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Jacksonville, Florida, restaurant manager to seek asylum

The 35-year-old manager of a Jacksonville restaurant received a four month sentence after pleading guilty to charges of harboring illegal immigrants. The short sentence is expected to end next week. The man was given credit for time served and the judge ordered the man be held for seven days to allow immigration officials sufficient time for the man to be transferred to immigration custody. The 35-year-old faces potential deportation to China.

The immigrant is expected to raise the deportation defense of asylum when he appears in immigration court. He man fled China when he was a teenager. China has a strict one-child policy for parents. The 35-year-old man is the father of four U.S. citizens. All four of his children were born in this country. Because of the one-child policy in China, the man could face forcible sterilization in China if he is deported to the country, despite the fact that his children were born in the United States.

The U.S. State Department says the Chinese government does not officially force sterilization or force abortions upon pregnant persons who violate the country's one-child policy. Despite the official position of the government, it is believed that the practice is widespread in some provinces of the country.

The Florida restaurant manager was arrested in December on charges alleging he employed four undocumented aliens at the café he managed. He was also charged with harboring an illegal immigrant. The harboring charge related to his wife who is also from China. The man and his wife each are in the country illegally. The 35-year-old pled guilty to the charges in February.

Source: The Florida Times-Union, "Beloved Jacksonville café manager faces next battle: Deportation," Paul Pinkham 11 Apr 2011

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