Here to Stay: Asian-American DREAMers Share Their Stories

Poignant accounts of coming to the United States as undocumented immigrants

Earlier this week, Asia Society invited four young Asian-American immigrants on stage to tell the stories their journeys to the United States. None of them had an easy path — because all of them arrived as undocumented immigrants. Three are DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients and one is the original inspiration of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors or DREAM Act. 

On stage, they spoke of harrowing overland crossings into the U.S., long separations between parents and children, and the pervasive sense of fear and alienation that stems from the knowledge of their undocumented status. In the clip above immigrant rights activist Tereza Lee shares her experience watching the bill her story inspired gain traction before the events of September 11, 2001 changed the way U.S. lawmakers viewed immigration reform.

Afterwards, local lawyers, legal professors, activists, and the storytellers convened on stage for a spirited panel discussion on how to better advocate for both current undocumented immigrants and how we can all continue to work towards a mutually beneficial path to immigration reform. Watch the full program below, and read more about the evening here.