For Immediate Release
August 19, 2011
DHS Announcement: Steps in the Right Direction
Provides Temporary Relief for DREAM Youth Facing Deportation
On Thursday, August 18, 2011, the Department of Homeland Security announced plans to review its pending deportation cases based on newly issued agency-wide guidelines. DHS and the Department of Justice will review the 300,000 cases currently in the immigration courts. Those that are determined to be “low-priority” will be closed. Specifically, DREAM Act-eligible youth and others facing certain personal circumstances will have their deportations temporarily suspended. Applications for work employment will also be considered on a case by case basis.
The National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC) and its affiliates the Korean American Resource and Cultural Center (KRCC) in Chicago, and the Korean Resource Center (KRC) in Los Angeles are encouraged by the steps DHS and the administration are taking to create smarter and more humane immigration policies in the midst of record number of deportations. If implemented correctly and quickly, DHS will have an opportunity to ensure that hardworking individuals will remain part of our communities. In particular, we are encouraged to hear that DREAM Act-eligible youth who have been unfairly swept up by the nation’s broken immigration system will find temporary relief under these new guidelines.
These guidelines, however, are just the tip of the iceberg. Other enforcement initiatives that have been tearing through immigrant communities such as “Secure Communities” must also be reconsidered. They undermine public safety and are massive failures in their attempts to catch serious criminals.
And finally, the immigration system cannot be mended by fixing these enforcement initiatives alone. We need the administration and Congress to take action to comprehensively reform our nation’s immigration laws so that families are kept together and immigrants are able to fully contribute to this country.
NAKASEC Executive Director Morna Ha added, “Inhumane deportation policies have caused immigrant youth and working families to live in fear and have wreaked havoc on already fragile local economies. Yesterday’s DHS announcement was a step in the right direction but we urge Congress and the administration to go further to find more long term solutions. For immigrant families and our economy, we will continue to press for an end to dysfunctional deportation policies and work towards the passage of the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform so that all people can have a chance to live, work and contribute to this country.”
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 has an office in D.C. NAKASEC also has affiliates in Los Angeles (Korean Resource Center) and in Chicago (Korean American Resource & Cultural Center).