Immigrant RightsPress ReleaseUncategorized

Release: “Fast for Families” Picks Up Steam as they Roll through the Pacific Northwest and Thousands of Community Members and Leaders Turn out to Join the Call for Humane Commonsense Immigration Reform Fast for Families” Leaders DJ Yoon (NAKASEC) and Rudy Lopez (FIRM) Carry Torch for Reform Across America from Oregon to Washington

By March 5, 2014 No Comments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 5, 2014
CONTACT:
Emily Kessel, eakessel@nakasec.org

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Spokane, WA – This week the northern bus for Fast for Families Across America Tour departed from Bend, Oregon and drove across Washington State engaging community members, local leaders, and press in Vancouver, Yakima, and Spokane to join the call urging Congress to support immigration reform inclusive of a path to citizenship and in support of family unity this year.

On Monday, March 3, in Bend, Oregon, Asian American & Pacific Islanders (AAPI) from nine states held a teleconference to share immigration stories and why immigration reform is crucial for the AAPI community. The teleconference included South Asian, Korean, and Filipino DREAMers from Oklahoma, New York and Georgia to emphasize the need for immigration reform making it possible for hard-working young people to afford a higher education and a path to citizenship for their families. Fast for Families leaders Dae Joong (DJ) Yoon (NAKASEC) further emphasized that immigration reform is not only a Latino issue, but also an AAPI issue as they entered Vancouver, Washington home to nearly 25,000 of AAPI on Tuesday, March 4. He congratulated community members in front of Vancouver City Hall saying, “You are the reason the passage of WA Dream Act and drivers license bill for undocumented immigrants became possible.”

On Ash Wednesday, Yoon joined local activists and community members including Pastor Lyda Pierce from the United Methodist Church and representative from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) for a community gathering. Yoon spoke about how immigration reform impacts the lives of all families ranging from Latino to Asian American to African American. Fast for Families leaders Yoon (NAKASEC) and Rudy Lopez (FIRM) spoke with diverse groups in Yakima and Spokane asking them to fast on Wednesdays beginning on March 5 throughout Lent in solidarity with fasters shedding light on the suffering inflicted on families due to the broken immigration system. “Our movement is about family. We need to put an end to tearing apart of families through deportation and stop delaying the separation of families with lengthy immigration backlogs,” said Yoon.

The groups’ attention was drawn to a biblical passage from Leviticus: “When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.”

The northern bus departed Washington on Thursday after a community event at the Ganzaga University, where earlier in the day a student leader, Manny, who had fasted in solidarity with Fast for Families in December 2013, expressed his sadness for his sisters, who were denied access to his university because of their undocumented status. They were the kind of students that any university would be itching to recruit.

Campaign Overview

On January 27, 2014, Fast for Families Across America launched its second phase with plans to visit over 100 Congressional districts in all. For one month, fly-ins was organized to reach over 25 key Congressional members. On February 24, 2014, the campaign kicked off its two-bus nationwide tour in Los Angeles. “Fast for Families” leaders DJ Yoon (NAKASEC) and Rudy Lopez (Fair Immigration Reform Movement) will travel on the northern route while leaders Eliseo Medina (SEIU) and Cristian Avila (Mi Familia Vota) will travel on the southern route for the entirety of the tour. Stopping at more than 75 districts with daily events calling for Congressional action on immigration reform, the two buses will meet in Washington DC in April.
“Fast for Families” reignited the immigration debate last November when Eliseo Medina (SEIU), DJ Yoon (NAKASEC), Rudy Lopez (FIRM) and Cristian Avila (Mi Familia Vota) —abstained from all food, except water for 22 days in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol on the National Mall. The campaign calls for Congressional action for just and humane immigration reform
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Fast for Families” video can be found here and at http://www.fast4families.org/pressvideo

Visit www.fast4families.org for more information and on Twitter: @Fast4Families #TimeisNow

The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) was founded in 1994 by local community centers to project a progressive voice and promote the full participation of Korean Americans on major social justice issues. NAKASEC maintains offices in Annandale, Virginia and Los Angeles, California. NAKASEC has affiliates in Chicago (Korean American Resource & Cultural Center and Los Angeles (Korean Resource Center).