Immigrant RightsNationalPress Release

RELEASE: NAKASEC and Affiliates Respond to 2015 State of the Union

By January 21, 2015 No Comments

For Immediate Release
January 21, 2014

Contacts:
Dae Joong Yoon, NAKASEC, djyoon@nakasec.org
Hee Joo Yoon, KRC, yoonheejoo@krcla.org
Inhe Choi, KRCC, inhe@chicagokrcc.org

NAKASEC and Affiliates Respond to 2015 State of the Union

Washington, DC- On Tuesday, January 20, 2014, President Barack Obama presented his sixth State of the Union Address, declaring that “the shadow of crisis has passed,” which points to his policies to grow the economy and create opportunities for the middle class. President Obama focused on how the gains of civil and labor rights contributed to the growth and strength of the United States and what next steps to take, paid sick leave, equal pay, increasing access to voting and voting rights, raising the minimum wage, closing tax loopholes, climate justice, and more to continue strengthening and rebuilding America. Two months ago, the President announced a series of executive actions on immigration that would bring five million undocumented immigrants out of the shadows, 48,000 of whom are newly eligible Korean Americans, by granting temporary relief from deportation and work authorization.

The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) and its affiliates, the Korean Resource Center (KRC) in Los Angeles and Orange County, CA and the Korean American Resource & Cultural Center (KRCC) in Chicago, IL, issued the following comments:

Dae Joong (DJ) Yoon, Executive Director of NAKASEC: “The President reasserted his commitment to preserving the American value of family by vowing to veto any bill that would jeopardize the ‘security of families’ or undermine the Administration’s attempt to fix the broken immigration system in the absence of Congressional action. There have been mean-spirited attacks attempting to unravel the President’s progress to protect immigrant families, but NAKASEC, KRC, and KRCC will work to protect what our communities won. We will continue to promote the importance of keeping families together by urging the President and Congress to work together to bring loved ones out of the shadows by passing comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship and clearing the family backlogs, overwhelmingly occupied by Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Until this day comes, we will work to educate our community members about the benefits of applying for the newly announced Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) programs.”

Hee Joo Yoon, Executive Director of KRC: “In 2001, California was one of the first two states to enact legislation, AB540, that would allow in-state tuition rates for undocumented students. Assistance with applying for AB540 is one of the many services that KRC offers to help students achieve their dreams and afford higher education. The President’s bold community college proposal would open up doors, like in Chicago and Tennessee, by allowing many young people to further their education and thus more diversely contribute to this country. And we urge state policymakers to include the hardworking DACA recipients, like those who come into my office at KRC every day, in this community college proposal.”

Inhe Choi, Executive Director of KRCC: “KRCC is committed to advocating for our families in the Chicago area and across the U.S. to ensure that immigrants rights and civic rights are properly observed and protected. The President acknowledged that our country is divided in its views on immigration and takes on Ferguson and New York, but shed light on the common values of keeping family members together and reforming America’s criminal justice system. This is about trust and fairness. As President Obama made in his remarks, ‘We don’t just want everyone to share in America’s success — we want everyone to contribute to our success,’ we too, Korean Americans and Asian Americans, along with the broader immigrant family, will continue to mobilize our communities to emphasize the legitimacy of the President’s executive actions on immigration as we urge Congress to work towards a permanent solution.”

###

For NAKASEC photos and video, please follow us on Facebook (link) and Twitter (@nakasec)

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 and Orange County (Korean Resource Center).