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Taiwanese immigrant among 'Champions of Change' honored in Washington
Central News Agency
2014-06-18 10:32 PM
Washington, June 17 (CNA) The White House held an event Tuesday to highlight success stories of immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children, including one 28-year-old woman who emigrated from Taiwan. Esther Yu-Hsi Lee was among the 10 young immigrants labeled Champions of Change, all of whom have benefited from the Obama administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA grants reliefs form deportation and the opportunity for employment and education for illegal immigrants who were brought into the country before age 16 and stayed, though it does not provide a path to citizenship. Lee, an immigration reporter for the online publication ThinkProgress, said that she was only two years old when her parents brought her and her older siblings to California from Taiwan in 1988. Undocumented and residing in the country illegally, she has never been able to travel overseas because she knows that leaving the U.S. means she will not be able to get back in. Lee said that her roots are in Taiwan, and she holds a Republic of China passport, but she identifies first culturally as an American. If the opportunity arises, she added, Taiwan is one of the places she hopes to visit. Lee grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from New York University with a bachelor's degree in psychology and Middle East studies and a master's degree in psychology. Before DACA gave her a way to work legally, she got by as a nanny, Mandarin tutor, and occasional housekeeper in New York City. With her current job in Washington, D.C., she hopes to raise awareness of immigration-related news as it happens across the country and to highlight the personal stories of undocumented immigrants. (By Lin Shu-yuan and Lilian Wu)
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