By J. LEE
AAP staff writer
WOODBURY, Minn. (Nov. 9, 2011) — The State Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans held a Community Roundtable this month at the Woodbury Library to discuss issues impacting the immigrant and refugee community and stakeholders.
A round table of speakers discussed South Asian immigration issues as student visas, deportation and work permits. They emphasized that work must continue on issues faced by immigrants and refugees. These include, but are not limited to education, employment, healthcare, housing, services, transportation, public policies, and state and federal legislation.
The small roundtable was attended by Minn. Dept. of Human Rights Director Lucy Johnson Gaines; Center for Educational Partnerships Director Dr. Melissa Kwon; Children’s Hope International President and Executive Director Jean Lee; CAPM Board member and Attorney General staffer Shivanthi Sathanandan; and businesswoman Bee Vang.
Vang pointed out the need to be inclusive of others in the APA community of more than 42 countries and 59 ethnicities. They share many of the same issues and CAPM is supposed to represent the whole APA community.
Jean Lee mentioned the Asian Pacific American Housing Consortium state and federal legislation in process to support Asian Pacific American service provider organizations in serving and helping the APA community with their needs. Help from the community, the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans, and others are needed in passing the legislation.
Unresolved problems continually discussed since the 1980s included:
• Professional degrees obtained in another country have no value in Minnesota.
Comments included the University of Minnesota having dual degree programs in other countries to solve this problem, but expansion to cover all degrees from Asian countries is needed.
• Ongoing racism and bullying needs to go beyond talk to acting on solid solutions.
It was pointed out that accepted solutions of “mental health treatment” and “medication” used for similar problems known as “abuse and violence” – needs support and expansion to target these sub-categories.
For information on future events contact Ilean Her, executive director, CAPM, at 651-757-1740, or email [email protected] Contact CAPM Research Analyst
Brian Kao at 651-757-1742, or email [email protected] to provide input on the issues and solutions. Let them know if special accessibility assistance is needed.