Not all undocumented youth come from Mexico. Because we exist in the periphery of the immigration debate, there is a real need to de-stigmatize the issue in AAPI communities, be intentional in our efforts to include AAPI/API voices and show how we are affected by unjust immigration laws. Immigration is not just a Latino issue – it is also an issue of great importance to Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.
Perhaps the most famous undocumented person is Jose Antonio Vargas, who was sent here from the Philippines by his mom for a better life. The late Tam Tran, who testified in Congress for the DREAM Act in 2007, was born in Germany to Vietnamese parents and stateless in the U.S. Keish Kim, one of the participants of Freedom University in Georgia has been quite vocal about the opportunities denied to undocumented students by the state. Jessica Hyejin Lee and Ju Hong are among the first Asian-Americans to get arrested in civil disobedience actions for the DREAM Act. Many other AAPI/API and South Asian youth are part of our lives, collectives and movements. Our stories need to be front and center, not relegated to the background.
API undocumented powerpoint: Check out this excellent powerpoint presentation made by Tony Choi, Carla Navoa, and Justin Valas.
South Asian Diaspora is a blog dedicated to showcasing the South Asian voices in the immigration quagmire.