Esther Yoona Cho

PhD Student in Sociology, University of California, Berkeley
Chapter Member: Bay Area SSN, California SSN
Areas of Expertise:

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About Esther

Cho’s research interests are in immigration and race/ethnicity. Currently she is examining the role of racialized narratives on the every day lives of Asian-origin undocumented young adults in the United States. In general, she is passionate about exploring the lived experiences of individuals that are often invisible in every day popular discourse and hopes to shed light on these communities through her research. In her years at Berkeley, she has also volunteered at a state-wide grassroots organization supporting prospective undocumented graduate students, a local community-based organization serving Korean immigrants, and an Oakland-based high school targeted towards refugees, asylees, and unaccompanied minors.

In the News

"Not All Undocumented Immigrants are from South of the Border," Esther Yoona Cho, Room for Debate, New York Times, September 12, 2016.


"A Double Bind –"Model Minority" and "Illegal Alien"" Asian American Law Journal 24 (2017): 123-130.

Discusses the social location of Asian undocumented immigrants in the United States

"Revisiting Ethnic Niches: A Comparative Analysis of the Labor Market Experiences of Asian and Latino Undocumented Young Adults" Russel Sage Foundation of the Social Sciences 3, no. 4 (2017): 97-115.

Draws on thirty in-depth interviews with Korean- and Mexican-origin undocumented young adults in California, to explores how the intersection of immigration status and ethnoracial background affects social and economic incorporation.