Immigrant RightsNationalPress Release

NAKASEC Celebrates the 3rd Anniversary of DACA

By June 15, 2015 July 14th, 2015 No Comments

For Immediate Release
June 15, 2015
Contact: Emily Kessel, eakessel@nakasec.org, 703-256-2208

NAKASEC and Affiliates Celebrate the 3rd Anniversary of DACA

Nearly 700,000 success stories from young immigrants across the country

WASHINGTON DC— Today, hundreds of civic leaders, immigrant families, and community-based organizations celebrate the third anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA has positively changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of young immigrants who can now work legally, obtain a social security number, open bank accounts, and in many cases access an affordable education and drive. The National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC) commemorated this monumental day with Virginia’s Attorney General Mark Herring, who declared DACA recipients eligible for in-state tuition in April 2014, DACA recipients, several organizations in the greater Washington D.C. Area, and Minister Sira Swangsilpa from the Embassy of Thailand at a press conference in the NAKASEC office. Virginia Delegate Mark Keam, Executive Director of the Council of Korean Americans (CKA) Sam Yoon, Jackie Cortes from Dreamers of Virginia, Rodrigo Velasquez from Mason Dreamers, the founder of the Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations (VACOLAO) Andres Tobar, Dong Yoon Kim from NAKASEC, and Jung Bin Cho, a Korean American DACA recipient from Virginia, shared DACA success stories and hopes for continual support to move our community forward.

General Mark Herring said: “DACA has changed the lives of many Korean American and Asian American young people. And many brave members of the community have stepped out to share their immigration story and how DACA has affected their lives. But there are still thousands more eligible Korean Americans and Asian Americans who have yet to apply. This is a good program. The best way to show our community’s power is to enroll in programs like DACA that benefit our families and naturalize, register to vote and get out the vote if you are an Asian American LPR or U.S. citizen. Let’s volunteer with organizations like NAKASEC, talk to our legislators, and educate friends and families about why lifting up the rights of our community is critical to move our AAPI community forward.”

Jung Bin Cho, a Korean American DACA recipient in Virginia, said: “DACA opened doors for me to do things I was unable to do before and my family didn’t have to work as much to help me achieve my goals. With DACA,  I am able to pursue a degree in Business Information Technology at Virginia Tech. Although DACA didn’t solve all of my problems, it gave me some of the tools I needed to become independent and self-reliant. The more our undocumented community steps out and applies for programs like DACA, the less power our political opponents will have to take away these executive actions that benefit up to 5.5 million undocumented community members. DACA and DAPA aren’t permanent solutions, but they are a step in the right direction. I want more of our community members to apply so they can work, go to school, and walk down the street without fear of deportation, just like me.”

Virginia State Delegate, Mark Keam, said: “DACA has changed the lives of many Korean American and Asian American young people. And many brave members of the community have stepped out to share their immigration story and how DACA has affected their lives. But there are still thousands more eligible Korean Americans and Asian Americans who have yet to apply. This is a good program. The best way to show our community’s power is to enroll in programs like DACA that benefit our families and naturalize, register to vote and get out the vote if you are an Asian American LPR or U.S. citizen. Let’s volunteer with organizations like NAKASEC,  talk to our legislators,  and educate friends and families about why lifting up the rights of our community is critical to move our AAPI community forward.“

Dae Joong Yoon, executive director of NAKASEC, said: “It has been inspiring to see thousands of immigrant youth one step closer to achieving their dreams to become teachers, social workers, and community organizers with their newly received social security numbers and work permits. In the first two years of DACA, NAKASEC’s Virginia office and two affiliates (KRC in California and KRCC in Illinois) have provided DACA information to more than 11,000 AAPI DREAMers, conducted 4,345 one-on-one consultations, and processed more than 1,300 DACA applications, mostly from the Korean American community. South Korea has the 6th highest acceptance rate among countries with DACA applicants and the Philippines is the 10th. We remain committed to helping community members who are eligible but have yet to apply to receive work permits, access an affordable education, and be able to drive. The next step after DACA must be a path to citizenship through immigration reform. Our community rightfully won DACA, and we are confident that we will continue to move forward as a family of empowered individuals. ”

NAKASEC affiliates, the Korean Resource Center (KRC) and the Korean American Resource and Cultural Center (KRCC), also participated in events to celebrate the third anniversary of DACA in Chicago, Illinois and Los Angeles, California .

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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 and Orange County (Korean Resource Center).