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11 Chinese Illegal Immigrants Escape; 10 Caught

June 04, 1993|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

FRESNO — Eleven illegal Chinese immigrants seized on fishing boats this week escaped Wednesday night when the government bus transporting them to Kern County stopped for gas in Fresno.

According to the U.S. Border Patrol, the Chinese nationals forced open a door in the rear of the bus. By Thursday night 10 of the 11 immigrants had been rounded up by Border Patrol officers and Fresno police and sheriff's deputies.

They were among the 300 Chinese taken off fishing boats near Santa Cruz on Wednesday. Alan Dwelley, a Border Patrol spokesman in Livermore, said the bus was stopped at an Exxon station along California 99 in northwest Fresno when the 11 illegal immigrants "somehow broke through a secured door."

Three immigrants were picked up after demanding to use the phone at a nearby home. The homeowner contacted the Fresno County Sheriff's Department on one phone while the immigrants used another. One immigrant managed to reach Madera County, several miles to the north, before being captured.

Dwelley said the Chinese--disheveled and speaking only a few words of English--were easy to spot in the rural outskirts of Fresno.

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