Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

Trump suggests Chinese migrants came to U.S. to build an ‘army.’ Migrants share the actual reasons they came.

By 37ci3 May13,2024

NEW YORK (AP) — It was 7 a.m. Friday when Wang Gang, a 36-year-old Chinese immigrant, was running for a day’s work in New York’s Flushing neighborhood.

Wang and a dozen other men huddled around the car as the potential employer approached a street corner with a bakery and pharmacy in China. They hoped to be selected to work on a construction site, on a farm, as a carrier.

Wang waited another two hours, but no luck. It would be another day without work as he illegally crossed the US southern border in February in search of better financial prospects than his hometown of Wuhan, China.

Wang Gang, 36, left, with a backpack, talks to the driver of a car as he and others try to find work for the day in Flushing, Queens, on May 3, 2024.
Wang Gang, 36, wears a backpack and chats with a car driver as he tries to find work for the day in Flushing, Queens on May 3.Fu Ting / AP

The daily struggles of Chinese immigrants in Flushing are a far cry from the former president Donald Trump and there are other Republicans he was trying to paint Like a coordinated group of “military age” men coming to the United States to build an “army” of them and attack America.

Since the beginning of the year, Trump has referred to Chinese men of “military age” or “military age” at least six times and suggested at least twice that they were creating a migrant “army” as Chinese newcomers sought to find their place in the United States. This is a talking point that is amplified in conservative media and social platforms.

“They’re coming from China — 31, 32,000 in the last few months — and they’re all military age and mostly men,” Trump said on the campaign trail. rally last month Schnecksville, Pennsylvania. “I think they are trying to build a small army in our country?” Are they trying to do that?’

As exploited by Trump and others a Increase in Chinese border crossings and real concerns about China’s geopolitical threat to achieve its own political goals, Asian advocacy organizations worry that the rhetoric could encourage further persecution and violence against the Asian community. Asian people in the US are already experienced increase in hate incidents Fueled by xenophobic rhetoric during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Trump’s dehumanizing rhetoric and outright attacks on immigrant communities will undoubtedly create more hatred not only for Chinese immigrants, but for all Asian Americans in the United States,” Cynthia Choi, co-founder and CEO of Stop AAPI Hate in China, told Affirmative Action , said in a statement to the Associated Press. “We know all too well how damaging this kind of rhetoric can be in the midst of an already heated political environment and an election year.”

Gregg Orton, national director of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, said many Asian American communities “remain in fear” and that some Asians still worry about public transportation.

“It’s pretty sobering to know we could be looking at another phase of this,” he said.

“This trip is deadly”

Wang, who spent several weeks traveling from Ecuador to the southern U.S. border, then spent 48 hours in an immigration detention center before arriving in Flushing, said the idea of ​​Chinese migrants forming an army “doesn’t exist” among the immigrants he met.

For this purpose, it is impossible for them to walk for more than a month,” he said. “We came here to make money”

Immigrants who spoke to the AP in Flushing, a densely populated Chinese cultural enclave in Queens, said they came to the U.S. during the pandemic to escape poverty and financial losses from China’s harsh blockade, or to escape the threat of imprisonment in a repressive society. they could not speak freely and practice their religion.

Many said they continue to struggle to cope. Life in the US is not what they imagine.

Since late 2022 — when China’s three-year-old COVID-19 lockdown begins to be lifted — the U.S. has seen a sharp increase in the number of Chinese migrants. In 2023, US authorities arrested more than 37,000 Chinese nationals at the US-Mexico border, a 10-fold increase over the previous year. In December alone, border officials detained 5,951 Chinese nationals at the southern border, a monthly record before the number declined during the first three months of this year.

The US and China have recently resumed cooperation Deport Chinese immigrants those who are in the country illegally.

There is no evidence that they are trying to build a military force or training network with the tens of thousands of Chinese newcomers who have crossed into the United States illegally.

Li Kai, a Chinese migrant
Chinese migrant Li Kai aka Khaled is studying for his commercial driver’s license in his apartment in Flushing, Queens.Vowel Serkan Gurbuz / AP

.True, according to federal data, most of the arrivals are single seniors. Although the data does not include gender, there are more men than women on the dangerous route, which usually involves catching a flight to South America and then making the long, arduous journey north to the US border.

Chinese expats in Flushing say one reason the men are more likely to come alone is the cost — often more than $10,000 per person for airfare, lodging, fees to local guides and bribes to police in countries along their journey. Another could be China’s long-standing family planning policy, which lowers the sex-to-male ratio.

There is also a danger, said the 35-year-old Chinese man, who gave his last name Yin because he was worried about the safety of his wife and children, who remain in China.

He arrived in Flushing in late April, five weeks after leaving the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen. He had traveled The dangerous Darien Gap jungle in Panama and throughout Mexico. The signs of travel were still fresh: her hair was disheveled, her skin darkened with fine lines, and her once-white cardigan hadn’t been washed in weeks.

“This trip is deadly. People die. Travel is not suitable for women – it is not suitable for anyone,” Yin said.

He said he came alone as a breadwinner, hoping his family could join him later.

‘Looking for a better life’

While some in China chose to leave through investment programs or talent programs in developed countries, those without the resources left for Latin America after learning about travel north through social media posts.

Upon arrival, most of them head to big cities like Los Angeles, Chicago and New York with well-established Chinese communities, where they hope to find work and start a new life.

Immigrants to Flushing said they came to America not to fight on behalf of China, but to escape.

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By 37ci3

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