LOS ANGELES – One of the undocumented students arrested after a protest earlier in the week is calling for the greater Asian and Filipino community to rally behind the DREAM Act, Comprehensive immigration reform, and the immigrant rights movement.
Ju Hong, an undocumented UC Berkeley student originally from South Korea, was among the seven undocumented students arrested on Tuesday after a protest at San Bernardino Valley College.
About 200 protesters gathered at the college to protest the county’s cracks down on illegal immigrants and school police allegedly working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to detain undocumented students.
Hong said there were about only a handful, maybe more, of Filipino and Asians in the protest, a disappointing showing for the community given the large number of Asian and Filipino undocumented immigrants living in California and the US.
Hong said he participated in the protest because he wanted to “put an Asian face” to the immigration debate.
“We are undocumented and we are not afraid anymore,” Hong said to the Asian Journal. “We want you to hear our voices and encourage undocumented youths to get involved. A lot of people think this is just a Latino issue but it is also an Asian issue too. I think there are two million undocumented Asians living in the US. Many of them are students like me. It’s a reality and people need to see it, see the face. That’s why it was important for me to participate.”
Hong and the others were arrested after blocking the streets. They were charged for unlawful assembly and failure to disperse. The group of students was detained for 12 hours before being released.
According to an article by the Associated Press, the seven illegal immigrant students arrested said they’re now waiting to see if they’ll be deported in a test of the Obama administration’s immigration policy.The students were questioned but were not detained by ICE agents and will probably not face deportation.
ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice said in an emailed statement: “ICE is focused on sensible, effective immigration enforcement that focuses first on criminal aliens and others who pose a threat to public safety,” Kice said.
Upon being arrested, Hong admitted he was fearful at first noting that he could possibly be deported for his actions.
“I know there are stories of undocumented kids out there who get arrested for riding without a light on their bicycle and then get deported,” he said.
“As a human being, it was very nerve-wrecking experience. But at the same time, I was with a lot of dreamers. We want to go to college and stop the deportation that got me pumped up and removed all my fears even though I was handcuffed. I wasn’t scared at all there’s a lot of public support,” he added.
He described his 12-hour prison ordeal as an “interesting experience.”
“They treated us like criminals. I think there were seven of us in a single cell, one bathroom, one roll of toilet paper. It was very cold. I remember the noise the steel bars made when it closed and police officers making fun of us because of why we were there,” he said.
“They don’t understand that we’re not doing this for us, we’re doing this for all the undocumented people out there.”
Hong said the experience has now made him emboldened to do more for the immigrant rights movement. He’s calling for the Asian community to support the immigrant cause.
“I want all the Asian and Filipino students to get out of the shadows,” he said.
“It’s a really liberating experience. Take a step, come out, and once you come out you’ll get a lot of support. I promise you. Don’t be afraid. Don’t be ashamed of who you are and dream who you want to be.”
“I know in the protest there weren’t as many Filipinos despite there being a lot of Filipinos in the area. Filipino parents don’t want their kids to talk about their immigration status. It’s really hard, they are hard to come out but I want to empower those youths and say to them they are not alone and to get involved.”
Sunday, July 17, 2011
More ICE Fail
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Deportation Officers interviewed an illegal alien, but refused to arrest the illegal alien, Ju Hong.
The arrogance of these illegal aliens is legion and unremarkable. What is remarkable is that ICE deployed agents to a pre-planned protest of illegal alien students, spent the time to interview the illegal aliens, but after wasting taxpayer dollars interviewing the illegal aliens, the Officers refused to place the illegal aliens into removal proceedings. Of course, ICE argued that these illegal aliens were not their priority, but obviously those Deportation Officers had already spent a considerable amount of time interviewing the numerous illegal aliens, so those same officers were not available to interview and place in proceedings other criminals found at the Los Angeles County Jail. Nor were those Officers out on the street looking for the many hundreds of illegal alien terrorists that populate southern California. One would only have to go to one of the many Al Queda and Muslim Brotherhood mosques in the area to find those terrorists. This kabuki theater of non-feasance by ICE employees shows how ICE is not "...focused on sensible, effective immigration enforcement that focuses first on criminal aliens and others who pose a threat to public safety..." but engaged in an illegal and unconstitutional administrative amnesty.
It is time for the House of Representatives to begin impeachment proceedings against those Deportation Officers and ICE head John Morton.