JERICHO – Choing Bok Hoy (not his real name) of Jericho, VT received the call of his dreams in late July. A Chinese man of uncertain immigration status, 37 year old Hoy spent his childhood within a stone’s throw of China’s Great Wall. “As little boy I would look up at the wall and dream someday I have the chance to build something like it,” Hoy told The Winooski. On July 27, Hoy received a call from the US Dept. of Homeland Security offering him a senior position in the construction of the wall between the US and Mexico.
Hoy’s expertise on the wall was gleaned from studies at China’s famous Dandong University. While walking atop the wall doing research for his final project, he lost his footing.
“I fell off on wrong side of wall,” he explained. The wall secures the northern border between his homeland and Inner Mongolia. Anyone attempting to enter China from the wrong side would likely be shot or sent back to the side he was coming from. Hoy decided to cut his losses and immigrate to the US.
“I was attracted to Vermont because of such beautiful wall that forms break in water.” Enthralled by the stone wall arising out of Burlington’s harbor, Hoy now stands on the brink of fulfilling his dream. But he worries the “dream” might actually be a nightmare. “What if this is a ploy by ICE to isolate and interrogate me for my expertise; then maybe they detain and deport me,” he worried. But he has a plan. “I will work on wall, but on the Mexico side!” Hoy’s neighbors are holding a going-away party for him at an undisclosed location in August. “We are going to miss him,” said neighbor Joan Fullerton (not her real name). “But it’s good to know there will be a little of Vermont in our wall. We’ve got to keep those immigrants out!”