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纽约月子中心刺婴案:华人月嫂为何向婴儿挥刀

更新时间:2018-10-11 20:13:33 来源:千亿千亿国际娱乐官网 作者:佚名

A Suicidal Nanny, an Underground Industry and 3 Babies Stabbed
纽约月子中心刺婴案:华人月嫂为何向婴儿挥刀

Dark circles formed like warning signs beneath Yu Fen Wang’s eyes as she worked 12-hour graveyard shifts in a Queens maternity center that operated on the margins of legality. Her family said she had grown gaunt, could not sleep and told her husband she no longer wanted to live.

王玉芬(音)在皇后区一家打法律擦边球的月子中心上了12个小时的夜班,黑眼圈开始像警告信号一样在她的眼睛下方出现。她的家人说她变得日渐憔悴,无法入睡,她还告诉丈夫说自己不想活了。

Her employers, however, said they needed her to work. And her family needed the money. She earned less than $100 a day, they said, working in a private house that had been converted into a combined nursery and hotel for newborn babies and their mothers.

然而,她的雇主却说他们需要她。她的家人也需要这笔钱。他们说,她每天挣不到100美元,在一家被改造为月子中心的私人住宅里工作。

An open secret in the Flushing community, the center was part of an underground industry catering to a demanding clientele: local mothers resting after childbirth and Chinese visitors coming to have their babies in the United States, a practice known as “birth tourism.”

作为法拉盛社区一个公开的秘密,这家中心是为了满足高需求客户的地下行业的一部分:当地生完孩子的母亲在这里休养,以及来美国生孩子的中国人,这种做法被称为“生育旅游”。

On Sept. 21, at 3:40 a.m., these dangers collided to near-fatal effect when, the police say, Mrs. Wang stabbed three babies sleeping in bassinets on the first floor — all girls — and two adults. She then turned the knife on her own neck and wrists.

9月21日凌晨3点40分,那些危险信号加在一起,带来了近乎致命的影响。警方说,当时王玉芬用刀刺向在一楼摇篮中熟睡的三名婴儿——都是女婴——以及两名大人。随后她将刀转向自己的脖子和手腕。

The victims all survived. But the horrific act turned a spotlight on a pocket of immigrant New York, where a loose network of businesses tend to mothers and infants in the crucial, fragile month after childbirth but operate without any government oversight. The center, Mei Xin Care, is one of dozens in the area that vary widely in amenities and quality, leaving workers with few avenues for complaint, and families with little to guide them other than word of mouth, internet advertisements and blind trust.

受害者均得以生还。但这一恐怖行径让人们开始关注纽约移民社区的一角,在那里,一个管理宽松的生意网络在没有任何政府监管的情况下,在女性生完孩子关键且体弱的几个月里照料这些母亲和婴儿。这家“美心月子中心”(Mei Xin Care,音)是该地区数十家设施和质量良莠不齐的月子中心中的一家,员工基本上投诉无门。除了口口相传、网上的广告和盲目信任,产妇家人基本上也没有什么外界指导。

“There are victims at all sides of the spectrum,” said Assemblyman Ron Kim, a Democrat who represents Queens.

“各界都有受害者,”皇后区民主党众议员金兑锡(Ron Kim)表示。

Centers like this one — which was alternately known as Mei Bao, or “beautiful baby” in Chinese — provide two services. The first is for newly-arrived immigrant mothers practicing a Chinese tradition some 1,000 years old in which they recuperate for a month after childbirth while other women, often called “aunties,” care for their infants. Authorities said the centers also provide assistance to women from China who wish to give birth in the United States in order to obtain instant citizenship for their children, which is legal under immigration law.

这家月子中心还有一个名字是“美宝”,在中文里意为“美丽的宝贝”,这样的中心提供两种服务。第一种服务针对新来美国的移民母亲,遵循一种拥有约千年历史的传统,中国母亲们会在生产后花一个月的时间进行休养,同时其他被称为“阿姨”的女子照顾她们的婴儿。当局表示,这些月子中心还协助希望能在美国生产,以便子女立即获得公民身份的中国女性,这么做是符合移民法律的。

There are some 40 such maternity centers — in private homes and apartments — advertising their services online in the New York and New Jersey area, and nearly 20 in the Flushing neighborhood.

在纽约和新泽西地区,有约40家这样的月子中心——位于私人住宅和公寓里——在网上为自己的服务打广告,而法拉盛就有近20家。

At Mei Xin Care, employees were paid off the books, Mrs. Wang’s family said. One of its nannies, Darong Wang, 63, got the job despite being arrested in May for promoting prostitution at a massage parlor in downtown Flushing. She was slashed in the attack, requiring 20 stitches on her face; a father of one of the children was stabbed in the leg and wrist.

王玉芬的家人表示,在美心月子中心,员工们的工资不入账。63岁的王大荣(音)是美心的一名保姆,尽管她5月曾因在法拉盛商业区一家按摩院做色情推销而被捕,但仍得到了这份工作。她在这袭击中也被砍伤,脸上缝了20针;一名孩子的父亲腿上和腕部被刺伤。

Stuffy and cramped

不透风、拥挤的地方

The crime took place in a three-floor brick apartment house with white metal lattice balconies on the outskirts of Flushing. Its only advertisement existed on the internet, on a Craigslist of sorts for the local Chinese immigrant community.

这起案件发生在一幢三层高的砖砌公寓楼里,它位于法拉盛边缘,带有白色金属格子的阳台。它只在网上做广告,那是一个面向本地中国移民、类似于分类广告Craigslist的网站上。

Mei Xin Care appears to be a combination of the names of two owners: Meiying Gao and Xuexin Lin. Local employment agencies said the owners had been in the business for about a decade but opened their latest location in 2016, when city records show they bought the building for $1.5 million. Reached by phone, the owners declined to comment.

美心这个名字似乎来自两名创办人:高美英(音)和林雪心(音)。当地的职业中介机构表示,两人从事该生意已有近10年,2016年开设最新地点,据该市记录,当年两人以150万美元买下了这幢楼。我们通过电话联系到了两人,但她们拒绝置评。

One neighbor said in an interview that she saw a steady stream of clients arriving, sometimes in fancy cars.

一位邻居在采访中表示,她见到不断有客人前来,有时候乘坐的是高级轿车。

Some of them would have been following the custom of a monthlong rest after childbirth. The period culminates in a “red egg celebration” to mark the baby’s survival of its fragile first weeks, said Margaret M. Chin, a professor of sociology in the Asian American Studies program at Hunter College.

这些人中有一部分遵循着生完孩子后休息一个月的习俗。据亨特学院(Hunter College)亚裔美国人研究项目社会学教授玛格丽特·M·金(Margaret M. Chin)介绍,满月的时候要吃红蛋,庆祝婴儿活过出生后最虚弱的几周。

The centers are an alternative to obtaining visas so family members can fly to the United States, or returning to China, where health care is often less sophisticated. For several thousand dollars, new mothers have access to 24-hour nannies and cooks.

这些月子中心也是获得签证的一种方式,这样一来,产妇家属便能飞到美国,或是回到中国。在那里,医疗保健没有那么健全。花几千美元,新妈妈就能拥有24小时的保姆和厨师。

Michael Cheng and his Shanghai-born wife, who live in Flushing, considered using the center for her recuperation period. They toured the facility twice in the spring and were quoted a fee of $4,800 — in cash.

迈克尔·程(音)和他生于上海、目前住在法拉盛的妻子曾考虑过在这家中心坐月子。春天的时候,他们来这里看过两次,当时月子中心的报价是4800美元——收现金。

Mr. Cheng said babies were sleeping on the first floor, while their mothers slept in small bedrooms on the second and third floors.

程先生说,婴儿睡在一楼,妈妈们睡在二楼和三楼的小卧室里。

He remembered seeing five to six workers, whom he estimated to be in their 40s and 50s. “They were working 24 hours in shifts,” he said. “I can imagine that it was a very high-stress job.”

他印象中见过五六名工人,觉得她们都四五十岁的样子。“她们24小时轮班工作,”他说。“我可以想像,这是一份压力很大的工作。”

Mr. Cheng said his wife, who did not want to give her name, spoke with some of the residents on the upper floors, one from China and another who was a New Yorker. “Before we walked out, I was like, ‘Are you sure you like this place?’ to my wife,” Mr. Cheng said in an interview. “To me, it felt stuffy in there.”

程先生还说,他太太(他不愿透露她的名字)和住在楼上的一些妈妈们聊过,一个来自中国,另一个是纽约人。“离开之前,我问我太太,‘你确定你喜欢这个地方吗?’”程先生在采访中说。“我觉得那里空气不好。”

He was skeptical and asked to see a license. The owners sent a copy of a generic business operation certificate and another for maternity nutrition.

他有些怀疑,要求看经营执照。老板们送来了一份普通的商业经营执照和一份孕妇营养方面的证书。

“In hindsight,” he said, “if there was more talk about these places, and people knew if you go to one of these centers that they had to hang their licenses right out in front, some kind of regulations around that, maybe it would help.”

“事后看来,”他说,“如果有更多关于这些地方的讨论,并且人们知道如果你去一家这样的中心,他们必须把许可证挂在前面,而且知道一些相关规定的话,也许会有帮助。”

Ultimately, the couple felt uneasy about Mei Xin Care and opted to spend the month at Mr. Cheng’s parents’ home on Long Island after their daughter was born. They got their $800 deposit back when another mother quickly filled the spot.

最后,这对夫妇对美心不满意,决定在女儿出生后,到程先生位于长岛的父母家中住一个月。当另一位妈妈迅速填补了空缺后,他们拿到了退还的800美元押金。

A shortcut to U.S. citizenship

成为美国公民的捷径

After the stabbings occurred, Flushing was in an uproar. At temples, in food courts and on the streets beneath bright signs in Chinese, residents worried that the incident would stir up anti-immigrant attitudes toward their community.

持刀伤人事件在法拉盛掀起轩然大波。在寺庙、美食广场和布满醒目中文招牌的街头,居民们担心,该事件会激起针对其社区的反移民态度。

Others decried the center’s second purpose, easing the path for birth tourism. “They should not come through loopholes,” said Catherine Chan, 50, a bar owner in Queens who used to work on Wall Street. She came to the United States from China when she was 6, after a long process involving family sponsorship, she said. “There is no shortcut.”

也有人谴责该中心打的小算盘为生育旅游铺平了道路。“他们不应该钻法律的空子,”50岁的凯瑟琳·陈(音)说。她是皇后区一家酒吧的老板,之前在华尔街工作。她在6岁的时候从中国来到美国,期间经历了家庭团聚移民的漫长过程。“没有捷径。”

Birth tourism is a well-known phenomenon. In recent years, it has drawn mostly well-off mothers from China, Korea, Russia, Turkey, Egypt and Nigeria to the United States for birthright citizenship, which President Trump has vowed to eliminate.

生育旅游是一个众所周知的现象。近年来,它吸引了来自中国、韩国、俄罗斯、土耳其、埃及和尼日利亚的母亲到美国生孩子,以便获得出生公民权,以富裕家庭为主,特朗普总统已经发誓要消除这个现象。

It can be legal, as long as pregnant foreigners applying for visas state their intention to give birth when they are in the United States and prove that they can cover the cost. If they conceal their real purpose for traveling they could be subject to visa fraud.

它也可以是合法的,只要怀孕的外国申请人在申请签证时表明她们在美期间有意生下孩子,而且能够证明她们付得起这笔费用。如果她们隐瞒了旅行的真实目的,就可能构成签证欺诈。

Once United States citizens turn 21, they are eligible to sponsor a parent for a green card, giving their parents the option of eventually settling there. Parents do not always use that opportunity, and immigration officials could deny a green card, claiming the parents had willingly defrauded the American government.

一旦美国公民年满21岁,他们就有资格为父母中的一方赞助一张绿卡,父母可以选择是否最终在美国定居。父母并不总是会利用这个机会,而且移民官员也能以父母之前故意欺骗美国政府为由,拒绝给予绿卡。

Many are more concerned about securing the future of their children who, as American citizens, have the option of schooling in the United States or in competitive private Chinese schools that have lower entry standards for foreign students. They can travel to other countries without having to apply for a visa. It is seen as a status symbol in China.

许多人更关心的是,如何保障子女的未来——作为美国公民,他们可以选择是在美国念书,还是去念竞争激烈的中国私立学校,这些学校对于外国学生的入学标准较低。他们无需申请签证,就可以前往其他国家。在中国,这被视为地位的象征。

For Chinese birth tourists, Los Angeles is the marquee destination. Centers compete with each other by advertising stays at plush hotels, shopping extravaganzas in nearby malls, and state-of-the-art hospitals. Fees can range from $50,000 to $80,000.

洛杉矶是来自中国的生育游客趋之若鹜的目的地。各月子中心竞相打出豪华酒店住宿、在附近购物中心购买奢侈品,以及入住最先进医院的广告。费用从5万美元到8万美元不等。

In 2015, immigration enforcement authorities raided the Los Angeles centers, saying owners had avoided paying taxes.

2015年,移民执法部门突击搜查了洛杉矶的这些月子中心,称其业主逃税。

Still, the raids did not deter business owners who saw an opportunity. As Chinese internet services like Weibo and WeChat expanded, so did advertisements for birth tourism services in New York.

然而,突袭搜查并没有阻止那些看到商机的企业主。随着微博和微信等中国互联网服务的扩大,纽约的生育旅游服务广告也在不断发展。

In the New York metropolitan area, more upscale maternity centers tend to exist in New Jersey and Long Island suburbs. The ones in Flushing appear to be smaller, and less expensive, options, where mothers stay in rooms that often have been subdivided.

在纽约都市区,更多高档月子中心往往开在新泽西和长岛郊区。法拉盛的孕妇中心似乎更小、更便宜,母亲们大都住在被再次分隔开来的房间里。

Annie Gao, the owner of one upscale birth center in Center Moriches, on Long Island, expressed disdain for the cramped and somewhat secretive operations of the Flushing centers.

长岛默里奇斯中心(Center Moriches)一个高档月子中心的所有者安妮·高(Annie Gao,音)对法拉盛那些遮遮掩掩的小月子中心不屑一顾。

Ms. Gao, who opened her center in Flushing in 2004, said that several years ago she tried to convince other owners to join an association that could self-regulate and keep out cut-rate, potentially unsafe, centers. Ms. Gao thought that some centers skimped on food quality and cleaning services, noting that ones she had seen looked “dirty.”

高女士于2004年在法拉盛开设了自己的月子中心,她说,几年前,她试图说服其他中心的所有者加入一个行业协会,可以实现自我监管,并把廉价的、有可能不安全的中心排除在外。高女士认为,有些中心在食品质量和清洁服务方面做得不够,并指出自己曾经发现有些中心看上去很“脏”。

But those owners disagreed, she said.

但她说,那些业主都不同意。

These centers elude city and state licensing categories and zoning codes. They do not qualify as day care centers because mothers are on-site; they do not need a medical license because owners offer Chinese nutritional practices.

这些中心逃避城市和州许可分类和分区法规。它们不具备日托中心的资格,因为有母亲在场;它们不需要医疗执照,因为所有者提供中式的营养看护。

“There isn’t a real category for these type of activities, and they were able to leverage it and apply for a general business license and pretend that was O.K. for their clients,” Mr. Kim, the assemblyman, said.

“这些类型的活动没有一个真正的分类,他们能够利用这一点申请一般营业执照,并且在客户面前假装这种执照是没有问题的,”金兑锡议员说。

Although neighbors of Mei Xin Care filed complaints that it was operating as a hotel, city buildings inspectors were denied access three times, which automatically closes the complaint. Neighbors can file an affidavit to warrant a full inspection, but city records show that did not happen.

虽然美心月子中心的邻居提出过投诉,称其作为酒店在运营,但城市建筑检查员三次被拒绝进入,导致投诉被自动关闭。邻居可以提交一份宣誓书,授权进行全面检查,但城市记录显示,这种事没有发生。

The state Office of Child and Family Services, the city’s administration for Children’s Services, the state Department of Health and the city Department of Health all said such centers did not fall under their purview.

州儿童和家庭服务办公室(Office of Child and Family Services)、市儿童服务管理局、州卫生部门(Department of Health)和该市的卫生部门都表示,这些中心不属于他们的职权范围。

The police shut down Mei Xin Care after the stabbing, but less than three weeks later, the center seemed to have reopened. Women could be seen through the windows, and a pile of diapers sat outside.

行凶事件之后,警察关闭了美心月子中心,但不到三个星期后,该中心似乎重新开放。透过窗户可以看到一些女人,一堆尿布放在外面。

She wanted to die

她想寻死

After spending most of her life in poor, southeastern Fujian Province in China, Mrs. Wang, 52, sought a better future. When her husband, Peter, secured an employment visa, he brought his two adult sons and wife to New York in 2010.

52岁的王玉芬在中国东南部福建省的贫困地区度过大部分人生后,开始追求更美好的未来。她的丈夫彼得获得工作签证后,于2010年带着两个成年的儿子和妻子来到纽约。

There, the Wangs became immersed in a bustling community of Fujianese immigrants. Peter worked in restaurants, as did his two sons. Mrs. Wang began cleaning homes and taking care of children privately for families. About two years later, she began working at Mei Xin Care’s first location near downtown Flushing.

在这里,两夫妇投身繁忙的福建移民社区。彼得和两个儿子一起在餐馆工作。王玉芬开始做家政保洁和照料孩子的工作。大约两年后,她开始在美心公司位于法拉盛市中心附近的第一个分部工作。

Her husband suffered leg pain that made it too difficult to work, he said, so the burden of providing for their family fell on Mrs. Wang. When she came home after tending newborns, she also took care of her three small grandchildren.

她的丈夫有腿疼的毛病,他说这样工作起来太困难,所以养家糊口的负担落在她身上。在月子中心照顾完新生儿之后,回到家里,她还得照顾三个幼小的孙辈。

Their son Danny said that about six months ago, the family noticed a change in Mrs. Wang. She kept forgetting her keys and her phone at home. She became unfocused and unable to sleep. She lost a lot of weight.

他们的儿子丹尼(Danny)说,大约六个月前,这家人注意到王玉芬变了。她总是忘带钥匙和手机,变得无法集中精力,无法入睡,体重减轻了不少。

At a different maternity center where Mrs. Wang briefly worked in June so she could do a day shift, one mother saw her napping on couches when the babies were sleeping, telling infants to drink faster when nursing, and complaining about changing diapers.

6月,王玉芬在另一个月子中心短期工作,这样就可以上日班了,一个母亲看到她趁着婴儿睡觉时在沙发上小睡,喂奶时让婴儿快点喝,而且还抱怨换尿布的事。

“She looked tired, and her impatience also suggested she was very tired,” that mother, Jane, 36, said in an interview. She declined to give her last name because she feared repercussions from the owners.

“她看上去很累,她那么不耐烦,也说明她很累,”36岁的母亲简在接受采访时说。她害怕月子中心所有者做出反应,所以拒绝透露姓氏。

That center fired Mrs. Wang after just two days, and she returned to the graveyard shift at Mei Xin Care. By then, her mental state had visibly declined, according to her family.

那个中心在两天后解雇了王玉芬,然后她回到了美心中心上夜班。据她的家人说,从那时起,她的精神状态明显恶化了。

About two or three months ago, Mrs. Wang told her husband that her life had no meaning and she wanted to die, her son said. Peter Wang insisted she take two weeks off. They all knew that her older sister back in China had tried unsuccessfully to commit suicide.

她的儿子说,大约两三个月前,王玉芬告诉丈夫,她的人生毫无意义,她想死。彼得·王坚持要她休息两个星期。他们都知道她在中国的姐姐曾经自杀未遂。

Danny Wang said his mother saw a doctor who prescribed her sleeping medication and a tranquilizer.

丹尼·王说,母亲去看了医生,开了安眠药和镇静剂。

That is when the owners of Mei Xin called her to come back to work on the 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. shift, her family said. She felt obligated, despite the protestations of her husband and sons.

她的家人说,那时美心的老板叫她回去,上晚8点到早8点那一班。尽管丈夫和儿子抗议,她仍然觉得非去不可。

“Fair or not fair, we can’t do anything about it,” Danny said. “It’s just reality.”

“公平不公平,我们都没法子,”丹尼说。“这是现实。”

Mrs. Wang appeared to live in her own darker reality. Her lawyer, Jean Wang, who is not related to her client, said she intended to pursue an insanity defense. “It was left untreated, and finally it just blew,” the lawyer said. Charged with five counts of attempted murder, Mrs. Wang pleaded not guilty and is under suicide watch at Rikers Island.

王玉芬似乎生活在自己的黑暗世界里。她的律师简·王(Jean Wang,音,与张玉凤没有亲属关系)说,她打算为王玉芬做精神障碍辩护。“她的精神病没有得到治疗,最终爆发了,”王律师说。王玉芬被指控犯有五项未遂谋杀罪,她否认指控,并在里克斯岛接受自杀监护。

In jail, her family and lawyer said, Mrs. Wang has become even more isolated and distraught. She tried to kill herself by smashing her head against the cell. A spokeswoman for the city’s correctional health services said she could not comment on Mrs. Wang’s mental state because of privacy laws.

她的家人和律师说,王玉芬在监狱里变得更加离群和烦躁。她企图撞墙自杀。市惩教卫生服务部门的发言人表示,由于隐私法律,她无法评论王玉芬的精神状态。

When that first attempt failed, Mrs. Wang’s lawyer said, she tried to bite her tongue off, a distinctively Chinese form of suicide. She did not succeed.

第一次尝试自杀失败后,王玉芬的律师说,她试图咬掉自己的舌头,这是一种华人特有的自杀方式。她没有成功。

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