Trading Soundness for Insecurity

KoreAm December 2007 p97 NAKASEC Community Network
KoreAm Journal December 2007 p.97

Trading Soundness for Insecurity

On Oct. 27, Gov. Eliot Spitzer joined Department of Homeland Security

Secretary Michael Chertoff to announce New York's endorsement of the REAL 10 Act. REAL 10 will force all New Yorkers to comply with a complicated multi-tiered licensing program, which includes specific identifying markers for those who are undocumented. In effect, DMV employees will be acting as de facto immigration agents. This leads to serious concerns that REAL 10 will open the doors not only to mass confusion, but also to racial profiling and discrimination. With estimated costs totaling at least $11 billion, REAL 10 mandates the creation of a national database accessible to all state DMVs and law enforcement agencies that captures driver's license data. Many have raised concerns of the increased risk of identity theft, fraud and privacy.

In response, YKASEC, other immigrant organizations and allies organized demonstrations to denounce this betrayal. They called out the anti-immigrant forces that are pressuring states and localities to trade away a sound policy for a costly and impractical policy. NAKASEC also worked with Asian Pacific American organizations to issue a joint statement in opposition of New York's policy reversal.

Fundraiser A Success

On Oct. 19, NAKASEC and KRC hosted a joint dinner fund raiser themed "Building Bridges for America's Future" in Los Angeles. The evening

was a time for NAKASEC and affiliates KRC, KRCC and YKASEC to celebrate this year's accomplishments, pay tribute to Asian Pacific American and immigrant communities and forge an agenda for year A cultural mix of traditional, ethnic drumming by Korean, Latino and African American performers stood as a symbolic gesture of the bridges that NAKASEC and affiliates are mounting with other communities of color Congressman Mike Honda and Mobilize the Immigrant Vote (MIV) were the 2007 Standing Up For Justice Awardees, and Esther Choi and Danny Park were two of the three DREAM In Action youth awardees. The success of the evening was evidenced by the 350 local and national guests and the gross earnings of $116,000.

Left to right: KRC board chair Kiwan Hong, NAKASEC board chair Kil Joo Lee, Rep. Mike Honda, MIV coordinator Mari Ryono, Nancy Berlin of MIV, Esther Choi, Danny Park and Jane Lee of Citi.

After School Matters

Starting this fall, KRCC will provide after-school programming for Korean and other APA high school students in Chicago. Fifteen students are taking Korean percussion classes three days a week and KRCC is adding other cultural workshops for next year.

Dreams Deferred

On Oct. 25, the DREAM Act (S. 2205) suffered a temporary setback in the Senate. While winning support from a bipartisan majority (5244). the votes fell short of the necessary 60 votes to permit debate on the bill. The morning of the vote, the Bush Administration issued a statement opposing the DREAM Act arguing for the need of a comprehensive approach, which they had obstructed earlier in June. No doubt this legislation must pass. NAKASEC and affiliate youth groups continue to work on a postcard collection campaign, and we also just established a scholarship fund for students who are ineligible for most financial aid and existing scholarship opportunities.

Quick Updates
> EunSook Lee presented at the feature panel for the national launch of the "Campaign for Community Values" on Sept. 25 in Washington, D.C.
> At the California Immigrant Rights Conference on Oct. 30, EunSook Lee presented on federal policies and comprehensive immigration reform, and Dae Joong Yoon presented on voter protection, engagement and mobilization for the 2008 elections.
> On Nov. 1, EunSook Lee participated in a panel discussion on intergenerational leadership for the Executive Directors Leadership Program organized by the Leadership Education for Asian Pacifies, Inc.
> EunSook Lee spoke at the Women Donors Network annual conference about voter engagement strategies and models on Nov. 4.