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NAKASEC Slams Senate Policy Package as Disrespectful and Divisive

By February 6, 2024No Comments

February 6, 2024
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NAKASEC Slams Senate Policy Package as Disrespectful and Divisive

Washington, D.C. – After weeks of apprehension, the Senate introduced their policy over the weekend that terminates the right to asylum in exchange for more military aid. The National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC), a national network of five affiliated organizations in six states, rejects the proposed package as insufficient for and disrespectful towards immigrant families. 

“This package fails to address the realities of migration at the U.S.-Mexico border and in general. Elected officials continue to divide already-exploited communities – as evidenced by their inclusion of family-based visas while halting asylum rights,” slammed Jung Woo Kim, NAKASEC Co-Director. “This zero-sum approach, where crumbs are given to some while others are further starved, is unacceptable. People have always and will continue to move – for opportunity, for safety, and especially away from violence and destruction. This bill gives over $74 billion to fund wars – a root cause of migration, and invests nothing in American people. What’s more, it effectively dismantles the U.S. asylum system and therefore fails to create safety or security for anyone – citizen, resident, asylum seeker, or im/migrant alike.”

“We are alarmed about this marked change in approaching immigration reform,” Jung Woo Kim continued. “Until now, Congress has maintained that any border measures must be balanced with comprehensive solutions that include pathways to citizenship. Instead, the bipartisan support for this bill and the exclusion of directly impacted advocates from negotiations, display an alarming increase in anti-immigrant sentiment from across Congress. We urge members of Congress to vote NO on this package, and remain steadfast in their commitment to the American people.”

“The proposed legislation includes an additional 32,000 family-based visas per year for five (5) years,” shared Glo Choi, Community Organizer at NAKASEC’s Illinois affiliate, HANA Center. “This would equal a maximum of 160,000 family based visas. While utilizing already-existing pathways like family-based immigration has proven to be a practical solution to pursue relief, there are currently 6 million people awaiting adjudication on their applications alone, making the proposed numbers less than inadequate. Given our many years of sharing stories of directly impacted families and community members, elected officials are well aware of the needs of immigrant families. Yet, our voices have been ignored, and the contents of this bill prove that our communities are not given the respect and humanity we deserve.  Congress must listen to us and vote NO on this package.”

Background: The addition of any family-based immigration measures to the bipartisan Senate bill is a testament to the hard work and dedication of Black, brown, Asian, and immigrant workers, and the leadership of the national Value Our Families (VOF) coalition.

 

Media contact: Rachel Koelzer, rachel@nakasec.org, (213) 703-0992

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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 Network is HANA Center (Illinois), Hamkae Center (fka NAKASEC VA) (Virginia), Woori Center (Pennsylvania), MinKwon Center for Community Action (New York) and Woori Juntos (Texas).

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