NFALA News

2016

Mark Calaguas and Christopher Lapinig Selected as 2016 FYLPro Delegates

Congratulations to NFALA Vice President of Communications Mark Calaguas and former FALA New York steering committee member/current Skadden Fellow at Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles Christopher Lapinig, two of our colleagues who will join eight other exceptional Fili-Ams as 2016 delegates to the Filipino American Young Leaders Program (FYLPro). For more background on this honor, see the following press release from the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C.


2016 FYLPro Delegate Mark Calaguas   2016 FYLPro Delegate Christopher Lapinig



PRESS RELEASE

WDC-078-2016
15 September 2016

10 OUTSTANDING YOUNG FIL-AMS TO TAKE PART IN 2016 FYLPRO

Washington, D.C., — Two engineers, two lawyers, two marketing and communications professionals, a Broadway producer, an educator, a transportation infrastructure specialist, and a culinary enthusiast, form the fifth batch of young Filipino- American leaders who will embark on an immersion trip to the Philippines to meet with influential Filipino personalities and deepen their understanding of issues affecting their country of heritage.

Now on its fifth year, Filipino Young Leaders Program (FYLPRO) continues to give high-performing, next-generation Filipino-Americans the opportunity to reconnect with their roots and engage with government leaders, business executives, cultural experts, social entrepreneurs, and innovators in different fields in the Philippines.

The following are the 2016 FYLPRO delegates:

  1. Noel Aglubat (New York, NY)
  2. Tiffany Batac (Washington, DC)
  3. Joanne Boston (Daly City, CA)
  4. Mark Calaguas (Chicago, IL)
  5. Brandon Dela Cruz (Honolulu, HI)
  6. Elizabeth Frilles (Honolulu, HI)
  7. Christopher Lapinig (Los Angeles, CA)
  8. Maria Teresa Quintans (Tamuning, Guam)
  9. Donny Rojo (Seattle, WA)
  10. Jhett Tolentino (New York, NY)

Minister Patrick Chuasoto, the Embassy’s Chargé d’Affairés ad interim and Chair of the FYLPRO Selection Committee, noted the high caliber crop of applicants to the 2016 edition of FYLPRO.

“The application process has been highly competitive this year and we are proud of the ten delegates who made the final cut. They have enormous leadership potential, and all have exhibited the will to be involved not only in shaping the future of the Filipino-American community but also in contributing to Philippine development,” said Minister Chuasoto.

The 2016 FYLPRO immersion trip, which will be held on 23 November – 02 December 2016, is a joint undertaking by the Philippine Foreign Service Posts in the United States, the Ayala Foundation, Inc. and the Filipino Young Leaders Program Organization.

Learn more about the 2016 FYLPRO delegates via this link: FYLPRO 2016

###




Press Release Re: Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Program


Contact: Mark J. Calaguas, Vice President of Communications
Email: nfalainfo@gmail.com
Website: www.nfala.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 27, 2016

NFALA WELCOMES FILIPINO WORLD WAR II VETERANS PAROLE PROGRAM

Program allows family members to reunite with Filipino World War II veterans prior to issuance of immigrant visas

Chicago, IL, June 27, 2016 - The National Filipino American Lawyers Association (NFALA) applauds the recently implemented Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Program by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which will allow for the reunification of family members with our aging Filipino World War II veterans. The parole program honors the service of Filipino veterans who fought valiantly for the United States during World War II.

Officially implemented on June 8, the parole program affords family members who are awaiting family -based immigrant visas the opportunity to receive a discretionary grant of parole to enter the United States before their visa becomes available. Filipino family members waiting for family-based visas can sometimes wait over 20 years due to visa backlogs.

Over 250,000 Filipino soldiers answered President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s call in 1941 to fight for the U.S. during World War II. Today, some advocates estimate less than 15,000 veterans remain, and those veterans still with us are rapidly aging. The parole program will allow family members to spend time with and care for their veteran family member or his or her spouse.

“Filipino veterans admirably fought and sacrificed alongside U.S. troops during World War II, but many have not yet been fully recognized for their contributions,” said NFALA President, Rudy Figueroa. “This is a victory for the Filipino American community and another step towards full recognition of our veteranos.”

NFALA thanks President Obama for his continued leadership in recognizing the heroic contributions of our World War II veterans.

# # #

The National Filipino American Lawyers Association (NFALA) is a national association of Filipino‐American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students dedicated to promoting the professional development, interests, and success of Filipino‐American legal professionals nationwide. NFALA represents over 1,000 attorneys and various state and local Filipino‐American bar associations. NFALA is the voice for the national Filipino‐American legal community and strives to fight for equal opportunity and the rights of underserved minority groups.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Mark J. Calaguas, Vice President of Communications at nfalainfo@gmail.com.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 27, 2016

NFALA WELCOMES FILIPINO WORLD WAR II VETERANS PAROLE PROGRAM

Program allows family members to reunite with Filipino World War II veterans prior to issuance of immigrant visas

Chicago, IL, June 27, 2016 - The National Filipino American Lawyers Association (NFALA) applauds the recently implemented Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Program by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which will allow for the reunification of family members with our aging Filipino World War II veterans. The parole program honors the service of Filipino veterans who fought valiantly for the United States during World War II.



NFALA Statement on Tragedy in Orlando


NFALA Mourns the Lives Lost in Orlando, Florida and Stands in Solidarity with Its Brothers and Sisters in the LGBTQ Community



Contact: Mark J. Calaguas, Esq.
NFALA Vice President of Communications
Email: nfalainfo@gmail.com
Website: www.nfala.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 13, 2016

Chicago, IL, June 13, 2016 – The National Filipino American Lawyers Association (NFALA) joins the country and its brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ community in expressing outrage and sadness over the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016. NFALA expresses its deepest sympathies to the families, friends, and loved ones of the victims of this massacre.

NFALA stands in solidarity with the LGBTQ community and affirms its commitment to protecting the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning people and to ensuring that the laws of the United States advance equality and justice for all of its communities.

This senseless violence is not only an attack on our LGBTQ brothers and sisters, but also against all Americans. NFALA condemns such hateful acts, as well as, divisive speech and attitudes that seek to pit communities of color and minority groups against each other. We specifically reject any attempts to sow hatred against the Muslim community as a result of this tragedy. We stand in solidarity with all groups who have faced oppression and discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, or sexual orientation.

# # #

The National Filipino American Lawyers Association (NFALA) is a national association of Filipino‐American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students dedicated to promoting the professional development, interests, and success of Filipino‐American legal professionals nationwide. NFALA represents over 1,000 attorneys and various state and local Filipino‐American bar associations. NFALA is the voice for the national Filipino‐American legal community and strives to fight for equal opportunity and the rights of underserved minority groups.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact NFALA Vice President of Communications Mark Calaguas, Esq. via email at nfalainfo@gmail.com.




NFALA Leadership Summit 2016

On June 10-12, Fil-Am bar leaders from across the country convened in Chicago for the 2016 NFALA Leadership Summit. Building off the model established at last year’s inaugural Midyear Meeting in Las Vegas, NFALA board members and officers facilitated strategic planning and organizational leadership training sessions for bar presidents and other representatives from NFALA local affiliates that included FALA Chicago, FALA DC, FALA New York, Filipino American Lawyers of San Diego (FALSD), Filipino Bar Association of Northern California (FBANC), Filipino Lawyers of Washington (FLOW), and the Philippine American Bar Association (PABA), as well as delegates from locales with blossoming Fil-Am legal communities such as Atlanta, Boston, Orange County, and Portland.

We continue to be inspired by our passionate and hardworking colleagues who attended the summit and we look forward to executing the goals set during the high level discussions that transpired over the course of the weekend. Many thanks to our event organizers at FALA Chicago, especially Leadership Summit steering committee members Jasmine Hernandez, Janice Jabido, Ray Sagun, and Kristy Gonowon.

We would also like to acknowledge American Bar Association governor Ruthe Ashley for her stirring dinner address and extend our gratitude to the following senior members of the legal community who participated in our empowerment panel: Judge Israel Desierto, Aurora Abella Austriaco, Michael Chu, Dennis Mondero, and Joseph Yao.

Additional shout outs go to our host venues Hyatt Place Chicago, Sedgwick LLP, Seyfarth Shaw, House of Blues Chicago, il Porcellino, Studio Paris Nightclub, as well as catering providers Isla Filipino Restaurant, Portillo's, and Lou Malnati's.


NFALA Leadership Summit 2016

On June 10-12, Fil-Am bar leaders from across the country convened in Chicago for the 2016 NFALA Leadership Summit. Building off the model established at last year’s inaugural Midyear Meeting in Las Vegas, NFALA board members and officers facilitated strategic planning and organizational leadership training sessions for bar presidents and other representatives from NFALA local affiliates that included FALA Chicago, FALA DC, FALA New York, Filipino American Lawyers of San Diego (FALSD), Filipino Bar Association of Northern California (FBANC), Filipino Lawyers of Washington (FLOW), and the Philippine American Bar Association (PABA), as well as delegates from locales with blossoming Fil-Am legal communities such as Atlanta, Boston, Orange County, and Portland.




NAPABA Lobby Day 2016

On May 23 and 24, over 80 attorneys took part in the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association's 2016 Lobby Day program, including NFALA members representing  the Filipino American Lawyers Association of Chicago, Filipino American Lawyers Association of Washington, DC, Filipino American Lawyers Association of New York, Filipino Bar Association of Northern California, Filipino Lawyers of Washington, and the Philippine American Bar Association of Los Angeles. 

The activities kicked off with a group admission to the U.S. Supreme Court bar followed by training sessions designed to help attendees educate lawmakers on key issues affecting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. A congressional reception was then held during the first evening before the delegates went on to meet with legislators the next day. The three main issues discussed this year were: "Can Toddlers Really Represent Themselves in Immigration Court?", "Honoring the Service of Filipino WWII Veterans," and "Addressing Anti-Refugee and Xenophobic Sentiment."

Thank you to Jones Day for hosting the legislative training sessions, Senator Mazie Hirono for delivering the address at the congressional reception, and to FALA DC for welcoming out of the guests with a pre-Lobby Day mixer.


NAPABA Lobby Day 2016

On May 23 and 24, over 80 attorneys took part in the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association's 2016 Lobby Day program, including NFALA members representing  the Filipino American Lawyers Association of Chicago, Filipino American Lawyers Association of Washington, DC, Filipino American Lawyers Association of New York, Filipino Bar Association of Northern California, Filipino Lawyers of Washington, and the Philippine American Bar Association of Los Angeles. 




NFALA Co-Signs NAPABA Letter re: U.S. Supreme Court Vacancy


NFALA joins the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association as one of 54 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations urging Senate leaders to hold a timely vote on any upcoming candidates nominated to fill the current vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.



March 14, 2016

The Honorable Charles E. Grassley
U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee
224 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Patrick Leahy
U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee
224 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510


RE: Filling the Vacancy on the Supreme Court of the United States


Dear Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Leahy:

We the undersigned fifty-four (54) national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations have a long history of supporting judicial nominees from both Democratic and Republican presidents. Our bipartisan organizations represent the interests of Asian Pacific American attorneys across the country.

As professional legal membership organizations and representatives of Asian Pacific American attorneys, we have consistently maintained that it is both the President and the Senate’s constitutional responsibility to ensure that our courts are fully functioning.

The President has the constitutional right to nominate Article III judges—including U.S. Supreme Court Justices—“by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate,” under Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution.

Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution further makes it clear that the Senate fulfills its constitutional responsibility to ensure the effective functioning of our courts by giving that nominee fair consideration on the merits and a timely up or down vote.

The Constitutional obligations of the President and the Senate hold true irrespective of who is in the White House, the identity of the individual nominee, or the political affiliation of any individual Senator.

As attorneys, we are deeply concerned about the effect and impact that the current rhetoric and stated positions will have on the effective operation of the judiciary, and on public perception of the American justice system. A full complement of Supreme Court Justices is critical to ensuring the smooth functioning of the judiciary and our legal system. The mere prospect of two terms of the Court without a full bench opens the door to uncertainty in the legal system. Any actuality of an incomplete Court will hamper the administration of justice. The Court must be able to resolve questions of constitutional and statutory importance and resolve disagreements between the lower courts to ensure uniformity of federal law. It needs a full Court to be able to do so effectively. Delay in the Supreme Court’s ability to fulfill its duties by intentionally leaving it incomplete will have a direct impact on the legal rights of Americans, individuals and businesses of all backgrounds, across the country, and further erode public confidence in our legal system and in the functioning of our democracy.

We strongly urge the Senate to uphold its Constitutional duty by holding a fair hearing and timely vote on any Supreme Court nominee to ensure the effective operation of our judicial system.

Sincerely,

NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
National Filipino American Lawyers Association
South Asian Bar Association of North America
Thai American Bar Association

STATE AND LOCAL BAR ORGANIZATIONS

Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (California)
Asian American Prosecutors Association (California)
Asian Bar Association of Sacramento (California)
Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County (California)
Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Silicon Valley (California)
Filipino American Lawyers of San Diego (California)
Filipino Bar Association of Northern California
Korean American Bar Association of the Northern California
Orange County Asian American Bar Association (California)
Pan Asian Lawyers of San Diego (California)
Philippine American Bar Association (California)
South Asian Bar Association of Northern California
South Asian Bar Association of Southern California
Vietnamese American Bar Association of Northern California
Vietnamese American Bar Association of Southern California
Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Colorado
Connecticut Asian Pacific American Bar Association
Asian Pacific American Bar Association – Tampa Bay (Florida)
Asian Pacific American Bar Association of South Florida
Greater Orlando Asian American Bar Association (Florida)
NAPABA – Hawaii
Asian American Bar Association of Greater Chicago (Illinois)
Chinese American Bar Association of Greater Chicago (Illinois)
Filipino American Lawyers Association of Chicago (Illinois)
Indian-American Bar Association of Chicago (Illinois)
Korean American Bar Association of Chicago (Illinois)
Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Indiana
Louisiana Asian Pacific American Bar Association
Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts
Asian Pacific American Bar Association – Maryland
Michigan Asian Pacific American Bar Association
Minnesota Asian Pacific American Bar Association
Asian American Bar Association of Kansas City (Missouri)
Missouri Asian American Bar Association
Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey
Asian American Bar Association of New York
Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York
Asian American Bar Association of Ohio
Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Central Ohio
Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Southwest Ohio
Oregon Asian Pacific American Bar Association
Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania
Tennessee Asian Pacific American Bar Association
Asian American Bar Association of Houston (Texas)
Austin Asian American Bar Association (Texas)
Dallas Asian American Bar Association (Texas)
Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Virginia
Asian Bar Association of Washington
Filipino Lawyers of Washington
South Asian Bar Association of Washington


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