DACA Repeal Is Harmful for Immigrant Mental Health
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 6, 2017
Contact: Kevin Nadal, Ph.D.,
President, Asian American Psychological Association
NEW YORK: The Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA) strongly condemns the repeal of Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals. With this recent decision, 800,000 DREAMers, who arrived to the U.S. as children, will no longer be protected under federal law and may be deported after 6 months. It is estimated that 16,000 young Asian Americans are currently DACA recipients, and that only about a quarter of eligible Korean (24%), Filipino (26%), and Asian Indians (28%) even applied for the program in the first two years. Thus, there are thousands of other undocumented Asian Americans who could have benefitted from this program.
AAPA recognizes that Asian Americans have experienced many discriminatory immigration laws throughout history- including the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 (which was the first ban of immigrants from any country and had permanently prevented all Chinese people from entering the US); the Asian Exclusion Act of 1924 (which limited the number of immigrants to 2% of the total number of people from that country already in the US); the Tydings-McDuffie Act of 1934 (which set a quota of 50 Filipinos per year); and the Luce–Celler Act of 1946 (which set an annual quota of 100 for Asian Indians and Filipinos). Due to anti-Asian sentiment, the Filipino Repatriation Act of 1935 provided government funding for transportation to Filipino who promised to never return to the US. However, the majority stayed because they wanted the chance to fulfill their American dreams, and the Supreme Court found the legislation to be unconstitutional.
While the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 put an end to immigration quotas, we must remember the history of immigration for Asian Americans – in order to contextualize, and empathize with, DACA recipients and other DREAMers today. Like these earlier immigrants from Asia and other countries who came without documentation, DREAMers merely want the opportunity to thrive in the land of opportunity. DACA recipients are teachers, attorneys, community organizers, health care workers, students, and more. They came to this country as children; they are just as American as those who are born in the US. While there is no logical reason to repeal this program, there are dozens of reasons of why it would be bad for our country – economic loss, dismantled families, mental health consequences for all involved, and more. These Americans should not be criminalized. They did nothing wrong. They cannot be “sent home”; the US is their home.
AAPA calls on our U.S. Congress to stop the repeal of DACA, as it threatens the mental health of undocumented families and of all immigrants in general. In his recent essay, Dr. E.J. David, an Associate Professor at the University of Alaska describes the detrimental impact of discrimination on the mental health of immigrants. He urges: “The U.S. Congress has the power to relieve at least 800,000 people and their families the burden of carrying unnecessary stress. Our elected representatives have the power to stop the stress and its many negative consequences. They have the power to stop the oppression.”
Finally to all DREAMers and other undocumented Americans, AAPA pledges to support you; stand with you; and fight with you. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. so eloquently stated, “No one is free until we are all free.”
The mission of the Asian American Psychological Association is to advance the mental health and well-being of Asian American communities through research, professional practice, education, and policy.
Asian American Journal of Psychology | June 2017 Issue
Feature Article & Table of Contents
Microaggressions and Self-Esteem in Emerging Asian American Adults: The Moderating Role of Racial Socialization
by Christina J. Thai, Heather Z. Lyons, Matthew R. Lee, and Michiko Iwasaki
AAPA would like to congratulate the authors of “Microaggressions and Self-Esteem in Emerging Asian American Adults: The Moderating Role of Racial Socialization,” which has been chosen as the Feature Article of the June 2017 issue. Below is a brief biography of the lead author, Christina J. Thai, and some reflections on this research experience. We hope that the readers of AAJP will find this Feature and the rest of the issue’s articles to be informative and of benefit to their work. The Feature Article may be downloaded for free here, and the June 2017 issue’s Table of Contents is at the end of this post.
Brief Biography of Christina J. Thai
Christina J. Thai graduated from James Madison University in 2013 with bachelor’s degrees in biology and psychology. Christina was a member of JMU’s Cultural and Racial Diversity Studies (CARDS) Lab for three years. As a research assistant, she worked on several projects, including one examining the relationship between Asian Americans’ phenotypic characteristics and experiences of racial microaggressions. After graduation, Christina attended Loyola University Maryland, where she received a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology. With the guidance of her advisor, Dr. Heather Lyons, Christina successfully completed her thesis on the role of racial socialization as a moderator for experiences of racial microaggressions and self-esteem in Asian American emerging adults. She is now a Counseling Psychology Ph.D. student at the University of Maryland and is a member of the Culture, Race, and Health Lab working with Dr. Matt Miller. When Christina isn’t otherwise occupied as a die-hard Pittsburgh Penguin fan or an amateur Netflix critic she is busy creating a business plan for her potato themed food truck. Christina hopes to continue studying racial socialization and is currently developing her dissertation idea.
Reflections from the Lead Author
When we were asked to reflect on the interesting, fun, or challenging experiences we encountered while writing up this study we thought of many – traveling to present our research, working with a smart and fun team, and emailing and skyping one another constantly. We also reflected on a parallel process we experienced when submitting this study on microaggressions for presentation at a research event at our home institution. Our peer reviewers responded that they would be happy to include our poster in the research event, after we changed references to “microaggressions” to “perceived microaggressions” without asking that we make a similar change to the other study variables that were also measured using self report. Fortunately, around the same time we received feedback on our submission, Dr. Kira Hudson Banks had published “’Perceived’ discrimination as an example of color-blind racial ideology’s influence on psychology” in the American Psychologist. Dr. Banks’ article allowed us to ground our reaction to the review in research and even a bit of humor. According to Dr. Banks “Aliens, extraterrestrial beings, and phantom limbs are ‘perceived’” (p. 312). Asking that we insert the word “perceived” for only one study variable might have two consequences. Like phantom limbs, readers might recognize microaggressions as an experience living only in the mind of the perceiver. Second, as an experience living only in the mind of the perceiver it also removes a perpetrator from the interaction. This experience, and the insights Dr. Banks facilitated, helped us understand the importance of continuing to present and publish on microaggressions to bolster understanding and credibility of this construct.
Banks, K. H. (2014). “Perceived” discrimination as an example of color-blind racial ideology’s influence on psychology. American Psychologist, 69, 311–313. doi:10.1037/a0035734
AAJP VOLUME 8, ISSUE 2 | TABLE OF CONTENTS
[Articles available on APA PsycNET]
FEATURE ARTICLE: Microaggressions and Self-Esteem in Emerging Asian American Adults: The Moderating Role of Racial Socialization [Free download of article]
Christina J. Thai, Heather Z. Lyons, Matthew R. Lee, and Michiko Iwasaki
Reciprocal Relations Between Social Self-Efficacy and Loneliness Among Chinese International Students
William Tsai, Kenneth T. Wang, and Meifen Wei
Social Anxiety in Asian Americans: Integrating Personality and Cultural Factors
J. Hannah Lee and A. Timothy Church
Parenting Variables Associated With Growth Mindset: An Examination of Three Chinese-Heritage Samples
Joanna J. Kim, Joey Fung, Qiaobing Wu, Chao Fang, and Anna S. Lau
Loss of Face, Intergenerational Family Conflict, and Depression Among Asian American and European American College Students
Zornitsa Kalibatseva, Frederick T. L. Leong, Eun Hye Ham, Brittany K. Lannert, and Yang Chen
Mental-Illness Stigma Among Korean Immigrants: Role of Culture and Destigmatization Strategies
Meekyung Han, Rachel Cha, Hyun Ah Lee, and Sang E. Lee
Developing Minority Leaders: Key Success Factors of Asian Americans
Thomas Sy, Susanna Tram-Quon, and Alex Leung
An Examination of Attitudes Toward Gender and Sexual Violence Among Asian Indians in the United States
Pratyusha Tummala-Narra, Jaclyn Houston-Kolnik, Nina Sathasivam-Rueckert, and Megan Greeson
MMPI-2 Profiles Among Asian American Missionary Candidates: Gendered Comparisons for Ethnicity and Population Norms
Christopher H. Rosik, Grecia Rosel, Meg M. Slivoskey, Katie M. Ogdon, Ian K. Roos, Tiffany M. Kincaid, and Mandalyn R. Castanon
Read about the last issue of AAJP: https://aapaonline.org/2017/06/03/aajp-vol-8-no-2/
For more information on AAJP: http://aapaonline.org/publications/asian-american-journal-of-psychology/.
Contact: Bryan S. K. Kim, Ph.D., Editor, Asian American Journal of Psychology, firstname.lastname@example.org
AAPA Statement on Orlando Shooting
June 14, 2016
AAPA offers our condolences and ongoing support in response to the horrific act of violence in Orlando, Florida this past Sunday, June 12, 2016, in the midst of Pride celebrations among the LGBTQ community. The shootings of innocent people celebrating Latin night at Pulse Nightclub is a tragedy impacting family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, and the wider community who have lost their loved ones in a senseless act of violence.
We join in mourning with the many intersected communities impacted by the Orlando shootings, especially our LGBTQ AAPA members and the Division on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning (LGBTQQ) within AAPA. As a community-at-large, we can stand up and take actions in the face of overwhelming tragedy. We will donate what we can, be it blood to be banked or money for victims’ families and organizations that promote peace and support LGBTQ communities.
Importantly, we provide our unwavering support to stay united and protect the human rights of all. We reject hatred in all of its forms and reaffirm our commitment to opposing anti-LGBTQ and anti-Muslim bigotry. Let us stand together and not allow a single individual’s hateful actions to turn us against our Muslim brothers and sisters. We will continue to celebrate Pride Month, Ramadan, and Immigrant Heritage Month. We urge each of us to continue to do our part by reaching out to one another, inviting dialogue, reducing stigma, and promoting access to mental health care during these difficult times. We especially urge you to continue your advocacy work and education about issues of violence, discrimination, hatred, oppression, mental illness, extremism, and the impact on all affected communities.
Selected Resources for Support and Information:
American Psychological Association – Managing your distress in the wake of mass shooting:
American Psychological Association- How to talk to children about difficult news and tragedies:
SAMHSA – Incidents on Mass Violence:
Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kevin Nadal, Ph.D.
AAPA President, email@example.com
Download Statement: [AAPA Statement on Orlando Shooting 2016-06-14.pdf]
July 31, 2015
The Executive Committee of the Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA), on behalf of the AAPA, wishes to express our sadness and dismay upon reviewing the American Psychological Association (APA)’s Report of the Independent Review Relating to Ethics Guidelines, National Security Interrogations, and Torture.
This is not the first time in the history of our nation or of our profession that foundational understandings and guidelines for legal, ethical, or moral behavior have been ignored or overturned. The current situation raises echoes for us of a dark chapter in American history during World War II when – under the guise of a national security threat – over 110,000 Japanese Americans, two-thirds of whom were U.S. citizens, were imprisoned in concentration camps and denied their rights, essentially setting aside the United States Constitution. We are heartened that, unlike the experience of Japanese Americans, it did not take four decades to investigate the events and begin the process of prioritizing ethical and just processes and practices.
Although AAPA is a separate organization from APA, we recognize that the actions of APA, as the largest professional organization of psychologists, reflect on the public’s perception of psychology and psychologists more generally. Consequently AAPA, as an independent organization of psychologists, would like to voice our stance on ethical issues even as we recognize that it is up to APA and its governance to address the specific findings and shortcomings.
The AAPA condemns torture or abuse of any person, for any reason, including interrogation. As psychologists our goal is to heal, not to harm. Furthermore, we believe that ethical guidelines for psychologists should make clear the unacceptability of such practices and should be shaped by an ongoing dialogue within the profession about the meaning of “torture” and “abuse.”
As an association founded to address inequities within the field of psychology, we are disturbed by findings described in the report that suggest that the APA’s governing processes, policies, ethical guidelines, reports, and public statements were used to support or justify the development or application of oppressive or harmful practices. We are also disturbed by findings that the development of these processes and policies was influenced strongly by external bodies (e.g., the Department of Defense) and political agendas. The report further indicates that much of this influence was clandestine. Furthermore, we are deeply concerned by descriptions in the report that suggested that APA generally, and the Ethics Office specifically, prioritized advancing the economic and standing interests of the discipline and member psychologists, rather than the well being of the people and communities whom psychologists serve.
As a psychological association dedicated to addressing inequities and promoting health for all people, but particularly those historically marginalized, we assert that psychologists and psychological associations have the responsibility to prioritize beneficence to others above personal or professional advancement. Furthermore, we assert that ethical guidelines for psychologists generally, and in any specific association, should be guided by the standards of the field as developed by those with expertise in the field, through public and transparent dialogues and processes.
The findings of the Independent Review indicate that the APA moved alarmingly away from its mission to “advance the creation, communication, and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people’s lives” and its vision to be “an effective champion of the application of psychology to promote human rights, health, well being and dignity.”
We call on APA to acknowledge past errors, and engage in revising guidelines, policies, processes, and organizational culture to more fully and deliberately embrace the values and priorities above. We urge APA to develop a process that is open and transparent in order to create purposeful and sustainable change to psychology’s engagement with ethics in general and in specific relation to military involvement and torture. Furthermore, we urge the APA to shape a process that includes the multiple perspectives and diverse professional expertise of all psychologists. All psychologists, regardless of APA membership, have a stake in a common goal of individual and societal health.
Finally, we call on AAPA members and all psychologists to actively participate in rebuilding public trust in us and in our profession. There should be no doubt that our research and practice of psychology advance and promote individual, social, and systemic understanding, psychological health, well being, and justice.