The influx of Chinese migrants crossing the southern border continued through April, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data.
Border Patrol encountered 3,182 migrants from China at the U.S.-Mexico border in April alone, according to CBP data. Chinese migrants often pay hefty smuggling fees to reach the U.S., where they have been found with large sums of U.S. currency, according to Border Patrol agents who recently spoke with the Daily Caller News Foundation.
In total, Border Patrol has encountered 9,711 Chinese migrants at the southern border between October 2022 and April, marking an already roughly 393% increase compared to all of fiscal year 2022.
Migrants from Latin America pay an average of roughly $4,000 each to smugglers, according to a July report from The New York Times.
Gordon Chang, author of The Coming Collapse of China, a Gatestone Institute distinguished senior fellow, and a member of its advisory board, believes many young Chinese migrants are fleeing China due to a lack of hope for their future in the country, he told the DCNF.
“Right now in China there’s extreme pessimism, especially among people in their 20s about the future of their country, so it’s understandable that they’re leaving and they’re trying to get into the United States. And, you know, these are people who are relatively middle class, so it shows you the problems in Chinese society are severe. And that to me, suggests that this is going to get worse because these numbers are staggering.”
Most of the Chinese migrants encountered by Border Patrol so far in fiscal year 2023 are single adults, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data. Legitimate asylum claims must be based on persecution due to religious affiliation, membership in a social group, race, nationality and political party affiliation.
It’s also possible that some Chinese migrants are nefarious actors, Chang said.
“When I first saw that the surge in Chinese migrants, that’s the thought that came to my mind that these are either Ministry of State Security agents or Chinese military, who are coming to this country to commit acts of sabotage against the US,” Chang said.
CBP sent a memo to agency officials in March, warning of a surge in Chinese migrants, according to a copy of the document that the DCNF exclusively obtained.
“Chinese national apprehensions will continue to rise across the SWB [Southwest border], primarily in Yuma and the Rio Grande Sector, as more Chinese nationals successfully reach the United States to request asylum and information about routes becomes more accessible,” the document stated.
The document also detailed a smuggling route in which a group of Chinese migrants traveled to Istanbul, where they obtained Mexican visas, flew to Mexico City pretending to be couples and then split off to get to border towns. Migrants are fleeing China due to religious persecution against Christians, the document stated.
“They don’t say much, just that they left China to escape communism,” a Border Patrol agent who has apprehended some of the Chinese migrants at the southern border told the DCNF.
“They get interviewed by intel and released,” the agent said.
Chinese migrants are known to pay smugglers between $15,000 and $30,000 to make the journey, a second Border Patrol agent stationed along the southern border, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the leaked document, previously told the DCNF.
“[The] majority of them have thousands and thousands of U.S. dollars,” the agent said. “FBI has been called down several times now.”
“The cartels know and are charging them out the ass what their normal rates are,” the agent added.