NationalPress Release

RELEASE: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Send a Clear Message to President Obama: No More Delays. Go Bold for Families.

By September 4, 2014 No Comments

For Immediate Release:
September 4, 2014

Contact:
Emily Kessel, NAKASEC, eakessel@nakasec.org

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Send a Clear Message to President Obama: No More Delays. Go Bold for Families.

AAPI community members from across the country join NAKASEC, NAPAWF, SEARAC, and other leaders from NCAPA at the White House to tell the President to go bold now

WASHINGTON DC – Today, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community members and leaders gathered in front of the White House to deliver stories and thousands of post cards calling on President Obama to take bold action on administrative relief. The National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC) and its affiliates, the Korean Resource Center (KRC) in Los Angeles, California and the Korean American Resource and Cultural Center (KRCC) in Chicago, Illinois, collected nearly 5,000 postcards that were delivered to the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and a list of signers was presented to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services on the same day.

Post cards were collected from members across 26 states. NAKASEC, KRC, and KRCC have been out in neighborhoods and at local churches and supermarkets engaging community members by asking them to demonstrate the large AAPI support for administrative relief by signing the #ActBoldObama post cards.

Hee Joo Yoon, Executive Director of KRC said: “Four weeks ago, NAKASEC, KRC, and KRCC launched the #ActBoldObama Postcard campaign calling on President Obama to take bold action on administrative relief. We talked directly with community members, neighborhood to neighborhood, at supermarkets and churches to engage them and demonstrate the strong Asian American and Pacific Islander support for executive action. Families are hurting across the country and because of failed House leadership we have to wait even longer for a permanent solution, which is comprehensive immigration reform. We are ready to deliver nearly 5,000 postcards to the White House in our meeting with the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services later today. President Obama, no more delays. We must act quickly on administrative relief now.”

In anticipation of the delay on the President’s announcement for administrative relief, NAKASEC, the National Asian Pacific Asian Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), and the Southeast Asian Resource Action Center (SEARAC), as well as other national and local partners gathered to send a clear message to President Obama: No more delays. Go bold now to end the suffering of immigrant families.

“Policymakers and advocates agree that we need a better immigration system: one that gives undocumented people a chance to come out of the shadows, clears the backlogs so that families can stay together and workers can continue to enrich our country. But agreeing on these principles has not been enough in Washington. NCAPA – a coalition of 33 national AAPI organizations – calls upon President Obama to turn agreed-upon principles into workable policies, and to do so right away – not later, and not after November. We need immediate action because AAPI families cannot keep waiting and putting their own lives and decisions on hold any longer,” said Gregory Cendana, Chair of NCAPA and Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA).

Sang Hyug Jung, impacted community member and immigrant parent organizer at KRC in Los Angeles, California said, “I am sorry that I am standing before you, nearly a year after my last trip to Washington D.C., not in celebration of a win on comprehensive reform but to once again demand an end to the suffering of immigrant families. And today I am reminded of a mother and daughter who came to KRC to ask about DACA, the one light in this family’s story that was a tale of hope and dreams turned to financial loss and family separation. Fortunately, DACA has allowed the daughter to legally work to help her mother and travel to Korea to visit her ailing grandmother. Without DACA, my children would also live in fear like myself and millions of hardworking immigrant parents. Mr. President, imagine what expanded deferred action and an increased number of family visas could do for families like ours. It is time for you to do what Congress has failed to do for millions of families.”

Allen Tu, Youth Leader at KRCC said, “They’re separating families; they don’t feel the gravity of the situation that they’re making by taking us casually. We’re rallying so that you hear our voice. We’re telling you to change. We need administrative relief right now today.”

The following community members and organizational leaders spoke about the needs of the AAPI community:

Hee Joo Yoon, Executive Director of Korean Resource Center in Los Angeles, CA
Sang Hyug Jung, impacted community member from Los Angeles, CA
Allen Tu, Youth community leader from Chicago, IL
Meghna Damani, community member from New Jersey
Greg Cendana, Chair of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans
Quyen Dinh, Executive Director of Southeast Asian Resource Action Center
Jo Quiambao, GABRIELA DC

​For photos, please click here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/sdni6i782g4oty2/photo%20from%20today.jpg?dl=0
For a video of the press conference, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYbqndPbtL0
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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).