June 4, 2009, 11 AM
Jeong Yeon Hong, 323.937.3703
Communities United for Immigration Reform
Korean Americans. Participate in Launch of National Immigration Reform Campaign
(Washington, D.C.) The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) and its affiliates – the Korean Resource Center (KRC) of Los Angeles and the Korean American Resource & Cultural Center (KRCC) of Chicago – were a part of a national mobilization that drew together close to eight hundred community members from thirty-five different states to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform. The summit, organized by the Reform Immigration For America (RIFA) campaign, began with a rousing opening plenary during which Eun Sook Lee, Executive Director of NAKASEC shared insight on what the movement needs to do in order to be effective, emphasizing to the crowd that it’s about targets, timing and tactics.
Continuing the energy was a national town hall at the Church of Reformation where Jung Hee Lee of the KRC of Los Angeles joined other community members, Representatives Mike Honda (D, CA-15), Zoe Lofgren (D, CA-16), and Luis Gutierrez (D, IL-4) and Senator Robert Menendez (D, NJ) in underscoring the importance of comprehensive immigration reform. Jung Hee Lee, following a short testimony, brought the crowd to their feet with chants of ‘Yes we can’ in Korean. All stressed the urgent need for reform and that how Congress responds to the current crisis will determine the nation’s path for years to come: Will it be a welcoming nation that promotes excellence and cultural vibrancy or will it become a restrictionist nation that excludes and divides communities. Senator Menendez added that communities must work state by state to change public opinion of immigrants and immigration reform.
The national town hall concluded with calls to action as participants made their way to House and Senate office buildings for their legislative visits.