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Seattle, WA – On August 1, 2018, NAKASEC & Affiliates, the Korean Resource Center of Southern California, HANA Center of Greater Chicago, and NAKASEC VA, hosted a press conference in Seattle Washington to formally launch our Journey to Justice Bike Tour to demand a clear pathway to citizenship for all non-citizens who have been denied this opportunity including all 11 million undocumented immigrants. Temporary Protected Status recipients and intercountry adoptees currently living without citizenship. On this 37 day bike tour, 11 courageous young “Dream Riders” will be biking from border to border starting in Seattle and ending in San Diego on September 5th, the anniversary of the cancellation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Glo Choi, one of our 11 “Dream Riders,” shared:
“I came here in 1996 with my family and like most people, we came for better opportunities but for 11 million undocumented immigrants, we are denied the opportunity to experience the full rights of citizenship despite all of our efforts to show how much we care about and belong in this country. Today, a pathway to citizenship is now considered a luxury even though it should be a right for all people, and we’re here today to tell that story through our journey to justice for citizenship for all!”
Lorena Gonzalez, Seattle city Councilwoman, remarked:
“Before my mom became a citizen, before my father became an LPR, they lived in the shadows of this country being denied the promise that they believed would come to them if they worked hard and were contributing members of this country… From that place in my heart and in my soul, I would like to welcome the Dream Riders to the city of Seattle… As you all go down the coast, I hope you remember all of the love you are receiving from the city of Seattle and that you will continue to share with others the stories of passion and being on the right side of history during this time in our country.”
Kris Larsen, an adoptee without citizenship, stated:
“I am an adoptee from Vietnam. I lived here in the US for all my life. This country is what I know and where I call home. The only issue was that all of the sudden, I figured out I wasn’t a US citizen and that I was under order for deportation. How is that possible? In 1989, my family applied for citizenship but somewhere somehow, the INS lost my paperwork so my application was stalled and no one was notified of the situation… I’m hoping through my story that we are able to shed light on this real problem that adoptees without citizenship are facing in this country and I thank the “Dream Riders” for riding for so many days and miles to uplift this important truth.”
Sophia Lee, Korean American immigrant and Board Chair of the Gender Justice League, expressed:
“We as immigrants are first and foremost people. And as people our worth to this country is not our ability to produce goods and services. Our worth is our experiences, cultures, teachings that we bring over to this country…. With all this richness and culture that we bring to this country, all we ask is for is the same opportunities to live. To grow. And to thrive. Citizenship is not a zero sum game. Immigrants are not taking away. Immigrants are coming here to contribute, share and give. Instead of putting up walls, we need to open doors. That is why I am here to support the Journey to Justice and why we need Citizenship for All!”
Throughout this Journey to Justice, our 11 “Dream Riders,” consisting of undocumented youth and allies, will be hosting events with local community based organizations in key border cities, registering voters, and talking with individuals along the way about the importance of a pathway to citizenship and full equality for all marginalized communities.
More information on the Journey to Justice Bike Tour, its background, and our route can be found by visiting http://godreamriders.org