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Point of View: Immigrants’ journey leads to poor living conditions

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From both political and economic perceptive, a lot of people around the world think the United States is their utopia.

This is why, despite the terrorist attacks and economic doldrums, the United States still draws hundreds of people daily from every corner of the globe. Quite a few of them, however, come here through illegal means, sometimes at the risk of their lives.

Several weeks ago, more than a dozen people died from suffocation in a closed train car and a trailer at our southern border with Mexico while attempting to find a better life in the United States.

It’s a great tragedy that they lost their precious lives before realizing their dreams. Numerous similar incidents have occurred before, and it certainly will happen again and again to others in their relentless pursuit of the realization of the American dream. Data show that each year about 300 people, most of them Mexicans, die trying to reach American soil.

The recent dead were among those fleeing poor Mexican villages, where job opportunity is said to be nonexistent.

Likewise, a great majority of Asian illegals are peasants from poverty-stricken villages, mostly in China, where vicious snakeheads are rampant.

Many young people before them have ventured on the sea and found a solid foothold on a new continent across from the Pacific and sent money back home to build luxury houses to show off their achievements overseas.

This trend will never fade until the U.S. government can smash the human-smuggling rings, or snakeheads, around the world and the economic gaps between the United States and the Third World nations are narrowed.

A neighbor told me recently that about 100 illegal aliens shared one bedroom in a Corona house near Flushing. It’s incomprehensible. Those poor souls, of course, don’t go to bed at the same time; they probably take turns because of the nature of their work and shifts.

As a former worker in Westchester, I noticed there seemed to be more Hispanics in that county about 25 miles north of Flushing than anywhere else in the New York metropolitan area. The reason is obvious — Westchester is the wealthiest county in the state. It was reported that some Hispanic immigrants even set their sights on it long before they crossed the border.

A few years ago, a landlord in Tarrytown and another in Mount Kisco, both in Westchester, were fined separately for renting out a room that dozens of Hispanics shared. When overcrowding reaches an intolerable level, it can breed diseases or epidemics.

While Hispanics target Westchester, Asians head for Queens, particularly Flushing, where they are expected to become a majority in the near future.

The Corona story reminds me of a Chinese-language newspaper report that about 120 illegal aliens lived in one bedroom with one bath in Chinatown. The owner charged each person $10 a night. Like those in Corona, the Asian illegals sleep by rotations. Some work in the neighboring states weekdays and stay there, but most of them return on the weekends.

It’s puzzling that these “living hells” elude the attention of politicians, building inspectors and health authorities. If unchecked, such problems will sooner or later get out of hand.

Believe it or not, an illegal alien in his 90s has lived in the same one bedroom for 60 years, the report said.

Who should be held responsible for that? Snakeheads, who are the real culprits creating the current situation, say the government policies tend to encourage the flow of illegal aliens into this country. I don’t buy that theory.

Generally illegals, mostly uneducated, are industrious and willing to work at minimum wages and accept jobs the average Americans don’t want. Therefore, government inaction in cracking down on the illegals aliens already here may be construed as an encouragement.

According to the Associated Press, the number of Hispanics has increased 10 percent in the past two years, totaling 38.8 million, or 13.5 percent of the U.S. population. During the same period, the number of Asians has risen 9 percent to 13 million, or 4 percent of the population. The new immigrants account for the largest population increases, the AP said.

Once illegals enter the United States, snakeheads coach them on how to find odd jobs, mostly at restaurants, and how to apply for legal immigration status. There are several ways leading to that change – 1. Seeking political asylum; 2. Seeking freedom of religion; 3. Seeking freedom of having more children (in China, a couple is allowed to have only one child).

But, in fact, 99 percent of them come here just for economic reasons.

Posted 7:16 pm, October 10, 2011
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