Village Voice 05.10.2017 : Page 5

W hen ICE arrested Tony later that summer, he was brought to a section of the Bergen County Jail in New Jersey nicknamed Chinatown for its Chinese detainees. ICE contracts with places like Bergen, which it pays an estimated $200 a night for a de-tainee to stay in a wing that advocates say has worse conditions than most prisons. Immigration lawyers asked for $50,000 to take on Tony’s case. “I’m not sure your father stands a chance,” Tracy warned her kids. The next week, they visited Tony. They found him on the other side of a glass parti-tion, wearing an orange jumpsuit, weeping. “I don’t want you to bring the kids to visit,” Tony told Tracy. “It’s too painful for them to see me like this.” “No,” Tracy replied. “Your whole family is here for you.” As he struggled to make sense of his situation, Tony met other green-card holders whose criminal cases had long been resolved — paid for in probation, fines, or prison time. Some, like Tony, had been rearrested after traveling internationally. A law designated them “arriving aliens” be-cause of their criminal record. This, Tony learned from other detainees, triggered deportation proceedings. Some planned to represent them-selves at their hearings, to hasten de-portation. At least that way they could work in their home country and send money to family in New York. Tony NEIGHBORHOODS Exploring cuisine, immigration, and Chinatown’s underworld. Literally. BY JOSHUA DAVID STEIN • ILLUSTRATION BY MATT HUYNH eather Lee, preeminent scholar of Chinese restaurants in America and assistant pro-fessor at NYU Shanghai, and I, just a guy, were making our way through the dry storage of Pul-queria, a Chinatown bar, on a recent Friday night. We had just left Chi-nese Tuxedo, the high-end contem-porary-Cantonese restaurant that opened in the crook of Doyers Street’s elbow ten days after the presidential election. With Trump’s hundredth day in office having just passed, much of the country was feeling like us: lost in a subterranean 5 May 10 -May 16, 2017 FORGET IT, JAKE H VILLAGE passage with no way out. It was Lee’s idea to go tunnel hunting in the first place. In the early years of last century, as she well knew, an entire network of well-organized tunnels coursed through Chinatown, used by crimi-nal gangs called tongs and serving as underground arteries for the illicit. Today, only one tunnel remains, and it is bricked up in the bottom-most floor of Chinese Tuxedo’s tri-ple-basement space. Postprandially, we were searching for the open end. But that Chinese Tuxedo, a daz-zling nexus of succulents, suits, and sex appeal in a former opera house, contains the terminus of one of the last tunnels wasn’t even the reason we were there. We are living at the dawn of a new nativism, and I wanted to check in with those who know how this might affect the way we eat, now and in the future. There seemed no better place to do this than at Chinese Tuxedo, and no better person to do it with than Professor Heather Lee. Few ethnic groups have been more baldly discriminated against in America than the Chinese, the targets of 1882’s frustrat->> p9 One of the officers said Tony would be home soon. He was gone for over eight months. feared he might have to do the same. On September 16, guards awoke Tony at 2 a.m. and announced he was headed for the Varick Street court-house in Manhattan. Tony saw other detainees pulling extra socks over their feet and hands. That was the Varick uniform, meant to protect against the bone-chilling cold of the courthouse waiting room. Tony planned to represent him-self, but at Varick, he met Zoey Jones, an attorney with Brooklyn Defender Services. BDS is part of the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP), which provides free rep-resentation to detainees whose household income is less than 200 percent of the national poverty level. Tony qualified. With the prospect of a drawn-out case, Tony entered the conundrum at the heart of Jennings v. Rodriguez : whether he was entitled to a bond hearing. Michael Tan, an ACLU >> p6

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