For immediate release
Becky Belcore, KRCC, 773.506.9158
Eun Sook Lee, NAKASEC, 323.937.3703
Yu Soung Mun, YKASEC, 718.460-5600
Dae Joong Yoon, KRC, 323.937.3718
June 28, 2007
NAKASEC STATEMENT ON FAILED CLOTURE OF SENATE IMMIGRATION BILL (SB 1639)
(Los Angeles, CA) The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) and our affiliates – Korean American Resource & Cultural Center in Chicago, Korean Resource Center in Los Angeles, and YKASEC – Empowering the Korean American Community in Flushing – are deeply disappointed that the immigration reform debate did not move forward due to a failed cloture vote, in spite of the fact that we had serious concerns about the contents of the bill.
Rather than staying firm to long-held principles of family unification, worker protection, due process, and legalization for all, the final contents of SB 1639 contained a weak legalization program, along with the proposed elimination of the family-based immigration system and a future worker program with no path to citizenship. The Senate leadership had conceded so much to a small, but a vocal, extreme anti-immigrant faction, and still failed to pass cloture — and by a wide margin.
In the past few years, Korean Americans and immigrant communities have come together like never before and worked hard to stay united. Our communities fully understand that comprehensive immigration reform means keeping families together, respecting basic rights & liberties, and providing everyone an opportunity to pursue the American dream. Recently our communities were involved in activities that included the Dreams Across America Tour, the National Asian Pacific American Mobilization for Immigration Reform and the We Are America Picture Postcard Campaign. In the days to come, we will continue to educate and reach out to other communities to keep this momentum alive.
It is also the responsibility of Congress to sustain the political momentum. It is incumbent on the House of Representatives to delay no longer and take immediate steps to consider a just and humane immigration reform proposal. In taking up this issue, the House must also learn from the Senate’s failure and exercise strong, united leadership, negotiate forcefully, and ensure a transparent process. This is the moment to create historic change. Congress must decisively step up to the plate and truly deliver because immigration reform is the key to America’s prosperity, security and future.