FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 13, 2018
CONTACT: Sam Yu | firstname.lastname@example.org | 213-703-0992
Don’t Hold Our Families As Ransom;
Clean DREAM Act Now!
Washington D.C. – As Congress negotiates to determine the futures of millions of undocumented youth and their families, AAPI mothers and their DACAmented children from across the nation stormed Democratic leader Senator Schumer’s (D-NY) office to share powerful letters regarding the importance of a clean DREAM Act, family reunification, and rejecting Trump’s racist immigration deal.
The White House Framework on Immigration Reform & Border Security is expected to increase funding for border security, eliminate the diversity visa program, and make drastic cuts to family based immigration. The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) and affiliates, HANA Center of greater Chicago and the Korean Resource Center (KRC) of Los Angeles and Orange County, strongly oppose all pillars of Trump’s immigration plan, uplifting the proposed cuts to family-based immigration. 82% of visas given to Asian countries are family-based; any cuts to family based immigration will negatively impact our communities. Through their letters and personal stories, the AAPI mothers of our undocumented young people urged Senator Schumer to keep family based sponsorship as a non-negotiable within all immigration debates.
Erica, one our AAPI mothers, said in her personal letter addressed to her DACAmented daughter:
“Due to an economic crisis and terrorist attacks, we had to leave Korea and came to ‘the land of opportunity and equality’ in the hopes of starting our second lives in America. I feel sorry that you had to live differently and live a harder life with the label ‘undocumented.’ Because of that label, your father and I have been working harder everyday regardless of how tough it is, for you. I am so proud to see you go to college and live out your dream. I know very well of your desire and hope to live as an American citizen, contribute to society, and live equally and harmoniously with others without having to worry about the ‘undocumented’ label, and it breaks my heart that you cannot. So, I’ve decided to come out of the shadows and live and fight for you and other Dreamers. I want you to know that I feel responsible and I will do anything I need to do to fight for our Dreamers. First, I’d like to remind [all members of Congress] that the Dreamers are NOT criminals. They are members of society. Second, we want to be able to spend every Thanksgiving and Christmas together as a family. Third, give our Dreamers the opportunity to contribute back to the society and land that they’ve grown up in. Lastly, we ask [all members of Congress] sincerely, as parents of our children, to listen to our voices and our hearts. Thank you.”
Clara, one of our young undocumented leaders, said in her personal letter addressed to her mother:
“Dear mom, it has been rough for the past 13 years huh? A lot of things have happened. I still remember the first time we moved to America. Both you and grandma, who came to support us, didn’t know where and how to begin our lives in this foreign country. Looking back, I was such a foolish and selfish kid. I looked at you with all responsibility of our circumstances without realizing that you were hurting and struggling too. Learning a new language and financially supporting our family without dad must have been difficult to do on your own. I matured too late so i’m barely starting to understand your heart and mind, but I just want to thank you for your constant diligence in working to support us and sacrificing your dreams and plans for us. Although our immigration status is still not resolved, I believe that this too is another mountain we can climb, just like those we passed over the last 13 years. I hope that Congress will consider your situation as well as mine because family means we stay together. When we are all able, let’s go see Grandma in Korea and your sister who you have not seen in so long. Let’s stay strong until this gets resolved and depend on each other with hope for the future. I don’t express it much but I’m very thankful for you, and I respect you and love you. Sincerely, your daughter Clara.”
Following these testimonies, immigrant justice advocates and allies headed to DREAM Act originator Senator Durbin’s (D-IL) office and hosted a funeral procession to mourn the immigrant communities that would be adversely affected by Trump’s immigration plan. Five flowers were placed on a coffin marked the “American Dream” with each flower symbolizing the pillars of Trump’s plan and the communities that will suffer should Trump’s plan become law.
NAKASEC and affiliates will continue to hold direct actions and targeted legislative visits in DC until a clean DREAM Act, one that does not hold our families and communities as ransom in exchange for our young people, is reached.
Founded in 1994, the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC)’s mission is to organize Korean and Asian Americans to achieve social, economic, and racial justice. NAKASEC maintains offices in Annandale, Virginia, Chicago, Illinois and Los Angeles, California. NAKASEC has affiliates in Chicago (HANA Center) and Los Angeles and Orange County (Korean Resource Center).