Yet in the ongoing cry for immigration-policy changes — including amnesty for the more than 11 million people in the U.S. illegally — the Asian voice has been mostly lost.
The face of this nation's immigration debate is decidedly Latino — not Asian.
Now, some Asian Pacific Islander groups want to draw attention to immigration policies that affect them, and last week they launched a campaign for change — the first of its kind in the country — called "It's our issue, too."
Together with local and state politicians, they are asking members of Congress and President
It's a call that comes late — long after members of Congress already have left to campaign for November elections and in a year when efforts to get any kind of debate on immigration sputtered and failed.
"You wouldn't necessarily know it from listening to the immigration debate, but this issue touches our community deeply."
Narasaki said Asian-Americans and immigrants have long had a strong voice in the call for new immigration policies but may not have gotten the same attention as Latinos.
Of the estimated 11 million-plus undocumented immigrants in this country, about 1.2 million are of Asian descent. One in five Koreans in this country is here illegally.
According to U.S. State Department numbers, more
than 1.5 million relatives of Asian and Asian-Americans are waiting for
family-based green cards to reunite them with relatives in
Narasaki presented to a staffer from Sen.
At a news conference Thursday, undocumented Asian immigrants appeared on a video in silhouette, their identities veiled, to speak about living in the shadows.
Chaudhry, who was honorably discharged, says he
disclosed on his citizenship application in 2004 that he had pleaded
guilty 15 years before in
But the government said Chaudhry did not disclose that, and cited a lack of good moral character in denying him citizenship.
Now, he's fighting deportation.
With his U.S.-born wife,
"As you can see I have truly given my body and my heart to America," he said. "It's hard for me to understand how a country I love and respect so much does not show me the same respect."
Immigration change should be everybody's concern, said
The expulsion of 600 Chinese residents from the city of
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