Multi-American | How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

On the 'hidden' Asian undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

Blogger Calvin Ho's The Plaid Bag Connection (a blog named after the plaid plastic tote bag, "commonly associated with Chinatowns in the US") addresses immigration issues within Asian diasporas, including the often taboo issue of illegal immigration.

While the majority of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. hail from Mexico, countries ranked as top senders also include the Philippines, India, South Korean and China. Still, Asian immigrants remain nearly invisible in the immigration reform discussion, let alone its media coverage.

A post on the site today addresses groups who are even less visible, the "hidden" communities of undocumented Asian immigrants in the U.S. who come from places one wouldn't expect. (The post also includes a video with several young immigrants' stories.) Ho writes:

There are some groups of undocumented Asians that are even more "hidden" from the public discourse on unauthorized immigration. For example, the data do not show that some of the undocumented migrants from Latin America are also of Asian descent. Latin America has long-settled Asian populations, such as the Japanese in Brazil or the Chinese in Panama or Peru, who are subject to the same economic and social pressures that push people to migrate to el Norte.

...In addition to those, there are newer migrants to Latin America who may have wanted to use citizenship and capital gained in Latin America as a stepping stone to eventual migration to the US. Steve Li, a San Francisco student who was scheduled to be deported in 2010, is an example of this type. He was to be deported to his birthplace of Peru, where he knew no one. His parents were citizens of China and were to be deported there.

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