Downloadable: English Press Statement
For Immediate Release Contacts: EunSook Lee, 323. 937. 3703
Chicago â€“ Chaegu Lee, 773. 506. 9158
June 16, 2004 Los Angeles â€“ Dae Joong Yoon, 323. 937. 3718
New York â€“ YuSoung Mun, 718. 460. 5600
[Los Angeles] Today, in Congress, Senators Edward Kennedy (D-MA), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Russ Feingold (D-WI), and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and in the House by Representatives Howard Berman (D-CA) and William Delahunt (D-MA) will introduce the Civil Liberties Restoration Act (CLRA). In response to the events of September 11, 2001, Congress, the Bush administration and law enforcement implemented various measures designed to strengthen the security of this nation. While the governments’ responses were designed to combat terrorist threats, other measures constituted clear violations of America’s most fundamental liberties. The measures violated our nation’s tradition of due process, alienated immigrant communities, and undermined U.S. efforts to promote democracy, human rights, and the rule of law abroad.
CLRA seeks to restore fundamental liberties and ensure the preservation of the American values of fairness and equal treatment for all Americans. The bill contains 3 main provisions:
§ Respect the First Amendment and restore basic due process for those jailed by the government
§ Stop the Targeting of Immigrants instead of Terrorists
§ Protect Privacy and Ensure Constitutional Limits on Secret Surveillance
EunSook Lee, executive director of NAKASEC said: “This legislation is the result of a cross pollination between various rights organizations — immigrant rights, human rights, civil rights and civil liberties. It is an important step towards striking a balance between security and individual rights.”
YuSoung Mun, executive director of YKASEC â€“ Empowering the Korean American Community said: Korean Americans share the same level of concern for national security and were as deeply impacted by the events on September 11. Unfortunately, these new measures eroded the human rights and civil liberties of immigrants without increasing domestic security. They have also fostered suspicion and distrust between communities.”
Dae Joong Yoon, executive director of the Korean Resource Center said: “A key provision included in CLRA is an end to the special registration program (a selective enforcement of immigration based on religion or national origin) resulting in 13,000 persons placed in deportation proceedings.”
Kent Chaegu Lee, executive director of the Korean American Resource & Cultural Center concluded: “We will be working in coalition with many other communities and constituencies to gather support for this legislation. Because we believe that CLRA is part of a greater effort to ensure that basic rights is restored to all.
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