Downloadable: English and Korean press statements
May 12, 2005
PRESS STATEMENT Contacts: EunSook Lee, NAKASEC [323-937-3703] For Immediate Release Yu Soung Mun, YKASEC [718-460-5600] Kent Chaegu Lee, KRCC [773-506-9158] Dae Joong Yoon, KRC [323-937-3718]
Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill Introduced in Congress[Los Angeles] On May 12, 2005, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) introduced the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act, a bi-partisan comprehensive immigration reform bill in the Senate. Separately, Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Representative Jim Kolbe (R-AZ), and Representative Jeff Flake (R-AZ) introduced a companion comprehensive immigration reform bill in the House.
The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) and its affiliates YKASEC-Empowering the Korean American Community (New York), Korean American Resource & Cultural Center (Chicago), and the Korean Resource Center (Los Angeles) consider the comprehensive immigration reform bills as a starting point to discussing the serious need for reforming our immigration system. Many immigrants including Korean Americans would benefit from comprehensive immigration reform that includes legalization, family reunification, and worker protections.
The introduction of these bills comes at a time when harsh and punitive anti-immigration legislations are being introduced and passed on the local, state, and federal levels. While immigrants work hard and contribute to our society and enrich our economy, efforts are escalating to reel back basic rights of immigrants.
While specifics of the comprehensive immigration reform bills still need to be analyzed thoroughly, the beginnings of fundamentally reforming the immigration system by the original co-sponsors on the Senate and the House is important. All our communities have a stake in this debate and it is urgent for all to come together to better understand the legislation and its potential impact.
In closing, while more details are not available, this bill is understood to include components that would reduce the immigration backlogs, provide a path to legal permanent residency for the nation’s undocumented population, create a new temporary worker program to address the future flow of low-skilled workers and their families, strengthen border security system comprehensively, introduce stronger workplace enforcement measures, and provide additional funding for Civics and English as a Second Language Classes.
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