Helping Immigrants through Korean Sanctuary Churches

Korean community representatives discussing legal services and other assistance for the undocumented. (Photo via New York Ilbo)

Korean American Civic Empowerment, the KACE Legal Task Force and the [Korean] Sanctuary Church Task Force announced at a press conference on June 15 that they not only will protect undocumented immigrants but also provide them with legal services, temporary housing and food.

The Sanctuary Church Task Force is holding 13 presentations about these services for undocumented immigrants.  The first [was held] on June 18 at The First United Methodist Church in Flushing, and the others will run through Sept. 17.

In addition to the 13 churches, another 73 Korean churches support this “sanctuary church” movement. Around 90 Korean churches in New York and New Jersey have declared themselves to be sanctuary churches. At that time [April 7], the president of The Council of Korean Churches of Greater New York said: “Our churches are happy to help Koreans in trouble. We will seek many methods to extend our support.”

The KACE Legal Task Force will offer legal services and the Korean American Social Workers Association is going to be in charge of social services.

“Churches, schools and hospitals are locations where ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) hesitates to seize illegal immigrants, and the Korean churches will protect these undocumented people and offer legal aid,” said Park Dong Gyu, the lawyer of the KACE Legal Task Force. Jo Jin Dong, another lawyer, added: “We also help people to register for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and search for financial aid.” This task force is promoting various events for the immigration protection movement, for example, a concert in October at Queens College to raise funds for DACA registration.

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