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Smuggled Chinese [Paperback]

Ko-Lin Chin

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Book Description

Dec 9 1999 Asian American History & Cultu
No one knows how many Chinese are being smuggled into the United States, but credible estimates put the number at 50,000 arrivals each year. Astonishing as this figure is, it represents only a portion of the Chinese illegally residing in the United States. Smuggled Chinese presents a detailed account of how this traffic is conducted and what happens to the people who risk their lives to reach Gold Mountain.

When the Golden Venture ran aground off New York's coast in 1993 and ten of the 260 Chinese on board drowned, the public outcry about human smuggling became front-page news. Probing into the causes and consequences of this clandestine traffic, Ko-lin Chin has interviewed more than 300 people--smugglers, immigrants, government officials, and business owners--in the United States, China, and Taiwan. Their poignant and chilling testimony describes a flourishing industry in which smugglers--big and little snakeheads--command fees as high as $30,000 to move desperate but hopeful men and women around the world. For many who survive the hunger, filthy and crowded conditions, physical and sexual abuse, and other perils of the arduous journey, life in the United States, specifically in New York's Chinatown, is a disappointment if not a curse. Few will return to China, though, because their families depend on the money and status gained by having a relative in the States.

In Smuggled Chinese, Ko-lin Chin puts a human face on this intractable international problem, showing how flaws in national policies and lax law enforcement perpetuate the cycle of desperation and suffering. He strongly believes, however, that the problem of human smuggling will continue as long as China's citizens are deprived of fundamental human rights and economic security.

Smuggled Chinese will engage readers interested in human rights, Asian and Asian American studies, urban studies, and sociology.


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Product Description

From Library Journal

For his study, Chin (criminal justice, Rutgers) interviewed 300 illegal immigrants, most of whom live in New York's Chinatown, as well as smugglers of humans ("snakeheads") in various countries. He discusses the immigrants' reasons for leaving China (overwhelmingly for money), their methods, and their lives in the United States. Quoting liberally from the immigrants' statements, Chin creates a poignant picture of the great hardships immigrants have endured in order to pay off debts and send money home to their families. Despite their numbers, he notes, these immigrants have little impact on U.S. social systems or unemployment since they rarely use the medical facilities or schools and usually work in Chinese restaurants and Chinese garment factories. Nevertheless, Chin discusses various government plans to curb illegal immigration, surmising that, in the end, it is almost impossible to stop. Recommended for public and academic libraries.AKitty Chen Dean, Nassau Coll., Garden City, NY
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Chin creates a poignant picture of the great hardships immigrants have endured in order to pay off debts and send money home to their families...Recommended for public and academic libraries." --Library Journal "Smuggled Chinese explores an important subject that until now has not been investigated fully by scholars. I am confident that it will emerge as a major contribution to the literature." --Michael Welch, Associate Professor, Rutgers University "...pathbreaking. Chin's analysis is grounded in interviews with 300 Chinese, most of whom had been smuggled into the United States between 1988 and 1993... [H]is multifaceted research strategy endows his analysis and conclusions with a high degree of credibility." --American Journal of Sociology "...highly recommend[ed] for anyone interested in the traffic of illegal immigrants." --Journal of American Ethnic History "Chin describes the international network of this flourishing business, lays bare its evil, and also puts a human face on this intractable international problem, showing how flaws in national policies and lax law enforcement perpetuate the cycle of desperation and suffering." --MultiCultural Review

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Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Smuggled Chinese June 1 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an interesting book, an obvious result of extensive research. It best serves as a historical reference tool for anyone interested in the crisis of Chinese being smuggled to the U.S. in the 80's and early 90's. That is also its shortcoming, since it lacks any reference to more recent events related to the smuggling of Chinese into the U.S. This was a major disappointment to me for a book published in 2000. The book would be well-served to be updated with reference to new routes being used by smugglers; the INS Global Reach program, new offices in China, and efforts to disrupt the smuggling trade; the Chih Yung interdiction and other boats stopped off Mexico and Central America; the Spring 1999 influx of smuggler's ships in Guam and Tinian; and the impact on the smuggling of Chinese as a result of the 1996 immigration reform law.

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