Number of Illegal Korean Immigrants from China Increases
From JoongAng
April 13, 2004

By Joon Yong Ahn

An increased number of ethnic Koreans from China have been entering the United States through illegal channels.

Ms. Kim, 32 years of age, said she left Beijing early in April and arrived in New York. It cost her over $35,000 to come to America. A few years ago, it cost only around $20,000.

“Nowadays, if you want to come to America, you need between $35,000 and $40,000 at least,” Kim said, “I paid the money to the broker via a bank account in China immediately after I arrived here.”

Kim works nights and is not optimistic about her future. “I thought I could achieve the American Dream and make lots of money once I come here, but in reality, it’s really hard to make a living,” she said.

According to sources, the cost of illegal migration from China to the United States varies depending on the channels. It costs a lot more to travel from Southern China than from Northern China, and the trip poses more danger for the migrants. The cost of trip to the United States from China also differs from that of trip to the United States from Korea.
That trip costs most ethnic Korean Chinese around $10,000, paid to the broker.

In the meantime, as emigration rises, new kinds of social problems have arisen in the ethnic Korean community in China.

Recently, a local news media from Jilin, China, reported that, for example, babysitting businesses are booming due to an increase in the number of children whose parents work overseas. Some children tend to have extravagant lifestyles paid for with the money their parents send back to them.

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Translated from Korean by Bonhee Chung

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