Chinese in Southern California are sympathetic, worried for protesters back home.
An unanticipated consequence has been a steady flow of young Chinese citizens arriving in Southern California. This trend has coincided with the growth of Chinese communities in other cities, including major cities in the Bay Area. By law, the Department of Homeland Security can issue waivers for “aliens in transit” allowing a temporary residency status.
A small number of Chinese nationals have received this designation. The vast majority of Chinese residents can’t receive this type of temporary residency status. But they may be granted a more permanent status, which allows them to bring their families to the U.S.
The Trump administration has a long history of using executive orders signed by President Trump to bypass and circumvent Congress. One of these orders, issued this week, strips the green card of an important part of immigration law, making it harder for noncitizen parents with U.S.-born children to bring them to the U.S. The order also seeks to halt the entry of people from El Salvador, Haiti, Niger and Syria.
The order also includes a provision that would allow the Department of Homeland Security to revoke the permanent residency status of “any alien who is convicted of a felony,” without giving much further explanation. It was not immediately clear how or why a person would be able to get a green card based on a felony conviction, but the order says nothing about any crimes, including noncriminal violations of immigration law.
The Trump administration has also signed a host of bills that seek to limit immigration, including legislation called the “Dream Act” that would have made it easier for undocumented teens in the country illegally to qualify for some of the most lucrative government welfare programs.
For a growing number of Chinese in Southern California, the idea of legal residency to the United States is also enticing.
The Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles reported that Chinese immigrants with a parent or guardian living in the country have seen a steady increase in their family size. The consulate said that the number of these people has gone from 0 to 28 in five years. That’s a significant change from other Chinese communities around the country, where there has been a consistent decline.
Liu Jing, an immigration attorney in Los Angeles who specializes in Chinese immigrant cases, said that when she hears about the Trump administration crackdown on immigrants, she is worried for them.
“Those who are in the U.