October 25, 2007
For Immediate Release
EunSook Lee, NAKASEC, 323.937.3703
Kat Choi, KRCC, 773.506.9158
Dae Joong Yoon, KRC, 323.937.3718
Yu Soung Mun, YKASEC, 718.460.5600
NAKASEC Joint Statement on DREAM Act
By the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium
Korean American Resource & Cultural Center
Korean Resource Center
YKASEC – Empowering the Korean American Community
The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium and its affiliates – the Korean Resource Center in Los Angeles, the Korean American Resource and Cultural Center in Chicago, and YKASEC-Empowering the Korean American Community in New York – are deeply disappointed and upset by the Senate’s failure to move the DREAM Act (S. 2205) forward by a vote of 52-44. While winning support from a bipartisan majority of the Senate, the votes fell short of the 60 votes necessary to permit debate on the bill. If passed, the DREAM Act will provide a path to legal status for young undocumented students who were raised in the United States at an early age.
We commend the courageous and smart leadership of Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), a stalwart champion for immigrant young people and all other Senators who voted in favor of the bill. Conversely, we condemn the White House for coming out in opposition to the bill and, in effect, in opposition to an attempt by a bipartisan group of senators to set America back on course by being a nation that encourages all young people to realize their dreams.
Over the last five years, Korean American young people have come together to launch bold, national campaigns, including a hunger fast in 2005, a national DREAM Act postcard collection campaign in 2006, and most recently a marathon event in Chicago in 2007. In collaboration with students nationally, NAKASEC affiliate youth groups in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York have coordinated actions in Washington, DC, including lobby days and graduation ceremonies presided by members of Congress. Yesterday, their dreams and hopes were dashed once again. How long will America squander the talents of its young people?
The Korean American community will not be deterred by this setback and will stand by its young people who have tenaciously pushed for the enactment of the DREAM Act. In the weeks leading up to the vote, NAKASEC and its affiliates accelerated local efforts to generate participation from the Korean American, Asian Pacific American and immigrant communities. In anticipation of the next opportunity for the voices of young people to be heard, we will continue because the DREAM Act is what America desperately needs to build a brighter future for all.
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