Customs and Border Protection (CBP) apprehended 269 Chinese nationals attempting to enter the U.S. illegally on Monday, raising the number of Chinese illegal immigrants encountered by Border Patrol agents to over 20,000 in the past five months alone.
A CBP source told Fox News’ Bill Melugin that the Border Patrol’s San Diego Sector detained 269 illegal immigrants from China in a single day after CBP reported that agents from the same border sector apprehended over 8,500 illegal immigrants from 73 different countries in one week at the beginning of February. In fiscal year 2024 alone, which began in October 2023, more than 20,000 Chinese nationals have been encountered at the border — that’s compared to 450 who crossed in all of fiscal year 2021, Melugin reported.
Chinese nationals looking to enter the U.S. illegally now make up the fastest-growing group of illegal immigrants crossing the southern border, CBS News reported. Chinese migrants reportedly find step-by-step instructions for hiring smugglers on the Chinese-owned social media platform TikTok. Many Chinese migrants fly from China to Ecuador, which doesn’t require a visa for Chinese nationals, before they fly to Tijuana, Mexico, where they meet and pay smugglers willing to take them to the U.S. southern border.
Earlier this month, former President Donald Trump told Fox News anchor Maria Bartiromo that he believes the Chinese Communist Party is directing the flow of Chinese nationals coming to the U.S. Asked about the possibility of the CCP pushing Chinese nationals to the U.S., which Bartiromo noted has increased of late, Trump responded, “I believe so. And I believe we’re going to have a terrorist attack. 100%.”
Trump on illegal immigration and whether he believes Chinese nationals are being directed by the CCP to go to America:
"I believe so, and I believe we're going to have a terrorist attack. 100%." pic.twitter.com/Pcb3eLOhtl
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) February 4, 2024
Trump added that the increase in Chinese illegal immigrants could pose a national security threat, pondering whether an “army” is being put together.
“And they were mostly men, almost all men from the age of 18 to 25. So what’s that all about?” he asked.
The surge in Chinese citizens entering the U.S. illegally coincides with the ongoing fight between Republicans and the Biden administration on border security and immigration reform. Since Biden took office in January 2021, at least eight million illegal immigrants have been encountered at the border, not including gotaways, according to CBP data.
On Monday, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) slammed a $95 billion foreign aid package passed by the Senate that he said lacked “real” border security provisions, failing “to address the most critical aspect of national security supplemental legislation.”
Daniel Chaitin contributed to this report.