Two ordinances in the small rural county of Siskiyou at the California-Oregon border that Asian Americans called discriminatory have been overturned.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice-ALC says the regulations denying many Hmong Americans access to water have been rescinded.
A lawsuit filed by the non-profit legal service out of San Franciso alleged the laws targeted Hmong Americans, Chinese Americans and other Asian American residents in the area.
11 Siskiyou County residents joined the lawsuit known as Lo v Siskiyou County. The suit accused the county of harassment, discrimination, and racial profiling against the Asian American community.
“My neighbors and I have been forced to make impossible choices between bathing every week and providing water to our pets, livestock, and gardens. County officials said they wanted to ‘choke’ us out, and these water ordinances were one tool in a shameful playbook to push so many of us out of the neighborhoods we call home,” said Russell Mathis, who lives in Siskiyou County. “
The ACLU and the firm of Covington & Burling LLP also joined in the lawsuit.
“As the Asian American community in Siskiyou has grown, including more parents enrolling their kids in school, grandparents retiring to more rural areas that remind them of Laos, and families trying to be closer together, Siskiyou County and the Sheriff’s Department have gone to troubling lengths to push out the Asian American community, and community members are taking action to create a safe, inclusive place to live,” said John Do, senior staff attorney for the Racial & Economic Justice Program at the ACLU of Northern California.
Attorneys for the Asian Law Caucus agreed.
“Siskiyou County’s bigoted practices draw from a long history of U.S. policies treating people of Asian descent as less than full Americans who ‘don’t belong’ in our country, picking and choosing who has the freedom to build better lives and live safely,” said Glenn Katon, litigation director for the Asian Law Caucus.
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