With an undocumented population of more than 12 million people and millions more waiting years, sometimes decades to reunify with family members, there is growing public awareness that the immigration system is broken. Communities across the nation know that political will for a serious proposal is desperately needed.
Korean American communities have been engaged in the national effort to realize long-term systemic changes to our immigration laws since 1994. In doing so, we have reached a level of consensus that any legislative proposal must contain the following components:
- A path to legal permanent residency for hard-working immigrants and their children who are now forced to live and work in the shadows;
- Reform that reunite families by preserving the family preference categories, eliminating the immigration backlogs, stopping mandatory and indefinite detentions and cruel deportations for minor infractions;
- A plan to manage the future flow of migrant workers that is designed to prevent abuse and exploitation, and that allows those who grow roots here to eventually apply for permanent residency;
- Features that strengthen and protect worker rights so that our immigration laws can no longer be used as a tool to reduce wages and working standards;
- Provisions to defend and protect basic rights and liberties; and
- Immigration relief for undocumented students who have grown up in this country and farm workers whose work feed our nation.
Recent NAKASEC-led or co-organized campaigns
Truth & Transparency (2017)
On May 10th, Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, who was leading an investigation into the Trump administration’s ties to Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential elections. The firing is the latest in a string of actions Trump and his administration have taken that have been an abuse of political power, and Trump seems to put his own personal interests in front of the people he serves. Americans are seeking truth and transparency and accountability from Donald Trump. NAKASEC, Hana Center, and KRC collected petitions to demand that Congress create an independent commission to investigate Donald Trump’s finances and his relationship with foreign governments to determine whether he is using the Office of the Presidency for personal gain.
Building Bridges: National AAPI DACA Video Tour (2016)
This national communication campaign sought to educate AAPI communities on pains of family separation as well as dreams and hopes of undocumented immigrant youth through the screening of two documentaries followed by community discussions. Two documentaries featuring personal stories of undocumented immigrants and DACA recipients were screened across the country from April to June: Dream Riders Across America, directed by RJ Lozada, and Halmoni (Grandmother), directed by Anna Oh.
Dream Riders Across America (2015)
Dream Riders Across America was a national campaign from July 27 to August 7 of 2015 where Asian American, Latino, and African American youth drove across the country to meet and talk with Americans from all walks of life. Dream Riders shared their personal stories of migration, hopes for their families and country, and how young people can become agents for social change and racial justice. We helped build a united network of progressive young people across the nation.
Act Now, President Obama postcard campaign (2014)
Every day 1,100 families are being separated due to the broken immigration system. Our House leadership failed to pass immigration reform this year, and they have failed the American people. President Obama must listen to the voices of our community. He must keep our families together by providing relief for the millions of undocumented immigrants living in the shadows.
The Night of 1,000 Conversations was the method used by the Liberty & Justice for All campaign on April 5 to thoughtfully engage friends, family, neighbors (and beyond) in a discussion of due process and of shared core values. A total of 500 conversations involving 5,000 people were held on that night. For Korean Americans, the conversations presented an opportunity to talk about an issue that is not typically discussed, but nevertheless an issue that has impacted many Korean immigrants. NAKASEC and affiliates hosted just under 500 people and 37 conversations (in English & Korean) at various sites, including homes, cafes, and churches. Our participants ranged from high school students to seniors. We produced Korean language materials and tied the conversations to relevant stories of impacted members in our community. The format was highly interactive and encouraged leadership development – people talked to each other and hosts were leaders by hosting conversations
Fair Immigration Reform Movement
FIRM is led by a coalition of grassroots community organizations working on behalf of immigration reform and immigrant rights. The coalition consists of organizing networks, statewide immigrant rights coalitions, and faith-based and low-income groups, and works in partnership with national organizations. FIRM is governed by a group of organizations, including NAKASEC, called the Immigrant Organizing Committee and staffed by the Center for Community Change.
For more information, please visit www.fairimmigration.org.
National Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans
The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) is a coalition of 26 national organizations based in D.C. of which NAKASEC is the Immigration Committee Co-Chair. NCAPA serves to represent the interests of the greater APA community and to provide a national voice for APA issues.
For more information, please visit http://www.ncapaonline.org
Rights Working Group
The Rights Working Group (RWG) is a national coalition of civil liberties, civil rights, immigrant rights, and human rights and other organizations that was formed after the terrorist attacks on 9/11. The mission of RWG is to restore and strengthen America’s commitment to human rights, civil liberties and due process for all persons in the United States regardless of their citizenship or immigration status.
For more information, please visit http://www.rightsworkinggroup.org