The United States and China resume cooperation on illegal immigration repatriation, and it may be more difficult for Chinese people to "enter the United States" The United States and China resume cooperation on illegal immigration repatriation, and it may be more difficult for Chinese people to "enter the United States"

The United States and China resume cooperation on illegal immigration repatriation, and it may be more difficult for Chinese people to "enter the United States"

The United States and China resume cooperation on illegal immigration repatriation, and it may be more difficult for Chinese people to "enter the United States"

On July 3, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that after a five-year hiatus, the U.S. and China have resumed cooperation on the repatriation of illegal immigrants, and 116 Chinese illegal immigrants have been repatriated to China via chartered flights. So, what impact will this new cooperation have on Chinese immigrants who "go through the route" to the United States?

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said on Tuesday that with the cooperation of the governments of the United States and China, the United States repatriated 116 Chinese illegal immigrants through large charter flights. This is the second time the two countries have cooperated to carry out large-scale charter repatriation since 2018. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security also pointed out that the United States will carry out more repatriation flights with the Ministry of Public Security and the National Immigration Administration of China to reduce the number of illegal immigrants residing in the United States and smuggling activities.

Earlier, the Chinese Embassy in Washington expressed its position on the joint fight against illegal immigration between China and the United States in response to a reporter's question. The spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy said that under appropriate circumstances, China is willing to cooperate with the United States on the issue of smuggling. He said: "The Chinese government firmly opposes any form of smuggling activities. ... China is open to cooperating with the United States on the issue of illegal immigrants. At the same time, the United States should also show sincerity, attach equal importance to China's concerns, and create a suitable atmosphere for relevant cooperation."

Too many illegal immigrants: Ecuador cancels visa exemption agreement with China

Since the Chinese government implemented a strict zero-clearance policy for the COVID-19 pandemic in 2022, the number of Chinese immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border to illegally immigrate to the United States has surged. In 2023 alone, U.S. border officials arrested more than 37,000 Chinese citizens at the southern border, a tenfold increase from the previous year.

In order to curb the endless flow of illegal immigrants, Ecuador, a country in South America, announced in June this year that it would temporarily cancel its visa-free policy for China from July 1 because the number of illegal immigrants from China was worryingly increasing.

Since Ecuador is one of the only two countries in the Americas that allows Chinese citizens to enter without a visa, it has become the preferred departure point for Chinese immigrants to illegally "go through the route" to enter the United States; Ecuadorian authorities have found that currently 50% of Chinese citizens fail to leave through "formal channels" after entering Ecuador.

In this regard, Linghu Changbing, a Chinese citizen who came to the United States through "travel" and is currently applying for political asylum, shared his experience of "travel" from Ecuador to the United States with this station: "At that time, I took the same route as them (most people), going all the way north from Ecuador. I didn't find an agent, I just walked by myself. When you get there, the locals know how to get to the United States. You just need to chat with them for a while and you will know. I arrived at the US border and entered through Yuma, Arizona. It took more than a month or two to register my information in the immigration prison."

Linghu Changbing said that he chose to take the risk of "going through the lines" to come to the United States because he was depressed by the political oppression in his country. His lawyer is currently assisting him in applying for political asylum, so he is not worried that he will be affected by the expansion of deportation cooperation between the United States and China: "I came to the (United States) in May 2022 and submitted my (political asylum) application in August. I recently found out that I will have the opportunity to tell the judge of the immigration court why I can get this (political asylum) status three years later, in 2027, and he will decide whether to approve me based on what I say."

Bob Fu: The deterioration of the rule of law in China has led to more and more Chinese people "melting" into the United States

Pastor Bob Fu, founder of the American Christian human rights organization ChinaAid, who assisted 59 Chinese Mayflower Church (also known as the Reformed Holy Word Church) in exile to the United States last year, told our reporter that because the rule of law in China has been deteriorating, more and more Chinese citizens have found opportunities to come to the United States.

Fu Xiqiu said: "From the perspective of the overall deterioration of human rights and the rule of law in China, many Chinese citizens want to 'get by' if they can, and want to escape if they can, because freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, and now even freedom of movement have entered a stage of overall deterioration. It can be said that this is the worst period since the 8964 massacre."

Fu Xiqiu also pointed out that as the United States and China start to cooperate in the repatriation of illegal immigrants, from the perspective of the US government, this highlights the challenges the US government faces in verifying the identities of refugees: "For the United States, the most core issue is to verify - which illegal illegal immigrants do not meet the five asylum application areas stipulated in US law? Then, which ones are the Communist Party trying to send to the United States to infiltrate and threaten transnational rights? There must be such people."

Wang Juntao: People persecuted in China lack courtroom presentation skills and miss out on asylum opportunities in the US

On the other hand, Wang Juntao, chairman of the National Committee of the China Democratic Party, who has provided political asylum evidence to the U.S. immigration court many times, also mentioned in an interview with this station that many people who were truly politically oppressed in China missed the opportunity to obtain political asylum after fleeing to the United States because they were unable to grasp the key points of their statements in the immigration court.

Wang Juntao said: "When I was in contact with these people applying for political asylum, I felt that many people who met the criteria were rejected because they did not understand the political systems, judicial systems, and cultural differences between the two countries. In fact, sometimes they had this problem when they came in (to the US border). Because they did not state these facts, the US judges and the US government misjudged their situations."

Wang Juntao added that people who qualify for political asylum are mainly divided into two categories: "One reason is that if you have been persecuted in China, you come to the United States to apply for political asylum. The second situation is that if you come to the United States to participate in activities against the tyranny of the Chinese Communist Party, you will face the danger of persecution if you return to China, and you are afraid of persecution, which can also be used as a reason to apply for political asylum."

Wang Juntao said that if dissidents are repatriated in the Sino-US repatriation cooperation, they may face serious consequences after returning to China: "If you are really a participant in China's democratic movement and meet human rights standards and are persecuted in China, ... these people will be severely punished. For example, recently there was a young man named Wen Qifeng who was sent back to China by Taiwan. Some people say he has died in prison now."

It is difficult to enter the United States through "travel routes". Bob Fu talks about other asylum channels

The outside world is concerned that as the United States and China jointly launch actions to combat illegal immigration and Ecuador cancels visa-free status for Chinese citizens, how should Chinese people who are politically oppressed at home deal with the various restrictions if they want to "leave" China?

In response, Fu Xiqiu said that the United Nations provides other channels for relief: "In some regions and countries where the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is located, there are still some channels to seek relief, not just one 'line' channel."


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