RAISE is a pan-Asian undocumented group based on the East Coast. Our work is grounded in the intersection of being both undocumented and Asian/Pacific Islander (API). We are part of the collective 1.5 million undocumented API’s in the United States, and we want to use our personal experiences to give visibility to and highlight the humanity of our stories.
Through political activism, leadership development, community education, and coalition building, RAISE works at the grassroots level to reimagine justice and demand liberation for all immigrants in America. We believe that building a future where all undocumented immigrants can thrive requires an approach that takes into account our intersectional identities.
Our fight is not just about us, however; it is about the liberation of all oppressed peoples, which can only happen by dismantling the systems of oppression tied to the political-economic systems of capitalism and imperialism. This is why our movement for immigrant justice in the U.S. is rooted in solidarity with workers, youth, tenants, queer, trans, and gender non-conforming people, womxn, formerly incarcerated people, and other marginalized groups. Only by politically educating, mobilizing, and building the people power of these communities can we achieve full emancipation.
Revolutionizing Asian American Stories on the East Coast (RAISE) is based in New York City and Boston, and affiliated with the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF).
Founded in 2012, RAISE was created at the advent of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA, which provided temporary reprieve from deportation and work authorization for certain undocumented youth, catalyzed RAISE’s basebuilding. The victory that accompanied DACA provided an avenue for many undocumented people to come out of the shadows, and provided a testament to how undocumented youth organizing can lead to systemic change.
Our Boston Chapter was formed in 2019 after Trump’s attempt to shut down the DACA program. The group is affiliated with the Asian American Resource Workshop (AARW) and the Asian Outreach Unit from Greater Boston Legal Services.
Asian Women Giving Circle
Asian American Writer’s Workshop
Global Action Project
The New York Women’s Foundation
Angela is a member and the organizer of the Boston chapter. She has been a member since 2019. She has worked with UndocuAsian elders, young adults and youth through her legal services work with Asian Outreach Unit since 2020. Angela works as a paralegal and lives in Boston, Massachusetts.
Born in the Philippines and raised in Los Angeles, Christine is passionate about social justice and enjoys building community through food and art. In her free time, Christine indulges in trying new recipes, playing basketball, and writing poetry.
Jan Heli Bautista
Core Member (NYC)
Jan Heli Bautista is a Queens College graduate deeply committed to community advocacy and organizing. He is dedicated to empowering marginalized immigrant communities through education.
He also aspires to become a college professor who applies his knowledge and experiences to instill a positive change for future generations.
Core Member (NYC)
Born in Bangladesh, Mahir is a current Macaulay Honors Student at Queens College pursuing a BA in Political Science. As a formerly undocumented student, he has built his academic and professional journey around uplifting and supporting undocumented and immigrant students at CUNY and the NYC Department of Education (NYCDOE).
Currently, Mahir works as the Design & Social Media Engagement Assistant at CUNY Undocumented & Immigrant Student Programs (UISP), where he creates social media content tailored to the unique personal and academic needs of undocumented and immigrant students across all 25 CUNY campuses. Mahir is also a returning third-year Immigrant Ambassador to the NYCDOE, where he supports multilingual and first-generation high school students in exploring their postsecondary options.
Outside of work, Mahir enjoys baking and painting.
Originally from Hong Kong, Jeffrey has been a core member of RAISE since its inception in 2012. He has been a part of multiple projects within RAISE, including UndocuAsians and AmplifyHer. Jeffrey works as a designer and lives in Brooklyn.
Hong Mei Pang
Advisory Board Member (Oakland)
Hong Mei is the Director of Advocacy at Chinese for Affirmative Action. Through leveraging public policy and strategic communications, she leads CAA's advocacy from San Francisco to advance immigrant and civil rights. Hong Mei has built strong ties with the immigrant rights movement, both through her immigrant rights work at CAA and her community organizing history with undocumented API youth groups in SF and New York City. Hong Mei's conviction to cultivate civic power within immigrant communities is informed by her personal experiences as a formerly undocumented immigrant in the US. Hong Mei immigrated to the United States from Singapore. She graduated from The New School in New York City, where she cultivated her passion for social justice and public policy.
Advisory Board Member (NYC)
Razeen Zaman has been with RAISE since its inception in 2012. She has organized with various immigrants' rights organizations in New York and has been involved in different campaigns including the campaign for the NY Dream Act. She works as an immigrants' rights attorney and invests her free time perfecting the art of making macarons.
Advisory Board Member (Boston)
Bethany Li is the Director of the Asian Outreach Unit at Greater Boston Legal Services. The Asian Outreach Unit uses a community lawyering model to serve the legal needs of low-income Asian Americans through close collaboration with community organizing. Previously, Bethany was a Robert M. Cover Fellow at Yale Law School, where she taught in the Veterans Legal Services Clinic. Bethany was also a staff attorney and Equal Justice Works Fellow at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, where she litigated zoning cases on discrimination in immigrant communities, represented low-income workers in wage theft cases, and guided the launch of RAISE. Bethany also taught Asian American civil rights and legal issues at City University of New York-Hunter College. She graduated from Georgetown University Law Center and Amherst College.