What comes to mind when you think of undocumented student? What connotations can you associate with those terms? But wait, let me guess for you? Did you picture someone of color? A Latino?
WHOAH WHOAH! Hold your horses there!
IT IS NOT JUST A LATINO ISSUE!
That is probably the truest statement ever said! This whole matter on immigration isn’t just about Latinos.
You don’t believe me yet? Have you heard about Ju Hong? He is an Ab540 student running for ASUC Student Senate at UC Berkeley. And Beleza Chan working for social justice and organizing students for the passage of immigration reform.
But the students above aren’t the only ones; they are the few who’ve come out. There are others, thousands of them; students from Germany, China, Nigeria, Russia and other place not ever considered. It’s a stereotype! And it should not be ignored.
The question that remains now is, how did they get here? Many of these non-latino undocumented students came here legally, but due to many reasons, like expired visas, they went from documented to undocumented.
And though there are thousands of them here it they are invisible and well hidden. On the one hand it many seem like life easy because they aren’t being profiled as undocumented, but on another hand “they are torn and frightened, fighting everyday in ways no one can understand, hoping they don’t lose the friends and family they have.” And what makes it harder for these non-latino students to come out, is isolation and loneliness, often they know no one who stands in the same position. As Ju explains
“I didn’t know anyone else who was Asian and undocumented when I was growing up. I think if other undocumented Asians knew other Asians who were undocumented, they wouldn’t feel so alone and isolated.”
Let’s face the truth, America is a melting pot. And it’s about time we come to see that Latinos are not the only ones who need and want reform, there are other ethnic groups who feel the same way. It is time for fingers to come down, this just proves that you can’t identify an undocumented student based on ethinc attributes. It is much more than just a Latino issue!