Koreans Complain of Racist Treatment by ICE

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LOS ANGELES -- A growing number of Koreans say they have experienced racist treatment from customs and immigration officials upon arrival at LAX, as entry restrictions for those with prior criminal records are tightened, reports the Korean language newspaper Korea Daily Los Angeles.

Jong-hun Park, a legal permanent resident, told the paper that he had been detained for three hours by customs officials, who told him to “go back to your own country” after he inquired about the reason for his detention. In a similar case, 55-year-old Orange County resident Chol-hun Lee said customs officials had criticized his poor English, saying that he spent “too much time watching Korean soap operas on TV.”

Park’s record showed a drunken driving violation several years earlier, while Lee had been involved in a domestic violence case in 2006. Both men complained of being treated like “criminals” because of their records.