Providing Hope and Protection
Through Legal Support
Asian Pacific Fund's mission is to support organizations that serve our most vulnerable community members in the Bay Area. For more than 40 years, the Asian Law Alliance (ALA), a Fund affiliate, has helped tens of thousands of people fight for justice in the immigration process, their right to affordable housing, and access to basic human and legal rights. It's clear from testimonials about their clients that they have changed the lives of those they serve:
"After years of uncertainty, Rebecca is finally a green card holder and in control of her life."
"Mrs. Lin is happily living in her new apartment and visits her two daughters daily."
We spoke to Richard Konda, ALA’s executive director, about the ways ALA's services are needed now more than ever.
What are the core services that ALA provides for the community?
We provide direct legal services, community education and advocacy work. Approximately 70 percent of who we serve are Asian or Pacific Islander, and more than 90 percent reside in Santa Clara County.
What changes have you seen since the election?
Our immigration work has grown over the past several years, but since November, we have been inundated with requests from universities, community colleges and faith-based groups to help them understand potential changes on the horizon and what to share so their constituents know their rights.
What do you currently feel are the most pressing needs?
At the moment, the most pressing need is around the mass deportations that have been occurring in California and a few other states. We have a two-phase approach to address this need: 1) helping people find a path to citizenship, and 2) seeking funding to be able to represent those caught up in the court system. This will be a growing need as there are no public defenders available in the immigration court system for those who cannot afford a lawyer.
How can lawyers who want to volunteer get involved?
We welcome lawyers who want to help at our citizenship workshops and clinics. While immigration law is ideal, it is not a requirement. Contact information is on our website.
As you reflect on ALA’s 40th anniversary this year, what are you most proud of?
As one of the founding members, I’m most proud of our ability to adapt to the evolving and critical needs of our community, which is especially important given our political reality.
Top photo for illustrative purposes only/iStock photo