Asylum, Right of
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2018.034.003 Oral History Interview with Fernando Chang-Muy

Fernando Chang-Muy has had a long career in immigrant and refugee legal advocacy, including as staff attorney and Director of the Southeast Asian Refugee Project at Community Legal Services in Philadelphia, and as Legal Officer for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). He currently teaches Refugee Law and Policy at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, and Social Work and Immigration in its Graduate School of Social Policy and Practice. At the time of the Golden Venture, he was involved in training attorneys in York County to represent Chinese immigrants who had been transferred to the local immigrant detention center. In his brief historical overview of the then existing legal infrastructure, Chang-Muy explains that asylum law was relatively new and legal practitioners were few, thus highlighting the importance of the Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center’s (PIRC) development of legal training. His historical overview also covers the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, a history of America as country of immigration and refuge for Quakers, Chinese, Central Americans, Syrians and other groups, the raising and lowering of refugee resettlement quotas under various presidents, and attempts to stop the entry of Muslim refugees in the era after 9/11. He gives in-depth legal expertise on the applicability of due process to the Golden Venture Chinese, reasons for prolonged detention, and issues of concern in the immigration detention and asylum process and system. Chang-Muy then pivots to discuss desired visitor takeaways from the MOCA FOLD Exhibition. The oral history ends with a brief discussion of his personal and family history, including the immigration of his father from Cuba as a refugee, and its influence on his decision to pursue a career in immigration law.

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2018.034.006 Oral History Interview with Joan Maruskin

This oral history focuses on Joan Maruskin, one of the original founders and coordinators of People of the Golden Vision, a group in York, Pennsylvania that advocated for the rights of the Golden Venture refugees. Maruskin is also a staff member of the Church World Service Immigration and Refugee Program. She discusses how she first heard of the Golden Venture detainees, the founding of the People of the Golden Vision and their work, how People of the Golden Vision expanded, and what she believes are the outcomes of her advocacy work. She stresses the important role that the media played in spreading word about the Golden Venture immigrants’ plight and how successful the immigrants went on to become in their respective communities. She also discusses the situation of the Golden Venture women who were detained in New Orleans, Louisiana, and were eventually resettled in Ecuador. She emphasizes the integral role that the Golden Venture immigrants play as productive members of society and contributors to the rich cultural fabric of the United States. She recalls the impact that the organization had on legislative reform. She stresses the importance of reforming family detention, which is tearing families of immigrants apart. Maruskin says that while People of the Golden Vision had a large impact, they were just ordinary citizens who cared about what was happening. She hopes that visitors to the exhibit can see themselves in the stories of the Golden Venture refugees, and that it will inspire the visitors to become advocates for immigrant rights in their own way.

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2018.034.007 Oral History Interview with Elizabeth OuYang

Elizabeth OuYang is a Chinese American attorney who has advocated for immigrant and Asian American civil rights for more than three decades. At the time of the Golden Venture, OuYang was a staff attorney at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) tasked with advancing voting rights and prosecuting hate crimes, and in this capacity, she assisted with interviewing Golden Venture Chinese who were detained at the Varick Street detention center. In addition to this work, topics of her oral history also include the legal landscape of immigration in the 1990s and post 9/11; her work representing Arab Muslims and South Asians; the impact of the broken immigration system and Trump administration on undocumented immigrants; the rise in hate crimes against Chinese and Asian Americans following the grounding of the Golden Venture; and desired visitor takeaways from MOCA’s FOLD exhibition.