A Seattle Reader Reports Canadian Immigration Sex Scandal In Beijing
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From: Bill Price, Seattle, WA:
Kevin Grace`s article concerning
immigration to Canada piqued my interest for a
couple of reasons.
As a Seattlite, I am somewhat alarmed by the huge
transformation that Vancouver has undergone in the last
fifteen years. Illegal immigration across the northern
border, a phenomenon unheard of during my childhood, has
become commonplace, and has included the
Ahmed Ressam, who planned to blow up targets in LA.
Although these developments are sufficient to raise
my provincial ire, I also personally witnessed the
corruption and abuses of the Canadian immigration
machine while living and working in Beijing from
Because the foreign community in Beijing is a
tightly-bound, marginalized group of people, there are
few secrets between its members. This, together with the
fact that the white community in China is overwhelmingly
male, led to a clubhouse atmosphere where men would
speak freely about any topic they pleased.
A couple of my young, Canadian coworkers eventually
obtained jobs at the Chinese embassy processing visa
applications. They were naturally happy about their
government jobs and the benefits that came along with
unrestricted access to the embassy, but what pleased
them most was the effect their positions had on young
Chinese women who wanted to get out of China.
After a long day`s work on a sweltering, oppressive
summer day, we would relax at pubs on Sanlitun,
Beijing`s notorious embassy street and favorite
foreigner hang-out, drinking tall glasses of cold beer.
After a few beers, we`d get to talking about an
interesting subject: women. Those Canadian embassy boys
sure had some tales to tell!
They`d laugh and slap their thighs as they related
stories about girls chasing them down with phone numbers
as though they were rock stars or pro ball players.
"You can`t beat `em off with a stick," said
one of the Canadians. And they ate it up. I`d see them
with one woman on Saturday night, and another on Sunday
Sometimes, the Canadians would tell me about the
real, working part of their jobs. One told me: "95%
of the visa applications we go through are blatant
forgeries." When I asked him what they could rely
on, he replied that a bank account of over $100,000 was
a major factor, but other things were important, too.
"It`s like a game," he said, explaining the
mysteries of the Canadian immigration system, "they
know it and we know it. If they treat us right, we help
What he meant, of course, was that if Chinese women
were willing to get in bed with officials, they stood a
better chance of clinching a visa.
The Canadians never mentioned cash bribes to me, but
we all know that`s nothing to brag about over a cold
November 28, 2002