Snakehead-threatened teenager staying in the US – for now

Apparently I’m not the only one who views the plight of 17-year old Chinese illegal immigrant Young Zheng with at least a bit of compassion (see this post and its comments for context). This is good news, and I hope it gets better.

A federal court in Philadelphia ruled Thursday that a 17-year-old Chinese boy cannot be deported until he gets another day in court.

The decision by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals means the government will not put Young Zheng on a China-bound plane today as planned. The Chinese teen fears he will be killed by his own smugglers if forced to return to China.

“This is a huge victory,” said John F. Sullivan, the attorney representing Zheng.

But it is only the first step. Sullivan must persuade the Board of Immigration Appeals in Washington to reopen Zheng’s asylum claim. Sullivan does not anticipate a ruling on that motion until Tuesday at the earliest.

The government has agreed to do whatever the court orders. I now see this as another political hot potato because it is a story that tugs at readers’ heartstrings and is receiving widespread attention. Fair or not, those factors just might help Young Zheng stay in America. And I hope that’s what happens.

Thanks to Gordon for emailing me with this tip. (And be sure to read his excellent new post on statistics that let Mao off the hook for mass murder. Hah.)

The Discussion: 8 Comments

The reference made in the article that “lets Mao off the hook” for mass deaths on the mainland seems historically cockeyed. It is written as if Taiwan, presumably the KMT, caused 9 million or so of those 30 million or so deaths on the mainland in the 50s and 60s attributed to Mao. How can that be when Mao took control of the mainland in 1949 and instituted the New China government? In the 50s and 60s the KMT was off the mainland. Does anyone have an explanation?

June 10, 2005 @ 6:43 pm | Comment

I fail to see your concerns, I think they are misplaced. Lookit at the situation; from being on the way to deportation, now this ‘kid’ as you insist on calling him in an apparent effort to tug at some heart strings, is now allowed to stay pending his hearing. What all of a sudden he’s not only got a lawyer(peerhaps coutesy of some “my heart just have to bleed regardless” grievances charities), but the lawyers seemed to know enough to file his appeal before some sympathetic judges.
China is hardly one’s idea of a rich nation and to come up with the kind of money to smuggle this’kid’ over(did you mention $50,000 in previous posting) probably means he’s not just one of those desperate fools in his village. Family took a gamble with the investment and expected returns on it. They would send someone considered most likely to make it, hardly some hardup helpless type you painted. Did you also note the existence of a family uncle already in the country. To claim persecution on his return just showed how well they knew the system and played it accordingly. This bought him some time didn’t it? At the least. If he ends up staying as you apparently wish for quite loudly if Imay, well another commendable effort from the professional victimized(because that’s what this ‘kid’ is). If he were to be sent back after all, you can be sure his family has another stray $50,000 available for his next big flight.

June 12, 2005 @ 12:38 am | Comment

Completely clear. I hope he can stay.

June 12, 2005 @ 10:06 am | Comment

Then, Richard, I presume you are in favor of letting every illegal immigrant, who owes money that they cannot repay, stay.

June 12, 2005 @ 9:07 pm | Comment

Maybe…. I believe we can absorb a lot more immigrants and that it’s what America is all about.

June 12, 2005 @ 9:12 pm | Comment

If the “kid” gets to stay, you’ll probably find him working his young ass off as indentured laborer of some sorts for the people who brought himhere. But that’s okay since its our faults to have this well developed economy that always have room for all kind of semi-slavery labor.

June 12, 2005 @ 10:20 pm | Comment

Whatever happened to love and compassion? I want the young man to realize his dreams and not suffer Sorry if that offends youi. And I’m not the only one.

June 12, 2005 @ 10:27 pm | Comment

Oh my compassion for him’s so deep it comes out of my rearend. Bullshit on the moon’s still bullshit. I doubt its his fervent wish to work for next to nothing so as to pay off his ‘freight’;and I seriously believe hell will freeze over before he can be comfortable and unfettered enough in the new country to start having dream for how he wants his life to be if he’s not already got drafted for some kind of Chinese benevolent societies read triad and got his ass wasted in the process. But that’s only a probability and can you live with that?

June 12, 2005 @ 10:52 pm | Comment

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