Running For Their DREAMS, Koreatown Health Day

KoreAm 11-2007

Running For Their DREAMS

Raising awareness for the DREAM Act and gathering $1,000 for the DREAM Scholarship Fund, FYSH in Chicago organized a successful first time marathon. On Sept. 22, Just weeks before the Senate eventually decided to table a motion to attach the DREAM Act as an amendment, more than 100 DREAM supporters throughout Illinois ran 2.5 miles In downtown Chicago. At the end, runners signed postcards and released balloons into the air symbolizing the hopes and aspirations of thousands of undocumented immigrant students.

Koreatown Health Day

Volunteers from UCLA give blood tests, one of the many free services provided to community members.

On Oct. 6, the Korean Resource Center, in partnership with seven other health groups and organizations, hosted its semi-annual Koreatown Health Day at Olympic Presbyterian Church. About 120 volunteers, including medical professionals, donated their time and expertise to provide 1,250 exams to 140 low-income uninsured community members.

Telling Our Stories

NAKASEC was an anchor organization In reuniting approximately 40 Dreamers who traveled to Washington, D.C. In June on a cross-country journey via train to tell their stories of how the broken Immigration system IS hurting their lives and livelihoods. From Oct. 12 to 13, the Dreamers, which includes Americans from all walks of life, engaged in mapping out how to build on the successes of the Dreams Across America Tour Hee Pok Kim, Kevin Kang, Rev. Mie Hae Rhee, Wen Tong lin, Many Uch and Benton Pang (a new Dreamer from Hawaii) participated on behalf of the 11 original Asian Pacific American dreamers.

Win-Win For All: New Driver's License Policy In New York

S. J. Jung, president of YKASEC, speaks at a press conference.

On Sept. 21, New York Governor Eliot Spitzer authorized an administrative policy change at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Effective immediately, driver's licenses and state IDs are now granted to qualified individuals without social security numbers, thus restoring policies prior to 1995. Moreover, driver's licenses and state IDs look identical for all holders, regardless of Immigration status. With improved security and anti-fraud measures, the new policy was hailed as a "win-win" by New York's police department, state insurance groups, and immigrant rights organizations that have fought for four years for this policy change.

Unfortunately, there has been a small but vocal backlash against thrs policy change from anti-immigrant groups. YKASEC, one of six steering committee members of the NY Coalition for Immigrants' Rights to Driver's Licenses, has helped launch a counter campaign to rally national support for this policy change, which can serve as a model for the rest of the nation. YKASEC IS spearheading efforts to educate Korean American community members about the new policy change and what they can do to voice their support. For more information, please contact YKASEC at (718) 460-5600.

Quick Updates

> KRCC held their annual fundraiser on Sept. 16 and honored Albany Park Neighborhood Council, Hanul Family Alliance and The Rose of Sharon (Korean Seniors' Tenants Association). Hundreds attended the event to celebrate 12 years of service, education, advocacy and organizing in the Chicago area.

> On Oct. 1, KRC/NAKASEC staff and youth participated In a rally In Sacramento in support of the CA Dream Act. This legislation would increase access to underutilized state financial aid to all students, regardless of immigration status.

> Sookyung Oh and Youngsun Song spoke at press conferences in Los Angeles and Chicago, respectively, to oppose the use of SSA no-match letters as irnrru qratron enforcement tools. In addition, they were part of delegations to hand-deliver sign-on letters to SSA.

> EunSook Lee spoke on a panel about effective Asian Pacific American civic engagement strategies during the Asian Pacific American Union Leadership School training in Los Angeles on Oct. 5.