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NAKASEC Celebrates Relief For Undocumented Spouses, Underscores Asylum Needs: “The Relief For Some Does Not Need to Come at the Expense of Others”

By 18 June 2024No Comments

June 18, 2024
Media contact: Isaias Guerrero ( / 317-919-5271)

Washington, D.C. – Today at the White House celebration for the 12th anniversary of the creation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the Biden administration announced a series of relief for undocumented immigrants. Such actions affect diverse communities, including:

  1. Providing undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens, as well as their children under 21, a pathway to citizenship without requiring them to self-deport for an undetermined period of time
  2. Streamlining the process to secure work visas for eligible undocumented college graduates, including DACA recipients and Dreamers.

Both executive orders help people who have deep roots in American communities – as teachers, parents, public servants, and workers.

The National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC) serves working class and middle class Korean and Asian Americans and immigrants across the country. With five affiliates in six states, the NAKASEC Network celebrates the administration’s executive actions as a victory for millions.

“This is a hard-fought win for our communities,” cheered NAKASEC co-director and DACA recipient, Jung Woo Kim. “We have been fighting for protection from deportation and most importantly, the right to stay with our families for decades. This executive order(s) will provide massive relief for American families with members who are undocumented. This executive action means that less people will live in constant fear and worry about their livelihoods, dreams, and keeping their families together.

On the other hand, this comes at a time when President Biden is enacting devastating policies at the U.S.-Mexico border that harms thousands of people seeking safety and stability. Though we applaud the long-needed relief for undocumented immigrants residing in the United States, we underscore that the safety of some does not need to come at the expense of others. We implore the Biden administration to end its recent executive order shuttering asylum, and instead reallocate resources towards improving the efficiency of processing at the border. We celebrate this victory today, and will continue to fight for a pathway to citizenship for ALL undocumented immigrants.”

“President Biden’s executive orders will help many people and families,” responded Jamie Seo, Immigrant Justice Organizing Fellow at NAKASEC’s Pennsylvania affiliate, Woori Center. “These actions will apply to people who have resided in the United States for at least 10 years and who have built deep roots in the country. This wouldn’t have been possible without the tireless work of Black, brown, and Asian advocates across the country who have put their lives on the line to fight for the rights of immigrants. Many states, including Pennsylvania, offer extremely limited relief for individuals without citizenship. For example, our undocumented community members are still fighting for access to in-state tuition and driver’s licenses. Work visas for eligible undocumented college graduates, including DACA recipients and Dreamers, will provide safety and relief for many. As a community organization that serves our most vulnerable, we are excited to help eligible residents seek relief, and remain committed fighting for a pathway to citizenship for everyone.”

In response to this announcement, NAKASEC will hold a virtual call for community members on Monday, June 25 at 4pm PT / 6pm CT / 7pm ET. Register for the call and follow NAKASEC’s accounts (@nakasec) to get updates.

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. The NAKASEC Network is HANA Center (Illinois), Hamkae Center (Virginia), Woori Center (Pennsylvania), MinKwon Center for Community Action (New York & New Jersey), and Woori Juntos (Texas).

Hamkae Center is a community-based organization with a mission to organize Asian Americans in Virginia to achieve social, economic, and racial justice. Alongside its community members, Hamkae Center works to build a future in which low- and middle-income, immigrant, people of color, and all marginalized communities can fully participate in U.S. society and work together as makers of lasting change.