Organized International Asylum-Seeker Networks: Formation and Utilization by the Chinese Students
Source TitleInternational Migration Review
University of Melbourne Author/sGao, Jia
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsGAO, J. (2006). Organized International Asylum-Seeker Networks: Formation and Utilization by the Chinese Students. International Migration Review, 40 (2), pp.294-317. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1747-7379.2006.00018.x.
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C1 - Refereed Journal Article
This article examines the formation and role of international networks formed by Chinese students living in the West in the late 1980s and early 1990s as part of their efforts to obtain the right to remain in Western countries in the immediate aftermath of the Tiananmen Square violence of June 4, 1989. Various forms of migrant social networks have been a research focus in international refugee and migration studies, but international networks formed by asylum seekers themselves, and their role in asylum-seeking processes, have been largely ignored. This article is based on a multi-method comparative study of Chinese students living in Australia and the United States at the time. Their experience provides data for examining and conceptualizing the role of organized international asylum-seeker networks in the asylum-seeking process. The analysis focuses on Chinese student lobbying in 1989, led by an independent Chinese student union, which helped "the Pelosi Bill" to be passed by the U.S. Congress. The main strategies adopted by Chinese students in the United States and Australia, as well as their internationally coordinated actions, are compared. Also examined is the role of two politicized international Chinese student organizations, the Chinese Alliance for Democracy and the Federation for Democratic China, in assisting students with obtaining residence.
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