Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A Dispatch from Toronto

The following article is from The Star Newspaper in Toronto Canada.

As a Korean-Canadian, I am extremely disturbed and shameful to read that Koreans have been engaging in an illicit business of human-smuggling across the border between Canada and USA, since the Canadian Government had allowed them enter into Canada without visa.

I have lost my words what to say more about my compatriots, except to describe Korea as "the culturally crassest nation of rice-bowl worshippers".

Shame on them!!

Nov 29, 2007
Noor Javed Staff reporter

They picked up their clients from Pearson International Airport and drove them to residences and safe houses in the GTA, where they were fed and housed until they were ready to make their next move.

When the time was right, the smugglers drove them to Quebec and the Vermont border, where they crossed the border on foot, headed for waiting cars and, ultimately, U.S. cities on the east coast.

Yesterday, U.S. federal prosecutors said they have dismantled two human smuggling operations based out of Toronto and Montreal that had helped hundreds of people enter the U.S illegally since 2004.

The immigrants came to Canada mostly from Korea, but also Pakistan, India and Central America. Eight people have been arrested, including four in Ontario and one in Montreal. Court documents indicate that the smugglers charged fees of up to $10,000 per person to smuggle people across to the U.S."

As far as we know it was mostly Koreans, and it was mixed gender, both male and female," said Cpl. Cathy McCrory, a spokeswoman with the RCMP.
"They used Canada as a conduit into the U.S. because they could enter into the country without a visa. But to get into the U.S. was a different story.

"They are entitled to be in Canada, there is no requirement for a visa or anything of that nature," said McCrory.
"When you go into the U.S. and you attempt to enter legally and you don't have the paperwork, they will simply refuse you entry."

The would-be immigrants were guided into the U.S on footpaths, and advised how to avoid roads and official points of entry. Most were told to simply run through the dense forest lining the border.

Once successfully across, they would walk, often for miles, to where a car was waiting to drive them to New York City, Boston, or other East Coast cities. "
They rarely ever stayed in Vermont," said McCrory.
"Their main goal was to probably get to New York City and blend with the local communities there."

U.S. Homeland Security asked the RCMP for help in cracking down on the rings earlier this year.
Two indictments charged 11 people. McCrory says that no more individuals in Ontario are at large.

"The people that we were responsible for arresting have all been arrested, there are no more outstanding warrants.
"The leaders of the Toronto operation are alleged to be a Canadian husband and wife team of Chol Min Jang, 49, and Seonee Jang, 44.
Also arrested in Ontario was Sang Hoon Lee, 25, of Toronto and Jun Park, 50, of Windsor.Jose Manuel Galdamez-Serrano, 54, a native of El Salvador who was recently arrested by the RCMP, allegedly led the ring out of Montreal.

U.S. Attorney Thomas Anderson said efforts are being made to extradite the suspects to the United States.
If convicted, they could get up to 15 years in prison on each smuggling charge.
But McCrory says Chol Min Jang and Seonee Jang can fight extradition.
"Since (they) are Canadian citizens, they will be able to fight the extradition, and they probably will," she said.

"The other two will also go through some formal hearing process – they won't simply be handed over."
The Border Patrol Swanton Sector, which runs from Ogdensburg N.Y., east to Vermont, is considered a prime area for human smuggling because of its proximity to Montreal and Toronto and three interstate highways – Interstate 87 in New York, Interstate 89 in Vermont, and Interstate 91 in Vermont

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