Monday, December 10, 2007


Wei Min (written in Chinese, translated 2008 into English)
1973-Feb vol 2 no 5, page 9

WM Editor (This was submitted to WM by “Uncle Do.” This was his summation of his life. It mentioned several historical facts that were of major significance: (1) his answering the call to join the US Army to fight fascism and (2) US government’s persecution of the Chinese American “left” through the “Confession Program” in the late 1950’s through the ‘60’s.)

Letter from a reader….


“People’s life in pre-liberation days in Canton was very difficult. The future was bleak for the young generation growing up. Many, many young men wanted to find ways to immigrate to the U.S. to improve their lot. But due to the cruelly restrictive U.S. immigration laws of the time, the most likely route was to spend money to buy a U.S. citizen paper, pretending to be someone else’s son.

If one were unfortunate enough to be caught, he would be put into the ‘detention center,’ sometimes for one or two years, before being deported back to China. Everyone knew, the so-called “detention center” was actually a jail. The hardship inside was difficult to fathom.

The author of this article, Mr. Do, used the fore-mentioned method to gain entrance to the US.

The year was 1930--Hoover was President. The economy was in deep depression. The common people were unable to etch out a living. Countless of the laboring masses were unemployed. With the help of relatives, Mr. Do went to work in a large farm as a laborer. During the winter season when the farm was closed, he would return to live in Chinatown. At night, he would attend English classes sponsored by the church in hope of learning a little English to improve future employment prospect. After awhile, he obtained a job working as a servant in a wealthy household.

In 1941, after the “Pearl Harbor Incident”, US declared war on Japan. The US Communist Party of the time called on all believers of communism and anti-fascism to enlist in the (US) Army. Mr. Do joined the U.S. Army to make his contribution to the international struggle against fascism. After the war, he received an honorable discharge. At that time, many unmarried Chinese went back to China to bring back a “war bride.” Mr. Do went back and married Miss Owyang.

A year after returning to the US, he and his friend, Mr. Lo, jointly owned and ran a small grocery store to support their families. Things went well the first several years until the start of the Korean War when the newly opened supermarkets of the big capitalists clobbered the small grocery stores like the one belonging to Mr. Do and Mr. Lo.

In 1958, Mr. Lo was persecuted by the US Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). But INS had no hard evidence against him.

Then in 1960, the INS learned that Mr. Do came into the US under false identity. INS attempted to force Mr. Do to ‘confess’.

When a person underwent ‘confession’, he must ‘confess’ everything. In this process, Mr. Do may end up divulging information that would incriminate Mr. Lo.

By this time, Mr. Do had a wife and two children, ages 13 and 10. Mr. Do was confronted with such a horrible prospect. He had no choice but to consult a lawyer. He concluded after analyzing the situation with the lawyer that if he were to “confess”, this would not only betray his friend; which Mr. Do would never do; but he would also be called upon to provide further testimony. In the majority of the cases, any testimony would be used to prosecute other Chinese. If this were to happen, there would be no end to the trouble and there would never be a peaceful day. Therefore, he decided to face pressure from the INS.

At the time, the immigration laws were being gradually reformed and becoming more lenient than the past. It was to Mr. Do’s advantage to delay the process a year, or even a day. There was no recognized diplomatic relationship between China and the US. Given the fact that Mr. Do had originally come to the US directly from China, (if he were to be deported) Hong Kong could not accept him. If he were to be deported to Taiwan, he would surely be persecuted as being a ‘leftist’. Such a deportation would violate his human rights. Another possibility was to be jailed in the U.S.

Given all these, Mr. Do was still determined to face the INS in court. The judge finally dismissed the case because Mr. Do had served in the U.S. Army in WWII battlefields for three years. And that he had no previous criminal record.

Later, Mr. Do fought in the US courts with the help of lawyers for two years and finally won back his right to U.S. citizenship.

Last year, Mr. Do and his wife longings to see their homeland, made a trip to visit China. They received a warm welcome in Beijing. This was indeed a reward for Mr. Do for his life-long loyalty and honesty, as well as for his unwillingness to betray the interest of the people.