May 12, 2014
Emily Kessel, NAKASEC, firstname.lastname@example.org
NAKASEC and Affiliates Response to Departments of Education and
Justice “Dear Colleague Letter”
WASHINGTON DC – On May 8, 2014, the Obama Administration delivered a clear message that all children, regardless of their citizenship or immigration status, have a right to enroll in public schools. This message came in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Education and Department of Justice’s newly issued Dear Colleague Letter.
Korean American students in southern California were denied access to public schools in the past because of their immigration status. To resolves these cases, NAKASEC and the Korean Resource Center in Los Angeles worked with the schools, the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, and the National Immigration Law Center to win these students acceptance into the neighborhood public schools.
Below is a statement by Dae Joong (DJ) Yoon, executive director of the National Korean American Service &Education Consortium, Inhe Choi, executive director of the Korean American Resource and Cultural Center in Chicago, and Hee Joo Yoon, executive director of the Korean Resource Center in Los Angeles.
“It is encouraging to see that the Department of Education and Department of Justice are reinforcing civil rights protections by taking action on public schools that bar students from enrolling solely on the basis of their immigration status. This injustice is what NAKASEC and its local centers are combating through our immigrant and civil rights work in the community. We urge schools to honor the clear message outlined in the Dear Colleague letter, that federal agencies have recently “become aware of student enrollment practices that may chill or discourage the participation, or lead to the exclusion, of students based on their or their parents’ or guardians’ actual or perceived citizenship or immigration status.” NAKASEC looks forward to ensuring that these rules are enforced to ensure equal access to public schools for all young people in America.
Please see the below documents issued by the Departments of Education and Justice for details:
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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).