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Press statement: Georgia Bill for English-Only Driver’s Exam is Misguided and Discriminatory

By March 30, 2009One Comment

For immediate release
March 30, 2009

Contact: Eun Sook Lee, NAKASEC, 323-937-3703
Becky Belcore, KRCC, 773-588-9158
Dae Joong Yoon, KRC, 323-937-3718

Georgia Bill for English-Only Driver’s Exam is Misguided and Discriminatory

The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) and its affiliates – the Korean American Resource & Cultural Center (KRCC) in Chicago and the Korean Resource Center (KRC) in Los Angeles – reject SB67 due to grave concerns for the safety and rights of all Georgians.

“SB67 is a discriminatory and divisive legislation that will adversely impact immigrant communities like the Korean American community by creating unnecessary barriers for limited English proficient (LEP) individuals from securing driver’s licenses. 75% of adult Korean Americans are LEP and Georgia is home to one of the fastest growing Korean American populations. Between 2000 and 2007, the Korean American population increased from 28,745 to 42,760, representing a significant 49% increase. That is why we support prominent local community based organizations and citizens of Georgia in opposing the passage of SB67,” said Eun Sook Lee, executive director of NAKASEC.

“SB67 targets immigrants who contribute to the economic engine of this country and hinders their ability to obtain Driver’s License. The ability for immigrants to possess driver’s licenses would allow for motor vehicles to be properly registered and operated in a safe manner, which benefit all Georgians. We urge Georgia state legislators and Governor Perdue to reject this ill-conceived bill,” said Becky Belcore, executive director of KRCC.

“What our country needs during this period of great economic crisis are business initiatives that stimulate the economy and which are in the best interest of our country. Unfortunately, SB67 sends an unwelcoming message to all individuals and corporations that are willing to invest in Georgia,” said Dae Joong Yoon, executive director of KRC.

Founded in 1994 NAKASEC is a multi-issue civil and human rights organization that is based within the Korean American community. We promote equitable changes to the political and legislative systems through a combination of education and policy advocacy with grassroots organizing and community mobilization.