For Immediate Release
January 8, 2016
Jenny Seon of KRC in California, email@example.com
Inhe Choi of KRCC in Illinois, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dae Joong Yoon of NAKASEC, email@example.com
Lakshmi Sridaran of SAALT, firstname.lastname@example.org
Katrina Dizon Mariategue of SEARAC, email@example.com
NAKASEC, KRC, KRCC, NQAPIA, SAALT, and SEARAC Denounce ICE Raids
AAPIs Join the Fight to Demand an End to Deportations Targeting Central American Families
WASHINGTON DC— National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC), Korean American Resource & Cultural Center (KRCC), Korean Resource Center (KRC), National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA), South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), and the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) join the call of refugee and immigrant rights organizations, families, and community members across the country in condemning raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) targeting Central American children and families who came seeking protection from life-threatening violence in their home countries.
ICE’s decision to target asylum seeking children and families is inhumane and only instills fear in ALL our communities. NAKASEC, KRC, KRCC, SAALT, and SEARAC encourage AAPI partners to show support for these Central American families by signing an AAPI Solidarity Sign On Letter condemning the unjust raids. Visit the following link to sign on to the letter: LINK
NAKASEC Executive Director Dae Joong Yoon, KRCC Executive Director Inhe Choi, and KRC Interim Executive Director Jenny Seon released the following statement denouncing the ICE raids: “We are appalled that while over 5 million immigrant students and parents fight for the implementation of the DAPA and expanded DACA programs, the Obama administration decides to move forward on widely condemned raids targeting another group of vulnerable children and families. Many communities are victims of war and poverty, so protecting refugees and asylum seekers is a key priority for all of us including the Korean American community and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Looking at our shared history, we are all refugees and immigrants. These Central American children and parents are a part of our family. America is and we are better than this.”
Sasha W., Organizing Director for NQAPIA: National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance, added: “President Obama has become the “deporter-in-chief,” deporting more immigrants than his predecessors. Like the so-called “Secure Communities” program, and the new Priority Enforcement Program, creating a culture of fear does not lead to safety. As queer API immigrants, these raids make us feel less safe and less American. Immigrants and refugees are part of our homes, our families, and our daily lives. We stand against rhetorics and policies that criminalize Syrian refugees, Central American refugees and all those migrating to escape violence. The only crime here is deporting Central American refugees over the holiday weekend. President Obama needs to stop deporting immigrants, families, and children, and focus instead on pushing for DACA+ and DAPA in the courts and stopping profiling in immigration enforcement.”
SAALT Director of National Policy and Advocacy, Lakshmi Sridaran, said: “It is a dangerous and disturbing trend to deport and refuse refugees and asylum seekers who are fleeing violence. Our immigration priorities should be focused on implementing the expanded DACA and DAPA programs and passing common sense immigration reform legislation, not on enforcement measures that criminalize children and families. We know that the conditions of the ICE family residential centers where many of these families will be sent are often deplorable. All immigrants deserve to be treated with fairness and dignity and raids over a holiday weekend are unacceptable.”
SEARAC Executive Director Quyen Dinh said: “It is shameful to see America’s legacy as a leading humanitarian leader tarnished by recent ICE raids targeting refugees and asylum seekers. Like many Southeast Asian communities fleeing war and violence over 40 years ago, Central American families deserve compassion and protection. Criminalizing their very act of survival undermines our humanitarian values by re-traumatizing vulnerable communities. We urge the Obama Administration to reexamine their current enforcement policies that have seen to the deportation and separation of immigrant and refugee families. As a nation, we must fix our broken immigration system by implementing and expanding DACA and DAPA, integrating and welcoming immigrant communities, expanding prosecutorial discretion and other protections against unjust deportations, and keeping families together.”
NAKASEC, KRC, and KRCC joined the efforts of faith, refugee, and immigrant rights organizations across the country:
- On January 5th, KRC joined Los Angeles partners condemning the raids on the one-year anniversary of the historic driver’s license law in California.
- On January 5th, KRCC also strongly spoke out against the raids with Chicago partners and educated immigrants about their basic rights if immigration enforcement comes to their home.
- On January 8th, NAKASEC’s Virginia office joined partner organizations for a press conference denouncing the raids and announcing their upcoming Know Your Rights training. For more information about future trainings and how to get involved, please contact NAKASEC at 703-256-2208or firstname.lastname@example.org