House Republicans Express Concern Over Sharp Uptick On Chinese Migrants Illegally Crossing Border

Authored by Darlene McCormick Sanchez via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Republicans on the House Homeland Security subcommittee expressed concern as the surge of illegal Chinese migrants hit an all-time high in April after the Biden administration relaxed vetting rules last year.

Chinese migrants settle at Willow Camp before being processed by Border Patrol agents in Jacumba, Calif., on Dec. 6, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Accountability Chairman Dan Bishop (R-N.C.) held the hearing on May 16 to address the “unprecedented flow of Chinese nationals” illegally crossing the U.S. southern border, which has topped 27,000 since Oct. 1.

The latest CBP numbers show that 3,324 Chinese nationals crossed the southwest border in April alone—more than the total crossings for the entire 2022 fiscal year.

This year’s total tops 27,000 encounters, surpassing the 24,000 illegal southwest border crossings during the entire 2023 fiscal year.

That’s a massive jump from recent years. In 2022, the number of Chinese migrant encounters was slightly more than  2,000 at the U.S. southern border. In 2021, that number was 450.

Nationwide encounters of Chinese migrants entering unlawfully are even higher.

When looking at encounters across the country this fiscal year, CBP data shows more than 48,000 encounters so far with illegal Chinese migrants, which includes migrants coming through ports of entry.

Mr. Bishop said during the hearing he is concerned that the vetting process, which has been decreased from 40 to five questions for Chinese migrants, does little to protect America’s national security. 

“As the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continues its quest for geopolitical dominance and threatens our sovereignty, we must examine the risks presented by releasing ever-increasing numbers of minimally vetted Chinese nationals into our communities,” Mr. Bishop said in a statement.

The Democrats’ Homeland Security website dismissed those concerns, characterizing it as “another Republican Border ‘hearing’ with invasion rhetoric and fear-mongering.”

Mr. Bishop said Chinese migrants crossing illegally into the U.S. could have “nefarious motives,” noting federal indictments in North Carolina last month showed partnerships between Mexican drug cartels and Chinese transnational criminal organizations engaged in money laundering operations throughout the United States. 

Experts invited to testify indicated that the vetting process was unlikely to find any criminal background information on Chinese nationals who have never been in the United States because China does not readily share that information with American authorities. Border Patrol officers must rely on foreign nationals to answer questions truthfully.

Simon Hankinson, senior research fellow with the Heritage Foundation’s Border Security and Immigration Center, told the committee that the vetting process was insufficient.

At best, this is a mockery of U.S. immigration law and sovereignty, and at worst, it is a huge national security and community safety risk. In addition to many Chinese with connections to the Communist Party, People’s Liberation Army, and other state entities, it is statistically probable that [Department of Homeland Security] DHS is releasing people with criminal records,” he said.

Migrants line up for immigration processing in Lajas Blancas as merchants offer services in both Spanish and Chinese in Panama on Feb. 17, 2024. (Bobby Sanchez for The Epoch Times)

Todd Bensman, a national security fellow with the Center for Immigration Studies, brought along passports and identification cards he found near the border. The stamps inside the passports prove their holders traveled through safe countries that would have granted protection, therefore disqualifying them for U.S. asylum, he said.

While most Chinese nationals were likely coming to work, Mr. Bensman said there was little doubt that “Beijing spymasters” also noticed a new opportunity at the wide open U.S. southern border.

However, Meredith Owen, an associate history professor at the University of Maryland, testified that most Chinese are coming to the United States to flee oppression and find jobs.

She highlighted past actions by the U.S. government targeting Chinese immigrants, which had dire consequences. The Chinese became the first and only nation to be singled out by U.S. immigration law with the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, she said.

The anti-Chinese movement that drove the creation of the act cited Chinese migration as a unique threat to the United States, she said.

“These fears led to extreme violence against Chinese immigrants, including mob violence and the burning of Chinatowns,” she said.

Committee member Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) said during the hearing she is concerned about how to fix America’s “broken“ immigration system and implied racism was the reason behind opposition to migration.

Chinese trash sits in a migrant encampment in Jacoumba, Calif., on Jan. 10, 2024. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

“We’re here today because Republicans are demagoguing and exploiting the xenophobic and white supremacist ideologies that are fueling the immigration debate in this nation,“ she said.

Since President Joe Biden took office, there have been more than 9 million encounters nationwide and some 7.6 million encounters at the southwest border alone.

House Republicans blame Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorka’s policies under the Biden administration for the border crisis. 

The House voted Feb. 13 to impeach the secretary for “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law“ and for the “breach of public trust.”

However, the Democrat-controlled Senate dismissed impeachment charges against him before holding a trial, leaving Mr. Mayorkas in office.

Democrats have pointed out that America was built on immigrants and benefits from their labor.

Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) said during an immigration subcommittee hearing in January that “many illegal immigrants“ were needed for agriculture production or “our vegetables would rot in the ground.”

The House of Representatives impeachment team delivers the Articles of Impeachment of Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Alejandro Mayorkas to the Senate in Washington on April 16, 2024. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

Republicans, however, question the surge of Chinese nationals coming across the U.S. southern border.

In April 2023, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) instructed Border Patrol agents to reduce the number of questions they asked Chinese migrants.

At the time, agents were facing a record number of illegal crossings from all nationalities.

The hearing became contentious at times, with committee member Delia Ramirez (D-Ill.) saying Mr. Bensman’s organization had been labeled as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. 

This leftwing group has listed many conservative organizations as “hate” groups, such as parental rights groups headed by moms.

Ms. Ramirez accused Mr. Bensman of “uplifting the same invasion rhetoric central to the white nationalist and antisemitic Great Replacement conspiracy theory” on social media.

“There is no hateful antisemitic speech in my Twitter [now called X] feed,“ Mr. Bensman responded. “I am Jewish, and we don’t really get with white nationalists; that’s not our thing, so get your facts straight.”

Mr. Bensman also suggested she read a book titled, “Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center.” 

In 2023, Republican senators led by Roger Marshall (R-Kansas) wrote to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorka, suggesting some Chinese migrants entering the U.S. illegally may be tied to the CCP.

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

 The letter also noted that China is a significant source of drugs such as fentanyl being trafficked across the U.S. southern border.

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Originally Posted at; https://www.zerohedge.com//