Sat, July 13

Escaping to America: The Surge of Chinese Refugees

At the start of the new year, Americans faced a significant challenge due to an overwhelming influx of refugees from China. According to the U.S. Immigration Services, in just 2023, a staggering 37,439 illegal immigrants from China entered the U.S. This marked a 1000% increase compared to previous years, breaking multiple historical records. The rapid growth alarmed Americans, sparking widespread speculation. Some suspected these individuals were spies, given their well-coordinated smuggling routes and professional leadership. Others believed they must be special forces due to the arduous 6000 km journey from Ecuador, through Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and finally into the U.S. from Mexico. This feat, they argued, could only be accomplished by those with military training and exceptional willpower.

From an American perspective, their suspicions seemed reasonable. Yet, speaking frankly, it’s likely an overreaction. The 37,000 fleeing individuals probably just yearned for a better life in America. American journalists’ investigations revealed a common trait among these refugees: they had sold their properties in China, borrowed from relatives and friends, exhausted their credit, torn up their passports, and cut off all ties, leaving no way back. They were determined to reach America. Americans should appreciate this as it demonstrates the U.S.’s strong appeal, attracting global talents. However, the collective alarm arises because these individuals are not seen as talents but as parasites intending to exploit American resources. According to official U.S. investigations, these refugees typically end up in one of three scenarios.

The first group believes in hard work. They take jobs Americans would demand $3000 a month for, accepting just $1500. While Americans work eight hours a day, they’re willing to work 14. Their lower wage demands and longer working hours have adversely affected American workers, causing widespread discontent. Meanwhile, these refugees take solace in the benefits of a developed country, grateful to escape the pressures of report writing and guessing superiors’ moods. They find a sense of superiority even in cleaning toilets, appreciating the quality of life abroad more than back home.

Beyond hard-working refugees, the second type includes people like Lecturer Ding Pangzi (a Chinese internet celebrity who fled to the U.S.). For various reasons, they can’t find jobs in the U.S. and end up homeless, begging on the streets. This group divides into two: one shares the harsh realities of American life, exposing its dark side—like the widespread homelessness in Los Angeles, human waste in New York, and cracked streets in San Francisco. The other group, admired by public intellectuals, despite living on the streets, tirelessly upholds the U.S.’s glorious image, showing a faith that even Americans might envy.

Apart from these two types, the most despised by Americans are those who are parasites of capitalism. This group’s goal is clear: do nothing upon entering the U.S. but head straight to refugee shelters for free food, and accommodation, and live off U.S. taxpayers’ money, enjoying a carefree, slow-paced life. This raises the question: can’t these people be deported? Under Trump, it was possible. Many of his votes came from immigrants, so maintaining an open immigration policy was crucial for his approval ratings, and illegal immigrants were generally not expelled. One might ask, can’t they be sent back? Yes, but you need identification to prove you’re a Chinese citizen.

Interestingly, these individuals had already decided to burn their bridges upon entry by tearing up their passports, making it impossible to prove their Chinese nationality. Normally, even without a passport, deportation is possible through international agreements on illegal immigrant repatriation, including between China and the U.S. However, due to Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in the summer of 2022, which led to China imposing eight sanctions on the U.S., including suspending the repatriation cooperation for illegal immigrants, these individuals seized this rare opportunity, knowing they wouldn’t be sent back. This led to a surge in the number of refugees in 2023. If there’s no major policy shift between China and the U.S., this number may continue to rise.