Friday, June 7, 2013

Golden Venture aground 20 years ago

Today, Storycorps has a 20th anniversary vignette from one of the most revealing episodes in American immigration history, the Golden Venture.  Restricting immigration here supports forced depopulation there.  "There," of course, varies -- sometimes China, sometimes Africa, most often today latin America.  Anti-immigration propaganda encourages Americans to feel that we are crowded and being pushed beyond our capacity to help, even though we the richest country in the world with a population density that is about 2/3 of the global average.  If we are over-crowded, then the world is tremendously over-populated!  But beyond the propaganda, when we refuse to accept immigrants and refuse to offer an escape, we are complicit in the brutal depopulation policies of emigrant nations.

Shengqiao Chen, left, met Zehao Zhou while in prison waiting for asylum. Zhou was his translator. Here, Zhou shares memorabilia with Chen — twenty years after the Golden Venture arrived in the U.S.