Jae Choi statement at APA Lobby Day Press Conference

Greetings, my name is Jae Choi and I am a Koreatown resident. As a Korean American, as a Senior, and as a Community Health Promoter, I will be participating of the May APA Loby Day organized by NAKASEC. Seven Los Angeles area seniors, including myself, will participate in this day and most are Community Health Promoters.

As you may know, our current immigration system is like a broken machine; we cannot patch portions of it. Only by a thorough and comprehensive reform can we create a society where Korean and immigrant families can live and work without worrying about their status. Allow me to tell you about family backlogs. It's natural for family members to live together. Don't we all deserve to have parents, children and seniors living together in mutual support? In the United States we have many immigrants who came because of their work or other matter but live in sorrow because they cannot be together with their loves ones. Many wait 5 to 20 years to have their family petition processed. When I was 15, the Korean War broke out. Many of my older brothers as well as my friends' siblings who had been studying in Seoul were lost or ended up in the North, and were forever separated from their family members in the South. One of my friends only recently met her older brother, after 60 years spent thinking that he was dead. I believe many of us seniors went through similar painful experiences. Our current immigration system is producing yet another kind of divided families. We need to stop this tragedy. I depart to Washington DC to talk to congress members, with the hope that the day will come when we will have comprehensive and humane immigration reform passed and immigrant families will be able to get together. I ask the Korean American community for much needed interest and support. Thank you.