NAKASEC and Affiliates Join Partners in Urging Supreme Court To Take Up DAPA/DACA+ Case

For Immediate Release:
January 15, 2016
Contact: Emily Kessel, eakessel@nakasec.org

NAKASEC and Affiliates Join Partners in Urging Supreme Court To Take Up DAPA/DACA+ Case

#FamiliesFightBack #SCOTUS

WASHINGTON DC — On January 15th, the day when the Supreme Court justices were discussing whether to take up the Texas vs. United States case, the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) stood in solidarity with partners in the immigrant rights movement by marching from the Lutheran Church of the Reformation in Washington D.C. to the Supreme Court. Families and groups came together to highlight the importance of the Supreme Court’s decision on whether they will hear the case regarding President Obama’s executive order to expand Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and implement Deferred Action for Parents of American and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA).

Partners are holding prayer vigils, marches, rallies, and press conferences to echo this same message across the country including Arizona, Texas, Michigan and New York. NAKASEC and its affiliates, the Korean American Resource and Cultural Center (KRCC) and Korean Resource Center (KRC), remind the Supreme Court justices and all lawmakers that this case is about U.S. citizen and resident children, their families, and their communities.

Prior to the march, in observance of Martin Luther King Day,  NAKASEC joined a breakfast dialogue with national partners and African American leaders at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation to explore similarities and struggles between the Immigrant Rights Movement and the Civil Rights Movement.

Executive Director of NAKASEC Dae Joong Yoon, Executive Director of KRCC Inhe Choi, and Interim Executive Director of KRC Jenny Seon shared the following comments:  “Our community cried tears of joy when DAPA and expanded DACA were announced in November 2014. The programs did not include everyone, but the announcement brought renewed hope to our community at large. These programs and this case affect millions of families and children in addition to those who directly qualify for expanded DACA and DAPA because of their deep ties to their local community and this country. This case is about 5 million real families and recognizing their contributions to society. We urge the Supreme Court to answer the call of these young people, parents, and families by taking up the case that is holding them back from living their life in their home country with their loved ones.”

Daehee Cho, expanded DACA eligible community member from Chicago, Illinois said: “I came to the U.S. when I was 14 years old from South Korea to live with my aunt and her family and later moved out to live on my own. I tried to open my bank account, pay bills, and open a cell phone account, but could not because I did not have a social security number. It was only then that I found out I was undocumented. I had big dreams for myself, but was unable to pursue them because of my status. DACA expansion would allow me to freely dream about my future in the U.S. and visit Korea to see my family and also be able to come back home. It would benefit not only me, but hundreds of thousands of people like me, who are unhappy and living in fear of being separated from their loved ones.”

DK, a community member eligible for expanded DACA and impacted by DAPA from Los Angeles, California, said: “I am currently an undocumented UCLA graduate. Several immigrant families such as mine live in the U.S. and are afraid they might be separated from their loved ones due to their status. Programs such as DAPA and DACA can provide relief. They can help us stay together and not be separated. Many young adult immigrants such as myself would like to live and study in the U.S. to obtain better lives. Our lives, however, cannot be better without our parents. I cannot imagine a life without my mom and dad. I need them to protect me and help me grow as I continue my studies. DAPA and DACA expansion can help my family work under safer working conditions, pay taxes, and help those around us without the fear of being deported.”

Bati Tsogtsaikhan, DACA recipient and impacted by DAPA community member from Arlington, Virginia, said: “I moved to the U.S. with my parents from Mongolia at the age of 10, graduated high school, received my associate’s degree in business administration from NVCC, and recently completed my Bachelor of Science degree in Finance at George Mason University. Back in February, I was invited to share my story with President Obama and how DACA had opened doors for me to education. I want DAPA to do for my family what DACA did for me. I want my parents to have an opportunity to find fair paying jobs to better support my younger brother and not live in fear of being separated from me and my brother.” To view Bati’s full testimony shared on January 15th in front of the Supreme Court by Emily Kessel at NAKASEC, please click here.