Earlier this week, Hmong Innovating Politics joined with over 160 Asian American and Pacific Islander groups in filing an Amicus Brief to the Supreme Court in support of the University of Texas' race-conscious admissions policy (Fisher vs. University of Texas II). In the Amicus Brief, advocates argue that institutions of higher education cannot evaluate applicants holistically without consideration of race. HIP has consistently held that race-blind or race-ignorant policies ignore the unique barriers and challenges applicants have had to overcome in order to obtain access to higher education. Moreover, race-ignorant policies mask the significant disparities that exist within the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. For example, in Sacramento County, only 16.4% of the Hmong community has a Bachelors Degree or higher, compared to 28% of the total population and 30% of Whites. (Source: United States Census Bureau. 2011-2013 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates)
Here in California, race-ignorant policies like Proposition 209 are correlated with significant drops in admissions of students of color and the stagnation of educational attainment rates for historically undeserved populations. By ruling against the University of Texas's affirmative action policy, the Supreme Court would prohibit the use of ethnicity, effectively masking the Southeast Asian American community's immense diversity and significant educational disparities.
For more coverage on Fisher v. University of Texas II, check out these links:
- HIP Supports Repeal of Prop 209 -http://www.hipsacramento.org/blog/2014/03/09/hip-supports-repeal-of-prop-209
- NBC News - http://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/more-160-asian-american-groups-file-briefs-support-affirmative-action-n456666
- AALDEF Amicus Brief - https://www.scribd.com/doc/288383985/AALDEF-amicus-brief-Fisher-v-Texas