Friday, April 14, 2006

Asian Pacific Islander Americans and Immigration (HR 4437)

The Asian Pacific Islander American (APA) community is no stranger to problems with immigration law.

They have been the victims of laws that excluded them from becoming citizens, laws that prevented them from owning land and laws that prohibited them from marrying other races.

The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was the first law to ban immigration by race or nationality in U.S. history.

Approximately one million of 14 million Asians in America are illegal immigrants. About 1.5 million Asians have applications for citizenship or permanent residence.

While the proposed immigration legislation, HR 4437, looks like toast at the moment, the harshness of the bill cannot be overstressed. For example, a student on an F1 visa who dropped below full-time status or a sacked H1 visa worker could be regarded as "criminal."

Immigrants could be denied citizenship on the flimsiest of grounds through the bill's liberal interpretation of "moral character." The "criminal" immigrants could be deported even back to nations where they could be placed in grave danger because of their political status or other reasons.

Fortunately, most nationwide APA groups have come out strongly against the immigration bill, even if the APA faces have been less visible among those marching on the streets.

The Stake for Asian Americans in Immigration Reform

Japan asks China for transparency on military buildup

Japan asked China to be more open about its military buildup on Friday.

Noting that China has increased military spending by about 10 percent over the last 18 years, Japan called for more transparency on the purpose of the Chinese armed forces.

The People's Republic of China (PRC) has long been secretive about its development programs and has sought advanced technology elsewhere especially from Russia. China has purchased advanced Russian weapons systems like the Su-27 and Su-30 fighter jets, and the S-300 air defense system.

Russian Su-27 fighters perform in China
Russian Su-27 jets perform in China's Hunan province. Reuters Photo from Yahoo News

Indigneous PRC military technologies include the Y-8 AWACS command and control aircraft and the Y-8 electronic warfare plane. They also produce their own third and fourth generation fighters like the J-11, J-10 and J-7H. The J-XX project is believed to be one of the first truly indigenous leading-edge fighter aircraft developments by China.

The extent of China's technological ascent can also be seen in its rapidly-expanding manned spaceflight program.

China exports large quantities of arms to other countries including highly-lauded battlefield systems like the TY-90 mobile air defense missiles.