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'Very scary prospect': Spike in illegal immigrants from this US adversary blows lid off previous year's record

The number of Chinese nationals entering the U.S. illegally has skyrocketed this fiscal year compared to prior years, and fiscal 2024 is already outpacing last year.

The number of Chinese nationals entering the United States illegally and stopped by Border Patrol so far this fiscal year has exceeded the enormous number seen in all of fiscal year 2023 — with six months still to go.

According to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data, in the first six months of fiscal 2024, which began in October, Border Patrol had caught 24,296 Chinese nationals crossing illegally between ports of entry. That exceeds the 24,125 caught in all of fiscal 2023.

For comparison, in fiscal 2022, there were just 1,987 apprehensions, and in fiscal 2021 there were just 342. 

Those numbers only account for those entering illegally between ports of entry. Including ports of entry, there have been 41,970 encounters, compared to 52,700 in fiscal 2023.


Fox reported earlier this month that the number of Chinese nationals entering illegally has surged by over 6,300% since fiscal 2021. That report came as 182 Chinese nationals were encountered in a single sector in a single day.

Lawmakers and officials have raised concerns about the migrants' potential ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the movement of fentanyl into the U.S.

"There have been numerous documented instances of Chinese nationals, at the direction of the CCP, engaging in espionage, stealing military and economic secrets," lawmakers, led by Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., said last year. 


Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, which represents all rank-and-file Border Patrol agents nationwide, told Fox News in February the majority of the Chinese border crossers are single adult males of military age.

"That is a very scary prospect. We know that China does not like us. We know that we are in the crosshairs of China," he said. "And they are exporting so many people to our country, and you have to really fear about that."

This week, a bipartisan House report found the Chinese government has given tax rebates and grants to companies that make certain fentanyl and synthetic drug precursors used by drug traffickers as long as they are sold outside of China.

"Through its actions, as our report has revealed, the Chinese Communist Party is telling us that it wants more fentanyl entering our country," said Rep. Mike Gallagher, the Republican chairman of the special House committee. "It wants the chaos and devastation that has resulted from the epidemic."

Illicit fentanyl is typically created in Mexico using Chinese precursors and then moved across the southern land border.


Last month, a Chinese illegal immigrant was detained in California after entering a Marine Corps base without authorization and ignoring orders to leave.

The Biden administration has also acknowledged the national security threat from China more broadly in its national threat assessment, although not specifically from migrants, who it says are fully vetted using biographic and biometric information.

Border officials have stressed there will be consequences for those who enter the U.S. illegally, including those from China.

"DHS continues to enforce United States immigration laws, expanding lawful pathways while strengthening enforcement consequences for those who cross our border unlawfully," the agency said in a statement when the Chinese national was arrested at the military base. 

"Individuals and families without a legal basis to remain in the U.S. are subject to removal pursuant to Title 8 authorities and are subject to a minimum five-year bar on reapplying for admission and potential criminal prosecution if they subsequently re-enter without authorization."

Fox News has also spoken to Chinese migrants who have said they are just trying to benefit themselves and their families.

"My English is not very good, and I don't know anyone in the United States," one migrant told Fox last month. "Once I get to the United States, I know I have to start all over again. But I want to live a good life in the future, and I want my children to be educated well. I strive to take root in the United States as soon as possible."

Fox News' Bill Melugin contributed to this report.

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