RELEASE: Congress, do not separate our families. Protect Family Reunification!

February 27, 2018

CONTACT: Sam Yu | | 213-703-0992
Michelle Boykins | | 202-296-2300 x 0144


Congress, do not separate our families. Protect Family Reunification!


Washington D.C. – As Congress searches for a permanent legislative solution for nearly 1.8 million undocumented immigrants, proposed cuts to family reunification (also known as “family-based sponsorship”) are being discussed as a point to negotiate in exchange for such a solution. In response, NAKASEC, HANA Center, the Korean Resource Center (KRC), and Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ-AAJC) hosted a press conference on defending family reunification, stressing the negative effects that cutting family reunification will have on our communities. This conference was sponsored by Representative Judy Chu (D-CA), Chairwoman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), who was also featured as a speaker. The livestream of this press conference can be viewed here.

Representative Judy Chu (D-CA), Chairwoman of CAPAC, remarked:
“Family immigration is a vital part of our immigration system, and has been since Sen. Ted Kennedy ushered it into law in 1965. Those that have reunited with their families are happier, more financially stable, less likely to rely on government assistance, open more businesses, and own homes in greater numbers than native-born citizens. It’s clear, family immigration works for our country and should be strengthened, not weakened. This is especially true for AAPI families, for whom family holds special importance. Nobody should have to choose between contributing here in America or being able to stay with their family. I’m so grateful to NAKASEC for their work organizing this press conference and helping us to share the importance and reality of family immigration.”

Jeremy Heo, community leader with HANA Center and a beneficiary of family reunification, shared:
“Family based sponsorship means a lot to me. Through the program, my family was able to live better life here in the U.S., and I was able to go to school, get education, and work. Most importantly, it means that I can sponsor my sister in the future and my whole family can live together again. It has been 7 years since every member of my whole family gathered in one place and had a time together. Without family based sponsorship, I cannot think of any other way my whole family can live together.”

Bessie Chan-Smitham, Assistant Director of Community Engagement with AAAJ-AAJC, stated:
“This administration is seeking to destroy families by cutting family-based immigration – a move that affects Asian Americans deeply as over 80% of Asian Americans came to the U.S. using family-based immigration – and we will fight against these proposed cuts because we believe in protecting families, not destroying families.”



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Founded in 1994, the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC)’s mission is to organize Korean and Asian Americans to achieve social, economic, and racial justice.  NAKASEC maintains offices in Annandale, Virginia, Chicago, Illinois and Los Angeles, California. NAKASEC has affiliates in Chicago (HANA Center) and Los Angeles and Orange County (Korean Resource Center).