Downloadable: English Press Statement
For Immediate Release Contacts: EunSook Lee, 323. 937. 3703
Chicago â€“ Chaegu Lee, 773. 506. 9158
May 4, 2004 Los Angeles â€“ Dae Joong Yoon, 323. 937. 3718
New York â€“ YuSoung Mun, 718. 460. 5600
[Los Angeles] Today, Senator Edward Kennedy (D – MA) in the Senate and Representative Luis Gutierrez (D – IL) and Representative Robert Menendez (D â€“ NJ) in the House introduced comprehensive immigration reform legislation, Safe, Orderly, Legal Visas and Enforcement Act (The Solve Act). The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) and its affiliates, the Korean Resource Center (Los Angeles), the YKASEC â€“ Empowering the Korean American Community (New York) and the Korean American Resource & Cultural Center (Chicago) welcome this Senate/House bill, designed to fix our country’s broken immigration system.
EunSook Lee, executive director of NAKASEC said: “This is a serious proposal towards comprehensive immigration reform because it addresses three significant components of immigration reform; legalization, family reunification, and a temporary worker program. We are pleased that a bill reflecting our principles has been introduced. By comparison, President Bush has yet to produce any legislation following his January 7 announcement.”
The legislation includes three key components:
1. Earned Adjustment – Allows undocumented immigrants who have lived in the U.S. for a minimum of 5 years and worked for 2 years to apply for legal permanent residency.
2. Family Reunification and Backlogs Reduction â€“ Immediately reduces the backlogs by exempting immediate family categories from the annual caps. Provides for a flexible per country cap. Repeals the 3 to 10 year re-entry bar.
3. Future Worker Program â€“ Includes a path toward legal permanent residency for future workers and includes strong protections against worker exploitation.
YuSoung Mun, executive director of the YKASEC – Empowering the Korean American Community said: “In the coming months, we will focus on education in order to develop a community response. This bill is a result of the hard work of a diverse coalition of immigrant rights organizations around the country that have highlighted the problems with the current immigration system and the need to link efforts towards a comprehensive solution.”
Kent Lee, executive director of the Korean American Resource & Cultural Center added:
“At the same time, we must also ensure that existing legislation that has already gained tremendous momentum such as the DREAM Act and Ag-Jobs, remain prominently in the eyes of the public and Congress. It was just a few weeks ago when hundreds of immigrant students gathered in Washington, D.C. with 100,000 petitions, calling for the urgent passage of the DREAM / Student Adjustment Act.”
Dae Joong Yoon, executive director of the Korean Resource Center said: “Given that it is election year, this bill is like a measurement ruler, helping Korean American and immigrant voters. No voter should be taken for granted. Politicians, elected officials and political parties must realize that if they are serious about immigrant rights and immigration reform, they must support legislation such as this.”
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