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Immigrant Business Owners Are Popular Target Of Violent Criminals

By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - The recent murder of a Philadelphia Chinese restaurant owner has raised fears in the Asian business community that they are being targeted by criminals. Many new immigrant business owners face the same risk.

"It appears there are a group of criminals that are targeting in particular Asian business owners."

City councilman David Oh has plenty of evidence to justify his concern -- the tragic shooting of Tacony take-out owner Xiang Huang is only the latest example of an Asian businessman becoming a victim of violent crime.

But then, the Latino, the Caribbean, and the Indian community would all have cause to feel targeted. Immigration experts say it's more likely that members of these immigrant groups become victims because they are more likely to open businesses in high crime areas.

Amanda Bergon Shilcock of the Welcoming Center says many factors are at work.

"If a business owner is newer to the neighborhood or might not have as strong English skills, that can create situations in which the business owner might be perceived as more vulnerable."

The Welcoming Center offers help for those owners, as does the city Commerce Department, but new immigrants often are unaware of what services are available.


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