Record Influx of Chinese and Russian Nationals Raises Border Security Concerns
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has recorded a significant increase in encounters with Chinese and Russian foreign nationals along the United States’ borders and at ports of entry during the 2023 fiscal year. This surge in encounters has raised concerns about national security.
During fiscal year 2023, 52,700 Chinese nationals were encountered at the borders and ports of entry, marking a nearly 25,000 increase from the previous fiscal year. Simultaneously, CBP encountered 57,163 foreign nationals from Russia, a substantial increase of over 20,000 compared to the previous fiscal year. These numbers indicate a significant uptick in the number of individuals from these two countries attempting to enter the United States.
Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona commented on these alarming statistics, noting that they should not come as a surprise. He pointed out that the Biden administration’s border policies continue to incentivize foreign nationals from across the globe to enter the country illegally through the southern border.
This influx of tens of thousands of Chinese and Russian individuals at the border is far from normal, and Biggs finds the inaction of the Biden administration unacceptable and a potential threat to American lives. This surge in encounters is likely due to various factors, including the perception of lax border security and a lack of strong deterrence. In comparison, the final full fiscal year of the Trump administration saw much lower numbers, with 18,395 Chinese nationals and 5,946 Russian nationals encountered along the border.
Additionally, the recent data from CBP revealed that agents encountered a record 3.2 million illegal aliens at U.S. ports of entry and between ports of entry on the northern and southern borders. This figure does not include individuals who successfully evaded Border Patrol agents and entered the country without detection. The report found that over 1.7 million known “gotaways” had successfully entered the United States during the first 26 months of the Biden administration.
CBP has reported encountering 736 individuals on the “terrorist watchlist” at or between ports of entry during fiscal year 2023. This watchlist includes individuals who are considered potential threats to the United States.
Rep. Biggs emphasized that the United States’ adversaries understand that this is a prime opportunity to infiltrate the country. The data on encounters should raise immediate concerns, especially given the increasing threats of terror attacks, such as the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas.
CBP’s San Diego Field Office issued a memo warning of the potential presence of members of Hamas, Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, or the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine attempting to cross the border. The memo expressed concern that individuals inspired by or reacting to the Israel-Hamas conflict might seek to travel to or from the hostilities in the Middle East through the southwest border.
Foreign fighters with ideological motivations or mercenary soldiers of fortune might attempt to obfuscate their travel to or from the United States through Mexico. This situation underscores the importance of maintaining strong border security and effective immigration policies to safeguard the nation from potential threats and challenges.