Thursday, July 5, 2007

Chinese Migration Three

From China Daily:

City seen as magnet for illegal migrants

By Qiu Quanlin (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-07-31 06:47

GUANGZHOU: This southern city has become a hot destination for illegal immigrants looking to enter China or transfer to a third country, local frontier inspection officials said.

"An increasing number of foreigners, most of them from developing countries and regions, has attempted to illegally enter the Chinese mainland in recent years," an official surnamed Yang from the Guangzhou Baiyun Station of Exit and Entry Frontier Inspection said.

Sources with the station said 301 people, 249 of them foreigners, had been seized in 231 cases of illegal immigration during the first six months of the year.

"Most of the illegal immigrants were young foreign women who had not received higher education," Yang said.

Unlike some Chinese who attempt to move to developed countries or regions in search of money, these foreigners are looking to do business in China or to enter China while on their way to a third country, Yang said.

He added this explained why Guangzhou, which has many small foreign-oriented trade companies, was so popular.

"In their eyes, Guangzhou is a haven for small commodity businesses that can help them make money too," Yang said.

Yang added that most of illegal immigrants had developed strong relationships with overseas trafficking organizations.

"They couldn't get authentic Chinese visas. Instead, they purchased counterfeit visas from the so-called overseas snake heads so they could enter the country," Yang said.

In one case, four Iranians who had attempted to enter China with fake visas were seized at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport on February 9.

"They left Malaysia with their real Iranian visas and then they tried to enter China through Guangzhou airport with fake visas they had purchased in Malaysia on December 16," Yang said.

Yang added that the local exit and entry frontier inspection authorities would keep a close eye on illegal immigration attempts by upgrading their inspection facilities.

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