Illegal Chinese Border Crossings Surge 500%, National Security on High Alert

Chinese immigration via the southern U.S. border is rapidly increasing, raising national security concerns and bringing more attention to loopholes in the U.S. immigration system. 

Unusual Migration Patterns

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While U.S. border security has been swamped daily by thousands of border-crossing migrants from Latin American countries, it may surprise many Americans to learn that immigration numbers from another country have risen too: China.

Illegal Chinese Border Crossings

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Illegal immigrants from China have been crossing into the U.S. via the U.S.-Mexico border for years, but their numbers have increased significantly in the last year. 

Shocking Numbers

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According to new numbers released by Customs and Border Protection (CBP), more than 18,000 Chinese immigrants have unlawfully crossed the southern border to enter the U.S. since the beginning of the 2024 fiscal year on October 1. 

Significant Increases

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This marks a staggering increase over the last few years.

In the 2021 fiscal year, only 450 encounters with Chinese immigrants were recorded throughout the entire year, meaning that illegal Chinese border migration numbers have jumped by over 500%.

Potential National Security Threats

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Some suggest that this phenomenon is not just a security concern for the immigration office but a wider national security issue. 

A Wider CCP Strategy

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Since many of these migrants could have links to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), these crossings are raising concerns that it could be part of a wider infiltration plan from the Chinese government. 

“A Scary Prospect”

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“That is a very scary prospect,” said Brandon Judd, who is the current President of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC). 

“We know that China does not like us, we know that we are in the crosshairs of China.”

Targeting San Diego

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Of the 20,000 jumping the border, 90% have crossed into the wider San Diego area of California via small towns in Mexico, like Jacumba. 

No Signs of Decrease

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And these numbers don’t appear to be dropping. Between last Saturday and Monday, the CBP recorded 452 border encounters with Chinese nationals in the San Diego area.

Huge Differences

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To illustrate the magnitude of these changes, those three days eclipsed the 450 encounters recorded in 2021 across the entire border. 

A Loophole in the System

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The anomaly of Chinese border migration sheds even further light on the already highly criticized loophole in America’s immigration system.

Once foreign nationals enter the country, the U.S. government cannot legally compel their governments to take them back.

The Worst Offenders

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In 2020, 13 countries and territories were labeled by the U.S. government as being “recalcitrant,” meaning they stubbornly and openly exploited this loophole by refusing to accept their own deportees.

13 “Recalcitrant” Nations

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The Migration Policy Institute lists these countries including Bhutan, Burundi, Cambodia, China, Cuba, Eritrea, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Iraq, Laos, Pakistan, and Russia.

Of these countries, China is considered to be the most recalcitrant. 

Letter to Homeland Security

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Back in September 2023, a group of Republican senators wrote to Alejandro Mayorkas, the Secretary of Homeland Security, to voice their concerns over increasing illegal Chinese migration.

Significant Trends

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“This trend poses a significant threat to our national security and warrants immediate attention and action from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS),” the lawmakers declared. 

GOP Lawmakers Concerned

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“There have been numerous documented instances of Chinese nationals, at the direction of the CCP, engaging in espionage, stealing military and economic secrets,” they continued. 

“Not a single one of these individuals encountered has been detained for any length of time but rather benefited from this administration’s policy of catch and release.”

‘Catch and Release’

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‘Catch and release’ is the practice of releasing migrants into wider communities while they wait for their immigration court hearings. 

Less Chance of Deportation

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Chinese asylum seekers are some of the least likely to be successfully deported, as the Chinese government has a record of refusing to acknowledge the nationhood of deportees.

Those Who Make It, Stay

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“If you make it to the U.S., then you’re more likely than not to be able to stay,” said Muzaffar Chishti, a senior fellow of the Migration Policy Institute.

“So it’s absolutely worth the chance of taking that risk.”

Not the Only Ones

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While their numbers and geopolitical implications are more significant, Chinese nationals are far from the only ‘atypical’ migrants who have been encountered at the border.

Citizens of countries like Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Ecuador, and Brazil were also recorded crossing into the San Diego area last week.

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