U.S. House bill praises Korean help

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U.S. House bill praises Korean help

WASHINGTON - The U.S. House has accepted a bill to recognize the contributions Korean-Americans have made to the United States.

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Scott Garrett (R-New Jersey) and 49 other congressmen.

Introduced on Jan. 11 and referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Thursday, the bill states that “more than a million Korean-Americans, like thousands of immigrants to the United States before them, have built strong families and contributed to dynamic communities ... significantly to the development of the arts, sciences, engineering, medicine, government, military, education, and the economy in the United States.”

The bill noted Koreans first settled in Hawaii.

“On January 13, 1903, the arrival of 102 pioneer Korean immigrants to the United States marked the first chapter of Korean immigration in this country,” it said.

It also noted the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of the 1950-53 Korean War, in which the U.S. fought alongside South Korea against invading North Korean forces aided by China.

“The Korean War began 60 years ago this June and impacted the lives of millions of Koreans,” it said. “Thousands of Koreans, fleeing from war and poverty, came to the United States seeking opportunities.”

Rep. Garrett said he sponsored the bill to appreciate the Korean-Americans doing well in American society.

“From the historical point of view, they have come to the area with varying backgrounds with not a lot of benefits or other resources,” he said. “They both work very hard, taking advantage of and use the benefits of education here in the community. And because of that they’ve excelled in the business and their families are doing very well too.”

Kim Dong-seok, head of the Korean American Voters’ Council New York-New Jersey area, said the bill would help break the stereotype in some U.S. quarters that Koreans’ contributions to American society are relatively minor given their economic clout, and that it would also increase Korean communities’ political influence ahead of November’s mid-term elections.

By Jung Kyung-min, Yonhap [jeeho@joongang.co.kr]
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