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Congresswoman Karen Bass

Representing the 37th District of California

Rep. Bass Introduces Resolution Encouraging Reunions of Divided Korean-American Families

May 31, 2019
Press Release
WASHINGTON – Today, Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Global Human Rights, introduced a resolution encouraging reunions of divided Korean-American families. The resolution’s introduction marks the last day of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and is supported by 11 other Members of Congress.

In 1953, the division of the Korean Peninsula separated more than an estimated 10 million families, including some who are now citizens of the United States and have not been able to see their families in more than 60 years. Rep. Bass and her colleagues have introduced a resolution calling upon North Korea and the United States to reunite divided family members within 60 days of the adoption of this resolution.

“The institution of family is inalienable,” Rep. Bass said. “I’ve heard from constituents in my district who have been unable to see their family members for decades because of international conflict. This resolution divorces the two issues and shines the light on this plight hundreds of thousands of Korean-Americans are have lived with, some for the majority of their lives. This reunification should be a humanitarian priority of immediate concern.”

“These American citizens of Korean descent are in the twilight of their lives and are the last remaining human link between the United States and North Korea,” said Paul Lee, President of Divided Families USA. “We appreciate Representative Bass' efforts to raise awareness about the urgency of this issue and commend the resolution for providing concrete suggestions on how to begin the process of closure for these divided families. In this time of uncertainty on the Korean Peninsula, we hope that working together on family reunions could help foster greater trust and understanding between all sides involved.”

Read the full resolution here