In a recent decision regarding the status and acceptance of illegal immigrants in the U.S., the Department of Justice recently announced that it would be working with the Corporation of National Community Service (CNCS) to provide $1.8 million worth of grants to help organizations advocate for illegal immigrants, and a large portion of these organization reportedly focus on one target group that is often forgotten in discussions about immigration: Asian-Americans.
According to the most recent government data, about 10.8 million undocumented immigrants are living in the U.S., and at least one million of this population is Asian. Undocumented Asian children are among those who seem to suffer the most from the country’s harsh immigration laws, considering that about 110,000 Asian children are likely living in the U.S. right now, and that many of them arrived unaccompanied.
As Asian Fortune News explains, it’s often hard for Asian-American immigrants to grow up in the U.S. — whether they’re here legally or illegally — because it can be extremely difficult to identify with American culture without having the benefits that natural-born citizens have.
In fact, this cultural identification problem doesn’t just end with first-generation Asian Americans, and there’s more than just federal research statistics to prove it.
In a groundbreaking documentary called “A-Town Boyz,” which has just entered into post-production work, Korean-American actress Eunice Lau reveals the harsh reality that many Asian-American children grow up with — and one which the media regularly forgets to acknowledge.
“A-Town Boyz” focuses specifically on the lives of young Asian-Americans growing up in Atlanta, Georgia, which has become a welcoming city for many Asian immigrants — a group which is largely ignored by the media when discussions of immigration arise, but which is currently the fastest growing electorate group in the country.
“There’s the big question of this myth of the model minority,” Lau told NBC News. “We all go to school, we get out straight A’s, and we take a certain path and end up as law-abiding Ivy League college graduates who get white collar jobs. But the truth is that the majority of our community did not take that path.”
When all is said and done, Lau explains, she hopes that “A-Town Boyz” will provide a much-needed safe place to discuss the problems that Asian-American children face growing up in the U.S., regardless of their legal status or birthplace.
It isn’t often that major government decisions correspond so perfectly with the trends of popular culture, but with any luck, “A-Town Boyz” will give Americans a small glimpse into the difficulties that Asian=Americans face.