Press Release | NAKASEC Joins ‘Become a Citizen Now!’ Campaign

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 23, 2012

 

Contact:
Morna Ha, mha@nakasec.org | 202-299-9540
Hee Joo Yoon, yoonheejoo@krcla.org | 323-937-3718
Juyoung Oh, juyoung@chicagokrcc.org | 773-588-9158

NAKASEC Joins ‘Become a Citizen Now!’ Campaign
12 Grassroots Organizations Nationwide Come Together as the
National Partnership for New Americans. Citizenship Programs and Active Volunteer Trainings Underway in Korean American and Immigrant Communities.

As part of the National Partnership for New Americans (the Partnership), the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) and affiliates the Korean Resource Center (KRC) in Los Angeles and the Korean American Resource & Cultural Center (KRCC) in Chicago are working to promote and support citizenship through a nationally coordinated March 24th launch of the ‘Become a Citizen Now!’ campaign.

In Los Angeles, KRC will hold a citizenship workshop with 25 Korean American volunteers who will donate their skills and help LPR’s through the citizenship process, including completing N-400 applications and conducting legal screenings. In Chicago, KRCC, as member of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant & Refugee Rights’ New Americans Initiative (NAI), will also be holding a citizenship workshop at Truman College. KRCC is the lead organization for the North Side group for the NAI program.

Morna Ha, executive director of NAKASEC said, “Naturalization is a critical starting point for an active and engaged community.  Through our work, we hope to ease the often complicated and involved process that goes into becoming a new American.  Starting this Saturday, NAKASEC and its NPNA partners will begin a collective effort to address these challenges and create a path towards full participation.”

According to the Department of Homeland Security population estimates for 2010, there are approximately 170,000 Korean American LPRs nationally who are able to naturalize but haven’t.

“A key component of our effort is growing volunteers to make our work stronger and more successful. The infrastructure we build here at KRC will echo those in other immigrant communities nationwide and will contribute to the vision of creating a vibrant, just and welcoming democracy for all,” said Hee Joo Yoon, program director with the KRC.

A part of this campaign will include a training of over 1,000 Citizenship Coaches nationally who can build capacity over the next year to meet the Partnership’s collective goal of naturalizing 3,650 citizens, assist almost 13,000 legal permanent residents and outreach to almost 73,000 people in 2012.

“KRCC is excited to be part of an effort that ties our work nationally through the Partnership, but also ensuring that the Korean American community is activated through NAKASEC and our sister organization in LA, KRC,” stated Juyoung Oh, citizenship coordinator with KRCC.

NAKASEC and affiliates have been conducting naturalization work since 2005 providing community members with assistance in completing N-400 forms and providing English language classes. Last year, NAKASEC with 11 other prominent national grassroots and immigrant rights advocacy organizations came together to form the National Partnership for New Americans in order to promote and support citizenship in partnership with the Open Society Institute.

“The Partnership brings together local energy and volunteer boots on the ground to make a tangible impact nationwide, with real numbers,” said Joshua Hoyt, Co-Chair of the Partnership and Chief Strategic Executive of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. “We have a deep reach into immigrant communities that understands the needs while creating opportunities for them to become citizens and active in their communities.”

 

For more information, please visit the following websites:

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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 D.C. and Los Angeles. NAKASEC also has affiliates in Chicago (Korean American Resource & Cultural Center) and Los Angeles (Korean Resource Center).

The National Partnership for New Americans (The Partnership) advances the integration and active citizenship of immigrants to achieve a vibrant, just, and welcoming democracy for all. The Partnership is a national multiethnic, multiracial partnership that harnesses the collective power and resources of 12 of the largest immigrant advocacy organizations in the country to mobilize millions of immigrants for integration and transformative social change. The Partnership creates and implements innovative programs that help immigrants become active and engaged citizens working for a stronger and more inclusive democracy and a vibrant nation.