One week before the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump, more than two dozen groups in Orange County—including all four of its law schools—gathered at Whittier Law School for a community forum on what’s at stake for Asian Americans and other vulnerable communities in the OC under the new administration. The January 12 forum was presented by the Orange County chapter of Asian Americans Advancing Justice and co-sponsored by Whittier Law School.
Stewart Chang, associate professor of law and director of the Center for International and Comparative Law at Whittier, helped organize the event. Participants included Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations; Sylvia Kim, Orange County regional director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice; Jennifer Koh, professor of law and director of the Immigration Clinic at Western State College of Law; Stewart Kwoh, president of the Los Angeles chapter of Asian Americans Advancing Justice; Stephen Lee, professor of law at University of California, Irvine; and Carlos Perea, policy and programs director at Resilience Orange County.
Given the anti-immigrant rhetoric and climate post-election, the forum’s organizers felt a need to discuss how vulnerable communities in Orange County can be protected and how to advance justice under the new administration.
“The way to help Trump succeed with keeping up his promises is by remaining silent and neutral,” Ayloush said, according to the Orange County Register’s coverage of the forum. “What we need to do is show up, be there and support truth and justice.”
A number of issues were discussed during the forum, including the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, fear of mass deportations, and the increase in hate crimes and incidents nationwide.
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