At the U.S-Mexico border, an intriguing anomaly has unfolded. Authorities report an almost ten-fold spike in arrests of illegal immigrants from China in the southern Arizona desert. The Border Patrol in the Tucson sector has caught at least 261 Chinese crossers this year, compared to an average of 32 during the past four years — keeping the sector’s only Mandarin-speaking agent, a former Mormon missionary in China, very busy.
Chinese immigrants belong to a rare category known as OTMs: Other than Mexicans. OTMs are big business for smuggling gangs. Compared to Mexicans who pay about $1,500, fees for Central Americans and South Americans reach $6,000 and Haitians pay from $10,000 – $20,000. But the Chinese pay the most of all — they often work off fees between $30,000 and $70,000 over the course of several years as indentured servants in sweatshops and kitchens of New York and other cities. So why the influx of Chinese illegals? Enforcement officials are not sure. See the full story for more details.