How Far Would You Go for Freedom? | God's World News

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How Far Would You Go for Freedom?
Citizen Ship
Posted: July 01, 2023
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    Migrants from China walk out from thick brush in Fronton, Texas. (Reuters)
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    Chinese travelers are ferried across the Rio Grande river from Mexico to Texas. (Reuters)
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    A Chinese man asks to keep his Bible after being directed to place his valuables in a plastic bag. (Reuters)
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    These children came with their families from China to Texas. (Reuters)
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    Police in Panama check Chinese migrants who walked from Colombia. (AP/Natacha Pisarenko)
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The trek’s name doesn’t sound brutal. People call it “The Route” and “The Big Beautiful.” But it’s 2,300 miles long. It runs through South and Central America. You have to slog through jungle. You have to cross the Rio Grande.

The goal? Reach the U.S.-Mexico border. What’s the fastest growing people group trying to enter the U.S.? The Chinese.

Beijing, China, is 13 hours ahead of Quito, Ecuador. A flight covers over 9,500 miles. Yet Ecuador is a hot spot for Chinese migrants. They can enter Ecuador without a visa.

People need certain documents to travel. A passport lets people travel from one country to another. A visa permits people to stay in a country for a set length of time. Chinese migrants hope to reach America to stay. Law requires that they have visas.

Most migrants learn about “The Route” from social media. Sites guide migrants and offer helpful tips. (Bring Crocs and hiking boots. Hire a travel guide.) China blocks Twitter. But users can find a way to access banned sites using private networks.

From October 2022 to April 2023, border officials stopped about 6,500 Chinese migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. Some are business owners. They lost money during China’s pandemic lockdowns. They want to start over in the United States. Many others are Christians. China restricts religion. The government closed around 7,000 churches over the last two years. These brothers and sisters in Christ seek a place where they can worship freely.

The language gap challenges U.S. border staff who work to manage the flow of immigrants. One man gave himself up to agents in Fronton, Texas, in April. He held a sign in Mandarin. The translation? “Democracy, Freedom.”

Why? Many migrants leave their homelands because they want the same things we all hope to enjoy, such as safety, enough income to live on, and freedom to worship. But managing immigrants is a challenge for any country to do well.