What did the children think?

How the evacuation forced removal of people of Japanese descent from Seattle would affect a second grade class in a local school is shown in these two views in Seattle, Washington, on March 27, 1942. At the top is a crowded classroom with many Japanese American pupils and at the bottom is the same class without the Japanese American students. (AP Photo)

I am an American

This Oakland, CA store owned by a man of Japanese ancestry is closed following evacuation orders to force Japanese Americans into concentration camps in April of 1942. After the attack on Pearl Harbor the owner had placed the “I Am An American” sign in the store front window. (AP Photo/ Dorothea Lange)

Embracing diversity

As long as white people are still privileged.  Because that’s what “diversity” means.

The Flushing food and sign wars rage on.  It’s about accommodating all ethnic groups.  The diverse community that should be represented.  Accommodating everyone.

Assuming, of course, that “everyone” means “white English speakers.”

Chinese people have resided in Flushing for more than thirty years. In Census Tract 865, where New York Mart replaced Key Food, 70 percent of the population is of Asian descent (2005-2009 Community Survey, interactive map here).  Seven percent are Latinos, African Americans are one percent, white people are twenty-one percent and the final one percent is “other.”  According to the 2000 Census, 75.9 percent speak a language other than English, 72 percent don’t speak English very well and 73.2 percent were born outside of the United States (source).

Chinese, Korean and Indian people appear to be three major groups of Asian descent in Queens.  (Could not find more exact data.)  So exactly who feels “unwelcome” by Asian food stores and businesses and non-English signs?

Continue reading

On being an Asian American writer

Jessica Hills Photography

Tess Gerritsen is a best-selling romance and mystery writer.  She is of Chinese descent. Her recent novel features an Asian American character for the first time:

In terms of salability before, people weren’t that interested in it. Out of the U.S. population, Asian-Americans are not that big a group of readers. But this was a way I can easily weave an Asian-American character in the Rizzoli and Isles universe, and I can put in an Asian-American point of view through Johnny Tam.

Gerritsen also talks about what it is like to be an Asian American writer:

Q: Because of your high profile, have you been asked why you haven’t written about Asians before? Continue reading

Jennifer Haynes – update

Remember Jennifer Haynes?  Adopted as an eight-year-old from India in 1989 by U.S. citizens, her adoption was later disrupted.  She was bounced around from foster home to foster home and her U.S. citizenship was never acquired.  In 2008, Haynes was deported.

After almost three years, Haynes has received a passport.  From India.

How many more?

Internationally-adopted adults:  Make sure you have your citizenship papers.  Ethica provides a guide to citizenship here (pdf file).  Parents of children adopted internationally:  If you do not have your child’s certificate of citizenship and passport, get them now.

This is an update on the 2009 story about an adult adopted person who was first deported in 2002 for marijuana possession.  According to the article, his parents attempted to obtain citizenship in 1987 (when he was 13) but never completed the process.

Although the Child Citizenship Act conferred “automatic” citizenship on some international adoptees, there are still thousands who do not qualify.  Adoptees who were 18 or over as of the effective date (February 27, 2001) were excluded and still need to go through the naturalization process.  This undoubtedly affects tens of thousands of adopted persons.  (Estimates for adoption from Korea range from 100,000-150,000; significant numbers of Korean children were adopted beginning in the 1950’s and adoption from Korea is ongoing.)

Additionally, it is not true that all children adopted after the effective date of the Child Citizenship Act are “automatic” citizens. Continue reading

By the numbers

Google search:

Brisenia Flores – 24,700 results
Christina Taylor Green –  6,940,000 results

Google image search:

Brisenia Flores – 7,000 results
Christina Taylor Green – 2,660,000 results

New York Times:

Brisenia Flores – 1 result
Christina Taylor Green – 930 results


Brisenia Flores – 2 results
Christina Taylor Green – 24 results


Brisenia Flores – 1 result
Christina Taylor Green – 33 results

Another adoptee faces deportation

U.S. adoptive parents:  Make sure your kids have their certificates of citizenship.

From New America Media:

A Korean woman in Arizona, who was adopted and brought to the U.S. when she was eight months old, is facing deportation after a second conviction for theft, reports the Korea Times. The 31-year-old mother of three is currently being held in a federal detention center in Arizona.

According to officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Seo (not her real name) was first convicted on theft charges in 2008, for which she served a seven-month sentence. She was arrested on a second theft charge in 2009, and sentenced to a year-and-half in jail. In January, ICE initiated deportation proceedings against her, requesting for a travel certificate from the Korean consulate in Los Angeles.

As I’ve noted previously, articles about adoption and citizenship often report that citizenship is “automatic” for international adoptees.   New America Media repeated the erroneous statement from the original article in Korean: Continue reading