May is Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month, a time to reflect on how these communities have shaped the history of the U.S. while also examining the struggles and discrimination they have faced in America. Erika Lee, one of the nation’s leading immigration and Asian American historians, as well as a professor of American history at the University of Minnesota, joins CBS News Asia correspondent Ramy Inocencio to discuss the concept of "Asian America" and the pivotal moments and essential lessons in history. Lee is also extensively featured in the five-part PBS docuseries "Asian Americans," which debuted this month.
Americans like to think that, as the home of the free, racism and discrimination have no place in our society. History says otherwise. Erika Lee, director of the Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota, joins host Krys Boyd to talk about how our country’s fear of the “other” has been with us since the beginning — and how our historical amnesia is holding back healing. Her new book is called “America for Americans: A History of Xenophobia in the United States.”
In this episode, recorded days before the announcement of Trump 45's new travel ban, journalist and commentator Emil Guillermo talks to Erika Lee, the director of the Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota. She's the author of the book, "The Making of Asian America." If you’re Asian American, not a visa overstay, nor a DACA recipient, you may have your head down and not be paying attention to all the new proposals on immigration and border security. But a new proposal could impact Asian Americans and their families and friends. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has proposed this idea: to collect private social media from Chinese visitors entering the U.S. on tourist and business visas. National security is again the stated fear, even though there’s little evidence to justify such an invasion of privacy. This unfair scrutiny based on race and national origin could result in unjust harassment, detention and should be a chilling reminder to Asian Americans whose ancestors were the first major group to be targeted and banned from the U.S. “These types of actions do affect Asian Americans,” historian Erika Lee, director of the Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota, told me on the AALDEF podcast, “Emil Amok’s Takeout.” “Asian immigrants are the fastest, not only immigrant group in the United States, but the fastest growing undocumented immigrant group in the United States. So they are directly impacted by these interior enforcement and border security propositions and policies.” Collecting information from Chinese business and tourist visa holders could just be the beginning of a greater overreach by the government. On the week when a new revised travel ban is expected, Lee warns: “If any of our international relations with Asian countries get even more rocky, who knows who will be added to the travel ban.” Lee adds: “I don’t think that class status or national origin protects new Asian immigrants from these policies. But certainly as Asian Americans, whose families have lived through (the consequences of previous bans like Chinese Exclusion), the need to act up is imperative. The need to talk about solidarity, and show solidarity couldn’t be more clear.” Once we’re on ITunes, please subscribe rate and review. You can contact me on twitter @emilamok Or go to the aaldef blog…at www.aaldef.org/blog Thanks for listening to Emil Amok's Takeout
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