Next Week’s Podcast: Student Advocates Discuss The Need For Pathway To Citizenship For All Immigrant Communities


October 22, 2021

As a follow up to the last episode of the Voices for Human Needs podcast about securing a pathway to citizenship, a new episode drops next week, featuring a panel discussion with undocumented and unafraid young organizers and advocates from the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC), in addition to the Korean Resource Center (KRC), based in Los Angeles, California. On September 21, 2021, thousands of immigration advocates from across the country marched in Washington D.C. to welcome Congress back from their August recess. The event, entitled “Welcome Back Congress – March for Citizenship, Care, and Climate,was a part of a nationwide effort to demand a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in the budget reconciliation package. Senators Chuck Schumer, Bob Menendez, Alex Padilla, and Congressional Representatives Chuy Garcia and Ilhan Omar spoke at the rally. 

This episode’s featured speakers include Matthew Hernandez (KRC), Ferny Estrada (KRC), Hyunja Norman (Woori Juntos), and Hwangchan Yu (Hana Center). These organizers and student advocates are currently attending colleges in California and Chicago, some as recipients of the DACA program. The group discusses the strength in intersectional organizing and making sure that all immigrant communities are represented in advocacy campaigns to finally secure a pathway to citizenship and permanent protections for undocumented immigrants: “I think we need to uplift that and just let folks know that this isn’t just a Latinx issue. This isn’t just a young people issue. It’s an everyone issue.” 

Rachel Koelzer, the Communications Manager at NAKASEC, also joins this next episode and speaks to the benefits that a pathway to citizenship would have for the Asian immigrant community, specifically in being able to respond to increased incidents of hate and violence.

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