cops raid two houses, find thirty chinese guys living inside

Whoa. Last week in Jersey City, authorities raided two homes over two days and found thirty Chinese immigrants -- supposedly working for the Chinese government -- living illegally in "firetrap" conditions: Raids at two Jersey City homes find 30 Chinese immigrant men living in "firetrap" conditions, and owners are issued summonses.

According to city officials, the men are in the country legally, and supposedly work for a construction company operated by the Chinese Consulate in New York. That's really not the problem. The problem was the crappy, cramped living situation, and the fact that at both buildings, the door was padlocked every night:
At a one-family home at 210 Pavonia Ave. authorities found 15 Chinese men and 28 beds Wednesday. Yesterday, at a two-family home at 354 Wayne St., authorities found 15 more Chinese men and 32 beds in a messy home with makeshift clotheslines strung across rooms.

At each building, Jersey City Fire Director Armando Roman said, the door was padlocked each night and one man held the key.

"They were definitely firetraps," Roman said. "If there was ever a fire there at night, it would have been a disaster."

The immigrants, who told city officials their passports are being withheld from them, seemed to take the early morning raid in stride. Members of the Mayor's Task Force, Police and Fire departments, and city housing code officials took part in the raid yesterday morning.

City officials said they believe the men are in the country legally. They were told the men work for a construction company operated by the Chinese Consuate in New York. No one could be reached at the consulate yesterday.
The owners to the two homes were issued summonses for [a crapload of] fire, housing and zoning violations. But no real explanation from anyone about why all these Chinese guys were locked up and looking like they were living in a submarine. More here: Jersey City police raid uncovers Chinese immigrants, illegal rooming house, authorities say.

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