Number of Chinese Nationals Spikes at the Border

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December is not quite over, and as Catherine noted earlier today, 250,000 illegal aliens have crossed the border this month — more than the number of people who stormed the beaches on D-Day. She also raised a point that has been stated again and again: there is no way of telling who these people are and, for that matter, why they are here. There is no doubt that a number of those entering the country are fleeing poverty and crime or who want their shot at the American Dream. (Incidentally, good luck to them. Most Americans are not even sure they can get a shot at the American Dream.) 

Others are cartel members, drug and human traffickers, and possibly members of potential sleeper-cell terrorists from enemy nations. I interviewed border experts and members of law enforcement who were saying those things almost 15 years ago. When waves upon waves of people arrive at the pace at which they are currently entering the country, it is impossible to tell who is who. And the current administration seems to have no real interest in doing so. In fact, it shows a vested interest in refusing to enforce immigration laws of any kind.

Ordinarily, when one hears the words “illegal immigrant,” one thinks of people from Central and South America. But as has been reported elsewhere, immigrants are coming from all points of the globe, including China. The Daily Caller reports that the number of illegal immigrants from China continues to hit record highs. In November, the Border Patrol had 4,767 encounters with Chinese illegals. 

In a November article in The New York Times, Eileen Sullivan writes that in the past year, CBP apprehended over 24,000 Chinese nationals entering the U.S. from Mexico. Sullivan notes that these people often fly to Ecuador, which does not require a visa. There, they pay smugglers to get them to the U.S., at which point they turn themselves over to the Border Patrol, claiming asylum. The success rate inspires others to make the trip, and Sullivan states that China often does not want the immigrants to be returned.

Newsweek appears to paint a more dire picture. In October, the outlet stated:

Statistics recently released by the CBP show there were nearly 45,500 encounters with Chinese nationals in the 11 months to August, compared to almost 28,000 for the 2022 fiscal year, which runs from October to September. Many of these encounters were recorded at the southern land border with Mexico and the overwhelming majority were unaccompanied adults.

In any event, the numbers are high and are trending upward. The question is: why? In the Newsweek article by Aleks Phillips, Rebecca Grant, who is a national security analyst at IRIS Independent Research commented that China has pulled out all of the stops in terms of espionage when it comes to our military and technology. So spying is a definite possibility. 

Additionally, Newsweek recalled comments that Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.) made back in June. Green serves as the chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, and he stated that many of the Chinese immigrants are military-age men with known ties to the CCP. Grant also told the magazine:

I’m 99 percent certain that at least a little bit of this is [the] Chinese military infiltrating for reasons harmful to our national security. Is it one person, is it a hundred, is it a thousand—we don’t know, but the fact that we have to ask this question is just outrageous. Clearly, that border is a big opportunity. Some of those people want to come here and have a better way of life, but I think some of those Chinese [nationals] quite possibly are here to spy and report back at a minimum.

Grant is absolutely correct. Americans have seen firsthand that not everyone who hides among the “huddled masses” is “yearning to breathe free.” To be sure, there are among them asylum-seekers, refugees, cartel members, traffickers, spies, and sleeper cells. 

In her Times piece, Sullivan states that many of the immigrants have grown tired of the political atmosphere in China, which was underscored by the country’s draconian approach to the COVID-19 situation. China expert Gordon Chang recently told the Daily Caller:

Right now in China there’s extreme pessimism, especially among people in their 20s about the future of their country, so it’s understandable that they’re leaving and they’re trying to get into the United States. And, you know, these are people who are relatively middle class, so it shows you the problems in Chinese society are severe.

Chang has also concurred that there may well be “nefarious actors” among those entering the U.S.

China has a long reputation for trampling on human rights and implementing oppressive policies, so it should come as no surprise that there are Chinese citizens who would much rather live as Americans. The COVID-19 enforcement protocols, the treatment of the Uyghurs, the social credit system, the surveillance state, and the Tiananmen Square incident all bear that out. But in the age of spy balloons, TikTok, and the general state of global affairs, it must be assumed that some “nefarious actors” are comfortably ensconced within the United States. All the more reason the Biden administration should be held accountable for not even trying to separate the wheat from the chaff at the border. 

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