as he can while continuing to work with Congress to pass a comprehensive, bipartisan immigration reform bill.

The President has been clear that he can’t fix the immigration system entirely on his own; whatever action he takes will not be a substitute for long lasting solutions that only comprehensive immigration legislation can provide. Here are the 5 things that you should know about the President’s initiatives impacting
undocumented immigrants in the US:

1. You must meet strict requirements to qualify for relief from deportation

Eligible immigrants will have the opportunity to request temporary relief from deportation and work authorization if they come forward and pass criminal and national security background checks, pay their taxes, pay a fee, and show that they are:

· A parent of US citizens or lawful permanent residents on the date of the announcement, are not enforcement priorities and have been in the US since January 1, 2010, or

· An individual who arrived in the US before turning 16 years old and before January 1, 2010, regardless of how old they are today

Additionally, we are reducing the time that families are separated while obtaining their green cards.

Undocumented immigrants who are immediate relatives of lawful permanent residents or sons or daughters of US citizens can apply to get a waiver if a visa is available. Learn more here

2. You Cannot Apply for Several Months

The U.S. government  and specifically USCIS – will not begin accepting applications until early 2015. While the government is not accepting applications now, if you believe you are eligible for one or more of the initiatives, you can prepare by gathering documents that establish your identity, relationship to a US citizen or lawful permanent resident and show that you have continuously lived in the US for 5 years or more.
3. Recent Border Crossers will be a Priority for Deportation

You must have been in the US for at least 5 years to qualify for these programs. These executive actions will not benefit immigrants who recently crossed the border (defined as those who entered the country after January 1, 2014), who may cross the border in the future, or who help those who cross in the future, but rather immigrants who have been living in the United States for years.

The President’s actions increase the chances that anyone attempting to cross the border illegally today will be caught and then sent back

4. If you commit fraud you will not qualify

USCIS will review each case very carefully. As with other immigration requests, knowingly misrepresenting or failing to disclose facts will subject applicants to criminal prosecution and possible removal from the United States.

5. Beware of Immigration Scams

Many people offer help with immigration services. Unfortunately, not all are authorized to do so. While many of these unauthorized practitioners mean well, all too many of them are out to rip you off.

Make sure you remain informed and know when the application process starts. www.uscis.gov will be the authoritative source of information about eligibility and applications going forward.

 

Eligible immigrants will have the opportunity to request temporary relief from deportation and work authorization if they come forward and pass criminal and national security background checks, pay their taxes, pay a fee, and show that they are:

· A parent of US citizens or lawful permanent residents on the date of the announcement, are not enforcement priorities and have been in the US since January 1, 2010, or

· An individual who arrived in the US before turning 16 years old and before January 1, 2010, regardless of how old they are today

Additionally, we are reducing the time that families are separated while obtaining their green cards.

Undocumented immigrants who are immediate relatives of lawful permanent residents or sons or daughters of US citizens can apply to get a waiver if a visa is available. Learn more here

2. You Cannot Apply for Several Months

The U.S. government  and specifically USCIS – will not begin accepting applications until early 2015. While the government is not accepting applications now, if you believe you are eligible for one or more of the initiatives, you can prepare by gathering documents that establish your identity, relationship to a US citizen or lawful permanent resident and show that you have continuously lived in the US for 5 years or more.
3. Recent Border Crossers will be a Priority for Deportation

You must have been in the US for at least 5 years to qualify for these programs. These executive actions will not benefit immigrants who recently crossed the border (defined as those who entered the country after January 1, 2014), who may cross the border in the future, or who help those who cross in the future, but rather immigrants who have been living in the United States for years.

The President’s actions increase the chances that anyone attempting to cross the border illegally today will be caught and then sent back

4. If you commit fraud you will not qualify

USCIS will review each case very carefully. As with other immigration requests, knowingly misrepresenting or failing to disclose facts will subject applicants to criminal prosecution and possible removal from the United States.

5. Beware of Immigration Scams

Many people offer help with immigration services. Unfortunately, not all are authorized to do so. While many of these unauthorized practitioners mean well, all too many of them are out to rip you off.

Make sure you remain informed and know when the application process starts. www.uscis.gov will be the authoritative source of information about eligibility and applications going forward. Subscribe to get more updates.

- See more at: http://nysiaf.org/2014/11/20/complete-details-of-obama-executive-order-now-available/#sthash.PmkoKpHN.dpuf

Eligible immigrants will have the opportunity to request temporary relief from deportation and work authorization if they come forward and pass criminal and national security background checks, pay their taxes, pay a fee, and show that they are:

· A parent of US citizens or lawful permanent residents on the date of the announcement, are not enforcement priorities and have been in the US since January 1, 2010, or

· An individual who arrived in the US before turning 16 years old and before January 1, 2010, regardless of how old they are today

Additionally, we are reducing the time that families are separated while obtaining their green cards.

Undocumented immigrants who are immediate relatives of lawful permanent residents or sons or daughters of US citizens can apply to get a waiver if a visa is available. Learn more here

2. You Cannot Apply for Several Months

The U.S. government  and specifically USCIS – will not begin accepting applications until early 2015. While the government is not accepting applications now, if you believe you are eligible for one or more of the initiatives, you can prepare by gathering documents that establish your identity, relationship to a US citizen or lawful permanent resident and show that you have continuously lived in the US for 5 years or more.
3. Recent Border Crossers will be a Priority for Deportation

You must have been in the US for at least 5 years to qualify for these programs. These executive actions will not benefit immigrants who recently crossed the border (defined as those who entered the country after January 1, 2014), who may cross the border in the future, or who help those who cross in the future, but rather immigrants who have been living in the United States for years.

The President’s actions increase the chances that anyone attempting to cross the border illegally today will be caught and then sent back

4. If you commit fraud you will not qualify

USCIS will review each case very carefully. As with other immigration requests, knowingly misrepresenting or failing to disclose facts will subject applicants to criminal prosecution and possible removal from the United States.

5. Beware of Immigration Scams

Many people offer help with immigration services. Unfortunately, not all are authorized to do so. While many of these unauthorized practitioners mean well, all too many of them are out to rip you off.

Make sure you remain informed and know when the application process starts. www.uscis.gov will be the authoritative source of information about eligibility and applications going forward. Subscribe to get more updates.

- See more at: http://nysiaf.org/2014/11/20/complete-details-of-obama-executive-order-now-available/#sthash.PmkoKpHN.dpuf

5 Things to know about how President Obama’s Actions Impacts Undocumented Immigrants

The President’s Immigration Accountability Executive Actions are an important step to fix our broken immigration system. Millions of undocumented immigrants who live in the shadows but want to play by the rules and pay taxes have no way to correct their immigration status under the law. That’s why the President is taking
immediate action to fix as much of the problem as he can while continuing to work with Congress to pass a comprehensive, bipartisan immigration reform bill.

The President has been clear that he can’t fix the immigration system entirely on his own; whatever action he takes will not be a substitute for long lasting solutions that only comprehensive immigration legislation can provide. Here are the 5 things that you should know about the President’s initiatives impacting
undocumented immigrants in the US:

1. You must meet strict requirements to qualify for relief from deportation

Eligible immigrants will have the opportunity to request temporary relief from deportation and work authorization if they come forward and pass criminal and national security background checks, pay their taxes, pay a fee, and show that they are:

· A parent of US citizens or lawful permanent residents on the date of the announcement, are not enforcement priorities and have been in the US since January 1, 2010, or

· An individual who arrived in the US before turning 16 years old and before January 1, 2010, regardless of how old they are today

Additionally, we are reducing the time that families are separated while obtaining their green cards.

Undocumented immigrants who are immediate relatives of lawful permanent residents or sons or daughters of US citizens can apply to get a waiver if a visa is available. Learn more here

2. You Cannot Apply for Several Months

The U.S. government  and specifically USCIS – will not begin accepting applications until early 2015. While the government is not accepting applications now, if you believe you are eligible for one or more of the initiatives, you can prepare by gathering documents that establish your identity, relationship to a US citizen or lawful permanent resident and show that you have continuously lived in the US for 5 years or more.
3. Recent Border Crossers will be a Priority for Deportation

You must have been in the US for at least 5 years to qualify for these programs. These executive actions will not benefit immigrants who recently crossed the border (defined as those who entered the country after January 1, 2014), who may cross the border in the future, or who help those who cross in the future, but rather immigrants who have been living in the United States for years.

The President’s actions increase the chances that anyone attempting to cross the border illegally today will be caught and then sent back

4. If you commit fraud you will not qualify

USCIS will review each case very carefully. As with other immigration requests, knowingly misrepresenting or failing to disclose facts will subject applicants to criminal prosecution and possible removal from the United States.

5. Beware of Immigration Scams

Many people offer help with immigration services. Unfortunately, not all are authorized to do so. While many of these unauthorized practitioners mean well, all too many of them are out to rip you off.

Make sure you remain informed and know when the application process starts. www.uscis.gov will be the authoritative source of information about eligibility and applications going forward. Subscribe to get more updates.

- See more at: http://nysiaf.org/2014/11/20/complete-details-of-obama-executive-order-now-available/#sthash.PmkoKpHN.dpuf

11/18/14

Here’s the point to remember: Obama’s always been able to do this.  He’s delayed because I think he’s sincere in believing the GOP would give in on “other” things. But after all these years, I think Obama’s realized he can’t afford to not take some action now. Still, whatever he does is temporary. And it’s not amnesty, because that implies permanence and there’s nothing permanent in any executive action taken. It can all be undone by a new administration. But if there’s a hard line by Republicans against Obama’s actions, it’s likely to upset Latino voters, and then there won’t be a new administration that will undo Obama’s orders. Still, there’s a real Jekyll and Hyde attitude in the administration. Whatever details are in the executive action, look at the hardline attitude in the administration that has deported more than two million people. So conservatives who criticize should know that most immigration advocates I’ve talked to say something like, “It’s not much, but it’s better than nothing,” and “Why’d did it take so long?”

Check out my piece on immigration  on NBCNews.com/asianamerica

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Update: SF’s David Chiu beats David Campos in Assembly District 17; Midterm mugging: For first time in 8 years, GOP in charge. Nancy Pelosi still minority leader, but Mike Honda still in Congress.

UPDATED: In the hotly contested San Francisco Assembly District 17 race, David Chiu has issued this statement on Facebook that his opponent, David Campos, has conceded.

Close race between two colleagues that got nasty. But that’s politics.

 

Nov.5: People hate Congress, but they like their guy. How else do you describe the way Democratic Incumbent Mike Honda in CA-17 was able to beat back Ro Khanna, the disruptive Democrat who failed despite big money and endorsements.

Goes to show you, avuncular beats upstart. In politics, style counts for something.

But Honda’s victory is not enough to make Nancy Pelosi happy. She’s still in the minority, but even deeper in the hole now.

It rained at the Giants parade, and on Tuesday it poured. Two more years of political smiles.

Last week she had the Senate, now all she has is a lame duck president to lean on.

And an orange rally rag to remind her what it feels like to be a World Champion.

 

 

DSC_0664

 

 

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Midterm Elections are Democracy’s Game 7. You better #vote. I already did. Once is enough. Don’t forget. It’s the only real power you have. Don’t waste it. #Vote.

I was at the #SFGiants parade last week and saw the massive throngs of fans there. I rode on the bus with the Panda, San Francisco’s baseball idol. But what if baseball were politics? What politician would command this today?  Anybody? Or is the faith in our democracy so low, they’d be lucky to get a tenth of this kind of adulation.

Pandasays3fromthebus

 

Seeing all those people made me wonder  how many of then might actually do something in the not so distant future that’s really important– like vote in the Midterm elections.

Most people forget,  or don’t bother.  Even when they’re registered.  And the rain? Biggest vote suppressor since Jim Crow.

I started thinking this when I saw  Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at the parade. It was raining on her.

And I caught her in a moment where the exuberance of the parade had paused for a second.

And I wondered if she were thinking how when all this was over, she would have to inevitably think about Tuesday.  Or maybe she was thinking about Tuesday for a brief unguarded second.

I’ve actually talked to Nancy many times in the past. So I went up to her car by her security folks and was able to talk briefly with her.  When I asked her about the election on Tuesday she had a terse response. “We’ll see. We’re working hard on that,” she said.  And then the security guy brushed me away.

Pelosi  wasn’t sounding much like a former speaker about to regain power once the Democrats take over the House. May not be in the plans. Already, I’m hearing from insiders about the Senate. They say if the Democrats lose there, it may be a relief because then the Dems can blame the Republicans wholeheartedly.

That’s some consolation for the Dems. From half-blame to no-blame.

Like I said, wherever you are, whoever you vote for, do vote on Tuesday, Nov. 4.

Sports fans, it’s Democracy’s Game 7.

pelosirainparade

 

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