Chinese immigrants are taking the dangerous journey to the US for a better life, flying from China to Ecuador, crossing the rainforest on foot, and then traveling through Mexico by car and bus before crossing the border.
Many are drawn to Monterey Park, a suburb of L.A., where they can find cheap accommodations and work without needing a work permit. However, the usual route of flying to the US on a tourist visa and overstaying has become more difficult in recent years, leading to increased desperation among immigrants.
Some are escaping economic hardship and pandemic lockdowns in China, while others are seeking to escape political oppression. The number of Chinese migrants encountered at the Mexican border has risen sharply, from about 200 a month in late 2019 to nearly 3,200 in April 2021.
The local Chinese community has been divided in its response, with some volunteering to help the newcomers and others complaining about their illegal status.
Read more at the LA Times.