PLEDGE NOW
On the Snakehead Beat

A big thanks to Patrick Radden Keefe for a fascinating hour today on China’s (and Chinese-America’s) human-smuggling business. Patrick looked at the “snakehead” smugglers based in New York City. Well before their business took off, our host Tom Ashbrook was covering snakeheads in Hong Kong for the South China Morning Post. We’ve got the photo to prove it. Scroll down for a note from Tom about his “snakehead days”…

0723TomChinaWEB

Note from Tom:

In the late 70’s, I was a rookie reporter for the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong. A huge story there in those days was the booming business of “snakeheads” smuggling people by boat from mainland China into the then far more prosperous Hong Kong. The press coverage was much like US press coverage of illegal immigrants today, with complaints that the flow of illegals from the mainland encouraged lawlessness and drove down Hong Kong wages. Hong Kong’s small military was happy to have reporters come along on their midnight patrols, looking out for snakeheads.

Patrick Radden Keefe’s description of snakeheads working out of New York brought it all back to me. This photo looks awfully stagey, but I well recall the long night and scanning the watery horizon for the the dark boats and their aspiring cargo. Some people will always be ready to face danger for a chance at a better life. And others will always be ready to be paid for offering the promise of that chance. Call them coyotes, or call them snakeheads.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Feb 12, 2016
Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., reacts to the cheering crowd at his primary night rally Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

Trump and Sanders take New Hampshire. Ferguson under fire from the Justice Department. A rocky week on Wall Street. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Feb 12, 2016
Overcast sky surrounds a man as he rests beneath the art sculpture 'Cupid’s Span' Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 at Rincon Park in San Francisco. The Bay area has endured unsettled, rainy weather for a week. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Love in the digital age. Romance, sex and expectations in a time of Tinder, Bumble and OKCupid.

RECENT
SHOWS
Feb 12, 2016
Overcast sky surrounds a man as he rests beneath the art sculpture 'Cupid’s Span' Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 at Rincon Park in San Francisco. The Bay area has endured unsettled, rainy weather for a week. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Love in the digital age. Romance, sex and expectations in a time of Tinder, Bumble and OKCupid.

 
Feb 12, 2016
Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., reacts to the cheering crowd at his primary night rally Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

Trump and Sanders take New Hampshire. Ferguson under fire from the Justice Department. A rocky week on Wall Street. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: February 12, 2016
Friday, Feb 12, 2016

Newsletters, disinterested diner women and a place for your feedback. The Internet is vast, friends.

More »
Comment
 
Tom Ashbrook Tries Tinder
Friday, Feb 12, 2016

Host Tom Ashbrook tries Tinder! (For the sake of radio research, of course)

More »
Comment
 
Notes From New Hampshire, #9: Remedy Or Replica?
Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016

Jack Beatty offers one last note from New Hampshire, and looks beyond to the primary races yet to come in both parties.

More »
Comment