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Security Checks Make Immigration to USA Difficult - LexisNexis Expert Author Stephen Yale-Loehr

April 24, 2015 (1 min read)

"Legal experts say that corrupt officials have chosen the United States and Canada as their escape haven because the quality of life is simply better.

On Wednesday, Beijing’s anti-graft watchdog released a detailed list of 100 fugitives as a part of its “Sky Net” anti-corruption operation. The fugitives are subject to Interpol red notices that appeal for the location, arrest and extradition of each suspect.

Of the 100 names released, Chinese authorities believe 40 are residing in the United States and 26 in Canada. The third most popular destination is New Zealand, with up to 20 fugitives, followed by Australia, Singapore, and Thailand.

“These are natural destinations for them,” as many of them probably had friends and relatives already settled in those countries, said Jean Francois Harvey, a Hong Kong-based immigration law expert.

“The bigger question is how did they get there? Sponsorship? Family? Work permits?” Harvey said. “All four of the top countries have rigorous due diligence processes for investor visas.”

Stephen Yale-Loehr, a professor of immigration law at Cornell University, agreed.

“Fugitives may like the United States because of the quality of life”, he said. “But it is hard for someone from China to immigrate to the US legally, because of the long backlog of Chinese applications in most green card categories and the extensive criminal background and security checks the US immigration agency runs on all green card applicants.”

Forty eight of the wanted 100 are former heads of government departments or corporations, while the remainder are a mix of police, accountants, corporate treasurers and bank staff.

They mainly originate from China’s wealthy eastern seaboard, including eight from Zhejiang province and seven each from Beijing, Hebei, and Jiangsu. The wealthy southern province of Guangdong leads with 15.

Most of the fugitives are suspected of corruption, taking bribes, embezzling public funds and money laundering." -  Angela Meng, SCMP, Apr. 24, 2015.