For immediate release
March 26, 2009
EunSook Lee, NAKASEC, 323-937-3703, ext. 205
Becky Belcore, KRCC, 773-588-9158
Dae Joong Yoon, KRC, 323-937-3718
DREAM Act Introduction Brings Hope to America’s Youth
(Los Angeles, CA) On March 26, 2009, the DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) Act was introduced by Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL), Richard Lugar (R-IN), Russell Feingold (D-WI), Edward Kennedy (D-MA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Joe Lieberman (I- CT), Mel Martinez (R-FL), and Harry Reid (D-NV) in the Senate and Representatives Howard Berman (D-CA), Anh Joseph Cao (R-LA), John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Devin Nunes (R-CA), Jared Polis (D-CO), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) in the House of Representatives. This bipartisan legislation would provide undocumented students a chance to pursue higher education and obtain legal status.
Eun Sook Lee, executive director of NAKASEC, applauded the bill’s re-introduction, “With leadership and commitment, Senators Durbin and Rep. Berman has led the introduction of an important bill that gives hope to the 1.7 million undocumented children of this country. We call upon Congress to recognize the urgent responsibility we have to our young people and make DREAM Act a reality, once and for all.”
“Every year, 65,000 undocumented students graduate from U.S. high schools. 1 in 5 is Korean Americans are undocumented, including a significant percentage under 18 years of age,” Becky Belcore, executive director of KRCC said, “These young people face many barriers including lack of access to financial aid, in-state tuition in most states, and live in constant fear of deportation and separation from their loved ones. We are accountable to the futures of these young people and are ready to work with our communities and elected officials to ensure that each and every one of them has the chance to build a bright and full future.”
“Our parents brought us here for the American dream and we have grown up in the U.S., studying and working hard so that we can give back and contribute to our communities. I hope that we can finally pass the DREAM Act and send a strong message to youth across the country that our dreams, talents, and skills matter,” said Han Joon Kim, a student leader from FYSH (Fighting Youth Shouting out for Humanity), a youth group organized by KRCC in Chicago, Illinois.
“Korean American youths in Chicago and Los Angeles have been working hard to urge Congress and President Obama to support DREAM Act. We ask our elected officials to co-sponsor the bill and give us the chance to make our dreams come true,” said Ashley Park, a student leader from RYSE (Rise of Youth to Serve and Empower), a youth group organized by KRC in Los Angeles, California.
“NAKASEC and its affiliates are committed to the passage of this critical bill and will continue to engage our youth to take leadership in the student legalization movement,” Dae Joong Yoon, executive director of KRC added, “For more than eight years, young people have been in the forefront organizing their peers, community leaders, and other allies for passage of the bill. Until these students are afforded the same treatment as their native born peers, they will continue to work to create the change they deserve.”
Upon request, interviews are available with the Korean American community members in Chicago and Los Angeles who will directly benefit from this legislation or who work with impacted students. To schedule a media interview, please contact HyunJoo Lee at 323-937-3703/ firstname.lastname@example.org.