For Immediate Release
Friday, April 15, 2011
Hemi Kim, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-299-9540 (English)
Integration Bill Offers English Language & Civics Education Learning Opportunities
NAKASEC statement on the Re-Introduction of SUCCEED Act
Washington, D.C. – The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) welcomes the re-introduction of Representative Mike Honda’s (D-CA) Strengthen and Unite Communities with Civics Education and English Development Act of 2011 (SUCCEED), which enables communities across the country to increase English language and civics education opportunities for immigrants seeking to integrate into U.S. society [for details of the bill, please refer to the 1-page fact sheet provided with the statement].
“The SUCCEED Act is particularly important to the AAPI community because one in three Asian Americans are considered limited English proficient, and one in four Asian American households are linguistically isolated, meaning that everyone over the age of 14 speaks English less than very well. America can no longer afford to have significant segments of our population linguistically isolated,” stated Representative Mike Honda. “The SUCCEED Act establishes the right foundation to ensure that we provide practical resources to allow our new Americans to integrate themselves into our civic fabric. In these difficult economic times, it makes sense to invest in the education and integration of immigrants to maximize their contributions to our country. English language acquisition and integration programs help newcomers raise their wages and work productivity, participate in civic life as citizens and voters and fully use their skills to contribute to their communities.”
The SUCCEED Act will be beneficial specifically to the Korean American community as well. It is estimated that about one in five Korean Americans are eligible for naturalization, and nearly one in three are Legal Permanent Residents (2008 figures). Furthermore, nearly two out of three Korean Americans are born outside the United States and are limited English proficient.
“We are called to activate new Americans to participate in all aspects of citizenship, from naturalization to service and voting,” said Jane Yoo, communications director. “Through the SUCCEED Act, local community-based organizations that we work with across the country can be better equipped to build and increase the civic participation of our community members.”
NAKASEC affiliates, the Korean American Resource and Cultural Center (KRCC) in Chicago and the Korean Resource Center (KRC) in Los Angeles, provide programs in education, social services, culture, civic engagement and organizing that address the full human & civic needs of community members. Our centers particularly support the integration of low‐income new American families in applying for naturalization, healthcare and instate tuition; in filing income taxes; in English language learning and civics education; in exercising their right to vote; in becoming computer literate; in building good credit and homeownership; in filing workers rights claims and in foreclosure prevention.
In the 111th Congress, Rep. Honda introduced the bill as the Strengthen and Unite Communities with Civics Education and English Skills (SUCCESS) Act of 2009 (HR 3249), which was supported by 21bi-partisan co-sponsors.
The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) was founded in 1994 by local community centers to project a national progressive voice and promote the full participation of Korean Americans as a part of a greater goal of building a national movement for social change. NAKASEC is based in Los Angeles and has an office in D.C. NAKASEC also has affiliates in Los Angeles (Korean Resource Center) and in Chicago (Korean American Resource & Cultural Center).