A Nation of Immigrants – Where Are the Asian Pacific American Voices?

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If you take away anything from this site, it is that Asian Pacific Americans (APAs) are the fastest growing ethnic group in the nation.  In California, APAs are the third largest ethnic group constituting more than 15 % of the population, or 5.8 million people.  This rapid growth is not fueled by an extraordinary birth rate, but rather by immigration.  I’ve long known that people like me – American-born Asian – are by far the minority.  According to the 2011 U.S. Census, there were roughly 11.6 million foreign-born individuals from Asia.  A recent Pew Research Center report states, “immigrants are a dominant group (74%) among Asian Americans.“

Furthermore, as Richard Liu of MSNBC notes, “when it comes to unauthorized immigrants, an estimated 1.3 million are from Asia and 74% of voting age AAPI’s are born abroad, the largest proportion of any racial group. A similar number speak English as a second language.”

So if APAs are largely immigrants – both legal and undocumented – where are our voices as major immigration reform moves its way through Congress?  “Immigration” in America has a Latino face.  We need to join our Latino brothers and sisters and make sure our voices are heard on this important issue which affects a majority of our community and our brothers and sisters here and abroad.