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RELEASE: Department of Labor Meets with DACA Students

By May 16, 2014 No Comments

For Immediate Release:
May 16, 2014
Contact: Dong Yoon Kim: dkim@nakasec.org

Department of Labor Meets with DACA Students

WASHINGTON DC– In anticipation of guidelines on the DACA renewal process, DACA students have been advocating for a streamlined process and increased outreach initiatives. Today, eight Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) DACA students met with Secretary of Labor, Thomas Perez to discuss the program.

AAPI DACA students from Virginia, Maryland, Washington, DC, and New York with ethnic ties to South Korea, Mongolia, India, Bangladesh, Philippines, Singapore, and Taiwan were part of the meeting. During the meeting, these young people shared the challenges they faced seeking to reach their individual dreams while caring for their family. Two students shared stories of family separation resulting from deportations.

“I shared about my immigration experience and how I managed to pay my tuition by working part-time. Without access to financial aid or scholarships, I am unable to concentrate just on my studies and must continue working. I was honored to be present with fellow AAPIs DACA recipients who are working tirelessly for their education, family, and immigration reform,” said Jung Bin Cho, student from Northern Virginia Community College.

“I alternate daily with school and work. Most of the time, I start working at a retail store after I finish my classes. On weekends, I work for a moving company. I shared my story with Secretary Perez and with the hope that immigration reform will happen soon,” said Bati Tsogtsaikhan, student from George Mason University.

Addressing the AAPI DACA students, Department of Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said, “A few days ago, I went to a naturalization ceremony and welcomed 150 new citizens to this country. I hope to introduce you all at a naturalization ceremony soon. Some of you mentioned that you do not know which country you belong to, due to your status. You all belong here, in the United States, like me. Your stories of working to provide food and care for your family and yourself, inspire me. My immigration story starts in the Dominican Republic. My parents came to the United States and received opportunities, and so should you.”

Photos from the Department of Labor available HERE.

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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).