Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Asians and the immigration debate

Many have wondered and discussed the role of Asians and Asian Americans on issues regarding immigration policy and reform. Unfortunately, the voices of our community have been widely ignored or subordinated, despite that most, if not all, Asians and Asian Americans in the United States are immigrants, come from immigrant backgrounds, or have close ties with an immigrant community. Additionally, it is a fact that decisions ultimately made in Congress as well as whatever happens on the streets by wacko xenophobic vigilante groups, like the Minute Men, shall undoubtedly have an impact on the Asian community. You may not see many of our faces during protests and rallies, but it's a complex issue that affects us and our families everyday.

The LA Times recently published an article that I thought was a pretty good introduction to the dialouge of Asians and the immigration issue. I also just read a really interesting article in the lastest New Yorker regarding "snakeheads" -- individuals in the Chinese community who make a lucrative career out of illegally smuggling undocumented Chinese natives into the United States. Despite the wretched and inhuman conditions of their transport, the enormous debt they owe, and the risks of detainment and deportation and death, it seems that many of the Chinese are not regretful, even the ones who didn't make it. Rather, they are extremely grateful to the snakeheads.

It makes you remember how fortunate we Americans are.

**Long live Sister Peng, the greatest snakehead of all time! (By the way, she's Fukinese, for my two Fukinese friends out there... I think she kicks ass. She can be your role model!)

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