Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Boston Scare Reveals Chinese Smuggling Corridor

The recent dirty bomb scare that sent FBI agents scurrying around Boston searching for a half dozen illegal aliens from China with alledged terrorist designs has inadvertantly exposed one channel for the illegal transport of Chinese immigrants into the US. The terror threat turned out to be a hoax, but the investigation it spawned revealed the sleepy Mexican border town of Mexicali to be a major way station for Chinese planning to illegally cross into the US.
Mexicali, a sprawling industrial city of about 800,000 people 120 miles east of San Diego, may seem like an unlikely stop for Chinese border crossers. It lies across the brackish Colorado River from Calexico, a California border town of 30,000 people in a sparsely populated agricultural region. Tree-covered mountains rise 4,000 feet to the west; hundreds of miles of desert lie east.

But Mexicali is part of an elaborate smuggling route that starts in China and ends in U.S. coastal cities, where Chinese find work at restaurants, garment shops and other places where they blend in easily, U.S. law enforcement officials say. Calexico is one of the largest points of entry for Chinese immigrant smugglers, along with Los Angeles, New York and Seattle.
US officials refuse to say how many Chinese have been arrested crossing the border. But given their stunning success with Mexican immigrants, one can only guess. The problems related to massive illegal immigration from Mexico and Latin America are disturbing enough. However, China represents a rising military and economic threat to the US. An open door for undocumented Chinese presents security problems potentially as great as posed by the entrance of undocumented Arabs into the US. It represents yet another reason for immediate action to secure the US southern border.


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