Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Korean woman says she'll be forced into prostitution if deported

Canadian Press
Dec. 15, 2005 07:10 AM

VANCOUVER, Canada - A South Korean family fearing for their lives is hoping the support of Fort Nelson residents will sway Canadian Immigration officials from deporting them.

Eun Ju Jung, 18, said the family received a deportation order Oct. 24 but that it was extended to Wednesday and nervously await the next move by immigration officials.

Jung said she, her older sister and their parents are afraid to go back to Korea because her father owes a $7 million US debt.
"My father was involved in a corruption scandal in Korea," she said in a telephone interview from Fort Nelson in northern B.C. "We don't want to go back because there's a lot of people looking for my parents, my family."

She said gangsters hired to collect the massive debt will force her and her 22-year-old sister to work as prostitutes.

Jung said she doesn't know many of the details involving her father's shady past, for which he spent 2½ years in prison, but that their lives will be in danger if Canadian officials don't allow them to stay in Canada.

"I just know that I can't go back to Korea because there's a lot of gangsters who's looking for me and my sister to sell us to a whorehouse."

"They want the money but my parents doesn't have any money to pay them back."

While the Jungs' attempts to stay in Canada as refugee claimants have so far failed, they're hoping support from the community, including the mayor and Conservative MP Jay Hill, will help their cause.

Complicating matters is the fact that Jung's father, Kyu Man Jung, was diagnosed with terminal stomach and liver cancer in October.

Jung said she, her sister and mother went to Los Angeles in 1997 while her father was in jail. The family reunited in Vancouver in 2000 after her father was released from prison.

In August 2004, they moved to the northern B.C. town of Fort Nelson, where the women in the family work in a motel.

Mayor Chris Morey said the Jungs are hard working and should get a chance to remain in Canada under humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

"We're looking at two young women and a mother looking at starting a new life," she said. "They claim that they're in danger to go back. All I can remark on is the fact that they seem so genuine and sincere."

Ken Yoon, also of Fort Nelson, said he has loaned the Jungs a mobile home to live in.

Yoon said Jung's wife will also be in trouble if she returns to Korea because she was involved in running her husband's business in which he worked as a dealer selling government bonds and car licences.

"There's a real tragedy that they try to kick out a dying man," Yoon said of Canada's immigration officials. "They really need help."


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