Misplaced Praise Of The Fujianese?

Your article "Send your huddled masses, and a hot & sour soup" (Economics, Nov. 14) on the accomplishments of the undocumented Fujianese overlooks the many problems they bring with them. These individuals are smuggled into the U.S. by unscrupulous syndicates often associated with Asian organized crime. The illegal aliens debase the concept of political asylum through bogus claims, which an overburdened system cannot cope with. Many serve as virtual indentured servants working in the most appalling conditions to pay off their enormous debts. The syndicates may force them into prostitution, or recruit them to distribute illegal drugs or operate underground gambling establishments. Some become enforcers in Chinatown street gangs dominated by the Fujianese.

Every visa officer in greater China will tell you that this group is the largest single source of immigration fraud. Sham marriages and divorces, bogus adoptions, fraudulent claims of relationship, forged financial documents--all are common occurrences when processing a case with a Fujian connection.

Obviously, not all Fujianese engage in these illegal activities. But praise of these illegal immigrants--who flaunt our laws, make a mockery of the political asylum process, and bring in even more illegals--is misplaced at best.

Paul Stephenson

Hong Kong

Editor's note: The author is the chief of the emigrant visa section at the U.S. Consulate General. The letter reflects his personal views.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.