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Senate Immigration Bill Falls Short of What is Truly Needed for America

By May 27, 2006 No Comments

PRESS STATEMENT

For Immediate Release                        Contacts:   Eun Sook Lee, NAKASEC, 323-937-3703
May 25, 2006                                Yu Soung Mun, YKASEC, 718-460-5600
                                         Becky Belcore, KRCC, 773-506-9158
                                           Dae Joong Yoon, KRC, 323-937-3718

Senate Immigration Bill Falls Short of What is Truly Needed for America
Korean Americans Will Continue to Raise Their Voices for a Real Solution

[Los Angeles, CA] The National Korean American Service and Education Consortium and its affiliates, Korean Resource Center in Los Angeles, Korean American Resource and Cultural Center in Chicago, and YKASEC – Empowering the Korean American Community in New York, recognizes that there has been tremendous gains in seeking to craft a bill that resembles comprehensive immigration reform legislation.  Unfortunately, the Senate bill, as passed (by a vote of 62-36), is deeply flawed and contains many of the same harsh and punitive enforcement provisions in H.R. 4437.  “Congress cannot, with one hand, provide a solution to some and, with the other hand, drive others further into the shadows.  This is the moment to produce truly humane immigration reform legislation that does not force communities to choose between legalization for some members and criminalization of others,” said Eun Sook Lee, executive director of the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium.

Korean Americans have played a significant role in the historic outpouring of people in recent months.  We do so because immigration policies deeply affect all of us given that more than 71% of our population is recent immigrants and one in five is undocumented.  Furthermore, we recognize that immigration reform is key to our nation’s prosperity and security. With the bill’s deep flaws, we will continue to engage our communities and fight for a better bill that reflects the calls from millions of people in the peaceful marches that were held in hundreds of cities across the nation.

In fact, we hold to the following principles that were endorsed by hundreds of Korean American organizations:

1. Legalize all undocumented immigrants
2. Allow young immigrants to reach their full potential through access to college.
3. Protect basic rights & due process for all
4. Create adequate immigrant visas for future flows of immigrants instead of a temporary worker program
5. Protect all workers regardless of their immigration status.
6. Keep families together by eliminating the immigration backlogs.
7. Stop mandatory & indefinite detentions and unfair deportations.

As the bill moves to the conference committee, we urge the conferees to be bold and exercise leadership by taking an unwavering stand for immigration reform that is realistic, humane and just.  Members of the conference committee must not cave in to the anti-immigrant extremists’ unrelenting efforts to further deteriorate the bill. In particular, we strongly oppose H.R. 4437 and other bills with similar provisions and stress the need to work towards significantly improving the bill that has passed out of the Senate.

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