Immigrant Rights

Immigrants in Hawai‘i often encounter significant obstacles in navigating the legal system and social service agencies, whether because of cultural or language barriers. Appleseed is involved in litigation and advocacy on behalf of immigrants to ensure that they receive the fair and equal treatment needed to participate fully in our community.

Appleseed's advocacy areas include language access, health care, equal treatment of COFA residents in Hawai‘i, and assistance with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

Looking for DACA help? Visit to get started.

infographic on myths and facts on COFA migrants taxes and benefits

In addition to representation, Appleseed has also produced materials for public distribution about the challenges COFA residents face daily. Click on the links below to access these reports.

Appleseed worked with PBS Hawai‘i to create a panel to discuss Micronesians living in Hawai‘i, originally aired May 17, 2012. You can watch the video below or click here to watch it on PBS's website.

Hawai‘i Appleseed Executive Director Victor Geminiani is one of the featured interviewees in a documentary produced by UH masters student Keola Diaz about the Micronesian community and Basic Health Hawai‘i. You can view this documentary below:

You can also click here to view the film in full.

On July 15, 2013, Father Francis X. Hezel spoke at the East-West Center about Micronesians and Cultural Dilemmas in Development. You can view a recording of the talk below. If you experience difficulty, click here to view it on Vimeo.

Father Francis X. Hezel, SJ, former Director of Micronesian Seminar, speaks at the East-West Center from East-West Center on Vimeo.

Undocumented students may qualify for resident tuition at University of Hawai‘i

The University of Hawai‘i adopted a policy in February 2012 that allows undocumented students to qualify for in-state tuition. Thank you Hawai‘i Alliance of Immigrants for Advocacy and the UH Board of Regents for adopting this important policy! Flyers with more information are below and have been translated into the following languages:

Appleseed is involved in the following initiatives to support the immigrant population in our state.

in the news

Our COFA infographic included in Congressional briefing materials discussing COFA migrant's exclusion from Medicaid. Briefing hosted by Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, the Asian Pacific Islander Health Forum and the Association of Asian Pacific Health Organizations. Read more.

HANO News, LEJ Counters Myths about Micronesians Living in the US, July 23, 2013