STORY 4: My Story

My name is David Chung and I am currently 23 years old. I was born in South Korea and immigrated to the United States when I was three years old. I came to New York, and this is the place I have called home for the past twenty years.

I have attended school in New York since I was in kindergarten and for most of my time in secondary school, I never felt different from my U.S. born friends. Since I immigrated when I was only three, I learned English fairly quickly and rarely spoke my native Korean language outside of my home. I pledged allegiance to the U.S. flag every day at school and considered myself more American than Korean.

It was not until my junior year in high school that I learned I was different. As I was applying for colleges and thinking about the financial aid that I would need, I realized that I did not have a social security number. After a talk with my mother, I discovered that I was barred from many of the rites of passage that my friends took for granted, such as driving and having a summer job. It was a confusing time in my life and I wondered whether I even belonged in this country.

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Story 3: Undocumented students and higher education: Raymond’s Story

This story originally appeared at The Cluster
(By: Emily Farlow)

Raymond Partolan grew up in Macon, Ga.

But until recently, he didn’t feel welcome in Macon or the United States.

Not all undocumented immigrants cross the border illegally of their own volition. Some come with their parents, who may or may not come into the country legally.

Partolan’s family moved here legally.

When Partolan was 15 months old, his family left the Philippines for the U.S. His father had an H1-B visa, which allowed him to work in the U.S. for a specific amount of time. Partolan and his mother had H-4 visas, which are given to family members of H1-B visa holders.

Partolan’s father was going to work as a physical therapist, and Partolan’s parents thought the move was a good decision.

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CALL TO ACTION: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Urged to Join Fast for Families Weekly Wednesday Fasts

Call to Action

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) Urged to Join Fast for Families Weekly Wednesday Fasts 

AAPIs from California, Georgia, Illinois, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Washington D.C. Urge Communities to Participate

During the season of Lent, community members are asked to demonstrate their commitment to immigration reform by fasting for a meal or the entire day every Wednesday. Fasting is a personal but powerful collective way of standing in solidarity with immigrant communities who have suffered daily because of the failures of today’s immigration laws. Fast for Families is calling for humane immigration reform that includes path to citizenship and keeps families together by eliminating backlogs and ending deportations.

Invite your community, family and friends to join by Signing on here.

Campaign Overview

On January 27, 2014, Fast for Families Across America launched its second phase with plans to visit over 100 Congressional districts in all. For one month, fly-ins was organized to reach over 25 key Congressional members. On February 24, 2014, the campaign kicked off its two-bus nationwide tour in Los Angeles. “Fast for Families” leaders DJ Yoon (NAKASEC) and Rudy Lopez (Fair Immigration Reform Movement) will travel on the northern route while leaders Eliseo Medina (SEIU) and Cristian Avila (Mi Familia Vota) will travel on the southern route for the entirety of the tour. Stopping at more than 75 districts with daily events calling for Congressional action on immigration reform, the two buses will meet in Washington DC in April.

“Fast for Families” reignited the immigration debate last November when Eliseo Medina (SEIU), DJ Yoon (NAKASEC), Rudy Lopez (FIRM) and Cristian Avila (Mi Familia Vota) —abstained from all food, except water for 22 days in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol on the National Mall. The campaign calls for Congressional action for just and humane immigration reform.

Click here to view a flyer calling AAPIs to join the WEDNESDAY FAST

Visit for more information.

# # #

The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) was founded in 1994 by local community centers to project a progressive voice and promote the full participation of Korean Americans on major social justice issues. NAKASEC maintains offices in Annandale, Virginia and Los Angeles, California. NAKASEC has affiliates in Chicago (Korean American Resource & Cultural Center) and Los Angeles (Korean Resource Center).

STORY 2: To Fast For Families

To Fast For Families:

First of all, I would like to thank you for this opportunity to express my feelings today.

My family came to the U.S. on a visa. The main reason for us to even move here in the first place was because of education and the opportunities available. The south-Asian country I am from had a firm belief that there is no other country in this world with a wide variety of opportunities as America. We moved to America when I was freshman in high school. I always wanted to be a doctor ever since I was a child. Helping people gave me a purpose in life, and I wanted to continue this for the rest of my life by becoming a doctor. After I entered college and began looking for medical schools to apply to, I have learned that many of the colleges in America do not accept students without a green card. The ones that do accept “international students” are possibly Ivy League schools. For a person who speaks English as a second language trying to take a standardized exam that is entirely passage-based, to make a reasonable score to get accepted into an Ivy League school is completely out of the question. It may be possible, but I know my limits. Even if I did get in with such a high MCAT score and GPA, I still would not be able to provide proof that I will be able to pay for medical school without taking any loans. Because I do not have a green card, I do not qualify for government loans or any other financial aid.

This is my seventh year in America. After talking to several “foreign” friends I have met in college, I have learned that they have already received their green cards and citizenships because a family member sponsored them. The green card process depends on the country of birth, but giving it to someone who has lived here for only 3 years as opposed to someone who has lived here for 7 years simply does not make sense. My family and I have been paying taxes to the state just like everybody else. We deserve the right and equal chance as any American to be accepted into a medical school.

I have lived here for seven years and my green card date is being pushed back every time we get close to the deadline. This wouldn’t be an issue for me if it didn’t affect my dream of becoming a doctor, which is why my family and I are here in the first place. America is where your dreams are supposed to come true. But, after you come here, it seems that there is more than just working hard for your dreams. There are way too many legal processes in this country that are simply inefficient and unfair.

I have done many things for the U.S. Like I said, I am a pre-med student in college. I have volunteered for several hospitals, libraries, hospice, and a mentoring program for girls. I have never treated anybody differently because I am a foreigner. I have treated everybody that I have helped like they were my own family/friend. I never felt different among them. I felt I was making a difference in their lives, and that is all that mattered. We are human, and we should all work together and be together instead of discriminate each other based on where we are from, and what we believe.

I want to stay in the US because I call it home. I have been living here since I was a teenager, and I am in my early twenties now. There is no other place I call home. I have built so many relationships with my friends that I am not willing to give up what I built over a course of half of my life. I will apply to medical schools in other countries, but I am not willing to relocate because I would not like to leave my home.

At the end of the day, we can all argue that yes, I can take a year off since I do not have a green card; it is not a big deal. But why should this even happen? I have worked harder than any of my classmates in my major at my university, and not being able to even apply to medical school because of a green card issue is very discouraging. Applying to medical school and not being accepted is one thing, but not being able to apply at all is a whole other story. I am not even given a chance to compete among other pre-meds in this country. I believe if we all work together and fix this issue, not as Americans, but as humans, it would be a great deal of help to many of the students like me. I reassure you that I am not the only person in this country with this kind of a problem. We need to treat each other as people, instead of discriminating each other based on nationality or ethnicity.

Thank you for reading my story.

STORY 1: For One Great Prayer

For One Great Prayer
Rev. Eunsang Lee (Utah)

I became a member of Young Koreans United (YKU), a Korean American grassroots group providing solidarity to the people’s movement for democracy, human rights, and reunification of Korea in 1986. YKU was instrumental in forming the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC); established 20 years ago to build a progressive Korean American voice on major civil rights issues. I joined the NAKASEC board a few years back. Throughout this time, I have tried to provide a clergy presence whenever I can to show that ending the suffering of immigrant families, including that of the 1 out of 7 undocumented Korean Americans, is also a concern of persons of faith.

I am a person of faith, specifically an Ordained Clergy of the United Methodist Church. Every Sunday during our morning worship, our congregation recites the Lord’s Prayer. This is a common practice most Christian churches share.

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하나의 기도
이은성 목사님 (Utah)

저는 1986년, 코리안 아메리칸 풀뿌리 단체였던 한국청년연합 회원이 되었으며, 미교협이 설립된 20년전부터 그 활동에 참여하다가 몇년전부터는 미교협 이사로 일하고 있습니다.  이 오랜 시간동안 저는 언제나 이민 가족들의 고통, 특히 코리안 아메리칸 가운데 1/7을 차지하는 서류미비 이민자들의 고통을 종식시키는 일이야말로 종교인들이 관심을 가져야 할 사안임을 알리기 위해 가능한 한 모든 행사에 성직자의 한 사람으로 참여해 왔습니다.

저는 신앙인이며 특히 미 연합 감리교회에서 안수를 받은 성직자입니다.

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Fast for Families Across America is in Bend, Oregon!

Fast for Families Across America is in Bend, OR!

1. AAPI Teleconference at 9am PST/ 11am CST/ 12pm EST

Help promote today’s events by following Fast for Families and show some love to the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC), Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO)

Give a shout out to the speakers!


2. Bend, OR Press Event

*A special shout out to Paolo Esteban from APANO!

#fast4families   #timeisnow    #keepingfamiliestogether   #AAPIs4Families

Handles (in addition to your own):


AAPI Organization:
@nakasec   @djnakasec

District Representative:

Local Media: @bvrtnReporter      @oregonian      @theportlandtrib      @KXLnews      @oregonianpol      @KGWnews      @janiehar1      @ordems       @allen_alley