Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Determined to Flee China, Thousands Take a Long, Dangerous Route to the Southern U.S. Border; Growing Number of Migrants From China Arriving at US-Mexico Border

Bing Guan for The Wall Street Journal
Determined to Flee China, Thousands Take a Long, Dangerous Route to the Southern U.S. Border:
On a crowded speedboat making a night crossing in rough waters off Colombia in January, Daniel Huang, a former Shanghai fitness trainer, began to regret his decision to try to enter the U.S. via Latin America.
He was soaked through by the crashing waves and he feared the boat would tip over. On his cellphone, he said he typed up a farewell note to his father to send if it seemed he wouldn’t make it to the shore on the Panamanian side, where he would start an arduous jungle trek.
Mr. Huang is part of a huge upsurge of Chinese under Xi Jinping’s rule who have risked arrest, drowning and robbery as they pass through some eight nations to reach the southern U.S. border, following in the footsteps of hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans, Cubans and others.
“I could no longer see hope” in China, he said. “If there was any other way, who would be willing to leave their family?”
The Chinese migrants making dangerous treks through Latin America are a subset of the larger outflow of Chinese of all wealth levels. Under Mr. Xi, the private sector has been squeezed, forcing layoffs and driving away entrepreneurs. Others worry political repression will only get more suffocating as Mr. Xi embarks on his third term in power.
The United Nations refugee agency counted 116,868 Chinese seeking asylum around the world at a point measured in mid-2022, up from 15,362 at the end of 2012, the year Mr. Xi took power. The U.N. numbers don’t include Chinese who enter other countries using work, tourist or other types of visas—often people with more assets and education—which have also increased in the past decade. China has a population of around 1.4 billion.
In the first three months of this year, 3,855 Chinese migrants crossed the Darién Gap, the 60 miles or so of treacherous terrain connecting South and Central America. That compares with 2,005 for the full year in 2022, and just 376 Chinese total in the years from 2010 to 2021, according to Panama migration data. Chinese nationals were the fourth-largest group making the Darién crossing from Colombia in the three months, the data showed. --->READ MORE HERE
Growing Number of Migrants From China Arriving at US-Mexico Border:
Li Xiaosan and his teenage son recently arrived in the United States from China. They are among a growing number of Chinese migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border seeking asylum.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 4,366 migrants from China encountered Border Patrol officials after crossing the southern border without authorization from October 2022 to February 2023. That compares with the 421 migrants who were encountered during the same period in 2021 and 2022.
Xiaosan told VOA's Mandarin Service that he and his 16-year-old son traveled for more than 50 days from Hong Kong to Macau to Istanbul to Ecuador. From there, they traveled through six Latin American countries, including walking on their own through the Darien Gap, a dangerous mountainous jungle between Colombia and Panama where tens of thousands of migrants crossed in 2022 on their way to the U.S.-Mexico border.
On Tuesday, the U.S., Colombia and Panama announced a two-month operation to curb migrant smuggling in the Darien Gap using “new lawful and flexible pathways for tens of thousands of migrants and refugees as an alternative to irregular migration,” but without specific details on how the process will take place.
The announcement also included investments in job creation in the Colombian and Panamanian border communities with the goal of providing more economic opportunities to reduce human smuggling.
More migrants with stories similar to Xiaosan’s are likely to make the same dangerous journey to the U.S. border, according to Chen Zhong, an immigration lawyer living in Los Angeles, who asked VOA Mandarin to use a pseudonym for fear of retaliation from the Chinese community since he assists undocumented Chinese migrants who have recently arrived in the country. --->READ MORE HERE
If you like what you see, please "Like" and/or Follow us on FACEBOOK here, GETTR here, and TWITTER here.

No comments: