Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA

Building upon the legacy of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center

Advancing Justice Welcomes News of USCIS Granting Humanitarian Parole to Leukemia Patient Helen Huynh

SANTA ANA, CA -- Today, the U.S. Department of Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) granted humanitarian parole to leukemia patient Helen Huynh, a resident of Orange County in Southern California.  
 
“We are so relieved by today’s decision and commend USCIS for doing the right thing, the humane thing, in granting humanitarian parole,” said Sylvia Kim, Advancing Justice’s Orange County regional director. “We hope it is in time to save Helen Huynh’s life, which has been hanging in the balance for months.”  
 
Earlier this year, Helen was diagnosed unexpectedly with acute myeloid leukemia and needed a stem cell transplant from as close a genetic match as possible. While a minimum 70 percent match is required to proceed with a transplant, Helen’s sister in Vietnam, Thuy Nguyen, turned out to be a rare 100 percent match for Helen. Thuy’s perfect match for Helen is also remarkable in that rate of matches for Asian patients (72 percent) is significantly lower than for white patients (80 to 90 percent). Unfortunately, in the many months following Helen’s leukemia diagnosis, her sister Thuy was unable to secure a visitor visa to enter the United States in order to provide the life-saving stem cell transplant. Thuy applied for and was rejected multiple times for a visitor’s visa. The family then filed an application with USCIS for humanitarian parole, a last-ditch effort to bring Thuy from Vietnam. 
 
“My family is so relieved that my aunt Thuy will now be able to enter the United States. This is half the battle -- now we can finally focus on fighting the cancer,” said Ai-Van Murray, one of Helen Huynh’s daughters. “We are grateful to all who have helped us these past months including Senator Kamala Harris, Congressman Alan Lowenthal, and Congressman Lou Correa. But we have also heard from so many families who have faced similar hurdles in the visa process and we hope our family’s story will help shed light on much needed changes for bi-national families facing grave illness and death.”   
 
While not involved in the legal applications, Advancing Justice-LA and Advancing Justice-Orange County have supported the family’s efforts for humanitarian parole, launching an online sign-on letter last week asking USCIS to help save Helen Huynh’s life. As of today, over 90 organizations and more than 1100 individuals had signed on in support of Helen Huynh and her sister Thuy Nguyen. 
 
“We are thrilled for Helen Huynh and her family,” said Karin Wang, Vice-President of Programs and Communications for Advancing Justice-LA. “But as a civil rights organization, we are extremely concerned that this current administration’s hostility to all visitors and immigrants extends far beyond official policies and Presidential executive orders and has reached heartless extremes.”
 
As her family moves forward in their fight to save Helen, Advancing Justice-LA joins groups like Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches in encouraging Asian Americans and other people of color to join the national bone marrow registry, as matches are most likely with donors of similar backgrounds. “Helen is very fortunate to have found a perfect match in her sister,” said Susan Choi, director of Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches. “But her story is also an important reminder to participate in the national bone marrow registry. Seventy percent of patients searching for a marrow donor must rely on the kindness and generosity of strangers to donate, and nationally, more than 5,000 patients of color are searching for a marrow donor match at any given time. You could be a match for someone like Helen.”  
 
To support Helen Huynh’s family, visit: https://www.gofundme.com/helping-helen-huynh. For more information about bone marrow registry, see: www.a3mhope.org.
 
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List of organizations who have signed on to letter asking USCIS  to grant humanitarian parole to save Helen Huynh's life (as of 9/29/17):
 
Asian Americans Advancing Justice - AAJC
Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Atlanta
Asian Americans Advancing Justice - ALC
Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Chicago
Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles and Orange County
18MillionRising.org
Access California Services
Asian American Drug Abuse Program, Inc.
Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund 
Asian Law Alliance
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance
Asian Pacific and Policy Council
Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Association
Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches
BPSOS Center for Community Advancement, Inc.
California State University-Fullerton, Asian American Studies Program
Catholic Charities of Orange County
Chinatown Service Center
Chinese Progressive Association
Clinica Monseñor Oscar A. Romero
Coalition of O.C. Community Health Centers
Council on American-Islamic Relations, Greater Los Angeles Area 
Courage Campaign
Empowering Pacific Islander Communities 
Guam Communications Network
Immigration Resource Center of San Gabriel Valley
Japanese American Citizens League
Korean Community Services
Korean Resource Center
Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc.
Little Tokyo Service Center
National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum
National Coalition for Asian Pacific Community Development 
OCA-Greater Los Angeles
Orange County Asian American Bar Association
Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance
Orange County Congregation Community Organization
Pacific Islander Health Partnership
Pi Delta Psi Fraternity, Incorporated (Georgia State University)
Pilipino Workers Center of Southern California
Public Law Center
Reappropriate
Resilience Orange County
South Asian Bar Association of Southern California
Southeast Asia Resource Action Center
Thai Community Development Center
Vietnamese American Bar Association of Northern California
Vietnamese American Bar Association of Southern California
Vietnamese American Community of Massachusetts
Vietnamese Association of Illinois
Vietnamese Community of Pomona Valley
Western State College of Law Immigration Clinic
Contact: 
Randy Bunnao, [email protected], 213-241-0227
About Advancing Justice - LA: 
Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles (Advancing Justice-LA) is the nation’s largest legal and civil rights organization for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (NHPI). Through direct services, impact litigation, policy advocacy, leadership development, and capacity building, Advancing Justice-LA focuses on the most vulnerable members of Asian American and NHPI communities while also building a strong voice for civil rights and social justice.
Wednesday, September 27, 2017

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Our mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society.