Downloadable: English and Korean press statements
July 21, 2005 Contacts: EunSook Lee, NAKASEC 323.937.3703
For Immediate Release Dae Joong Yoon, KRC 323. 937. 3718
Kent Chaegu Lee, KRCC 773. 506. 9158
Yu Soung Mun, YKASEC 718. 460. 5600
Communities Unite to Launch National Immigration Reform AD Campaign[Los Angeles, CA] Today, immigrant groups from around the country announced a major print ad campaign to highlight the need for comprehensive immigration reform. The campaign which includes the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) in Los Angeles, and its affiliates, along with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant & Refugee Rights, and the New York Immigration Coalition held coordinated press conferences in their respective cities, to raise funds for the ad through a national Dollar-A-Person drive.
EunSook Lee, executive director of NAKASEC explained, “Our communities know all too well, many painfully, the urgent need for immigration reform. This campaign will allow them to send a clear message to Congress, and other local/national elected officials, that real immigration reform must be consistent with the values our country is founded on.”
The campaign will raise funds and generate support to place an advertisement in the Washington Post that demonstrates broad national support for the key principles of comprehensive immigration reform:
– A path to permanent residency for hard-working undocumented immigrants;
– Reuniting families by eliminating the immigration backlogs;
– Providing a safe & realistic plan for future migration;
– Strengthening protections for worker rights;
– Defend and protect immigrants’ civil liberties and civil rights;
– Providing relief for immigrant students and farmworkers.
The Washington Post, the newspaper of record in the nation’s capital, is widely read by policy makers, the White House and Members of Congress. The campaign will also serve as a springboard for other communities and sectors to place similar advertisements in other local and national media outlets. Participating organizations will be holding “Dollar-A-Person” drives at markets, houses of worship, schools, and festivals during the summer enabling community members to directly participate and contribute to the campaign.
Endorsements and support will be gathered until early September and the final advertisement demonstrating the broad national support for comprehensive immigration reform is scheduled to appear in September, 2005.
“We are deeply disappointed by the recent Cornyn-Kyl proposal which emphasizes enforcement without making the current system enforceable. America was built recognizing those who came in search of a better life. Any new immigration system we hope would embrace these values and restore dignity and fairness to our current immigration system, much like the Secure America and Orderly Immigration bill.”
â€“ Deepak Bhargava, Executive Director, Center for Community Change
“With competing immigration bills, the Patriot Act, and other legislation up for debate in Congress, it is easy to see our immigration system is broken. However, few of the measures offered recognize the contributions immigrants make to our economy. They leave millions of immigrants in the shadows, lacking the rights and opportunities that America was built on,”
â€“ Angelica Salas, Executive Director, Coalition for the Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles
“If an immigration reform bill passes, this new law will set immigration policy for the decade or more, impacting the lives of all Americans fundamentally. It is time that immigrant communities become engaged so that any immigration reform bill that passes includes our core principles.”
— Kent Chaegu Lee, Executive Director Korean American Resource & Cultural Center, Chicago
“Within the context of the Cornyn-Kyl proposal this campaign is timely. Immigrant communities must weigh in today so that immigration reform is not done piece meal, but includes fundamental components including reduction of the immigration backlogs, relief to the nation’s undocumented population and expanded legal channels for migrants to work and seek a path to legal permanent residency.”
— Dae Joong Yoon, Executive Director, Korean Resource Center, Los Angeles
“Senators Cornyn and Kyl are important members of Congress, and we hope they will eventually be part of a comprehensive solution to the problems of the current immigration system. Unfortunately, their bill fails to address these problems, and is unworkable and principally focused on imposing harsher enforcement sanctions. A comprehensive solution must provide a path to legal status for the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living and working here, reduce family backlogs, provide for a regulated legal future immigration flow, and protect U.S. and foreign-born workers.”
— Linton Joaquin, Executive Director, National Immigration Law Center
“There are now more than 10 million people in the United States and the American public is clearly aware that the immigration system is broken. There is pressure from all sides of the political spectrum for immigration reform. The McCain-Kennedy bill presents immigrant communities with an unprecedented opportunity to make a difference in the enactment of comprehensive immigration reform during this 109th Congress.”
–Yu Soung Mun, Executive Director, YKASEC-Empowering the Korean American Community, New York