Security Risk: The Unprecedented Surge in Chinese Illegal Immigration

House Homeland Security Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations and Accountability

By Todd Bensman on May 16, 2024

Podcast: National Security Concerns Amid Rising Illegal Immigration

Before President Joe Biden’s January 2021 inauguration, illicit travel from China usually amounted to single digits per month, in 2019 and 2020, by five, seven or a couple of dozen apprehended in any given month. About 991 were encountered in 2018, 2,060 in 2019 before Covid, and 323 for all of 2020.

But in the three years since the president’s inauguration ending in March 2024, DHS’s alluring quick-release policies resulted in more than 50,000 Border Patrol encounters with Chinese nationals, at escalating monthly rates surpassing 4,500 and reaching nearly 6,000 during calendar year 2024. More Chinese nationals are now crossing the Southwest border near San Diego than Mexican nationals.