Chinese Emigrants in England – Hannah Beech and Jessica Carsen

Time Europe tells the stories of illegal immigrants from China who make it in England, and those who don’t. From “Dreams of Leaving”:

Snakehead 0423Why do so many middle-class Chinese risk a perilous crossing, mountains of debt and years of grueling labor to start over in a strange land? Life in Fujian is not one of mass starvation or political persecution. But the lure of overseas gold remains great. When his restaurant in England is busy, Little Lin’s brother, Big Lin, can make $600 a week, tax free, and despite his underground status, his life is hardly a misery. Big Lin does not know anyone who has been held hostage by a snakehead or enslaved in a factory. Nor has he ever been stopped by the police or threatened with deportation, despite an official 2005 U.K. study that estimated there are up to 570,000 illegal immigrants there. [Full text]

And from “Migrant Labor: Worked to Death”:

In the wake of the Morecambe Bay tragedy, the British government has introduced new regulations to govern the gangmasters’ trade. But in local Chinese communities, only a handful of leaders seem prepared to acknowledge the danger of the immigration racket. As Edward Murphy, the director of a refugee support charity in Liverpool explained, “There are four reasons people don’t want to mess with these gangs: your limbs.” [Full text]


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