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Immigrant RightsNationalPress Release

Bilingual Telebriefing on SCOTUS Decision for Korean Community

By June 24, 2016July 5th, 2016No Comments

June 27, 2016
Dae Joong Yoon, NAKASEC,
Inhe Choi, KRCC,
Joon Bang, KRC,

Bilingual Telebriefing on SCOTUS Decision for Korean Community

WASHINGTON DC — In response to the United States Supreme Court’s split decision in Texas v. United States, a case challenging President Obama’s 2014 executive action on immigration, the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) and its affiliates, the Korean American Resource and Cultural Center (KRCC) and Korean Resource Center (KRC), hosted a bilingual telebriefing in Korean and English with guest speakers from the MinKwon Center in New York and the National Immigration Law Center (NILC).

Joshua Stehlik, Supervising Attorney at the National Immigration Law Center, provided the below legal analysis of the outcome of the immigration case announced on Thursday, June 23rd.

  • The 4-4 ruling affirmed the lower court’s decision in a deadlock. But since there was not a majority decision, this order does not set a Supreme Court precedent for future decisions. It does leave in place the 5th Circuit Court’s decision, which will be binding in the Fifth Circuit only.
  • It is important to remember that the Supreme Court is not a full court. There has been one vacant seat since Justice Scalia passed away in February 2016. And the Senate has failed to take action toward appointing the 9th Justice to make a complete court.
  • We believe DAPA and DACA programs are commonsensical, lawful, and constitutional. Historically, similar actions have been taken up by previous presidents from both parties.
  • We are urging the Department of Justice (DOJ) to seek a rehearing from the Supreme Court.  The DOJ has 25 days from Thursday’s opinion and the decision to seek this rehearing.
  • It is more common for the Supreme Court to rehear cases when an unexpected vacancy prevented a majority opinion. The timeline, however, will take longer than the community needs it.  If the case is reheard, the earliest that the decision could be made would be early 2018.

Ju Hong, AAPI DACA Collaborative Coordinator, said: “Yesterday’s Supreme Court decision does not impact the current DACA program that began in 2012.  DACA has positively changed my life and I urge other community members to also experience these same benefits. There are an estimated 1.5 million AAPIs eligible for DACA and of the 500,000 AAPIs who would have been eligible for DAPA and expanded DACA roughly 48,000 are Korean Americans. To protect DACA and the future implementation of the expanded programs, I encourage eligible community members to apply. For assistance with applying for DACA and questions about the Supreme Decision, please call the hotline in Korean or English: 323-680-5725 (California) or 833-500-3222 (outside California).”

Ester Rim, a DACA recipient and Civic Engagement Intern at the MinKwon Center for Community Action in New York whose parents may have been eligible for DAPA, said: “Hearing the decision yesterday brought about feelings that ranged from extreme sadness, heavy disappointment, anger and frustration. As a DACA recipient from a mixed-status family, I had a brief moment of hope that my parents would be able to access the same benefits that I attained through DACA, such as healthcare, employment authorization, and the privilege of traveling outside the country. Yesterday’s decision motivates me to keep working with the MinKwon Center, reaching out to community members, and raising our voices through the power of the vote.”

Luke Hwang, DACA recipient and member of KRCC in Chicago whose father is DAPA eligible, said: “Because of DACA, I am living my dream, going to school, and afforded a sense of security from deportation.  Why can’t my dad have that opportunity? He has only focused on working hard to care for me and loving me. The Supreme Court’s deadlock has prevented my dad and so many other immigrant families from life with dignity. Yet, I am hopeful because I know that our community will come together and strengthen ourselves and mobilize Korean and Asian Americans in the November election to support immigrant families.”

Inhe Choi, Executive Director at KRCC, “This fight for our families is not over.  While we explore all possible legal options, we will take active steps to organize our community.  Now more than ever, it is critical that we demonstrate our immigrant voting power—for our AAPI community and immigrant families.  In the coming months our organizations will register thousands of new voters and connect with over 100,000 to get out the vote in November at the national, state, and local elections. We are strong people and we pledge to keep working together to making immigrant families strong!”