The headline of the AP piece from CBS Las Vegas, calls her a “refugee” but it’s not clear if she was actually granted asylum. Hat tip: ‘pungentpeppers.’
LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Chinese woman who says she sought asylum in the U.S. after taking part in pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989 was sentenced in Las Vegas to nearly four years in federal prison for her role in a multi-million dollar casino baccarat fraud scheme.
Irene Li’s lawyer, Assistant Federal Public Defender William Carrico, said Thursday he’s virtually certain his 53-year-old client will be deported to China after her 47 months in prison.
Li pleaded guilty in October to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in a plea deal that had other charges against her dismissed.
U.S. District Judge Andrew Gordon also ordered Li on Wednesday to repay $2.2 million in damages to five Las Vegas casinos.
Officials say Li’s husband remains a fugitive in the case.
A more detailed story about the case is here.
Chinese make up the largest percentage of asylum seekers granted permission to stay in the US
Go to Table 6, page 6 of the Department of Homeland Securities 2012 Annual Flow Report. Here are the stats for Chinese given refugee status (after arriving in the US on their own either illegally or as visa overstays).
2010: 6,693 Chinese granted asylum (31% of the total)
2011: 8,585 (34%)
2012: 10,151 (34%)
By the way, a large number of Chinese men are being granted asylum because they tell immigration judges they want to have more than one child and that is grounds for admission! Once asylum is granted, the asylee can access all of the welfare programs open to refugees. See our fact sheet.