For Immediate Release:
April 11, 2014
Dae Joong Yoon, NAKASEC, firstname.lastname@example.org
Emily Kessel, NAKASEC, email@example.com
NAKASEC’S STATEMENT FOR VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN
WASHINGTON, DC – Two days after the conclusion of the Fast for Families national bus tour that covered more than 90 congressional districts and 30 states, leaders of the group—including Eliseo Medina of SEIU, DJ Yoon of NAKASEC, DREAMer Cristian Avila of Mi Familia Vota, Rudy Lopez of FIRM, Lisa Sharon Harper of Sojourners, Pramila Jayapal of We Belong Together, Rabbi David Saperstein of RAC and Rev. Anthony Suarez of NHCLC— met with Vice President Joe Biden and White House staff Cecilia Muñoz and John Podesta.
The delegation, representing Fast for Families and We Belong Together, issued the following statement:
“Vice President Biden shared the White House’s commitment to reforming our dysfunctional immigration system and reiterated that the White House is working with the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to find ways to reduce the suffering that families are enduring and prioritize resources effectively. He also discussed his belief that America is stronger because of the immigrants that come and bring their talents and skills to the country, and we must preserve that national strength as we move forward.”
For over seven weeks on the Fast for Families Across America Tour, we have witnessed the moral crisis of family separation, city after city. At the same time, we have seen the movement grow with the participation of non-immigrant communities because the broken immigration system is also impacting their neighbors and church members. We shared our deep concerns about this moral crisis tearing apart hard-working families through inhumane deportations and lengthy immigration backlogs and the immediate need for humane immigration reform with Vice President Joe Biden.
Over 1.5 million undocumented Asian Americans are living in the shadows in fear of being deported and separated from their loved ones. More than 40% of the 4 million people caught in the immigration backlog are from Asia.
We heard stories from children, siblings, and parents who live each day afraid that today will be the last time they will see their families. In Illinois, an impacted Filipino American community member shared his personal story about the broken immigration system that is keeping family members of Filipino Americans waiting more than 23 years to be reunited. This is inhumane and un-American.
A vast majority of Americans demand a solution to this inhumane immigration system and support keeping families together. Overwhelmingly, the Republican Members of Congress we met throughout the tour also understood the need to fix the immigration system and recognize that deportation is not the American way. The American people deserve a vote on immigration reform in the House of Representatives. We urge the House leadership to act fast and work with the Senate and President to move forward fair immigration reform legislation now.
The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) was founded in 1994 by local community centers to project a progressive voice and promote the full participation of Korean Americans on major social justice issues. NAKASEC maintains offices in Annandale, Virginia and Los Angeles, California. NAKASEC has affiliates in Chicago (Korean American Resource & Cultural Center) and Los Angeles (Korean Resource Center).