Snakehead : An Epic Tale of the Chinatown Underworld and the American Dream, by Keefe, Patrick Radden
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- ISBN: 9780385521307 | 0385521308
- Cover: Hardcover
- Copyright: 7/21/2009
Cheng Chui Ping slipped into the United States in the early 1980s, part of a huge wave of Chinese immigrants hoping to realize the American Dream. Her path to that dream began with an underground bank for illegal immigrants run out of a noodle shop in New York City's Chinatown. She became known as Sister Ping and built a global people-smuggling conglomerate that stretched from China's Fujian province to Africa, Europe, and South America, relying on one of Chinatown's most violent gangs to protect her power and profits. Sister Ping's empire came to light in 1993, when a ship loaded with 300 near-starving immigrants ran aground off Queens. It took New York's fabled "Jade Squad" and the FBI nearly ten years to untangle the criminal network and home in on its mastermind. Sister Pingfinally convicted in 2005is currently in prison. Before her capture she amassed an estimated mind-boggling $40 million. THE SNAKEHEAD is a panoramic tale of international intrigue and an inside look at a remarkably successful illegal enterprise and the undocumented immigrants who both fear and depend on it. It is a story about the conflicted issue of immigration in the United States, and a moving exploration of what it means to beand to becomeAmerican.