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'scitizens 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.
Ko-Lin Chin is Associate Professor in the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University, Newark. He is author of many books in both English and Chinese, including Chinatown Gangs: Extortion, Enterprise, and Ethnicity.
Foreword Douglas S. Massey Preface Acknowledgments Part I: Leaving for the Beautiful Country 1. In Search of the American Dream 2. In Search of the Beautiful Country 3. The Social Organization of Human Smuggling Part II: Following the Snakeheads 4. The Air Route 5. The Sea Route 6. The Land Route Part III: Climbing the Mountain of Gold 7. Safe Houses 8. Life in the Mountain of Gold 9. Stemming the Tide Glossary Appendix A: Research Methods Appendix B: Tables Notes References Index
"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