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Palgrave Macmillan

Financing Illegal Migration

Chinese Underground Banks and Human Smuggling in New York City

ISBN 9781137290892
Publication Date November 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Transnational Crime, Crime Control and Security

Smuggling people into industrialized countries has become a growing industry globally, and Chinese human smuggling represents a significant source of illegal immigration. The financing of the illegal immigration process, however, is a vastly under explored area. This book provides an in-depth understanding of the relationship between informal financial systems, illegal migration and human smuggling, tracing a trajectory of the evolution of Chinese underground banks in the US over the past two decades.

With a focus on a border-spanning informal financial system from the perspective of their clients, this book elicits firsthand information from an extremely understudied population illustrating the motivation, patterns, and tendencies of their use of illegal fund transfer systems. Through extensive ethnographic fieldwork, this study illuminates the varied experiences of the undocumented Chinese immigrant population, providing revealing insights into the financial element of the migration and settlement process.

Alongside discussion of policy implications for law enforcement in the US and China, Zhao explores whether Chinese underground banks represent a key mechanism in the larger social problem of illegal migration aided through human smuggling. Moreover, the book addresses the important question: is the Chinese underground banking system an integral part of organized crime, or is it a new type of ethnic-specific illegal enterprise?

Linda Shuo Zhao is currently Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at University of the District of Columbia, USA. She received her PhD degree in Criminal Justice from Temple University and her research interests include criminology theory, transnational crime and the relationship between juvenile delinquency and structural and cultural context.

PART I: INTRODUCTION
1. Organized Crime or Illegal Enterprises
2. Research on Chinese Underground Banks
3. Chinese underground banks in the US-bound Illegal Immigration through Human Smuggling
PART II: CHINESE UNDERGROUND BANKS IN CHINA AND THE OVERSEAS OPERATION IN THE UNITED STATES
4. Historical Background of Chinese Underground Banks: P'iao-hao and Qianzhuang, Old-style Native Banks
5. Re-emergence of Chinese Underground Banks in Mainland China: State Policy and the Financial Environment
6. Regional Variance in Growth of Underground Banks in Fujian
7. Underground Banks in the Migratory Waves in the United States
PART III: THE MAIN CLIENTELE AND OPERATORS OF UNDERGROUND BANKS
8. The Main Clientele of Underground Banks
9. Individuals Operating Underground Banks and Operating Style 
PART IV: THE UNDERGROUND BANKS IN U.S.- BOUND ILLEGAL MIGRATION AIDED THROUGH HUMAN SMUGGLING
10. The Central Role of Dialect-based Networks
11. Illegal Immigrants' Use of Underground Banks
12. The Shift Away from the Use of Underground Banks in Remittance Flows
13. The Role of Underground Banks in Illegal Migration Aided Through Human Smuggling 
PART V: THE EVOLVING CHANGE OF UNDERGROUND BANKS
14. Key Findings
15. Practical Implications
16. Policy Implications
Conclusion


Reviews

"This seminal work on underground banks in New York's Chinatown sheds light not only on the inner workings of a secretive banking system, but also on the broader issues of human smuggling, organized crime, and national security. Through the examination of the transnational movement of money, Linda Shuo Zhao provides a rich and nuanced account of the lives of smuggled Chinese in the United States."
- Ko-lin Chin, Rutgers School of Criminal Justice, USA
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