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Korean Communities In the US Suffer `Anti-immigration Sentiment and Racial Discrimination`

Korean Communities In the US Suffer `Anti-immigration Sentiment and Racial Discrimination`

Posted September. 16, 2003 23:13,   


Anti-immigration sentiment and racial discrimination are intensifying in the US since the 9/11 terrorist attack, sending out alarms to minority groups in the US, including the Korean community.

The US administration is pursuing the enactment of Patriot Act II, which includes immediate deportation of permanent residents without due processes. Also the state of California will soon vote on `Proposition 54`, a racial discrimination related bill. Thus, minorities and human right organizations are opposing strongly.

▽Disputes over racial-discrimination=`Proposition 54` prohibits state and local governments from collecting and analyzing data on their residents with regards to their race, ethnicity, color, or national origin.

Proponents say that if the bill is enacted, we can not only realize the so-called `colorblind society`, where no racial distinctions exist, but also can prevent unnecessary budget expenditure.

However, the actual concerned parties, the minorities and human right activists, are not endorsing it. Rather, they argue that △ The initiative would make it impossible to set out policies at meet different characters of each communities. △It would make it impossible to points out inequalities in public education. And △It would undermine the prosecution of racially motivated hate crimes.

Head of Korean Immigrant Workers Advocates(KIWA) Danny Goh said, “For example, even if some government agencies only hire the whites and number hate crimes against colored races increase, the initiative will make us only to have conviction but no real evidence as we do not have statistics on the number of colored people working in that office (such as data on damage cases and current employment situation).” He argued, “This initiative is a movement aiming at institutionalization of racial-discrimination.”

Opposition from the medical sector is also fierce.

Around 30 medical personnel held a press conference in front of the UCLA Medical Center on Sep 3 and stated their opposition saying, “If the initiative is legislated, great difficulties are forecasted in the research on treatments and preventive measures that differ according to races.”

Dr. Rick Brown, a professor at the UCLA School of Public Health warned, “The medical sector will face life-threatening consequences as it has so far analyzed public health data according to races and carried out researches and developed treatments based on those data.”

▽Responses= Koreans are responding actively with the Korean American Bar Association (KABA) making a statement last week against `Proposition54`, followed by the launch of the `Initiative Opposition Committee` by around 10 Korean organizations in California including KIWA. The committee also held a seminar on Sep 15 on the contents of the initiative for Korean voters.

Head of Korea Resource Center under the committee, Sim In-bo said, “The vallot for the initiative will be held together with governor recall election in California. Thus it is hard to tell exact result or the timing.” However, he added, “these movements are, however, not some one time events but they are very serious phenomenon that occur over and over again to make minorities the scapegoat for the sluggish US economy or the threatened national security.”

Jung-Ahn Kim credo@donga.com