President Donald Trump recently announced that DACA, which protects 690,000 undocumented immigrants who were minors when their families brought them to the United States from deportation, would end in six months. The vast majority — around 618,000 of the total 690,000 — of DACA recipients are from Mexico. But there are also thousands of people from Asian countries like China, India, South Korea and the Philippines who would lose their protection and may be deported.
At the same time, unauthorized immigration from Asia has surged. There are now about 1.45 million undocumented Asians living in the United States.
Lee is one of the nearly 200,000 undocumented Koreans here, an only child whose mother worked at a pre-school and then managed a Korean fried chicken restaurant in Los Angeles. Lee’s family entered the United States legally in 1997, but then overstayed their tourist visas.
Trump has focused on increased border security and building a huge wall on the Mexican border as the solution to illegal immigration. But estimates by the Pew Research Center show that as many as 45% of undocumented immigrants in the United States entered the country legally but then overstayed their visas — and they come from every continent, including hundreds of thousands from Asia and Africa.