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Encounters of Chinese Nationals at the Southern Border Skyrocketed in 2022

AP Photo/Eric Gay

Border Patrol apprehensions of Chinese nationals at the U.S.-Mexico international border have skyrocketed, according to multiple reports. This comes around the same time the U.S. shot down a Chinese spy balloon was discovered hovering over a military base in Montana.


According to the New York Post, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) apprehended 1,862 Chinese nationals trying to cross the southern border during the last quarter of 2022. For comparison, in 2021, just 229 migrants were apprehended at the southern border during those same months, representing a 700 percent increase over the course of one year. 

“The number of Chinese nationals illegally crossing into the US this fiscal year, which kicked off in October, is set to eclipse the total number caught in the entirety of 2022,” the Post noted in its report.

In December 2022, there were 931 Chinese nationals encountered, compared to 64 in December 2021, Fox News reported. Last week, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official told Fox News that the Rio Grande Valley sector had 15 Chinese nationals in custody, all adults, ranging from their 20s to their 50s:

Fox is told that they are typically processed for expedited removal unless they claim to have a credible fear of persecution if returned to the country — where the Chinese Communist Party holds power.

As a result, many are claiming that fear and are subsequently being released into the U.S. on their own recognizance and with a notice to appear for a court date for their immigration hearings.

The DHS is on the lookout for potential Chinese spies and other national security threats arriving at the southern border.


Earlier this year, three Chinese nationals who each paid human smugglers $35,000 were apprehended in Texas, Fox noted.

According to The Daily Signal, a similar increase has been seen with illegal immigrations from Russia. In January 2022, 1,030 encounters with Russian nationals were recorded, compared to over 4,500 last month.

Andrew Arthur, a resident fellow in law and policy for the Center for Immigration Studies, told the Signal that “word’s gone out around the world that the southwest border is open.”

Arthur, who was an immigration judge, added that Chinese nationals he saw paid “upward of $60,000 to $70,000 to have the opportunity to make it to the southwest border.”

James Massa, CEO of immigration organization NumbersUSA, pointed out to Townhall that it’s not just Chinese nationals making their way over the ocean to the southern border to attempt to cross into the United States. 

“I just came back from Texas where a Salvation Army representative was asking me if I knew why last month nearly a 100 Syrian nationals and immigrants from other southern African nations were dropped at their doorsteps in Abeline, Texas by the Biden administration. Unlike those Hispanics traveling to the U.S. southern border over land, for these non-Hispanic immigrants the better questions are, 'How did these Chinese, Syrian, or other nationals from continents across an ocean get to our southern border? Who is sponsoring and paying for their very expensive travel?'” Massa said.


"The administration's border policies have demonstrated that anyone who shows up at the border, regardless of where they came from, will eventually get released into the U.S. with a work permit,” Chris Chmielenski, vice president of immigration organization NumbersUSA, told Townhall. “Until the administration takes the border crisis seriously, and Congress takes action to close up loopholes and rein in the administration's abuse of parole, the situation will only continue to deteriorate.”


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