In many instances we tend to think of illegal immigration in the Los Angeles area as a Latino issue. It is true that many undocumented immigrants are Latinos, but there are also other ethnicities that are lesser-known. A big group of undocumented immigrants come from Asia and the Pacific Islands. In fact, it is estimated that there are more than one million of them living the United States. Nearly half of these currently reside in the state of California.
Although they may come from different countries, these immigrants have much the same concerns as their Latino counterparts. They too worry about being discovered and forced to leave this country that they love. One such man is a native South Korean who immigrated to California with his parents when he was just 9-years-old. Life here was tough at first with his father and mother working long hours. They told the boy to lock the doors when they left for work and to check to make sure it was not the police before answering the door for anybody.
When the boy turned 16, he could not obtain a driver’s license like other kids his age. The now-22-year-old says this is when he finally knew for sure that his family was in the country illegally. At first he resented his parents for bringing him to a country where he felt he had to hide who he was, but after a while he learned to appreciate them for their loving sacrifices to give him a better life and more opportunities for his future.
He has completed college and qualified for dreamer status which allows him to work and reside in the country legally.
If you are an undocumented immigrant like this young man, you may wish to speak with an immigration attorney who can discuss your options toward legal status in the United States.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “Another side of illegal immigration,” Steve Lopez, Mar. 17, 2013