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Response to President Bush’s State of the Union Address

By March 30, 2006 No Comments

Downloadable:  English and Korean press statements

PRESS STATEMENT

January 31, 2006                                Contacts: Eun Sook 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

Korean American Community Denounce
President Bush’s Immigration Reform Plan

[Los Angeles, CA]  Last night, the American public including the Korean American community watched in anticipation the President Bush’s State of the Union address.  President Bush spoke on the need to reform our broken immigration system, while we are glad that he is keeping the spotlight on the issue, the Korean American community is deeply disappointed with the President’s immigration reform plan and his actions to date.

In his State of the Union, President Bush reiterated an immigration reform plan that combines more of the same failed interior and border enforcement with a temporary guest worker program that drives workers out of the U.S. once time runs out.

“President Bush’s plan fails to address the reality that the vast majority of the undocumented population have lived, worked hard, paid taxes and raised families in America for a decade or more.  It is simply unrealistic to expect that immigrants living in the shadows would participate in a temporary guest worker program that will eventually uproot them from their communities and expel them from the country,” said Eun Sook Lee, executive director of the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium.

Ms. Lee continued, “To be good stalwarts of our taxpayer dollars, the President and Congress must dismiss proposals that waste more resources on a costly and ineffective enforcement measures.  Instead, we need the President to exercise bold and intelligent leadership to forge bipartisan support to move forward workable and comprehensive solutions.”

“While President Bush has spoken eloquently about America as a compassionate nation and the need to treat people with respect and dignity, his record to date fails to show compassion for the millions of hard-working, tax-paying immigrants who have made significant contributions to our nation,” said Kent Chaegu Lee, executive director of Korean American Resource and Cultural Center.  Mr. Lee continued, “He has turned his back on immigrants and caved into the demands of the few anti-immigrant extremists in Congress by announcing his strong support for the most anti-immigrant bill in 80 years – the Border Protection, Anti-Terrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act (H.R. 4437).  H.R.4437 will terrorize all our communities by criminalizing millions here without status and punishing the pastors, doctors and social workers who perform everyday good deeds to help them.”

“In his address, he stated that educational opportunities are essential to help our youth become future leaders.  Yet, he has remained silent on the DREAM Act, a bill that will open the doors to higher education for all youth regardless of immigration status,” said Yu Soung Mun, executive director of YKASEC – Empowering the Korean American Community in New York.  “Instead of supporting comprehensive and workable immigration reform legislation already on the table, his plan will drive millions workers further into an underground economy and tear more families apart.  True immigration reform must uphold deeply held American values and strengthen our families, our communities, and our economy,” continued Mr. Mun.

“With one out of five Korean American living in the U.S. without status and 77,000 Koreans caught in the family immigration backlogs, immigration reform is a crucial issue for our community,” said Dae Joong Yoon, executive director of Korean Resource Center in Los Angeles.  “Hundreds of Korean Americans along with immigrant communities across the country have rallied together to launched unprecedented activity to voice our opposition to H.R. 4437.  As the immigration reform debate heats up in D.C., our community will continue to vigilantly monitor the actions of our elected officials and the President and hold them accountable,” concluded Mr. Yoon.

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