Citizenship for All – NAKASEC launches Journey to Justice
By Eddie Wong
On May 30 2018, the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC) announced the “Citizenship for All” campaign, which was promoted via the “Journey to Justice” bike tour from Aug. 1, 2019 to Sept. 6, 2018. Eleven core “Dream Riders” were joined by many allies along the journey that started in Seattle, WA near the Canadian/US border and ended in San Diego, CA near the Mexico/US border.
“We are tired of Congress and this administration using our communities as bargaining chips to push for what they think is comprehensive immigration reform. We know exactly what comprehensive immigration looks like which is why we are calling for a pathway to citizenship for all non-citizens, LPRS (Legal Permanent Resident Status), adoptees, TPS (Temporary Protected Status) holders, everyone,” said Young Woon Han, NAKASEC Community Organizer. There are 11 million undocumented immigrants and 35,000 intercountry adoptees and all of them face the threat of deportation, loss of public benefits, and harsh reprisals today.
Chinese for Affirmative Action, SEIU, Calvary Presbyterian Church and other allies greeted the Dream Riders in San Francisco on Aug. 20, 2018. Photo: Eddie Wong
At each stop during the journey, the Dream Riders met with community groups, churches, elected officials, and the press to rally support for a just immigration policy. In Salem, OR the Dream Riders met with CAUSA, Oregon’s immigrant rights organization, and learned about Measure 105, which if passed in November 2018 would repeal Oregon’s sanctuary laws.
East Wind ezine caught up with the Dream Riders in San Francisco on a rest day during the mid-point of their journey. We spoke with several Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients whose future is up in the air now that the Trump administration terminated the plan. The issue has been tied up in the courts while Congress makes no progress on replacing DACA.
Many of the Dream Riders comments in San Francisco echoed the themes outlined on their website.
A group of immigrant youth at NAKASEC has been fighting for the Dream Act for many years, but we have also been fed up with the cold politics of hate and racism. We realize political hatred divide our community and puts one community against other communities. Learning from the lessons of the work to protect DACA and responding to our community members’ call to organize and advocate for what is truly needed, NAKASEC & Affiliates are leading a new fight by launching a national Citizenship For All Campaign (C4A).
Dream Riders at Calvary Presbyterian Church in San Francisco. Photo: Eddie Wong
Our campaign rejects attempts to tear families apart and cut immigration on the backs of undocumented youth, and demands instead a clear pathway to citizenship for all non-citizens who have been denied this opportunity, including undocumented immigrants and intercountry adoptees. We also believe in a broader definition of “citizenship” that demands equal rights for every member of our society, regardless of their immigration status, race, or any other identity marker. We recognize that while Black and Native communities may have citizenship papers, their full rights to citizenship are often denied. Our “Journey to Justice” will educate and engage diverse communities about our campaign and offer the opportunity to seed cross-cultural alliances that are critical to building a movement towards justice for all.
Dream Rider Birdie Park delivered an eloquent statement and a powerful story about the fears that immigrant children face.