Undocumented Asians in America

from Asian American Movement Ezine:

In March 2006, a report was released estimating that the number of undocumented Asians living in the United States in 2005 is about 1.5 million. This is 14 percent of the 10.5 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, and 12 percent of the Asian population. Of this 1.5 million, INS estimates that 23 percent are Chinese, followed by Filipinos (17%), Indians (14%), and Koreans (11%). Despite these numbers, the issue of legalization is still seen as only a Latino problem in America.

Asians are often overlooked in issues concerning naturalization and citizenship, and sometime are even portrayed to be disadvantage by a legalization program while the opposite is true. The undocumented Asian population in the U.S. is growing not only because of additional immigration but also because current legislation prevent immigrant from applying for legal status.

Because of rigid laws and complicated and long legalization processes, many undocumented immigrants were once legal immigrants who lost their status, as they got lost in the legalization process. Now as current legislations are debated in Congress, many wait in darkness for a decision that will ultimately determine whether they are criminals or rightful citizens in a nation built by immigrants.

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