September 21, 2007
EunSook Lee, NAKASEC, 323.937.3703, ext 205
Yu Soung Mun, YKASEC, 718.460.5600
Kat Choi, KRCC, 778.506.9158
Dae Joong Yoon, KRC, 323.937.3718
Driver’s License Victory in New York
After four years, a win for all
JOINT STATEMENT BY:
National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC)
Korean American Resource & Cultural Center in Chicago
Korean Resource Center in Los Angeles
YKASEC – Empowering the Korean American Community in Flushing
(Los Angeles, CA) NAKASEC and its affiliates join in celebrating the tremendous hard-fought victory by immigrant groups to remove a barrier for tens of thousands of New Yorkers to obtain driver’s licenses and state identification documents. Driver’s licenses and state IDs are fundamentally needed to work and study. On September 21, 2007, Governor Eliot Spitzer authorized an administrative policy change at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Effective immediately, driver’s licenses and state IDs will be granted to qualified individuals without social security numbers, thus restoring policies prior to 1995. Moreover, driver’s licenses and state IDs will look identical for all holders regardless of immigration status.
“Denying immigrants access threatened the public security and safety of all New Yorkers. This policy change signals a new and forward-looking direction for New York, recognizing immigrants’ unparalleled contributions to the state’s economic growth in the 21st century. As much as this policy change will benefit the Korean American community – where one in five is undocumented – this win also builds momentum for comprehensive immigration reform,” stated Yu Soung Mun, Executive Director of YKASEC – Empowering the Korean American Community (one of six steering committee members of the NY Coalition for Immigrants’ Rights to Driver’s Licenses).
“By sticking to requiring proof of residency and identification, the Department of Motor Vehicles draws a clean line between performing their core duties of ensuring the public safety of all New Yorkers and acting as federal immigration agents enforcing complicated immigration documents. NAKASEC and our two affiliates in Los Angeles and Chicago commend the dedication and perseverance of YKASEC, one of the original members of the coalition, to educate and mobilize thousands of Korean Americans in New York,” stated EunSook Lee, Executive Director, NAKASEC.