Flushing, NY — The MinKwon Center for Community Action hosted a press conference today with other Asian Pacific American community-based organizations and NY State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, NY Assemblymember David Weprin, representatives from NY Assemblymember Ron Kim’s office, announcing our New York State immigration legislative priorities for the 2019 legislative session. MinKwon’s priorities are for the NY State DREAM Act, which would provide state-level financial aid opportunities for all immigrant students pursuing higher education, and for the Green Light NY Campaign, which would provide access to state drivers’ licenses for all immigrant New Yorkers. MinKwon believes that 2019 will be a decisive year for immigrant communities to advance legislation that...
December 04, 2018
Flushing, NY— U.S. Congresswoman Grace Meng hosted a press conference today announcing the launch of the New York City APA Complete Count Committee, organized by the MinKwon Center for Community Action, a member of New York Counts 2020, and other Asian Pacific American organizations and leaders, alongside Jeff Behler, New York Regional Director of the U.S. Census Bureau and New York Assembly Member Ron Kim. The purpose of this committee is to have a fair and equitable 2020 Census, coordinate messaging and community outreach especially in hard-to-count Asian American communities, and to advocate against initiatives that would hurt a fair count, including the addition of a citizenship question. A fair and equitable count is critical in determining the economic, social and political...
October 04, 2018
Flushing, NY—The MinKwon Center for Community Action hosted a press conference today announcing a new milestone in voter registrations. Since 2004, the MinKwon Center’s nonpartisan civic participation team registered over 80,000 voters, or nearly 6,000 voters per year, continuing the organization’s trailblazing work in civic participation and voter mobilization in the Asian American community. John Park, Executive Director of the MinKwon Center was joined by Melody Lopez, Executive Director of the New York Civic Engagement Table, and Saima Anjam, Senior Director of Advocacy at the New York Immigration Coalition, in celebrating this milestone.
“We celebrate this milestone because it points to the growing power of our communities, and the decisive role...
September 25, 2018
Local Organizations Urge New York's Asian American Community to Increase Civic Participation on National Voter Registration Day
Flushing, NY — Asian American organizations hosted a press conference today with local leaders and registered voters at Flushing Library for National Voter Registration Day. The event was organized by Asian Pacific Americans Voting & Organizing to Increase Civic Engagement (APA VOICE), a non-partisan collaboration of 19 organizations seeking to increase civic engagement in the Asian American community. APA VOICE organizations will be joined by New York City Council Member Peter Koo, representatives from Flushing Library, and other leaders to discuss the importance of voting. The last day for New Yorkers to register to vote in time for the general election is Friday, October 12.
Asian Americans are the fastest growing population in the nation, and at 15% of New York...
April 10, 2018
Thanking Co-Director James Hong for 8 years of service, announcing our new Executive Director John Park
After eight meaningful years serving the Korean American, Asian American, and immigrant communities through various roles at the MinKwon Center for Community Action, I will be stepping down from my post as co-director at the end of this month. I am sad to be leaving a close working relationship with co-director John Park, but I know he will do an excellent job as the executive director beginning May 1st. It has been a tremendous honor to have worked alongside so many of you in our collective struggle for a more just and inclusive society – a struggle that nowadays seems to take on greater meaning and urgency with every passing day. Looking back, I am proud of the work we’ve accomplished together since I joined MinKwon in 2010, including achieving historic...
September 05, 2017
Flushing, NY – This morning, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced President Trump’s decision to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which will abolish work permits and place nearly 800,000 law-abiding young immigrants at risk for deportation.
Since 2012, the MinKwon Center has helped process more than 1,200 DACA initial and renewal applications for New York’s Korean American and Asian American community and is strongly opposed to and disappointed by today’s decision.
MinKwon Center’s Co-Director James Hong made the following statement:
“It is a sad and disappointing day for our country. Today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the president’s decision to terminate the...
August 15, 2017
Ten Attorneys General from varying states have threatened to challenge Deferred Action program in court if the program is not terminated by September 5
August 15 marks the 5th Anniversary of the implementation of DACA
New York, NY – Hundreds of New York City Dreamers, undocumented young adults and members of New York’s immigrant communities, rallied outside Trump Tower today to defend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in order to call on Congress to pass legislation to protect the more than 80,000 New York DACA recipients—and 800,000 nationally— and over 350,000 TPS recipients from deportation.
On June 29, 2017, ten Attorneys General, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton,...
August 14, 2017
New York, NY – Korean American community leaders gathered in Manhattan today to denounce the efforts to dismantle the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and to speak out against the many efforts by conservatives to exclude, limit and disadvantage immigrants. Since its implementation five years ago, DACA has opened paths to new lives for 800,000 Dreamers. This includes 18,000 young Korean Americans who have struggled growing up in the shadows of American society. South Korean applicants comprised the highest number of applicants from all Asian countries, and sixth among all countries, according to USCIS. The member organizations of the Korean American Immigration Network join together in opposition to the effort to dismantle DACA, as well...
July 14, 2017
In the past several weeks, we have witnessed new attacks on immigrants on several fronts: a renewed travel ban, restrictive immigration laws, and a legal challenge to DACA, brought by attorneys general in several states. We have also seen that same travel ban be ruled too restrictive with regards to grandparents, relatives, and refugees in the latest pushback against a wave of anti-immigrant actions taken since Trump took office.
On June 26th, the US Supreme Court agreed to hear the case concerning the presidential travel ban and partially reinstated the anti-Muslim travel ban sought by the Trump administration. Almost immediately, visitors from six predominantly Muslim countries were barred from entry to the United States, as were refugees hoping to travel to...
June 16, 2017
Queens, New York – On June 15th, the 5th year anniversary of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) the Department of Homeland Security made two major announcements. First they will not end the DACA program; and second, they officially terminated legislation for DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents). While this departure from the Trump administration’s previous calls to end DACA is welcome news, the facts remain, DACA only protects undocumented youth who meet certain criteria, leaving many under continued threat of deportation. As an organization that has advocated for and assisted over one thousand DREAMers since 2012, the MinKwon Center opposes the Trump administration's anti-immigrant policies and...
February 03, 2017
Flushing, NY – On January 25, President Trump issued several executive orders which critically affect the immigrant community. The orders green-light construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and threatens to discontinue federal funding to sanctuary cities. In addition, the president is expected to block immigrants and war refugees from Muslim-majority countries in the coming days.
The MinKwon Center strongly opposes Mr. Trump’s executive orders.
“Trump’s executive orders will not help repair the current immigration system and will only add to its dysfunction,” said James Hong, Interim Executive Director of the MinKwon Center. “So many families have been failed by our current system, and now countless immigrants may be...
November 23, 2016
Dear Friends, Allies and Community,
For decades, the MinKwon Center has fought for those oppressed and marginalized in society. Today, our mission to empower our community takes on an unprecedented urgency. Mr. Trump fueled his candidacy using hate – making targets of immigrants, people of color, women, Muslims, LGBTQ, and other marginalized groups. Since his election, we have heard him reaffirm his intention to deport or imprison millions of immigrants and seen him appoint a known white supremacist to his inner circle of advisers. Meanwhile, across the nation, there have been hundreds of reported incidents of harassment, vandalism and threats against immigrants and minorities.
One of the most severe repercussions of the election is the imminent loss of DACA. At...
August 31, 2016
The MinKwon Center for Community Action is a progressive, non-partisan organization. As such, we do not support or oppose any candidate. However, we remain committed to progressive values and in light of recent events, we want to unequivocally affirm these values to our allies, community and the world.
Since our founding in 1984, the MinKwon Center has fought for the rights of marginalized communities, primarily vulnerable, low-income immigrants. And while our commitment to social justice has been focused on empowerment within the Korean American, Asian American and immigrant communities, we recognize that our work is but a strand in a tapestry being woven by allies in many movements.
As advocates for a more inclusive and just society, we reject...
July 12, 2016
We condemn the killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and the continued state-sanctioned oppression of black people in the U.S. through their targeted persecution and killing by law enforcement.
We recognize that the fate of all racial and ethnic minorities in the US is tied to, and reflected in, the nation's treatment of its black and brown members. Their lives remain a litmus test for where our country is in regards to civil rights for all.
For these reasons: ● We support the Black Lives Matter movement and its work to end structural and systemic racism ● We call on our fellow Korean Americans to reject racial and ethnic prejudice and stand in solidarity with black Americans as they endure continued threats and...
June 23, 2016
The MinKwon Center Expresses Deep Disappointment at the Supreme Court’s Decision and Calls for Comprehensive Immigration Reform
On June 23, the Supreme Court of the United States failed to reach a majority decision on President Obama’s second executive action providing immigration relief. Thus, the Fifth Circuit’s decision will be allowed to stand. The MinKwon Center is deeply disappointed in this decision and outraged by the actions of anti-immigrant forces.
This decision is a capitulation to anti-immigrant sentiments and is an inhumane result that once again disheartens the over 5 million immigrants who live in and contribute to American society.
Grace Shim, Executive Director of the MinKwon Center, criticized the decision and the...