Press Releases

Two Rep. Porter-backed Bills to Reunite Korean-American Families Pass House

Legislation supported by Congresswoman would help families divided by Korean War

Washington, March 10, 2020

WASHINGTON—The House of Representatives yesterday passed two bills backed by Congresswoman Katie Porter (CA-45) that would help reunite Korean Americans with family members in North Korea.

“In Orange County, we know just how important family is,” Congresswoman Porter said. “It’s heartbreaking that so many Korean Americans have been unable to contact their close relatives in North Korea, simply because of where they live. I was proud to back two measures that will help reunify divided families, and I’m glad to see my House colleagues join me in passing this important legislation.”

First, the House passed a resolution encouraging reunions of divided Korean-American families, which would call on the United States and North Korea to allow Korean Americans to reunite divided family members within 60 days of the legislation’s passage. A second bill, the Divided Families Reunification Act, would require high-level Administration officials to make reunification of divided Korean-American families a top priority.

An estimated 100,000 Korean Americans have been separated from their relatives in North Korea since the conclusion of the Korean War. Many of these Americans have passed away without being able to see or hear from their family members in North Korea. While North and South Korea have held 20 reunions for divided families since 2000, the U.S. and North Korea have no such arrangement.

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