Press Statement | SCOTUS SB1070: Korean Americans Continue Push for Immigration Reform, Voter Mobilizing

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For Immediate Release

June 25, 2012

Contact:
Morna Ha, mha@nakasec.org, 202-299-9540
Sik Son, sikson@chicagokrcc.org, 773-588-9158
Dae Joong Yoon, djyoon@krcla.org, 323-937-3718


Reaction to Supreme Court’s Mixed Decision on AZ’s SB1070:

Korean Americans Remain Vigilant to Protect Civil Rights and Continue Push for Immigration Reform

Today in a 5-3 decision, the Supreme Court struck down 3 of the 4 provisions in Arizona’s draconian anti-immigrant state law SB1070 that are deemed in violation of the federal government’s authority over immigration issues.  However, the Court let stand Section 2(B) the “show me your papers” provision of the law citing that more information must be gathered before a ruling is made.  This provision would allow local police officers to stop and ask for documentation for anyone they suspect as being undocumented.

“Today’s decision affirmed that the federal government has the ability and must step up to enact humane comprehensive immigration reform.  Ill-conceived state laws like the ones in Arizona, Georgia, and Alabama have only struck fear in our communities and they are against our nation’s best interests,” said Morna Ha, executive director of the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC).

“But by allowing the ‘show me your papers’ provision to stand, the Supreme Court has left the door open to potentially discriminatory racial profiling practices on the ground,” Ms. Ha continued. “NAKASEC and the broader immigrant rights and civil rights communities will continue to remain vigilant to ensure the rights of all communities of color in Arizona and the other states are upheld and that hard fought gains to basic civil rights are protected.”

“What has been highlighted today is that we must take action once again – this time to the ballot box – to elevate the need for immigration reform that will keep our families together,” said Dae Joong Yoon, executive director of KRC who in partnership with NAKASEC coordinated the mobilization of Korean Americans from Southern California to Arizona in 2010. “Since its inception, Asian Americans have been moved into action in opposition to SB1070 and in support of federal immigration reform – boarding buses to protest in solidarity with Arizonans on the eve of its passage to standing vigil on the steps of the Supreme Court on the day of its hearing two years later.  Now our work must continue on to November.”

During this critical election year, NAKASEC and its affiliates are urging Korean American and AAPI voters to make informed decisions on how their elected officials stand on the basic rights of immigrant families and communities of color.  In coordination with other national AAPI organizations across 15 key states we are engaging in an effort to register, educate and mobilize Korean American and AAPIs voters, who are part of the fastest growing population in country.

Sik Son, executive director of KRCC continued, “We’ve had a tremendous first step with the recent announcement of relief for undocumented young people and now we must continue to press on to achieve an immigration system that works for young people and their parents alike. For immigrants, Korean Americans, AAPIs and people of color, our voices will be heard come November when our communities vote in favor of respect, equality, and a humane way to treat immigrants in this country.”

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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 D.C. and Los Angeles. NAKASEC also has affiliates in Chicago (Korean American Resource & Cultural Center) and Los Angeles (Korean Resource Center).