Friday, August 29, 2014
As Sahra Vang Nguyen of NBC News reported in this article, a group of Asian Americans recently performed a play that portrayed their struggles with being undocumented in the United States.
"The performance, 'Letters From UndocuAsians,' was written, produced and performed by members of RAISE (Revolutionizing Asian American Immigrant Stories on the East Coast), the first pan-Asian, undocumented, youth-led group on the East Coast.'
RAISE has also put together a documentary short, "Why We Rise," which features the experiences of three young Asian Americans who are living in New York without authorized immigration status from the U.S.
One of RAISE's points in highlighting the experiences of undocumented Asian Americans is to challenge their perception as the "model minorities." “One of the biggest challenges of being an undocumented Asian American is the 'Model Minority Myth,'” said the play’s host, Rhustie Valdizno. “People always think that since we’re Asian, we are doing well.”
Although coming out of the "undocumented" closet is risky, the efforts of these performance artists should be lauded for working to better deepen our understanding of the difficulties faced by those among us who have had to live in the shadows of immigration law.