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  1. #1
    Senior Member FedUpinFarmersBranch's Avatar
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    May 2008

    AZ-MCSO: Deputies arrest 4 Chinese in human smuggling case

    MCSO: Deputies arrest 4 Chinese in human smuggling case
    Reported by: Deborah Stocks
    Last Update: 1:28 pm

    PHOENIX -- Authorities say four undocumented immigrants from China were among a group arrested Tuesday night in the north Valley.

    According to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, the arrests were made during a traffic stop resulting from a human smuggling investigation. A total of five immigrants were arrested.

    The Chinese suspects reportedly told deputies they began their trip in Beijing, China; they were also found to have Cuban currency.

    "If people are being smuggled into the United States illegally from a communist country like China through Mexico, who knows where else they could be coming from," Sheriff Joe Arpaio said in a news release.

    Officials say the driver of the stopped vehicle was from Mexico City and admitted to deputies that he was paid to illegally transport the four Chinese suspects to Flagstaff where they would continue on to New York City.

    "These people appeared to be very well coached on what to tell deputies during questioning," Sgt. Madrid of the Sheriff's Human Smuggling Unit said in the news release.

    According to MCSO, Sheriff's human smuggling deputies to date have arrested 3,365 illegal aliens from Latin America and Mexico, 1,611 of which have been charged through the Maricopa County Superior Court system on state felony human smuggling charges. ... riI9w.cspx
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Ratbstard's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    New Alien City-(formerly New York City)
    Officials say the driver of the stopped vehicle was from Mexico City and admitted to deputies that he was paid to illegally transport the four Chinese suspects to Flagstaff where they would continue on to New York City.
    Could have been my 'New Neighbors'.
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  3. #3
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Chinese illegal immigrants crossing the AZ border

    September 24, 2009

    Several times a week Maricopa County sheriff's deputies trained to enforce federal immigration laws stake out Interstate 17 near Anthem looking for vehicles loaded with illegal immigrants.

    On Tuesday, they made an unusual find. A van they stopped for a license plate violation contained five illegal immigrants. The driver, who turned out to be the smuggler, was from Mexico. The four passengers were from China. It was the first time deputies patrolling popular smuggling corridors in the Phoenix area had come across illegal immigrants from a country other than Mexico or Latin America.

    The discovery shed light on a growing trend: Illegal immigrants from China are increasingly entering the country through the Arizona desert by hiring smugglers in Mexico, according to Homeland Security officials. This marks a significant break from the past, when most migrants from China trying to sneak into the country came hidden inside freight containers on ships.

    Through Aug. 31 of this fiscal year, agents working the Border Patrol's Tucson sector, which covers the majority of Arizona's border with Mexico, have arrested 281 illegal immigrants from China, said agent Alex Gomez, a spokesman for the Border Patrol. That is an 836 percent increase from the 30 illegal immigrants from China arrested during the same period in the last fiscal year. In 2007, the Tucson sector recorded 37 arrests of Chinese nationals, and in 2006, the number was 9.

    The huge increase in arrests of illegal immigrants from China comes at a time when border arrests in the Tucson sector are down 24 percent this fiscal year compared with last, Gomez said. Still, the number represents just a fraction of the 226, 344 arrests the Border Patrol's Tucson sector has made this year.

    The vast majority of illegal immigrants arrested by the Border Patrol are from Mexico. Of the 226, 344 arrests this year, 10,258 were from countries other than Mexico. That number is also down compared with last year, when the Border Patrol arrested 10,608 people from countries other than Mexico.

    So why are more illegal immigrants from China crossing the Arizona border rather than trying to enter on freight ships? There are probably several reasons. One may be that in recent years some Central American countries have made it easier for Chinese to get visas to visit their countries in an effort to boost tourism, said Gomez. That has made it easier for people from China to enter Mexico illegally, where they hook up with smugglers willing to sneak them into the U.S., Gomez said.

    The Chinese represent a lucrative market for smugglers in Mexico, Gomez said. The Chinese typically pay smugglers between $20,000 and $40,000 to get them across he border, Gomez said.

    "That is a lot of money," Gomez said.

    In comparison, the smuggling fee for Mexicans is typically $1,500 to $1,800.

    Another reason may be that tighter security at U.S. ports has made it harder for Chinese to enter the country illegally hidden on ships, said Virginia Kice, a spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in California.

    The four illegal immigrants from China caught Tuesday told deputies they were from Fujian Province in China. But deputies don't know how the Chinese made it to Mexico because all of them refused to answer many questions, said Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

    It's possible they first flew to Cuba, not Central America. Some of them were carrying Cuban money.

    Arpaio said the discovery of the illegal immigrants from China shows how the Arizona border remains porous, which could make it vulnerable to terrorists trying to sneak in.

    China, however, is not considered a terrorist threat by the U.S. And Border Patrol arrrests nationwide of illegal immigrants from countries considered a terrorist threat is down, from 559 last fiscal year through Aug. 31 to 530 this fiscal year, said Steven Cribby, a spokesman for Customs and Border Protection in Washington.

    --Daniel Gonzalez
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