NAKASEC and Affiliates Celebrate the 4th Anniversary of DACA

NAKASEC and Affiliates Celebrate the 4th Anniversary of DACA

WASHINGTON DC – Today marks the fourth anniversary of the current Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that drove over 10,000 calls to NAKASEC (National Korean American Service and Education Consortium) and its affiliates, KRC (Korean Resource Center) and KRCC (Korean American Resource and Cultural Center) within a two month period after DACA was first announced in 2012. This program has opened doors to thousands of young immigrants to access better paying jobs and more affordable education among other benefits.

During the four years following the implementation of the current DACA program, NAKASEC, KRC, and KRCC provided information about initial DACA and DACA renewals to over 13,000 community members and processed nearly 2,000 DACA applications, most of which were for the Korean American community.

NAKASEC, KRC, and KRCC commemorated this day with screenings of the Halmoni and the Dream Riders Across America, two documentaries featured on the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) DACA Video Tour, with local leaders and community partners in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Annandale.

In Annandale, Virginia Delegate Mark Keam and representatives from congressional offices in Virginia gathered in the NAKASEC office for a press conference and screening of Halmoni. In Los Angeles, the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and NAKASEC, along with Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), Asian Americans Advancing Justice, National Immigration Law Center (NILC), and FWD.us, screened both films at Los Angeles City Hall. In Chicago, KRCC joined a press conference with local partners to lift up the success stories of DACA recipients. The following day, on June 16th, KRCC will also hold a screening of the documentaries in solidarity with Jose Juan and his family at the University Church on Thursday, June 16.

NAKASEC Executive Director Dae Joong Yoon, KRCC Executive Director Inhe Choi, and KRC Los Angeles Director Joon Bang, shared the following statement: “Today we celebrate the success of a program that has positively changed the lives of tens of thousands of dreamers. Our phones were ringing off the hooks and young people and their families were streaming into our offices asking for information about the program that would grant temporary protection from deportation for eligible young immigrants across the country. Programs like DACA provide hope to families currently living in fear of being separated from their loved ones because they indicate that our country is on the path forward towards a permanent fix, fair and humane immigration reform.”

Bati Tsogtsaikhan, DACA recipient from Arlington, Virginia, said: “I moved to the U.S. with my parents from Mongolia at the age of 10. DACA had opened doors for me to education and the job that I secured after completing my B.A. at George Mason University. I want others to experience this same joy and benefits that others take for granted. ”

Ju Hong, National AAPI DACA Collaborative Coordinator and the face behind Halmoni (Grandmother), shared: “DACA has allowed me to travel back to South Korea to reunite with my ailing grandmother for the first time in over 13 years. Throughout the National AAPI DACA Video Tour, we engaged in discussions with local organizations, student groups, and community members around the importance of the current DACA program and the need to make the same benefits available to the millions of hardworking families and community members still waiting to be one step closer to the American Dream.”