ChorSwang Ngin radically shifts the asylum seeking narrative by focusing on rarely heard stories of persecution and escape from China and Southeast Asia. Identities on Trial in the United States weaves together the cases of a tortured student from a Myanmar prison, an apostate from Islam, several victims of ethnic and sexual violence from Indonesia, and men and women escaping China's draconian One-Child Policy and prohibition of Falun Gong practice, among others. Joann Yeh, an immigration attorney, co-authored three chapters to examine asylum seeking in a Mandarin-speaking Californian community and discuss the failure of the United States quasi-judicial immigration system, highlighting the "asylum lawfare" in courtroom drama, and to argue for an "anthropological advantage" in asylum preparation. This book is essential text for policy makers, students, lawyers, activists, and those engaged with migration studies seeking a more just asylum outcome.
ChorSwang Ngin is professor of anthropology at California State University, Los Angeles.