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NAKASEC Statement on President Obama and CHC meeting on Immigration Reform

By March 18, 2009 No Comments

For immediate release    
March 18, 2009    

Contacts:
EunSook Lee, NAKASEC, 323.937.3703, x205
Becky Belcore, KRCC, 773.588.9158  
Dae Joong Yoon, KRC, 323.937.3718

President Obama Affirms Commitment to Immigration Reform
Congressional Hispanic Caucus Holds Positive Meeting with the White House

(Los Angeles, CA) President Barack Obama today met with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) to discuss the urgent need to enact immigration reform. NAKASEC and its affiliates – the Korean American Resource & Cultural Center (KRCC) in Chicago and the Korean Resource Center (KRC) in Los Angeles – consider this is an important step in the right direction. He stated that he would embark on the long and complex process of developing his immigration reform proposal.

“With 1 in 5 Korean Americans being undocumented, thousands of bright youth unable to realize their full potential, countless others separated because of the immigration backlogs, and countless others languishing and dying in detention center, we are part of a national movement to institute immediate measures to keep families together & end the raids, as well as to enact legislation that will reform our immigration system. The time to act together is now. NAKASEC, its affiliates and our community members are prepared to work with the White House and ready Congress for this tremendous endeavor,” said EunSook Lee, NAKASEC executive director.

Today in Southern California, President Obama is holding a town hall about the economy and foreclosure crisis, issues that are also impacting immigrant communities. NAKASEC recognizes the importance of addressing these issues, and also highlight how immigration reform would strengthen our economy. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) has estimated that if comprehensive immigration reform had been enacted in 2006 or 2007, $66 billion and $48 billion, respectively, would have been generated in new revenue.

NAKASEC and its affiliates actively participate in several national coalitions and campaigns and will continue to educate, mobilize, and organize Korean American communities so that all families can stay together and live in dignity. In alignment with this meeting, community based organizations like NAKASEC worked with non-CHC members to support their colleagues by sending letters to President Obama, including the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, under the leadership of Representative Mike Honda (D, CA-15).

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Statement by Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Chair of the CHC Immigration Task Force

“We came to the President today as allies and supporters, and in return he showed us that he remains committed to immigration reform that stabilizes our economy, secures our borders and keeps our families together. The President showed the CHC that, although it is very early in his administration, he understands that for the immigrant community it’s the 11th hour, and there is no time to waste. The Latino community supported President Obama overwhelmingly in the election, and they remain energized not only by his victory but also by his message of support for comprehensive immigration reform. I believe that a plan is forthcoming, and that we will see real change this year.”