by Jaya Padmanabhan. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.
Devyani Dave immigrated from India to California in 1995 in her early 60s to live near her son and his family. Her green card was sponsored by her son (who prefers not to reveal his name), a citizen who came to the U.S. in 1973. When Dave arrived to start her new life, she had no health insurance and relied on her son to support her. Now, sitting on a bench at Priya Living, a senior community facility in Santa Clara, Calif., Dave said she feels fortunate to be in close proximity to her only child, especially as she ages.
But some immigration experts say the.... Read More
New Bill Restores Due Process Protections for Immigrants with Criminal Records
Asian Americans Advancing Justice and Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) applaud the introduction of the New Way Forward Act by U.S. House Reps. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, Pramila Jayapal, Karen Bass, and Ayanna Pressley.
The New Way Forward Act advances the national conversation on immigrants with a criminal record by restoring due process protections for all immigrants, including immigrants in deportation proceedings. Key components of the bill include the below provisions:
Eliminating mandatory detention Ending deportations based for certain convictions Restoring judicial discretion for immigration judges Creating a five-year statute of limitations for deportability Establishing an opportunity to come home for certain deported individuals or non-citizens in deportation proceedings
In particular, the restoration of judicial discretion for.... Read More
Sharing our caregiving research and making new connections at GSA 2019
Last week, the Diverse Elders Coalition traveled to Austin, Texas for our first-ever Gerontological Society of America annual scientific meeting. This yearly event brings together researchers, academics, and others in the field of aging to discuss new findings and solutions for improving aging. The Diverse Elders Coalition was excited to participate in this year’s conference for several reasons: we were able to support our friends at the Journalists in Aging fellowship, we shared new research on family caregiving in diverse communities, and we had an exhibitor’s booth from which we disseminated reports, brochures, and other publications from the DEC and its members.
WASHINGTON, DC – Last week, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) held a Congressional Forum on the Rise of Southeast Asian Deportations. Members of Congress in attendance included CAPAC Chair Judy Chu (D-CA-27), CAPAC Immigration Task Force Chair Pramila Jayapal, (D-WA-7) House Judiciary Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Chair Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-19), and Reps. Ami Bera (D-CA-7), Gil Cisneros (D-CA-39), Lou Correa (D-CA-46), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA-47), Grace Meng (D-NY-6), Harley Rouda (D-CA-48), and Maxine Waters (D-CA-43).
Since 1998, more than 17,000 Southeast Asian refugees have been issued a final order of removal, but due to.... Read More
Imagine this: You live where you were born and raised for almost 30 years. You have a comfortable life with your wife, your child and your parents in your own house. You heard your neighbor hopped on the boat to America to start a business there. You hear about the American Dream: A place that you could make more money and where you could give your family a better life. You want to go, but people say how it is risky to give up your properties for a place far from home. You don’t.... Read More
The National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA) was founded 40 years ago on November 1, 1979 to address the divide between AAPI elderly and the services they were entitled to. In 40 years, NAPCA has directly served tens of thousands of AAPI elders and indirectly provided assistance to approximately 100,000 more.
To celebrate this milestone, NAPCA is releasing 40 stories of their staff, constituents, and partners to celebrate the impact that NAPCA has had on AAPI older adults across the country. This week, we highlight Li Yi Li, a participant of NAPCA’s Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). For more stories, visit https://www.napca.org/40-for-40/.
Li Yi, coming from China, shares her transition to.... Read More
Helping Older Immigrants Understand the Public Charge Rule
Right now, there are more than 1.1 million immigrants aged 62 and older who are living at or below 250% of the Federal Poverty Level. While there are thousands of public benefits programs designed to help them pay for daily needs — such as food, medicine, and health care — recent changes to the “public charge” rule have added a layer of complexity for these individuals in need.
“Public charge” or the “public charge test” is used by immigration officials to determine whether a.... Read More
Immigrant elders seek housing options to age in community
Hong Lok House means “healthy and happy” house in Cantonese, where elders can live in Chinatown for less than $500 a month on average. A full range of culturally and linguistically sensitive programs provided by management and providers make it a safe and welcoming home for elderly to age in place. Services include home care, health care and a hot meal delivered to the homes.
“There is seldom a vacancy at Hong Lok House,” said Ruth Moy, executive director of the Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center, which runs Hong Lok House. “The only time a vacancy opens up is when the elderly can no longer.... Read More
Artist Wen-ti Tsen reflects on immigration and aging
Between art shows and exhibitions, you would never know Wen-ti Tsen is 83 years old.
“Being an artist means not following a set pattern of retiring at 65; nobody ever stops working,” Tsen said. “The older you get, you think better. You have fewer distractions.”
Tsen’s portfolio includes a Chinatown mural of Chinese garment workers, with a model displayed at 38 Ash Street, the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center lobby. His “Home Town” project featured 12 figures of everyday Chinese people from the Chinese Historical Society of New England’s archives, which.... Read More
War, Trauma, and the Mental Health of Vietnam War-Era Older Adults
After the fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, many Vietnamese people fled their war-torn country for the United States in search for a better life. Thousands of Vietnamese adults, children, and families crammed onto boats and traveled to the United States leaving their belongings, loved ones, and former lives behind. These people lost everything except for their memories of the fall of Saigon, the horrors of communist re-education camps, and the atrocities of the Vietnam War. For many Vietnamese individuals, these memories may transpire psychological trauma similar to the many Vietnam War-era U.S. veterans who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that can occur after a person experiences or observes.... Read More
Hatefas’ Story: Public Assistance Allowed My Refugee Family to Dream for a Better Future
Born in Santa Ana, CA, to two Muslim refugee survivors of the Cambodian genocide, Hatefas Yop wasn’t aware of her family’s use of public services when she was a young girl. After all, her peers in her elementary school all hailed from the local neighborhood, where many immigrant and refugee families had to live in one-bedroom apartments subsidized by Section 8 housing. She didn’t understand the melancholy in an elder whom Hatefas referred to as “Grandma,” when she said her food stamps (paper at the time) weren’t ‘real money.’ “But you could use it to.... Read More
For Aging Immigrants, Food from Their Homelands Is Key to Happiness
“Do you have drumsticks?” my 85-year-old mother asks the cashier at the checkout counter at Madras Groceries in Sunnyvale, California. The woman points to a pile of long, narrow, cylindrical vegetables near the counter. A half-hour later, a quick inventory of my mother’s cart reveals drumsticks, taro roots, squash, long beans, okra, winter melons, pointed gourd, snake gourd, spices, snack packets of murukkus and a bag of brown basmati rice.
Food bought, cooked, served and eaten is collectively the barometer of my mother’s moods, which are intricately entangled with her health. When she’s bustling around the kitchen, cooking sambar, kootuor olan with squash and winter melon,.... Read More