WASHINGTON, DC – Today, exactly 109 years after the first Korean immigrants arrived in the United States, members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) released the following statements to commemorate January 13th as Korean American Day:
Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-32), CAPAC Chairwoman: “The story of America is one of immigrants making this country their own and moving our nation forward through their invaluable contributions. The Korean American community is a perfect example of that ideal. From the first arrivals in 1903 to the present, Korean Americans have come to play pivotal roles in so many aspects of American life. From business to the arts, academia to our armed services, Korean Americans have left an indelible mark on this country, and I’m proud to have the opportunity to celebrate their impact today.”
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA-08): “The Korean American community is a source of strength for our nation. On this day, we honor the optimism which guided Korean immigrants to our shores, and the character, entrepreneurship, and patriotism they have demonstrated as they have made America their home.”
House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD-05): “Korean American Day is an opportunity to celebrate the role Korean Americans have played in shaping America’s culture and achievements. Across all areas of society, Korean Americans have made important contributions to the success of our nation and have enriched our heritage. On this day, let us honor the Korean American community and recommit ourselves to ensuring all Korean Americans have every chance to succeed.”
Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo (GU), CAPAC Vice-Chair: “Korean American Day commemorates the arrival of the first Korean immigrants in the United States. Korean Americans continue to be leaders in our country’s political, social, and academic institutions. On Guam, Korean Americans have made invaluable contributions to our medical, academic, and religious fields, and I commend the Korean Association of Guam, and all Korean Americans, for their work in promoting civic and political interests in our community.”
Congressman Michael Honda (CA-15), CAPAC Chair Emeritus: “Today, on Korean American Day, I join the nation in celebrating and appreciating the heritage, culture, and contributions of the Korean American community. Since the first generation of Korean immigrants settled in Hawaii over a century ago, Korean Americans have made remarkable achievements in all sectors of society. From business owners, to actors, artists, and politicians, Korean Americans continue to strengthen our economy and shape the diverse fabric of American life.
“I am especially proud to represent California’s 15th District, one of the most ethnically diverse areas in the country, where I am always reminded of the critical role that Korean Americans play in strengthening our communities. Let us take the time today, and every day for that matter, to celebrate the values of hard work and love of country exemplified by Korean Americans throughout the nation.”
Congressman Xavier Becerra (CA-31): “Korean Americans are an integral part of our nation’s history, contributing strong values and a pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit. They enrich our country and make us stronger culturally and economically. I join my fellow Americans in celebrating Korean American Day.”
Congressman Hansen Clarke (MI-13): “My wife Choi is Korean American, and we are so proud of the great contributions the Korean American community has made to Metro Detroit. From protecting and increasing civil rights of Korean Americans to furthering cultural exchanges, I stand in solidarity with the community and celebrate Korean American Day.”
Congressman Eni Faleomavaega (AMSM), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific: “Korean Americans first arrived in Hawaii and have established productive communities across our nation ever since. From science, government, education, art, business and so much more, Korean Americans have contributed to the making of America, and I applaud the steadfast efforts and sacrifice they have made for and on behalf of the United States, despite the challenging obstacles they overcame when migration from Korea to the U.S. was virtually halted by the Oriental Exclusion Act of 1924.
“It is remarkable that today the U.S. is home to the second largest Korea community in the world – a community that is vibrant and politically active, and which has brought about Congressional approval of a U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement as well as the inclusion of the ROK in the Visa Waiver program which allows citizens of Korea to travel to the United States for tourism or business up to 90 days without having to obtain a visa. I celebrate these and all other accomplishments, and thank our Korean American community for their patriotism.”
Congresswoman Mazie Hirono (HI-02), CAPAC Education Taskforce Chair: “Korean Americans have enriched Hawaii with their unique culture, from major festivals to popular Korean-language television. My husband Leighton is an active member of the Korean American Bar Association of Hawaii and I am proud of his commitment to his Korean heritage. Through hard work and business savvy, Korean Americans have helped to power our island economy and provide leadership at many levels. On this Korean American Day, we celebrate the many contributions of Korean Americans to Hawaii and the United States.”
Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-09), CAPAC Healthcare Taskforce Chair: “I am pleased to observe Korean American Day as the Representative for the California’s 9th District, one of the nation’s most diverse and culturally rich districts. The many invaluable contributions of Korean Americans to our district, the State of California, and our country enrich our communities and our nation.”
Congressman Gerry Connolly (VA-11): “As a co-chair of the Congressional Korea Caucus, I look forward to celebrating Korean American Day with my constituents. Korean-Americans have made significant contributions to business, government, and education in Northern Virginia. They are an integral part of Northern Virginia’s economy and our diverse community.”
Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-47): “I am proud to represent a strong Korean population in Orange County and pleased to recognize the more than 1.5 million Korean Americans across the United States – thank you for the significant contributions you have made to our great nation!”
The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) is comprised of Members of Congress of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and members who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Currently Chaired by Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life since it was founded in 1994.