FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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NAKASEC Action Fund Responds to House BBB Package:
Anything Without Citizenship Is a NO!
On November 3, the U.S. House of Representatives released their version of the Build Back Better package, excluding a pathway to citizenship for millions of our undocumented community members. The spending plan, while including temporary and time-limited protections for those who qualify, fails to create any permanent solutions in the form of a pathway to citizenship.
NAKASEC Organizing Director and DACAmented community member, Jung Woo Kim:
“Our community members are clear: We need permanent solutions in the form of a pathway to citizenship NOW. We have seen temporary programs like DACA come under frequent attack. We have seen DREAM get whittled down to DACA, and we were told to be thankful and patient. It has now been almost 10 years since DACA passed, and we’re still waiting for a pathway to citizenship. Ten years passes quickly, and with the current provisions limiting status to ten years, what recourse will our communities have after? Temporary status is an insufficient, scrap offering that fails to hear to what millions of undocumented and immigrant communities have been voicing for years: A pathway to citizenship will allow our communities to be fully-participating members of society, and will enormously benefit our economy, communities, and country for decades to come.
What’s more, a pathway to citizenship is an opportunity for Congress and the administration to strengthen this country’s claimed values of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Permanent solutions will not only bolster the U.S. economy in improving access to the workforce, education, and resources; it will make clear that the United States recognizes and values the millions of individuals and families who are seeking to create a fulfilled and prosperous life, just like everyone else. Countless experts agree, and over 70% of the American people support a pathway to citizenship for immigrants. We cannot keep waiting. Unless a pathway to citizenship for millions is included, House members must vote no on the entire BBB package.”
Background: Current immigration law contains a provision called “registry” that allows certain immigrants who are long-term residents of the United States and who are undocumented or under a temporary immigration status to “register” for Lawful Permanent Resident status. The last time the registry date was updated was in 1986, for certain immigrants who arrived prior to January 1, 1972. While the temporary provisions proposed in the bill can provide some protection for some immigrants until 2031, it remains a temporary program that excludes many. Included in the bill are criminal and national security bars, which NAKASEC rejects as they are fundamentally rooted in anti-Blackness, racism, and the expansion of the carceral state. Missing from the bill is any form of permanent solutions for immigrants. NAKASEC Action Fund has mobilized its members and affiliates; on 10/27, they wrapped up a weeklong 24-7 vigil held outside of Vice President Harris’ residence, demanding her political will and action in creating a pathway to citizenship for millions.
The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC)’s mission is to organize Korean and Asian Americans to achieve social, economic, and racial justice. The NAKASEC Action Fund engages in policy and legislative advocacy to protect and strengthen the nation’s laws and policies regarding civil rights, immigrant rights and human rights.