For Immediate Release
August 3, 2012
Youth campaign to protect the Maryland Dream Act
Young leaders from across the country influence Maryland’s immigrant community
The Korean Resource Center of Los Angeles, the Korean American Resource and Cultural Center of Chicago, and the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium have sent a delegation of14 young leaders to campaign to protect the Maryland Dream Act this week.
So far, these youth have called over a thousand Asian American Pacific Islander voters this week and have also visited local Korean American shopping centers and neighborhoods to encourage the community to vote to protect the Maryland Dream Act in the upcoming November 6 elections. Later on, they plan to continue to call several thousand voters and spend the weekend visiting voters in their homes.
Isaac Lee, a 17-year-old L.A. student, said: “Honestly, because we are young and it was my first time campaigning, it was difficult. But it was exciting to see our work pay off, especially when I talked to people who agreed to support the Maryland Dream Act.”
Joyce Yin, NAKASEC Program Associate, said, “Our youth were instrumental in helping pass California’s AB540, the California Dream Acts, and the Illinois Dream Act. The next step for the youth in the fight for the DREAM Act is protecting the Maryland Dream Act in this November elections. We are working to bring the AAPI community fully behind these measures.”
In April 2011, the Maryland Senate approved the Maryland DREAM Act, a bill that would grant all eligible students who have lived in Maryland, graduated from a Maryland high school, and whose family paid taxes in the state the option to pay in-state tuition at public colleges regardless of immigration status. However, the law has been put to a referendum and remains in pending status until the statewide vote on November 6, 2012. Approximately 300,000 Asian Americans live in Maryland and nationally, 1 in 10 undocumented youth are AAPI.
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).
Additionally, NAKASEC, KRC, and KRCC will continue to hold workshops and help undocumented students with their applications for deferred action and work permits. For more information, please refer to 202-299-9540 (D.C.), 323-937-3718 (L.A.), and 773-717-5428 (Chicago).