For Immediate Release
April 1, 2011
Jane Yoo, NAKASEC, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-299-9540
Sik Son, KRCC, email@example.com, 773-588-9158
Dae Joong Yoon, KRC, firstname.lastname@example.org, 323-937-3718
Change Takes Courage:
Immigrant Groups Launch National Campaign to Fight Deportations & Harsh Enforcement Practices
NAKASEC to Engage Korean Americans & Remind President Obama “Yes, You Can”
The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) and affiliates, the Korean American Resource & Cultural Center (KRCC) in Chicago and the Korean Resource Center (KRC) in Los Angeles have joined immigrant groups across the country in the Change Takes Courage campaign that aims to keep families together, including efforts to end deportations of parents of U.S. citizen children, military veterans and DREAM-eligible young people, protect all workers and end ICE programs that undermine the public safety of all communities.
“Instead of finding sensible and humane solutions to fixing our immigration system, there has been focus on escalating deportations and harsh enforcement measures. It’s hurting communities and Korean Americans are certainly impacted,” said Dae Joong Yoon, executive director of KRC. “18% percent of our total population, or 1 in 5 Korean Americans are undocumented. It is becoming an increasingly serious problem and one that poses complexities and challenges because we are also a racial minority.”
Consider the case of Ms. Choi from California whose immigration experience is one that highlights the urgent need to bring relief to our communities. Her story is of a mother fighting for her family patiently and with perseverance.
Ms. Choi’s family came to the U.S. in 1994. Her sons grew up here speaking English and went through the public education system. Their father applied for an employment visa only to realize that after many years of hard work and paying a hefty attorney’s fee, he was misled into believing that the company was eligible to be a sponsor. Running out of options and unable to continue to pay legal fees, Ms. Choi feels the daily stress and uncertainty of not knowing what will become of her family. Her sons received removal notices and have a pending court date that is looming. But with all stories of hard working immigrants, Ms. Choi’s story is also one of hope. She maintains her faith in God and also looks to the community for support.
“We’re set to engage Korean Americans in the conversation and effort to call on Secretary Janet Napolitano and President Obama to exercise administrative powers to ensure that our communities are protected,” stated Sik Son, executive director of KRCC. “We want to remind President Obama and tell him ‘yes you can – yes, we can’, for immigrant communities and for DREAM youth.”
In the coming months, NAKASEC, KRCC and KRC will engage in education and advocacy activities and organize the participation of the Korean American community to insert our experiences and stories in the broader immigration reform debate. The Change Takes Courage campaign is organized by the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM).
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 in Los Angeles and a D.C. office opened in September 2008. NAKASEC also has affiliates in Los Angeles (The Korean Resource Center) and in Chicago (The Korean American Resource & Cultural Center).