Immigrant RightsNationalPress Release

RELEASE: NAKASEC and Affiliates Express Outrage about House Passage of Yoho Bill

By December 4, 2014 No Comments

For Immediate Release
December 4, 2014

National Contact: Emily Kessel, eakessel@nakasec.org
California Contact: Yongho Kim, yongho@krcla.org
Illinois Contact: Nayoung Ha, nayoung@chicagokrcc.org
Virginia Contact: Dong Yoon Kim, dkim@nakasec.org

NAKASEC and Affiliates Express Outrage about House Passage of Yoho Bill

Washington DC- Today, as the House of Representatives passes Florida Representative Yoho’s Executive Amnesty Prevention Act of 2014, the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC) and its affiliates, the Korean Resource Center (KRC) in Los Angeles and Orange County, California and the Korean American Resource and Cultural Center (KRCC) in Chicago, Illinois, express their outrage over the elected officials’ blatant decision to turn a cold shoulder to immigrant families.

On November 20, President Obama announced new steps to address the broken immigration system in response to Congress’ failure to bring a vote on a comprehensive bill on immigration reform. An estimated 48,600 Korean Americans could benefit from the President’s expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and newly developed Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) programs. An attack on program opportunities allowing millions of undocumented immigrant families to lawfully live and work in the United States, a country they call home, has deeply disappointed to the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.

“The President’s newly issued DAPA program means that my whole family can stay together and live in the United States legally. Today, at the White House, I shared how this opportunity will make it possible for my family to contribute to this country. I was disappointed that the House is trying to block students like me and our families from realizing the American Dream,” said Bati Tsogtsaikhan, a student at George Mason University who met with Cecilia Muñoz, assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council, at the White House, along with five other DREAMers who will benefit from administrative relief.

Dae Joong (DJ) Yoon, Executive Director of NAKASEC, said: “The President has recently announced a historical executive action that will impact the lives of millions of immigrant families, including over 48,000 Korean Americans. Although these executive actions are not perfect and leave out many hopeful families, we want to celebrate this victory and help our eligible community members apply for these programs. Issuing executive orders to offer temporary relief to undocumented immigrants through deferred action is not a new concept. Earlier this year, the House failed to move an immigration reform bill forward, and has now decided to vote for a bill that prevents President Obama and all future Presidents from expanding DACA and implementing additional deferred action programs like DAPA, which would protect parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. This is a sure way to lose face with the immigrant community.”

“Nearly 44 percent of the 180,000 undocumented Korean Americans, many of whom are in California, will qualify for temporary protection under the President’s recent administrative relief programs on immigration. NAKASEC, KRC, and KRCC have been helping the Korean American and AAPI communities apply for DACA since its implementation in 2012. We have been creating in-language materials and holding community meetings with community members, anticipating the day when USCIS will begin accepting applications for the expanded DACA and DAPA programs. We are deeply disappointed to hear news about the House’s attempt to strip away this hope that was brought to our community,” said Hee Joo Yoon, Executive Director of KRC.

Inhe Choi, Executive Director of KRCC, said: “The House’s claim that the President has overreached his authority is simply false. Congress must stop exhausting efforts to undo the President’s first step to address our broken immigration system. The targets of such anti-immigrant bills are family members who want to become registered and documented taxpayers who contribute to our society. Now that the President took the first step, Congress must finish the job by passing comprehensive and lasting immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship.”

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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 and Orange County, California. NAKASEC has affiliates in Chicago (Korean American Resource & Cultural Center) and Los Angeles and Orange County (Korean Resource Center).