Since day one of this Administration, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have prioritized the advancement of opportunity, equity, and safety for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) communities to realize the full promise of our nation. Throughout Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the Biden-Harris administration celebrates the diversity of cultures, breadth of achievement, and remarkable contributions of these communities while also recognizing the generational inequities, barriers to access, and discrimination faced by AA and NHPI communities within the United States. As we continue to make progress to advance equity and opportunity for AA and NHPI communities, today the Biden-Harris Administration is providing a comprehensive update on our efforts to combat anti-Asian violence and discrimination and to provide AA and NHPI communities the resources, access, and opportunities to thrive.
Combatting Anti-Asian Hate and Promoting Belonging and Inclusion of AA and NHPI Communities. AA and NHPI communities continue to face anti-Asian hate, and persistent racism, xenophobia, religious discrimination, and violence that began long before the Covid-19 pandemic. In May 2021, President Biden signed into law the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, a bipartisan legislation that makes significant improvements to our Nation’s response to hate crimes. The bill addresses two challenges: the lack of resources and training for state and local law enforcement to accurately identify and report hate crimes to the FBI, and the language and cultural barriers that many AA and NHPI communities and communities of color face in reporting hate crimes to law enforcement.
President Biden has led a historic whole-of-government approach to combat hate, xenophobia, and intolerance facing AA and NHPI communities in the United States. In his first week in office, President Biden signed the “Memorandum Condemning and Combating Racism, Xenophobia, and Intolerance Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.” The memorandum directs all federal agencies to take steps to ensure their actions mitigate anti-Asian bias and xenophobia, especially in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the last two years, agencies have worked to deliver real and lasting results:
- Funding critical research to prevent and address bias and xenophobia against AA and NHPI communities. The National Science Foundation (NSF) is taking a comprehensive approach to investing in research to understand, address, and end bias, discrimination and xenophobia, including against AA and NHPI communities.
- The Department of Justice (DOJ) continued its efforts to help agencies transition their crime data to the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), a more detailed, FBI-recommended, national crime database that provides a better picture of crime incidents, including hate crimes by:
- Providing funding and free technical support to assist law enforcement agencies transition from the old crime data collection system to the FBI’s National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), the only way for state and local agencies to submit crime data, including hate crime data, to the FBI.
- Conducting outreach to police chiefs, law enforcement groups, and mayors to emphasize the importance of accurate hate crime data collection.
- In March 2023, the FBI released its Supplemental 2021 Hate Crime Statistics – combining the Summary Reporting System (SRS) and NIBRS data – which captured a 167% increase in anti-Asian crime incidents.
- In September 2022, the Department of Justice launched the United Against Hate program in all 94 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices by September 2023 to help improve the reporting of hate crimes by teaching community members how to identify, report, and help prevent hate crimes and encouraging trust building between law enforcement and communities.
- In 2022, the Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services released a new hate crimes recognition and reporting training aimed specifically at line-level officers. The training aims to increase state and local law enforcement officers’ ability to identify when an incident is a hate crime or hate incident.
- The Department of Justice and the Department of Education jointly issued a letter to educators on May 26, 2021, and a fact sheet addressing the increased harassment and violence directed at AA and NHPI students and reminded schools about their role in addressing discrimination, including harassment, against AA and NHPI students.
- Providing funding for justice programs: The Department of Justice awarded over $32 million in grant funding to law enforcement and prosecution agencies, community-based organizations, and civil rights groups to support outreach, investigations, prosecutions, community awareness and preparedness, reporting, hotlines, and victim services; as well as supporting research and program evaluation studies. Examples include:
- The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Program, which supports state, local and Tribal law enforcement and prosecution agencies and their partners in conducting outreach, and investigating and prosecuting hate crimes;
- The Community Based Approaches to Prevent and Address Hate Crimes Program, which supports community-based organizations and civil rights groups in implementing comprehensive approaches to promote community awareness and preparedness, increase victim reporting, strengthen community resiliency, and improve responses to hate crimes;
- The Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act Program, which supports state-run hate crime reporting hotlines and assists jurisdictions’ transition to NIBRS to improve hate crimes data reporting; and
- The Emmett Till Program, which supports law enforcement and prosecutors and their partners in their efforts to investigate and resolve cold-case homicides that involve civil rights violations.
- Revitalizing the Justice Department’s Community Relations Service. The Justice Department is strategically revitalizing the Community Relations Service (CRS), an office which provides facilitated dialogue, mediation, training, and consultation for communities facing bias-related conflict, including AA and NHPI communities. CRS has been meeting with national and local AA and NHPI organizations to address community concerns about the rise in anti-Asian incidents and individuals’ safety during the pandemic. CRS will continue sharing resources and information with affected communities, as well as working with government leaders, faith leaders, community groups, universities, and schools to help them build the capacity to address and prevent hate crimes.
- Issuing a memorandum from the Attorney General on hate crimes and hate incidents. In one of his first acts, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland issued a directive to the Department to conduct a 30-day expedited internal review to determine how the Department could deploy all the tools at its disposal to counter the recent rise in hate crimes and hate incidents.
- On May 27, 2021, following the review’s completion and the passage of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act and Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act, the Attorney General issued a memorandum announcing immediate steps to deter hate crimes and bias-related incidents, address them when they occur, support victims, and reduce the pernicious effects these incidents have on our society.
- On May 20, 2022, the one-year anniversary of the enactment of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, the Department of Justice issued a new guidance document with the Department of Health and Human Services, aimed at raising awareness of hate crimes during the COVID-19 pandemic. This guidance provides an overview of the rise of hate crimes and hate incidents during the pandemic, including a surge of hate crimes and hate incidents against AA and NHPI communities, and several steps that law enforcement, government officials, and others can take to raise awareness of increased hate crimes and incidents, and to use increased awareness as a tool for the prevention of and response to hate crimes.
- In 2022, U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai participated in an event, hosted by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada and the National Coalition of Canadians Against Anti-Asian Racism. Under the banner, ‘Inspiring Next GenerAsian Leaders’, the event hosted youth from several Asian organizations and institutions across Canada and provided an opportunity for Ambassador Tai to work with her Canadian counterpart Minister Mary Ng to convene conversations with broader Asian American and Asian Canadian groups.
- Providing trainings to enhance civil rights reporting and strengthen relationships between law enforcement and community members. The FBI hosted regional conferences across the country with state and local law enforcement agencies regarding federal civil rights and hate crimes laws; to encourage reporting; strengthen relationships between law enforcement and local civil rights organizations; and build trust within the diverse communities they serve.
- Assessing threats against AA and NHPIs. The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) issued an “Intelligence in Brief” publication that assessed the threats targeting AA and NHPI communities. The brief examines physical threats and incidents of violence against AA and NHPI community members over the last year and provides context for what the office views as the potential threats facing the community in the near future.
- Identifying systemic barriers in accessing nonprofit security grant benefits and opportunities. In July 2021, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the Department of Homeland Security collaborated to award FEMA Nonprofit Security Grants to 17 AA and NHPI serving organizations.
- Integrating AA and NHPIs into community-based violence prevention efforts. DHS’s Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships (CP3) Regional Prevention Coordinators conducted outreach and built connections with local and regional partners across the country to ensure that AA and NHPI communities are integrated into broader local community-based prevention efforts to increase the ability of local community leaders to prevent violence and build community resilience against discrimination and hate.
Promoting Equitable Data and Data Disaggregation for AA and NHPI Communities. The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to advancing racial equity and inclusion through improved data collection, research, access, and disaggregation efforts. Better data leads to better and more informed policies that reflect the needs and priorities of the AA and NHPI communities.
- The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)’s, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) posted in the Federal Register the proposed expansion of demographic characteristics reporting in the Uniform Data System (UDS) beginning with the 2023 reporting period to better align with HHS race/ethnicity data standards in accordance with Section 4302 of the Affordable Care Act. UDS will be updated to include subpopulation categories for AA and NHPI, and a broader selection for Hispanic ethnicity. These options will more accurately reflect the diversity of patients served by health centers as well as continue to align with OMB’s minimum categories for race and ethnicity data collection. High-quality accessible data is critical to strategically meeting the needs of patients and identifying opportunities for clinical process improvement.
- In September 2022, the Department of Labor (DOL)’s, Bureau of Labor Statistics published for the first time monthly labor force estimates for NHPIs regarding the unemployment rate, the employment–population ratio, the labor force participation rate, and other key metrics. With the release of the Employment Situation report on September 2, 2022, monthly data for NHPIs are available going back to January 2003.
- The Department of Commerce (DOC)’s Census Bureau released the Demographic and Housing Characteristics File (DHC) and Demographic Profile on May 25, 2023. These 2020 Census data products provide demographic and housing characteristics of local communities. More demographic and housing characteristics will be included in the Detailed Demographic and Housing Characteristics File A (DHC-A).
- On February 8, 2023, the Census Bureau held the AA and NHPI Proof of Concept Webinar, with nearly 80 organizations. The Census Bureau offered targeted and tailored outreach in advance to AA and NHPI data users and key stakeholders to discuss the proof of concept, which included proposed content and disclosure avoidance settings, and was based on 2010 Census data that represents the tables planned for publication in the 2020 Census Detailed Demographic and Housing Characteristics File A, which will provide the population counts and sex and age statistics for approximately 370 detailed racial and ethnic groups and 1,200 American Indian and Alaska Native tribes and villages and is scheduled for release in September 2023.
- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has finalized a rule required by Congress to increase transparency in small business lending, promote economic development, and combat unlawful discrimination, including against AA and NHPI businesses. Lenders will collect and report information about the small business credit applications they receive, including geographic and demographic data, lending decisions, and the price of credit. The rule will work in concert with the Community Reinvestment Act, which requires certain financial institutions to meet the needs of the communities they serve. The increased transparency will benefit small businesses, family farms, financial institutions, and the broader economy.
- The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) now receives disaggregated AA and NHPI data for single-family automated underwriting system mortgage applications. FHFA will use these data to monitor fair lending impacts to subgroups and to inform future policy decisions that support equal treatment of all future homeowners.
- The Department of Education (ED) will collect highly disaggregated race and ethnicity data on its Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, which is filled out by all federal student aid applicants. This data feeds into a variety of student outcome measures reported for postsecondary institutions and programs and will allow for more robust disaggregated reporting on college access and success.
- At the request of the U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai, the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC), an independent U.S. agency, released a report in November 2022 that catalogued information on the distributional effects of trade and trade policy on underrepresented and underserved communities. The report summarizes the literature and confirms clear gaps in trade data focusing on Tribal nations, Indigenous and AA and NHPI workers; workers with disabilities; and workers based on their race/ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation. Ambassador Tai also requested that the USITC update the distributional effects report every three years.
Lowering Health Care Costs and Improving Health Outcomes for AA and NHPI Communities. The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare the systemic inequities in our economy and healthcare system. The Biden-Harris Administration has used every lever and tool to ensure access to safe, free, and convenient vaccines and invest in more equitable public health infrastructure to better serve communities across America, including in AA and NHPI communities.
- Expanding access to health care. The American Rescue Plan (ARP) has lowered or eliminated health insurance premiums for millions of lower- and middle-income families enrolled in health insurance marketplaces. The Administration’s efforts to expand access to coverage has driven the uninsured rate to historic lows, with more than 3.6 million people gaining coverage during last year’s recording breaking 16.3 million ACA enrollment period.
- The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) locks in lower monthly premiums – about 197,000 uninsured AA and NHPI Americans will continue to save money on health care coverage, including the 50,000 AA and NHPI people that could find a plan for $0-premium plan in 2021.
- By continuing the improvements made through the American Rescue Plan, the Inflation Reduction Act keeps free or low-cost health insurance available. About 120,000 more AA and NHPI Americans will have health insurance coverage in 2023, compared to without the Inflation Reduction Act.
- As outlined in his February 2023 State of the Union address, the President is calling on Congress to make permanent the improved ACA tax credits that lower health care premiums for millions of Americans and to close the Medicaid coverage gap.
- Ensuring health care resources are readily available for AA and NHPI communities. The Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expanded culturally appropriate and understandable health care information for the AA and NHPI community, including releasing the “Medicare & You” handbook in Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese. CMS also conducted targeted outreach to AA and NHPI communities for the 2022 Affordable Care Act (ACA) Open Enrollment season, including specific social media and television advertisements, and hosting an AA and NHPI week of action during December 2022.
- HHS has also launched an Equity Technical Assistance (TA) Center to provide training, tools, and TA for HHS employees to make sure that policies, programs, research, and analyses more equitable, including TA on strategies for reducing disparities in access to, and use of, grants and other HHS policy levers.
- Supporting the mental health needs of AA and NHPI communities. In October 2022, the Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) awarded a grant to the Hawaii State Department of Health/Behavioral Health Administration to establish the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Behavioral Health Center of Excellence (AANHPI-CoE). The purpose of this Center of Excellence is to advance the behavioral health equity of AA, NH, and PI communities. The AANHPI-CoE will (1) develop and disseminate culturally-informed, evidence-based behavioral health information and (2) provide technical assistance and training on issues related to addressing behavioral health disparities in AA, NH, and PI communities. The AANHPI-CoE serves as a resource to behavioral healthcare providers, community-based and faith-based organizations, research institutions, and federal entities.
Promoting Economic Opportunity for AA and NHPI Communities. By signing into law the historic American Rescue Plan, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Inflation Reduction Act, and CHIPS and Science Act implementing robust regulatory reform, the Biden-Harris Administration has led the most equitable economic recovery on record, creating more than 12 million jobs since coming to office and helping create new economic opportunities for all Americans, including AA and NHPI workers, small business owners, and entrepreneurs.
- Improving engagement with AA and NHPI businesses and entrepreneurs. In January 2023, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (WHIAANHPI) launched a series of regional economic summits to connect AA and NHPI community members directly with federal leaders and resources. The events are being held in different cities in collaboration with the U.S. Small Business Administration, U.S. Department of the Treasury, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, the National Asian / Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship, and local officials. The series was spurred by a recommendation from the President’s Advisory Commission on AA and NHPIs and aims to improve the accessibility of federal resources, including contracting and procurement opportunities, as well as federal jobs, grants, and programs.
- The Small Business Administration established a Community Navigators Pilot Program (CNPP) via the American Rescue Plan. In the program’s first year (through November 30, 2022), CNPP provided business counseling to more than 17,000 unique clients and general training to another 200,000+ attendees, resulting in over $170 million in approved funding. Of the 51 grant recipients engaged in the Community Navigators Pilot, 18 have a particular focus on AA and NHPI entrepreneurs, including the U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber, which specializes in providing in-language support for ESL entrepreneurs in the AA and NHPI community, and Maui Economic Development Board, which works with community organizations serving smaller Hawaiian Islands, such as Moloka‘i and Lanai. Navigator organizations have also directly counseled over 1,400 clients identifying as AA and NHPI.
- The Small Business Administration (SBA) distributed loans to AA and NHPI business owners and entrepreneurs. SBA distributed 1,084 loans totaling $1.5 billion through its 504 Program, which provides long-term, fixed rate financing for major fixed assets that promote business growth and job creation; 5,603 loans totaling $5.3 billion through its 7(a) Program, which provides financial support for small businesses; and 165 microloans totaling $3.7 billion (in FY 2022) and 22,800 grants via the temporary Cares Act Restaurant Revitalization Fund totaling $5.95 billion (in FY 2021) to help small businesses and certain non-profit childcare centers start up and expand.
- Good Jobs Challenge to support AA and NHPI businesses. The Department of Commerce (DOC)’s Economic Development Agency (EDA) announced grant awards to 32 industry-led workforce training partnerships in 31 states and Puerto Rico as part of the $500 million Good Jobs Challenge funded by ARP.
- Resilient Hawaii: The Good Jobs Challenge is investing $16 million in the University of Hawaii, an EDA University Center and an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI), to support four of Hawaii’s major industries: healthcare; information technology; energy and resilience; and film, arts, and media. The sectoral partnerships funded by this program will train thousands of workers, with a focus on NHPI communities, to secure quality jobs with local employers including Adventist Health Castle, Bank of Hawaii, and Diagnostic Laboratory Services.
- Greater Boston Region (GBR) Regional Workforce Training System (RWTS): The Good Jobs Challenge is investing $23 million in the Economic Development and Industrial Corporation of Boston. In partnership with over 100 local employers, EDIC will create demand-driven pathways into quality childcare, healthcare, and energy jobs. Its clean energy sector partnership, led by Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-serving Institution, will partner with local unions to develop skilled journeymen workers to develop clean energy infrastructure.
- Strengthening export capacity. The Department of Commerce (DOC)’s International Trade Administration (ITA) is leading the U.S. Commercial Service’s Global Diversity Export Initiative is committed to helping underserved communities in the United States, including AA and NHPI businesses among others to increase their exports. Through the Strategic Partnership Program, ITA continues its partnership with the Asian American Chamber of Commerce and the US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce.
- Investing in Equitable Workforce Training. The President is committed to creating pathways to the middle class, especially for people from underserved communities, by expanding skills-based hiring and increasing access to Registered Apprenticeship and workforce training. States, localities, community colleges, and community-based organizations have leveraged $40 billion in ARP funds to deliver training, expand career paths, encourage more Registered Apprenticeships, provide retention and hiring bonuses in critical industries, and power efforts to help underserved Americans and those who face barriers to employment secure good jobs. In 2022, the Department of Labor (DOL) awarded $121 million in grants to expand, diversify, and improve access to Registered Apprenticeships for underserved communities, including AA and NHPIs. The agency is also awarding $95 million to help people in marginalized and underrepresented populations overcome barriers to career and technical education programs they need to connect with quality jobs.
- Reversing decades of disinvestment through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. For years, politicians have talked about investing in our national infrastructure, but up until now they have failed to follow through. The lack of investment has fallen most heavily on underserved communities. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will: replace lead pipes; increase access to training and good-quality jobs; expand affordable high-speed internet, reliable public transit, and clean drinking water; reconnect neighborhoods divided by legacy highway infrastructure; and provide other resources to communities.
- Ensuring digital equity. The Department of Commerce (DOC)’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) tentatively reserved $3 million to award grants to the U.S. territories. In addition, NTIA tentatively reserved $15 million to award grants to Indian Tribes, Alaska Native entities, and Native Hawaiian organizations for the purpose of creating Tribal / Native digital equity plans.
- Supporting rural development. The Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development mission area has so far invested $467 million in Hawaii, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau, in grants, loans, and investments in infrastructure.
Addressing Housing Discrimination and Helping AA and NHPI Communities Stay in their Homes. The Administration implemented a series of measures that protected homeowners from foreclosure, including a foreclosure moratorium, increased options for mortgage payment forbearance, and enhanced loan modifications to resolve delinquencies. In addition, the American Rescue Plan is helping struggling homeowners catch up with their mortgage payments and utility costs through the Homeowner Assistance Fund.
- Protecting AA and NHPI access to housing by combating housing discrimination. Following President Biden’s Presidential Memorandum directing his Administration to address racial discrimination in the housing market, in February 2023, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to fulfill obligations under the Fair Housing Act to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing. This rule would help overcome patterns of segregation and to hold state, localities, and public housing agencies that receive federal funds accountable for ensuring that underserved communities have equitable access to affordable housing opportunities.
- New actions to protect renters and promote rental affordability. In January 2023, the Biden-Harris Administration announced new actions to increase fairness in the rental market and further principles of fair housing. This includes actions to identify practices that may unfairly prevent applicants and tenants from accessing or staying in housing such as the discriminatory use of tenant background checks and algorithms in tenant screenings. These actions align with a new Blueprint for a Renters Bill of Rights. The Blueprint lays out a set of principles to drive action by the federal government, state and local partners, and the private sector to strengthen tenant protections and encourage rental affordability.
- In March 2023, the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) awarded approximately $54 million in funding for the Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) to address violations of the Fair Housing Act and end housing discrimination. Included within these awards were seven FHIP grants that serve the AA and NHPI community. The grantees will provide education and outreach, translate materials into Asian and Pacific Islander languages and conduct enforcement related activities to address discriminatory acts against the AA and NHPI community.
- HUD’s FHEO and its Fair Housing Assistance Program partners have reached conciliation agreements in 54 housing discrimination cases in FY2021 and FY2022 where an AA and NHPI individual filed a complaint based on race or national origin. For example, in May 2021, HUD reached a settlement with housing providers in California who had allegedly failed to provide language access services to Vietnamese residents. The settlement resulted in financial compensation to affected residents and with the housing providers agreeing to make available free oral interpretation services and translated documents when required by law.
- The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has supported homeownership in the AA and NHPI community with a number of programs:
- FHA mortgage insurance facilitated affordable home financing or refinancing for over 55,000 AA and NHPI individuals and families over FY2021 and FY2022.
- More than 1,700 senior AA and NHPI homeowners used FHA’s Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program to age in place in their own homes over FY2021 and FY2022.
- Through expanded COVID-19 forbearance options, more than 52,000 AA and NHPI homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages obtained a mortgage payment forbearance over FY2021 and FY2022.
- HUD-approved housing counseling agencies served more than 67,000 AA and NHPI clients over FY2021 and FY2022.
- Providing stable housing for Native Hawaiian families. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s Office of Native American Programs (ONAP) made available $5 million in Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant (NHHBG) funding through the Biden-Harris Administration’s American Rescue Plan, providing critical rental and utility assistance to 564 low-income Native Hawaiian families in FY 2022. HUD also supported homeownership by issuing 107 Section 184A mortgage loan guarantees in FY 2021 and FY 2022 representing over $30 million dollars in mortgage capital to Native Hawaiian families.
- The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s Office of Native American Program (ONAP) provided training and technical assistance to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) to create a tenant-based rental assistance program for kupuna (elders). HUD published a proposed rule on January 4, 2023, that would make changes to the NHHBG regulation to clarify that NHHBG funds may be used for tenant-based or project-based rental assistance, thereby diversifying the types of affordable housing options available for Native Hawaiian communities.
Ensuring Equitable Educational Opportunity in K-12 Schools and an Education Beyond High School. The Biden-Harris Administration has delivered the support necessary to enable every school to return to full-time, in-person instruction and ensure student success by accelerating academic recovery and addressing the mental health needs of students. The Administration has also made college more affordable, provided college students with supports for completion, and helped federal student loan borrowers as they recover from the pandemic. He has also worked to ensure equitable access to high-quality education for AA and NHPI students.
- Confronting COVID-19 related harassment in schools. In May 2021, the U.S. Department of Education wrote a letter to educators to address the increased harassment and violence directed at AA and NHPI students and families and remind schools about their roles in protecting AA and NHPI students as they returned to in-person learning. The Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) shared a resource guide on how to navigate these situations, and also shared “How to File a Discrimination Complaint with the Office for Civil Rights” in 24 languages, including in 11 Asian languages. The Civil Rights Divisions of the Department of Justice and Department of Education also partnered to create a resource on Confronting COVID-19-Related Harassment in Schools, to assist AA and NHPI students who have reported bullying and harassment by classmates because of their race or national origin, including their ethnicity, ancestry, and language.
- Safely reopening K-12 schools. The ARP has provided more than $122 billion to help K-12 schools reopen safely. These investments include set asides at the local and state level to ensure states and districts address the learning loss and social and emotional needs of students disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, including AA and NHPI students, English learners, and students with disabilities.
- Supporting college students. The ARP provided more than $36 billion in support to institutions of higher education, including institutions that primarily serve AA and NHPI students, to help students stay enrolled, lower costs, keep faculty and staff employed, and slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. All students, regardless of citizenship, who met the appropriate criteria were eligible to receive emergency financial aid grants funded by the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. The Biden-Harris Administration delivered $5 billion in ARP funds to support Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs).
- In October 2022, The Department of Commerce (DOC)’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) awarded a Minority Colleges and Universities grant to a Native Hawaiian Serving Institution (NHSI), which is now the fourth MBDA Equity in Hawaii. Chaminade University of Honolulu, Hawaii received $300,711 and will develop and pilot a Sustainability Entrepreneurship course (expanding to a public certificate program) and develop a “Pathways to Entrepreneurship” series of workshops and seminars.
- The Department of Defense (DoD)’s SMART Program is creating University Liaison positions that will focus on building relationships with HBCUs, and MSIs, to include AANAPISIs and ANNHs, to strengthen and expand SMART’s academic partnership opportunities. The SMART Program received:
- 2,555 applicants for the 2022 cohort.
- 128 applicants attended an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI) and 8 attended an Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian (ANNH)-Serving Institution.
- Among all applicants (irrespective of institution), 8.9% identified as Asian and 0.1% Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander.
- 482 individuals were ultimately awarded a SMART scholarship as part of the 2022 cohort, with 21 awardees attending AANAPISI and 1 attending an ANNH.
- Among all awardees (irrespective of institution), 8.9% identified as Asian and 0.1% as Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander.
- The SMART Program received 3,061 applicants for consideration in the 2023 cohort.
- 284 applicants attend an AANAPISI and 4 attend ANNH institutions.
- Among all applicants (irrespective of institution), 9.7% identified as Asian and 0.2% Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. Awardees for the 2023 cohort will be announced in April 2023.
- On February 27, 2023, the Department of Commerce (DOC)’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), awarded more than $175 million to 61 colleges and universities as part of the Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program (CMC). These new awards cover colleges and universities in 29 states and four territories. American Samoa Community College was awarded $2.99 million and the College of Micronesia –FSM was awarded $1.2 million. The grants will provide access to affordable, reliable, high-speed internet service, which is necessary for minority students and local communities to fully access school, healthcare, and jobs.
- Providing support to borrowers. President Biden believes that a post-high school education should be a ticket to a middle-class life, but for too many AA and NHPI students and graduates, the cost of borrowing for college is a lifelong burden that deprives them of that opportunity.
In August 2022, President Biden announced a plan that:
- Provides one-time debt relief to low- and middle-income borrowers to make sure borrowers are not worse off with respect to their loans because of the pandemic. President Biden’s one-time debt relief plan provides up to $20,000 in debt relief to Pell Grant recipients with loans held by the Department of Education, and up to $10,000 in debt relief to non-Pell Grant recipients. Borrowers are eligible for this relief if their individual income is less than $125,000 ($250,000 for married couples. No one in the top 5% of incomes will benefit from this action. While litigation is currently preventing the Administration from providing this debt relief, the Administration remains confident that the program is legal. In the less than four weeks that the application was available, 26 million people either applied for debt relief or had already provided sufficient information to the Department of Education to be deemed eligible for relief. Over 16 million of those borrowers’ applications were fully approved by the Department and sent to loan servicers before the program was enjoined in litigation.
- Makes the student loan system more manageable for current and future borrowers. These steps include:
- Cutting monthly payments in half for undergraduate loans. The Department of Education is proposing an income-driven repayment plan that protects more low-income borrowers from making any payments and caps monthly payments for undergraduate loans at 5% of a borrower’s discretionary income—half of the rate that borrowers must pay now under most existing plans. This means that the average annual student loan payment will be lowered by more than $1,000 for both current and future borrowers.
- Fixing the broken Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program by ensuring that borrowers who have worked at a nonprofit, in the military, or in federal, state, Tribal, or local government, receive appropriate credit toward loan forgiveness. These regulatory changes build on temporary changes the Department of Education made to PSLF, under which roughly 360,000 public servants received more than $24 billion in loan forgiveness.
- Ensuring targeted student loan forgiveness programs work. To date, the Department of Education has approved a total of more than $66 billion in relief to over 2.2 million student loan borrowers who were defrauded by their college, enrolled in a college that abruptly closed, are permanently disabled and unable to work, and borrowers who serve our country through government or non-profit work.
- Protecting future students and taxpayers by reducing the cost of college and holding schools accountable when they hike up prices. The President championed the largest increase to Pell Grants in the last decade – a combined increase of $900 to the maximum award for students over the last two years – and has a plan to double the maximum Pell Grant by 2029 to nearly $13,000. To further reduce the cost of college, the President will continue to fight to make community college free. Meanwhile, colleges have an obligation to keep prices reasonable and ensure borrowers get value for their investments, not debt they cannot afford. This Administration has already taken key steps to strengthen accountability, including in areas where the previous Administration weakened rules such as holding career colleges accountable for leaving their students with mountains of debt that they cannot repay.
Ensuring Language Access and Native Language Revitalization for AA and NHPI Communities. At the President’s direction, agencies across the Biden-Harris Administration have taken a number of steps to improve access to vital federal programs for AA and NHPI communities.
- The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s Office of Field Policy and Management translated the Office of Davis-Bacon and Labor Standards’ Construction Workers Pocket Guide into Vietnamese and Chinese this year, along with other languages, to increase accessibility and broader understanding of federal wage protections in HUD-funded projects.
- The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) conducted initial assessments to determine which vital documents have been translated into top AA and NHPI languages encountered in select homeland security programs, specifically terrorist alerts and messaging on domestic extremism; access to civil rights complaints; immigration detention; immigration benefits; and security and safety statements related to immigration enforcement during disasters. DHS translated its National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin into Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Korean, Tagalog, Thai, and Vietnamese and its statements on safety and immigration issued during Hurricane Ida and Hurricane Ian into Chinese (Simplified and Traditional) and Vietnamese.
- The Federal Housing and Finance Agency (FHFA) translated multiple origination and servicing-related documents into Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Tagalog, and these translations are now available on FHFA’s website. In March 2023, the requirement to ask for and maintain an applicants’ preferred language was implemented. The industry is now required to ask borrowers their preferred language as part of an addendum to the loan application and that information will transfer to the mortgage servicer.
- The Social Security Administration (SSA) expanded its internet site to include Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog and Simplified Chinese translated publications. SSA also made linguistic updates to its visitor intake kiosks to better facilitate the check-in process at local field offices.
- In FY 2022, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) posted translations of 18 additional webpages in Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Tagalog and continued to assess its language access capabilities by reinvigorating its Language Access Working Group and beginning to identify potential updates to the agency’s existing Language Access Plan.
- The Department of Interior (DOI)’s Office of Native Hawaiian Relations developed a Department Manual (DM) chapter to standardize the use of ʻŌlelo Hawai‘i by the Department.
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) now provides document translation, in-person and virtual interpretation, voice over/subtitle, web-support, and telephonic interpretation services, which are available for all EPA HQ and regional program offices. The telephonic interpretation service is available for use by all EPA employees 24/7 with over 175 languages available.
- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) awarded a new translations contract which now allows the agency to provide enhanced translation capability including in AA and NHPI languages. The Commission created consumer-friendly fact sheets and other materials online about its Affordable Connectivity Program and translated them into Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Korean, Vietnamese, and Tagalog.
- The Department of Justice (DOJ) continued to make efforts to improve and expand language access across its department and to law enforcement agencies. Efforts include:
- Convening the Language Access Working Group which provides technical assistance and training across its components as they continue to improve language access for all, including AA and NHPI communities;
- Launching the Law Enforcement Language Access Initiative, a nationwide effort to assist law enforcement agencies in meeting their obligations to provide meaningful language assistance to Limited English Proficiency (LEP ) individuals; and
- Adding information to its website on reporting hate crimes in 24 languages, including 18 of the most frequently spoken AA and NHPI languages in the country.
- Implementing Language Access at HUD. HUD’s language access plan outlines HUD’s commitment to providing meaningful access for people with limited English proficiency across all programs, services, and activities conducted by the Department. HUD developed social media and web-based resources for housing counseling agencies to reach those with limited English proficiency who may be struggling to make their mortgage payments due to COVID-19. These materials are available in multiple languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Samoan, Tagalog, Thai, Vietnamese, and Punjabi. Similarly, HUD has general homebuying information available for housing counselors to use with clients in multiple languages, including Korean, Laotian, Tagalog, Mandarin, and Vietnamese.
- Expanding language access and assistance for arts programs. Using ARP funds, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) expanded language access and language assistance, including for the first time translating guidelines and supporting materials into Chinese. The NEA has also held grant workshops with the Asian American Arts Alliance, the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, the Consortium of Asian American Theaters & Artists, and HowlRound. These workshops provided technical assistance for ARP grant applications, better equipping culturally-specific organizations to apply successfully for relief funding.
- Increasing access to contracting, grant, employment, and internship opportunities at the Department of Defense (DoD). Through the implementation of specific outreach programs to advance inclusivity, the Department of Defense’s Taking the Pentagon To The People Program (TTPTTP) is aimed at increasing access to contracts, federal grants, resources, and employment programs for AA and NHPIs and other underserved communities. In addition, DOD is working to strengthen the capacity and the infrastructure of Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs) and other Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) and increase opportunities for AA and NHPI serving institutions to participate in Federal programs.
Advancing Equity for AA and NHPI Communities Through White House Leadership and Initiatives. On his first day in office, President Biden signed the historic Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government. The President’s Order emphasized the enormous human costs of systemic racism, persistent poverty, and other disparities, and directed the Federal Government to advance an ambitious whole-of-government equity agenda that matches the scale of the challenges we face as a country and the opportunities we have to build a more perfect union. Over the last two years, the Biden-Harris Administration has championed racial equity and advanced equal opportunity for underserved communities, including AA and NHPI communities. During the President’s first year in office, 90 federal agencies across the federal government, including all Cabinet-level agencies as well as over 50 independent agencies, conducted equity assessments of three to five of their agency’s high-impact services for the American people, to uncover where systemic barriers to access may exist. Using those findings, agencies developed Equity Action Plans for addressing—and achieving—equity in their mission delivery for all Americans. The Equity Action Plans include accountability mechanisms and identify success metrics and key milestones toward progress.
- Executive Order on Further Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government. To strengthen the federal government’s equity commitment, on February 16, 2023, President Biden signed a second Executive Order on equity that directs the federal government to continue the work to make the promise of America real for every American including communities of color, Tribal communities, rural communities, LGBTQI+ individuals, people with disabilities, women and girls, veterans and communities impacted by persistent poverty. This second equity Executive Order requires agencies to designate senior leaders accountable for implementing the Executive Order; directs agencies to produce Equity Action Plans annually and report to the public on their progress; requires agencies to improve the quality, frequency, and accessibility of their community engagement; formalizes the President’s goal of increasing the share of federal contracting dollars awarded to small disadvantaged business by 50 percent by 2025; directs agencies to spur economic growth in rural areas and advance more equitable urban development; instructs agencies to consider bolstering the capacity of their civil rights offices and focusing their efforts on emerging threats like algorithmic discrimination in automated technology; directs the White House Office of Management and Budget to support agencies’ Equity Action Plans and invest in underserved communities each year through the formulation of the President’s budget; and further promotes data equity and transparency.
- Reestablishing and expanding the White House Initiative and President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. In May 2021, the President signed Executive Order 14031 reestablishing the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, and delivering on the President’s commitment to reinstate and reinvigorate this historic Initiative. The Initiative is led out of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and is co-chaired by HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai. The Initiative is charged with driving an ambitious, whole-of-government agenda to advance equity, justice, and opportunity for AA and NHPI communities. In addition, the Executive Order establishes a Presidential Advisory Commission on AA and NHPIs to advise the President on ways the public, private and non-profit sectors can work together to advance equity and opportunity for AA and NHPI communities. The Commission is also charged with advising the President on policies to address anti-Asian xenophobia and violence, ways to build capacity in AA and NHPI communities through federal grantmaking, and policies to address the barriers that AA and NHPI women, LGBTQI+ people, and people with disabilities face. The Commission is made up of leaders who reflect the rich diversity of AA and NHPI communities across the country.
- Advancing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) in the Federal Government. In June 2021, the President signed an Executive Order advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in the federal government. The Executive Order establishes that it is the policy of the Biden-Harris Administration to cultivate a workforce that draws from the full diversity of the nation. As the nation’s largest employer, the federal government must be a model for diversity, equity, and inclusion, and accessibility, where all employees are treated with dignity and respect. In particular, the Executive Order directs agencies to mitigate barriers that AA and NHPI employees, first generation professionals, religious minorities, and workers with limited English proficiency face in accessing federal employment opportunities, including in positions of leadership.
- Signed the Respect for Marriage Act. In December 2022, President Biden signed the Respect for Marriage Act into law, which requires that interracial marriages and same-sex marriage must be recognized as legal in every state in the nation. The is a vital step towards advancing the civil rights of all Americans.
- Launching a National Strategy to Advance Equity, Justice, and Opportunity for AA and NHPI Communities: In January 2023, the Biden-Harris Administration released its first-ever national strategy to promote safety and equity for AA and NHPIs. The strategy, which comprises action plans prepared by 32 federal agencies—including all 15 executive departments in the President’s Cabinet—builds on the Administration’s broader equity agenda and details much needed investments in AA and NHPI communities and priorities, including data disaggregation, language access, and combatting anti-Asian hate.
- Strengthening the pipeline for AA and NHPIs in the Federal Workforce. On May 23, 2023, the Biden-Harris Administration hosted a historic conference focused on supporting AA and NHPI federal employees and cultivating leaders within the federal government–marking the first time such an event has been held at this scale and by any administration since 2014. More than 1,000 employees representing over 100 federal agencies registered to attend the hybrid conference, which was organized by the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (WHIAANHPI) in close partnership with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
Strengthening Partnerships with AA and NHPI Communities. The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to strengthening our engagement efforts and foster greater collaboration with AA and NHPI communities.
- On May 3, 2023, the White House and the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (WHIAANHPI) hosted The White House Forum on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AA and NHPIs) in Washington DC, kicking off AA and NHPI Heritage Month under the theme ‘Visible Together.’ The all-day event drew more than 1,300 AA and NHPI community members from over two dozen states and U.S. territories, making it one of the largest in-person events ever hosted by the Biden-Harris Administration in celebration of AA and NHPI Heritage Month.
- In October 2022, the Department of Transportation (DOT)’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) launched its national series of public transit listening sessions in New York City before holding its second session in San Francisco in January 2023 and its third session in Houston in April 2023. As a follow-up to those listening sessions, DOT is directly engaging specific stakeholders. FTA also plans to host additional listening session throughout 2023 in cities across the country, including Denver, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas.
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Bureau of Consumer Protection staff conducted outreach and consumer education campaigns to and through ethnic media outlets, as well as directly to communities, including AA and NHPI communities, about the financial impact of the pandemic.
- The Department of the Interior (DOI), for the first time in the agency’s history, will require formal consultation with the Native Hawaiian community. Two new Department Manual (DM) chapters that provide the policy and process for consultation were reviewed by all necessary internal officials at DOI and shared with the Native Hawaiian community and then publicly in October 2022. Consultations were held on November 10 and December 5, 2022, and comments were received through February 1, 2023. Input is now being reviewed and deliberated.
- In September 2022, the Department of the Interior (DOI) also released new guidance from the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to improve federal stewardship of public lands, waters, and wildlife in collaboration with the Native Hawaiian community. DOI’s expanded outreach and engagement are in recognition of its distinct obligations to the Native Hawaiian community.
- The Department of Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) provided $55 million through CARES Act grant assistance for facilities, medicine, food, and supplies to Pacific Islander populations in the U.S. territories, the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and to support OIA’s Insular Area Pacific Islander populations in the contiguous United States.
- Building upon extensive engagement from Massachusetts to Los Angeles, U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai and USTR officials continue to meet consistently with domestic AA and NHPI community-based leaders and organizations. In recent meetings within Houston and with Commissioner Victoria Huynh and Atlanta Metropolitan Area community members, the discussions focused both on the Administration’s intentional design of inclusive, worker-centered trade policy and the work of WHIAANHPI and the Commission. Ambassador Tai also tasked the entire agency to identify opportunities for engagements concerning upcoming key trade and investment activities.
- For example, USTR is integrating economic inclusion for AA and NHPIs and other underserved and underrepresented groups into engagement planning during the United States’ host year of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). The theme is “Creating a Resilient and Sustainable Future for All.” In March 2023, USTR released additional information about its inclusive trade work in the Congressional Budget Justification and the President’s 2023 Trade Agenda and 2022 Annual Report, which specifically mentions WHIAANHPI for the first time in the history of the report.
- In May 2021 and May 2022, the United States Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) hosted an AA and NHPI Innovation and Entrepreneurship event series that offered opportunities for AA and NHPI independent inventors, entrepreneurs, and small business owners to learn about resources and opportunities to use their creative works to reach their full potential. The USPTO is hosting the 2023 AA and NHPI Innovation on May 31, 2023. The 2023 Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program offers opportunities for independent inventors, entrepreneurs, small business owners, and intellectual property (IP) professionals to learn about resources available to the AA and NHPI innovation community.
- In FY 2022, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Regional Network (RN) members and other outreach staff conducted or participated in 279 events nationwide for 12,213 attendees, including listening sessions, roundtables, technical assistance programs, and webinars, many in coordination with other federal agencies. Notable events include:
- In August 2022, EEOC staff from the Southwest participated in a Region 9 AA and NHPI Health Summit in Phoenix, Arizona. The summit engaged stakeholders in a discussion about the health care needs and priorities of AA and NHPI communities across the state, highlighted available federal resources and programs, and provided a forum to share current trends, experiences, and outreach efforts. [100 attendees]
- In April 2022, EEOC RN members led a WHIAANHPI Region 9 SW roundtable on COVID-19 Response and Recovery. This was an historic event as the first in-person national event for WHIAANHPI and Region 9 Southwest post-pandemic. Participants included Commissioners Kerry Doi and Dr. Raynald Samoa of the President’s Advisory Commission on AANHPIs, state and elected officials, state senior appointees, AA and NHPI community leaders and stakeholders, academic partners, and federal officials and staff. The event was livestreamed and supported by the California Attorney General’s office. [150 attendees]
- In March 2022, EEOC RN members participated in a WHIAANHPI Region 4 event that included breakout sessions focused on housing, health care, education, and workers’ rights. Language interpretation was provided in Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, and Vietnamese. [275 attendees]
- The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) trained all Outreach and Education Coordinators on the agency’s new data visualization tool to better understand where national origin groups are located, levels of limited English proficiency, and other demographic characteristics.
- The Department of Energy (DOE) actively partnered with an external Asian American organization, Asian Americans in Energy, the Environment, and Commerce, on two engagement events (August 2022 in Washington, D.C., and October 2022 in Boston) to inform the community about contracting and business opportunities as well as employment opportunities resulting from investments via the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act. The DOE also participated in two WHIAANHPI Regional Summits in Seattle and New York City to share Federal and DOE opportunities related to careers, grants, financial assistance, and internships. Finally, the DOE will be sponsoring the upcoming Federal Asian American Pacific Council (FAPAC)’s 2023 National Leadership Training Program in Long Beach, CA in May. The Department is partnering with the DOE’s Asian American Pacific Islander Network (AAPIN) Employee Resource Group to sponsor ERG members in the Federal workforce for professional development, capacity-building, and enhancing leadership skills.
- The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)’s First Annual Asian American and Pacific Islander Conference and Career Expo in February 2023, collaborated with PepsiCo Foundation and two higher education institutions, California State University (Cal State), Fresno and York College in Queens, NY. As part of the conference, USAID hosted an Innovation and Diversity Engagement case competition (IDEA) where students had the opportunity to win cash awards, totaling $30,000. This case competition tackled the issue of ocean plastics in support of women and youth-led solutions in the Philippines.
- In May 2022, the Department of Commerce (DOC)’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) supported the Hawaii State Science and Engineering Fair. This is one of several far-large reaching NOAA-sponsored events that allow the Pacific Islands Region to directly impact the youth in our underserved communities and to inspire local students to pursue careers in the sciences. NOAA provided a unique opportunity to engage with students earlier in their project process, and provided a direct link to NOAA data, science, and scientists. Each year, there are approximately 6,000 participants across 100 Public and Private School fairs, with about 30% advancing to compete at one of nine District Fairs.
Restoring Fairness and Humanity to Our Immigration System. President Biden is committed to reforming our immigration system, promoting racial equity in our immigration policies, and providing legal protections for all noncitizens, including AA and NHPI noncitizens, who call this country home.
- Promoting naturalization. President Biden is committed to making the naturalization process more accessible for eligible noncitizens, directing the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Secretary of State to improve naturalization processing, identify and remove barriers to naturalization, and reduce backlogs for naturalization applications. To advance these goals, the President established an Interagency Working Group, which developed the Interagency Strategy to Promote Naturalization. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reduced the naturalization application backlog by 62 percent and welcomed more than 1 million new U.S. citizens to this country, the highest number of naturalized citizens in nearly 15 years. USCIS also awarded nearly $20 million in grants to 66 organizations to provide citizenship preparation resources, support, and information to immigrants and immigrant-serving organizations.
- Promoting integration and inclusion for new Americans. To ensure that lawfully-present new immigrants and refugees receive the support they need to fully participate in and contribute to our country and their communities, the President established the Task Force on New Americans. The Task Force on New Americans is coordinating the federal government’s efforts to welcome and support immigrants, including refugees, catalyzing State and local integration and inclusion efforts, and developing recommendations on new policy options and strategies to promote immigrant integration and inclusion.
- Utilizing all available employment-based immigrant visas. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of State issued more than 275,000 employment-based immigrant visas (green cards) in FY 2022 – double the pre-pandemic number. Over the past two fiscal years, more than 223,000 employment-based visas have been issued to nationals of India and China, the countries with the longest wait time for such visas.
- Supporting immigrant veterans. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has partnered with DHS to provide needed care and services to deported veterans, including timely and accurate information on immigration services. In addition, DHS established an online center to consolidate federal resources for immigrant veterans, which includes a portal for deported veterans to request permission to return to the United States or access VA benefits to which they may be entitled. To date, DHS and the VA have worked to facilitate the return of more than 60 deported veterans to the United States through the joint Immigrant Military Members and Veterans Initiative (IMMVI).
- Supporting comprehensive immigration reform legislation. President Biden remains committed to passing broad-based legislation to finally reform our broken immigration system and provide a pathway to citizenship to millions of undocumented individuals, including AA and NHPI noncitizens.
Building an Administration that Represents America. President Biden has assembled the most diverse Administration in our nation’s history and is proud to serve alongside Vice President Kamala Harris — the first Black American and South Asian American to be elected Vice President — as well as the 14 percent of all agency appointees that are AA and NHPI, exceeding their 7 percent share of the Census population. The Biden-Harris Administration has taken further action to ensure equal opportunity and inclusion is emphasized throughout the administration, including:
Appointing AA and NHPIs to lead critical agencies. AA and NHPIs are represented at the top level of the administration in the President’s Cabinet and as heads of agencies. This list of senior officials includes United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Rohit Chopra, Surgeon General of the United States Vice Admiral Vivek Murthy, Chair of the Federal Trade Commission Lina Khan, Director of the Office of Personnel Management Kiran Ahuja, and Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy Rahul Gupta.
Nominating AA and NHPIs to Federal Judicial Positions. The Biden-Harris Administration has nominated 27 AA and NHPI federal judicial nominees so far, which represents 16 percent of all federal judicial nominees. This includes several historic appointments, including:
United States Courts of Appeals
- Florence Y. Pan (DC Cir.), to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit after becoming the first Asian American to serve on the District Court for the District of Columbia.
- Roopali Desai (9th Cir.), the first South Asian woman to serve on the Ninth Circuit—the largest appellate court in the country. The Ninth Circuit includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington State.
- Lucy Haeran Koh (9th Cir.), the first Korean-American woman to serve on any federal appeals court, joining the Ninth Circuit.
- Jennifer Sung (9th Cir.), the first Asian American judge from Oregon on the Ninth Circuit.
- John Lee (7th Cir.), the first Asian American judge to ever serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which includes Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana.
- Cindy Chung (3rd Cir.) became the first Asian American judge to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which includes Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
United States District Courts
- Regina M. Rodriguez (D. Colo.), the first Asian American to serve as a district judge in the state.
- Nina Wang (D. Colo.), the second Asian American to serve on the United States District Court for the District of Colorado.
- John Chun (W.D. Wash.), the first Asian American man on the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, and just the second Asian American district judge to serve in the district.
- Tana Lin (W.D. Wash.), the first Asian American district judge in the Western District of Washington.
- Jinsook Ohta (S.D. Cal.), the first Asian American woman to serve the Southern District of California.
- Shalina D. Kumar (E.D. Mich.), the first South Asian federal judge in Michigan.
- Sarala Vidya Nagala (D. Conn.), who, at the time of her confirmation, was the only South Asian woman judge at the District of Connecticut.
- Zahid N. Quraishi (D.N.J.), the first ever Muslim American federal judge in the United States and the first Asian American judge in the District of New Jersey.
- Angel Kelley (D. Mass), who, at the time of her confirmation, was the second Asian American judge and the second African American judge actively serving on the District of Massachusetts.
- Arun Subramanian (S.D.N.Y.), the first South Asian judge to serve on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
United States District Court Nominees
- Loren L. AliKhan (D.D.C.), if confirmed, will be the first South Asian woman to serve on United States District Court for the District of Columbia and the only active Asian American woman judge on that court.
- Robert Huie (S.D. Cal.), if confirmed, will be the third Asian American to ever to serve on the Southern District of California.
- Rita Lin (N.D. Cal.), if confirmed, will be the second Asian American—and first Chinese American woman—to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
- Susan K. DeClercq (E.D. Mich.), if confirmed, will be the first federal judge of East Asian descent in Michigan.
- Mia Perez (E.D.P.A.), if confirmed, will be the first Asian American judge to serve on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
- Nusrat Choudhury (E.D.N.Y), if confirmed, will be the first Bangladeshi-American, the first Muslim-American woman, and only the second Muslim-American person to serve as a federal judge.
- Dale E. Ho (S.D.N.Y.), if confirmed, will be just the third Asian American federal judge on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and the only Asian American man actively serving on that court.
Official news published at https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2023/05/31/fact-sheet-the-biden-harris-administration-advances-equity-and-opportunity-for-asian-american-native-hawaiian-and-pacific-islander-communities-across-the-country/
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