The number of Chinese nationals encountered by Border Patrol after crossing the southern border illegally in October marked the highest month of encounters, according to federal data updated Tuesday.
Border Patrol recorded 4,247 encounters of illegal migrants from China in October, according to the data. There were roughly 24,000 such encounters of Chinese migrants crossing the southern border illegally in fiscal year 2023, 1,970 in fiscal year 2022 and 323 in fiscal year 2021.
Total Border Patrol apprehensions of Chinese nationals at the southern border for the yearly totals from 2007 to 2019 didn’t exceed October’s record, according to federal data.
“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,” China expert Gordon Chang previously told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“When I first saw that the surge in Chinese migrants, that’s the thought that came to my mind that these are either Ministry of State Security agents or Chinese military, who are coming to this country to commit acts of sabotage against the US,” Chang said.
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green said in June that some Chinese migrants crossing the southern border have connections to the Chinese Communist Party and China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
“In terms of the verification that the individuals released into the United States have ties to the PLA came from a sector chief and I’ll leave it with that at this point. We have a classified briefing coming up in the very near future,” Green said at the time.
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