China is exploiting Biden’s lax border policies — imperiling US security

By Todd Bensman on February 26, 2024

New York Post, February 26, 2024

AUSTIN, Texas — In the Trump administration’s final three years, a dedicated FBI effort, the China Initiative, nabbed dozens of Chinese Communist Party spies who, posing as scholars, relieved top American research institutions and their naïve professors of sensitive and prized national-defense research.

Those spies had flown into American airports — hiding their military service and Chinese diplomatic relationships — quite legally on cultural-exchange and student-visa programs.

But in a series of stunning make-up presents to China for Donald Trump’s crackdown, his successor President Biden in July 2021 summarily killed a ready-to-go Trump regulation that would have required much more rigorous and frequent vetting of Chinese student and cultural-exchange visa applicants.

That same month, the Department of Justice dropped strong charges against five visiting researcher spies as a diplomatic sop amidst the new administration’s outreach.

Team Biden ended the China Initiative itself in 2022 on grounds the spy-hunting program — especially its name — contributed to bias against US-based Chinese immigrants.

If the Chinese spy services weren’t utterly thrilled with these generous offerings, the Biden government has now outdone itself.

His Department of Homeland Security has let in at least 44,000 Chinese nationals who illegally crossed the southwest border from the time he took office through January 2024, most of them flying first into Ecuador on cheap tourist visas available for a few bucks online.

More Chinese nationals are crossing the San Diego border than Mexican nationals.

While there’s no evidence to support theories China is sending troops in civilian clothing to await Beijing’s attack orders, it’s virtually certain some of these young men and women are at least spies.

And we have a good idea of what they want to do this year, based on China’s relentless past espionage campaigns against the United States and our intelligence community’s determinations.

There are the usual missions we know quite well from Trump-era prosecutions.

China “will likely continue” to “employ economic espionage” and “seek to illicitly acquire our technologies and intellectual property,” concludes DHS’s own 2024 Homeland Threat Assessment.

But the report adds lesser-known layers.

Chinese operatives will work hard online all year to undermine November’s elections, sow political division and erode faith in the country’s institutions and democracy, using AI-driven social-media campaigns.

Besides exfiltrating our technology and running influence campaigns during 2024 and beyond, China will employ operatives to target, find and “repress” anti-regime opponents living and speaking out in America.

Those operatives will use “physical assault, threats, harassment and defamation, rendition” — kidnapping out of the country — “to suppress oppositional voices,” the threat assessment says.

China will be the most aggressive actor in that kind of activity, the assessment declares, adding this surprising tidbit without much elaboration: “Beijing has used a small number of secret, unsanctioned ‘police stations’ in the United States to identify, monitor, and harass dissidents. Its global ‘Operation Fox Hunt’ has sought the extradition of Chinese dissidents under false legal pretenses” so they can be kidnapped and dealt with.

What better way to staff those secret police stations and accomplish its other missions than by moving all the operatives necessary into America over its wide-open southern border?

There is no less risky way in.

China is sending them in because, like the millions of other nationalities coming in from all over the world, its apparatchiks well know Biden’s Border Patrol will quickly process almost all of them into the country on their own recognizance to later claim asylum and sink roots into American society for years with almost no questioning or vetting at the border to discern past service in China’s military and intelligence services.

For Chinese spies and government operatives, border crossings offer far less chance of detection than do student-visa-application processes, which take place in a US consulate or embassy in China and supposedly require face-to-face interviews and intelligence-database searches.

In April, the Biden DHS drastically reduced the number of interview questions Border Patrol agents have to ask Chinese illegal immigrants, from 40 to just five.

Why eliminate even this thin membrane of border vetting?

To avoid large backups of humanity at the border that news video drones can capture and speed up flows to US interior cities.

Many are no doubt regular economic immigrants hoping to live in America, land of the free.

But China would be stupid not to put spies into this almost-unregulated flow, and the spymasters are not stupid.

They are patient, willing to invest in long-term outcomes in lengths of time that certainly match five-year asylum-claim backlogs.

The many Chinese immigrants I have met on the trail in Mexico are among the best equipped, best dressed, most thoroughly coached on what to say and knowledgeable about trail travel.

Some are quite well educated.

Their spies are certainly trained well enough to get through five questions at the border.

Then, as time passes, they will no doubt enroll in top universities, nab gigs at top research institutions, join the US military posing as anti-Communists and enter federal-government service.

It may take a long time for US counterintelligence to discover the ones who came in over the border.

By then, because of Team Biden’s extreme national-security mismanagement, the damage will already have been done.