CAPAC Members Celebrate Korean American Day

Jan 13, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) released the following statements in celebration of Korean American Day, which commemorates the arrival of the first Korean immigrants to the United States on January 13, 1903, and honors the contributions of Korean Americans.

CAPAC Chair Rep. Judy Chu (CA-28):

“On the 120th anniversary of the first Korean immigrants’ arrival to the United States, I am thrilled to recognize the extensive history and achievements of Korean Americans. From community leaders, veterans, athletes, business owners, actors, government officials, artists, and so many more – we celebrate all that Korean Americans have sacrificed and contributed to U.S. history. I also recognize that we have a record high of four Korean American Members of Congress in the 118th Congress, including our very own CAPAC members, Rep. Andy Kim (NJ-3) and Rep. Marilyn Strickland (WA-10).

“As members of CAPAC, we will continue to do everything we can to uplift Korean American communities across the country. We are proud to have supported bills such as the Divided Families Reunification Act, led by CAPAC’s First Vice-Chair Rep. Grace Meng (NY-06), to reunite Korean American family members, as well as the Korean American VALOR Act, led by CAPAC’s Second Vice-Chair Rep. Mark Takano (CA-39), to ensure Korean American veterans receive the benefits they deserve. Our diversity is one of our greatest strengths, so I invite all of us to learn about and celebrate the contributions of Korean Americans not just on Korean American Day, but every day.”

CAPAC First Vice-Chair Rep. Grace Meng (NY-06):

“Today, I am honored to celebrate Korean American Day and to commemorate the 120-year anniversary since the first Korean immigrants arrived in the United States. It is my privilege to represent a vibrant Korean American community in New York City—the city with the second largest population of Korean Americans in the country. For the past 120 years, Korean Americans have made invaluable contributions to this nation, shattering barriers, enriching our culture, and forming an essential part of American diversity. This year is particularly special because it marks the 70th anniversary of the U.S.-Republic of Korea security alliance, a demonstration of the strength, longevity, and close cooperation between our two nations. Today and every day, we uplift and celebrate the countless achievements of the Korean American community and I will continue fighting for these stories to be commemorated as a part of American history. Happy Korean American Day to all those celebrating throughout my congressional district and around the country!”

CAPAC Second Vice-Chair Rep. Mark Takano (CA-39):

“I join my constituents, colleagues, and people across the nation in celebrating the diverse accomplishments of the Korean American community that have helped shape our country’s history. Korean Americans have enriched our communities as teachers, business owners, service members, and community leaders and help make our nation stronger.”

CAPAC Whip Rep. Ted Lieu (CA-36):

“This Korean American Day, we celebrate the Korean American community and all they have contributed to American society. The first Korean immigrants came to the United States 120 years ago and have since shaped every aspect of American life, from business to art and scientific achievement to military service. America is a nation of immigrants, and our collective history and culture are richer thanks to Korean Americans. I am proud to stand with my CAPAC colleagues as we wish the Korean American community a happy Korean American Day!”

CAPAC Freshman Representative Rep. Jill Tokuda (HI-02):

“Today, we mark the 120th anniversary of Korean American Day and honor those who’ve helped build and strengthen our communities through their leadership and contributions to our culture and economy.  Korean immigrants first reached our shores at Honolulu Harbor on January 13, 1903, and quickly became an invaluable part of our vibrant and diverse community in Hawaiʻi. As the new Freshman Representative of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, I am humbled and honored to celebrate Korean American Day!”

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (IL):

“Today marks 120 years since the first Korean immigrants arrived at our shores—enriching our communities, creating businesses and making our nation stronger every day since. America’s strength has always come from the diversity of its people, and I am proud to represent a state with one of the highest Korean populations in our country. Wishing a happy Korean American Day to Korean Americans in Illinois and across our nation.”

Rep. Ed Case (HI-01):

“I am proud to represent the oldest and one of the largest Korean American communities in the country, with Koreans first making their way to America by way of Hawai‘i, then a territory of the United States, on January 13, 1903. These first immigrants made their mark early in our island community, then went on over the generations built on their sacrifice to excel in many fields of endeavor, from government to business, education and the arts, and beyond. To this day, Korean Americans have lived and shown us all the true American dream, to work hard and make the ongoing sacrifices necessary for a better life for their themselves, their families, their community, and our country.”

Rep. Jimmy Gomez (CA-34):

“Since the arrival of the first Korean immigrants to the United States 120 years ago, Korean Americans have made significant contributions to the social fabric and economic output of this country. As the representative of Koreatown in Los Angeles—home to the largest Korean American community in the United States—I’m proud to lead a resolution to recognize the contributions of Korean Americans across the country, deliver $7 million for the creation of the Korean American National Museum right in the heart of Los Angeles Koreatown, and secure House passage of a resolution honoring Korean and Korean American Veterans of the Vietnam War.”

Rep. Al Green (TX-09):

“Korean American Day is a wonderful opportunity to honor the contributions that members of the Korean American community have made to our great nation, including through their everyday work as doctors, teachers, business owners, military service members, as well as people of goodwill of all stripes. The rich history, vibrant heritage, as well as positive influence of Korean American culture on the United States has encouraged our country to find beauty and strength in diversity. I am honored to represent Korean Americans who call Houston home and proud to observe this important day alongside my colleagues of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.”

Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17):

“On the 120th anniversary of the first Korean American Day, we celebrate the immense contributions of Korean Americans to our country and communities across California. Korean immigrants and their descendants in the United States enrich our culture, economy, and society. I am proud to represent a vibrant Korean American community in California’s 17th district and to recognize this community's vital role throughout our nation’s history.”

Rep. Andy Kim (NJ-03):

“When my parents came to this country they didn’t know anyone. Their journey would not have been possible without generations of Koreans that came before them throughout the last 120 years. Korean Americans have made enormous contributions to our country – even if those contributions often go unnoticed or unrecognized. Now that I’m raising two Korean American boys, I want them to understand who they are, to have pride in their heritage, and I want them to know that their story isn’t just a Korean American story, it’s an American story. As we commemorate the past 120 years, I hope we also look forward to the next 120 years of collaborations and of recognizing Korean Americans’ impact; I hope we stand together against Asian hate, and work to uplift our voices, our stories, and our accomplishments for future generations.”

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08):

“Korean American Day is an opportunity to recognize the many contributions and accomplishments of the Korean American community throughout our country since the first Korean immigrants arrived on our nation’s shores in 1903. In visiting the Republic of Korea and the Demilitarized Zone last summer, I was struck by the depth of our shared national commitment to freedom and democracy, which are also evident in the patriotic sacrifices and service of Korean Americans here in the U.S., whether in our armed forces or otherwise. As we celebrate their achievements, we must also continue to uphold our commitment to supporting policies that will help the Korean American community continue to grow and prosper, not only in Illinois’ Eighth District, but across our entire country. I’m honored to join my colleagues in the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus today to celebrate Korean American Day.”

Rep. Marilyn Strickland (WA-10):

“Since the moment Koreans first arrived in the United States in 1903, they have made a lasting impact on our country. A Korean immigrant, my mother’s unrelenting perseverance, strength, hard work, and accomplishments are reflective of the rich values that the Korean American community represents. As one of the first Korean American women to be elected to Congress and the first African American to represent the Pacific Northwest at the federal level, I could not be more proud of my history and heritage. On Korean American Day and every day, I am proud to carry our culture and values with me in Congress.”

Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01):

“On this day 120 years ago, the first Korean immigrants arrived in the United States. Today - and every day - we recognize the valuable contributions of the members of our NW Oregon community who are Korean American. I join my CAPAC colleagues in celebrating the vibrant culture and accomplishments of Korean Americans in Oregon and across the country.”

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (VA-11):

“I am proud to recognize Korean-American Day and the monumental 120th Anniversary of the first Korean-Americans to arrive on America’s shores. I know firsthand the vibrant and substantial contributions Korean Americans have made in the United States. Virginia is home to the fourth-largest Korean-American community in the United States, and 60% of the Koreans that live in Virginia live in Fairfax County. As a heightened level of hate crimes continues to plague the Asian-American community, we must continue celebrating our diversity and condemn bigotry. I am proud to attend Virginia’s 11 Congressional District’s KORUS Festival each year, and as the Chair of the Congressional Korea Caucus, continue to advocate for our Korean-American community each day.”

Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07):

“Today, on Korean American Day, I am proud to join the Korean American community in celebrating the accomplishments and contributions of Korean American small business owners, military service members, and elected officials in Texas’ Seventh Congressional District and across the country. As a proud member of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, I extend my appreciation for our vibrant Korean American community in Houston and wish everyone celebrating a happy Korean American Day!”

Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05):

“On Korean American Day, we celebrate a key part of North Jersey’s strength — our proud Korean American community — who all work every day to make the Fifth District an even better place to live, raise our families, and do business. Now, with hate crimes and violent attacks continuing to rise, it’s a key priority of mine to work with our Korean American residents and small business owners to ensure that they never feel like their voices aren’t heard, that we’re standing up to fight crime and hate, that we’re supporting law enforcement, and that we’re keeping all our communities safe.”

Rep. Linda Sánchez (CA-38):

“Korean American Day marks the anniversary of the first Korean immigrants arriving on American soil. 120 years later, Southern California is now home to one of the largest and most vibrant Korean American communities in the country. As a proud member of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), I join my colleagues in celebrating the rich history, culture, and contributions of Korean Americans across the United States.”