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Chinese nationals illegally entering U.S. in record numbers since 2021

In every state and sector, nearly all being apprehended are single adults.

Published: April 2, 2024 11:05pm

(The Center Square) -

The number of Chinese nationals illegally entering the U.S. – primarily single, military age men – has skyrocketed under the Biden administration.

Of the more than 140,000 Chinese who’ve illegally entered the country since fiscal 2021, one recently was apprehended at a Marine Corps base at the southwest border.

El Centro Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gregory Bovino reported that Border Patrol agents “responded to a call from the Marine Corp Base about a Chinese national who entered the base without authorization, ignoring orders to leave.”

The Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, Arizona, is not far from the El Centro Sector, which lies directly west of the CBP Yuma Sector. The El Centro Sector spans 71 linear miles along the border with Mexico in primarily desert and mountainous terrain. To its east is the Yuma Sector, which covers all of Nevada, a southeastern section of California and the western part of Arizona.

The MCAS Yuma is where all Marine Corps tactical aviation units train, and is home to multiple squadrons, including fighter, air combat, and aviation weapons and tactics squadrons. A Naval Air Facility Base is located in El Centro, California, 15 minutes from the Mexico border and is a key training location for pilots.

The Chinese national was “confirmed to be in the country illegally,” Bovino said and “his purpose and intent behind his actions are still being investigated.”

Of the record number of Chinese nationals illegally entering the U.S. along the southwest border, the majority are entering California; at the northern border, the majority are entering in New York, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data.

Since fiscal 2021 through February 2024, 140,839 Chinese nationals illegally entered the U.S. nationwide, excluding those who evaded capture.

In fiscal 2021, 23,471 Chinese nationals illegally entered the U.S. nationwide. This number increased to 27,756 in fiscal 2022 and to 53,700 in 2023. Current numbers are on track to exceed previous fiscal years, with 36,912 having been apprehended through February 2024. The greatest number to illegally enter in a single month was 8,518 in December 2023.

From fiscal 2021 through February 2024, nearly 50,000 illegally entered through the southwest border. Nearly half that number, over 24,000, illegally entered at the northern border over the same time period.

Of those illegally entering from Mexico, the majority are being apprehended in California, totaling a record more than 35,000, according to CBP data. In fiscal 2021, 263 Chinese were apprehended. By February 2024, fiscal year to date, 22,098 have been apprehended.

The second greatest number have been apprehended in Texas of over 26,000 over the same time period, according to the data.

Of those illegally entering from Canada, the majority are being apprehended in New York of over 10,400 over the same time period.

In every state and sector, nearly all being apprehended are single adults. The majority of the single adults are military age men, officials told The Center Square.

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