It’s Not Just Latinos Who Are Undocumented

By Mary Ann Zehr — August 28, 2008 1 min read
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There’s a good reason why a couple of Korean-American organizations have put out a guide to K-12 and post-secondary education in California for Asian immigrants: a rather large number of Asian immigrants are undocumented. The guide spells out what opportunities undocumented immigrants have for an education in this country. As most readers of this blog probably know, they are entitled to a free education in grades K-12, but whether they have the opportunity to go to college depends on their financial resources and whether their states have policies that permit them to enroll.

Here are some statistics cited in the guide that I found surprising:

--About 1.5 million of the estimated 12 million undocumented people in this country are Asian or Pacific Islanders.

--One out of five Koreans living in the United States is undocumented.

--Asians or Pacific Islanders make up 40-44 percent of the undocumented students enrolled by the University of California system.

The most common way that Asians or Pacific Islanders become undocumented is by overstaying visas, the guide says. The publication was released by the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium and the Korean Resource Center. An August 18 article in AsianWeek talks about undocumented Asians as well.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.