Linh’s Story: An American Success Story Made Possible by Family-Based Immigration

by Linh Chuong. This post originally appeared on the SEARAC blog.

In 1986, my dad was forced to flee Vietnam because of persecution. He came to the United States as a refugee and was relocated to Oakland along with my three older brothers. As a child, I remained in Vietnam with my mother and three siblings, and my father filed paperwork to bring the rest of my family to the United States so we could be together again. We spent almost a decade apart before we were reunited as a family in East Oakland eight years later.

Our first.... Read More

             

Health Needs of Older Rural Immigrants Often Overlooked

by Beth Baker. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.

Micaela Rios, 64, who immigrated to rural western Kansas from Mexico 20 years ago, has a difficult job in a meatpacking plant. After years of packing beef in cold, wet conditions, she developed arthritis and high blood pressure. When she was 60, she had a heart attack.

Many immigrants and refugees work alongside her, some of them older than she, Rios said. Despite the arduous work, she feels lucky that the job comes with health insurance. She hopes to retire once Medicare kicks in.

“One reason she hasn’t retired is because of her health insurance,” said her daughter, Karla Davila, who acted as her mother’s interpreter for this interview..... Read More

             

Southeast Asian Americans Speak Out to Protect Affordable Healthcare

For many Southeast Asian Americans, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal fight last year felt personal.

When the ACA was first passed, uninsured rates in Cambodian, Hmong, Lao, and Vietnamese American communities were high. Compared to the 15% of Americans overall who did not have health insurance in 2011, 20% of Cambodian, 20% of Vietnamese, 19% of Laotian, and 16% of Hmong Americans were uninsured. Too many families used emergency rooms as last-resort healthcare providers or went for years without regular check-ups.

Only four years later in 2015, the uninsured rate was cut in half. Thousands of families were finally accessing the preventative and life-saving care that they needed. Some accessed care through the healthcare exchange, supported by subsidies to.... Read More

             

Hmong Elders and Depression

By Alice Daniel. This article originally appeared on txhaub.com.

When Yong Yang Xiong arrived in Fresno, California fourteen years ago at the age of 53, he really wanted to find a job. But he couldn’t speak English–and employers told him he was too old. On top of that, he was suffering from chronic physical pain.

“As a petite man, I was given very heavy loads to carry for days and nights,” he said, referring to the six long years he had spent helping the CIA fight its secret war in Laos.

When the war ended, he fled on foot to a refugee camp in Thailand where he spent the next 26 years. He and his family didn’t.... Read More

             

Stop the Inhumane Prison Transfer of Manuel Syphanh Khiobouakham

by Phat McGlothlin. This post originally appeared on the Asian Prisoner Support Committee.

Stop the inhumane prison transfer of my son.

My name is Phat McGlothlin. I am the mother of Manuel Syphanh Khiobouakham, who is currently serving a 7-year state prison sentence.

About two months ago, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) transferred my son from Vacaville, California to Eloy, Arizona — ripping apart my family’s connection to my son.

I was born in a refugee camp in Thailand during the aftermath of the American War in Vietnam and the Secret War in Laos. During the Secret War, Laos was bombed more heavily than any other country in history: nearly one ton of bombs were.... Read More

             

New Partnership Working to Strengthen Aging in AAPI Communities

The National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA) is pleased to introduce and welcome you to our newly established Affiliate Network (AFN)! The AFN is a partnership between NAPCA and organizations that serve Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) older adults and their families. This newly-formed network is aimed at strengthening the mutual delivery of services to preserve and promote the dignity, well-being, and quality of life of AAPI older adults as they age.

Through the operation of the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) training for older adults, NAPCA has developed partnerships with over 400 community based-organizations in seven states. The AFN will solidify that partnership and expand to include organizations that provide.... Read More

             

Aggressive Deportation Policies Tear Family Caregivers Away From the Elders Who Depend on Them

Aggressive deportation policies, like those that have been enacted since Trump’s inauguration, tear families apart — including elders and the family caregivers they depend upon. Since 1980, the share of households headed by an immigrant has doubled (from 7% to 14% in 2012). In 2009, 16% of households headed by an immigrant were multi-generational, compared with 10% of households with a U.S.-born head. Many immigrant and refugee elders depend on their grown children for support for daily tasks, emotional support, or even fulltime caretaking. In Cambodian refugee communities, nearly two-thirds of older adults have been found to suffer from PTSD, and nearly all of those who survived.... Read More

             

Community Healing and Intergenerational Support: An Interview with Nkauj Iab Yang of SEARAC

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, and we want to use this opportunity to highlight some of the amazing work that our member organizations are doing on behalf of AAPI elders. We spoke with Nkauj Iab Yang, the California Director of Policy and Programs at the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC). When Nkauj Iab was hired in 2016, she wrote a beautiful blog post about her family and her heritage. Now, we talk with Nkauj Iab about her work with SEARAC and some of the challenges facing AAPI older adults today.

What is your role with SEARAC?
My title is the California.... Read More

             

TAKE ACTION: Tell the Office of Budget and Management that Diverse Elders Need Disaggregated Data!

Did you know? Federal agencies (like those that administer education, housing, and employment programs, just to name a few) are NOT required to count detailed data for diverse communities. Instead of asking whether an elder identifies as “Cambodian,” “Vietnamese,” or “Marshallese,” they simply ask whether a person is “Asian.” People who are Puerto Rican, Mexican, or Brazilian are all lumped together as “Latino.” And agencies are not required to ask ANY questions about sexual orientation or gender identity — and efforts are even underway to remove those questions from federal surveys that do ask for that information. This means our communities remain misrepresented, left out of policy and program decisions, and under-funded.

But the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center.... Read More

             
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