The number of illegal immigrants from China arrested along the porous Mexican-American border is on the rise, reports the San Diego Union Tribune.
There are currently 74,000 illegal aliens from China in California alone. In the 2015-2016 fiscal year, 861 illegal immigrants from China that were already in America were arrested. That number is down from 861 to 218.
However, in terms of immigration arrests at the actual border, authorities are seeing more success.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protections Agency have already stopped 261 migrants from entering the United States. One hundred and seventy-seven illegal aliens from China were arrested in 2015-2016. This is nearly a 50 percent increase in the number of arrests in the past year.
These people coming to the States are often smuggled through the border via San Diego in the back of trunks, spare tire compartments, and hidden elsewhere in inconspicuous locations. Those apprehended have admitted to paying as high as $70,000 for their journey.
But, once in the country, illegal aliens from China are often forced into slavery to pay off their high debt. These individuals are taken advantage of by their smugglers and often promised a “job.” This guarantee of employment is typically a debt that is paid off in the form of manual labor through indentured servitude.
“It could be a long-term or lifetime payment. Smugglers will always have one over them. ‘We know you’re illegal, we can easily call the authorities and they can pick you up. If you want to stay hidden, best you pay us.’”
This comes after an extremely dangerous trip to the States in the first place. Often times, they describe being brought in the country in hazardous conditions such as exposure to high heat, gasoline fumes, and possible suffocation due to lack of oxygen.
“We see these sort of alien smuggling issues as humanitarian concerns because of both the methods of how they are smuggled in and the conditions they find themselves in once in the United States,” Said Deputy U.S. attorney Mark Conover. “We remain concerned many Chinese immigrants pay tens of thousands of dollars to be smuggled into the United States and find themselves paying off that debt under difficult labor circumstances for decades.”
It is unclear what the main motivation is for coming to America, as there is not one economic demographic arriving. Authorities say these migrants range from engineers, to cooks, to students, and nearly all of them are adults.
“To the smugglers you’re just a dollar sign, not human beings,”one immigration attorney warns.
Under previous administrations, illegal aliens were often released after being detained by authorities. But with stricter immigration measures in the Trump presidency, these illegal aliens are kept in custody.
The smugglers who get caught are arrested and typically placed in jail. Once the trial is over, these illegal aliens are released into the immigration system.
President Trump’s stricter measures appear to be deterring illegal immigration overall. Between 55 and 85 percent of illegal immigrants attempting to enter the country are arrested in a report issued by the Department of Homeland Security in 2017 so far.