The Un/Welcoming Homeland
This chapter examines the process by which Korean Chinese were ethnicized as a transnational working class moving between China and South Korea. Korean Chinese first resumed their relationship with the long-forbidden homeland of South Korea through kinship reunions, marriage migration, and eventually labor migration. Kin-related migration rapidly shifted to labor migration, which caused a rapid growth of undocumented labor and frequent deportations because South Korean visa regulations did not accommodate the influx of Korean Chinese workers. This chapter historicizes the ways in which the South Korean government accorded legal recognition to Korean Chinese as transnational ethnic migrant workers, through the Overseas Korean Act (1999) and revised visa regulations (2005).