Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Oppressive measures such as the “one-child” policy — and Beijing’s refusal to take back most people who are deported from the U.S. — have left the U.S. with more asylum seekers from China than any other nation.

Expand chart
Data: Department of Homeland Security. Affirmative asylum includes people who apply right away, defensive asylum includes people who were already in deportation proceedings. Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Why it matters: This has long been a point of tension between the two world powers. Beijing blames the U.S. for enticing Chinese nationals to leave by granting them asylum, but the U.S. blames China for what it perceives to be oppressive policies and for making it difficult to deport people back to China.

By the numbers:

  • 80% of Chinese defensive asylum claims — those made while already in deportation proceedings — were approved between 2012 and 2017, compared to 21% for Salvadorans and 12% for Mexicans, according to data collected from immigration courts by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University.
  • And affirmative asylum, which can be claimed by an immigrant as soon as they arrive in the U.S., is generally easier to win.
  • China is a big country, but India — which is almost as populous and sends as many immigrants to the U.S. — has far fewer who claim asylum.

What drives Chinese nationals to the U.S., and leads to their high asylum approval rates:

  1. The “one-child” policy, which went into effect in 1980 and spurred widespread infanticide and forced abortions, was a compelling argument for claiming asylum. The recent decline in asylum seekers coincides with the relaxation of the policy starting in 2013. The policy officially ended in 2016.
  2. Political dissidents came to the U.S. from China in huge numbers after the Tianamen Square protests in 1989. The nearly 80,000 Chinese nationals who claimed political asylum in the months following the protests were almost all granted legal status, according to Yun Sun, who runs the China program at the Stimson Center.
  3. Religious dissidents include Chinese nationals who practice Islam and Christianity — as well as those who practice Falun Gong, a pseudo-Buddhist faith, Sun says.

Even if asylum is denied, many Chinese immigrants find themselves stuck in the U.S. with deportation orders as Beijing often refuses to allow their return, Doris Meissner, a former Immigration and Naturalization Service commissioner and senior fellow at Migration Policy Institute, tells Axios.

In 2017, just 525 Chinese nationals were successfully deported —up from 398 the year before. Meissner says that under the Trump administration, “DHS and ICE are under strong pressure to increase the pressure on these countries, including China, and get higher numbers of returns.”

The bottom line: There are sweeping actions the U.S. can take against countries that don't readily accept deportees — such as Cuba, Iran, Morocco and Vietnam — like refusing to issue visas to their citizens. But in China’s case, this strategy doesn’t make practical or political sense, Meissner says. China is a key economic partner, and it’s just too big.

Go deeper: Trump inherited a surge of Central Americans seeking asylum

Go deeper

4 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.

The week markets went wild

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio

The markets just closed out a manic week.

Why it matters: Outsized — and in some cases historic — moves were evident across the board.