On the Street: UndocuAsians Come Out [Photos]

Asian-American undocumented youth share their stories in a bold social media project, and invite the community to share theirs.

By Julianne Hing May 17, 2013

Asians are a driving force behind migration to the U.S. and the demographic shifts; 40 percent of all migrants to the U.S. hail from Asia, and 40 percent of Asian Americans were not born in the U.S. What’s more, 1.2 million of the country’s 18 million Asian Americans are undocumented, according to the Asian American Justice Center.

So who are the country’s undocumented Asian American youth? They’re students and granddaughters and big brothers. They’re all over the country. Sitting next to you in class. Riding the bus alongside you. Probably dating your cousins. And if the latest social media campaign from the undocumented youth contingent of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund is any indication, they’re a seriously hip crowd committed to social justice.

Raise Our Story, organized by the Asian-American undocumented youth group RAISE and launched this week, will collect and highlight stories of undocumented Asian-American youth to highlight the many faces of immigration. As the immigration reform bill heats up, RAISE youth organized the initiative to make sure that the immigration reform debate includes the stories and voices of Asian immigrants, "who are often overlooked in the narrative surrounding immigration reform," they said in a statement. But organizers also hope the project empowers the Asian American immigrant community to speak their stories aloud.