The latest in what’s been a series of groups of Chinese migrants arriving at the southern border between the United States and Mexico appeared near California on Monday.
The migrants, reported to be mostly Chinese nationals fleeing authoritarian leader Xi Jinping, were lined up neatly dressed and with proper luggage as they were processed following their illegal crossing, NewsNation reported.
They were lined up near the San Diego County town of Jacumba Hot Springs as the county debates approving millions more in emergency funding to help shelter them.
While previously many of the migrants causing the US border crisis had come from central and South America, now thousands have come from China.
Over the 2023 fiscal year, which ended in September, US Customs and Border Protection reported 24,048 Chinese citizens were apprehended at the Mexico border, more than in the ten preceding years combined.
That’s up more than 10 times from the 1,970 arrests recorded during the 2022 fiscal year, and just 323 the year before, when China was under strict pandemic travel bans and lockdowns.
The latest in what’s been a series of groups of Chinese migrants arriving at the southern border between the United States and Mexico appeared near California on Monday
Texas Governor Greg Abbott noted the new trend of people from Communist China and said it was only making President Biden’s battle at the border worse.
‘It is extraordinarily dangerous because, first of all, as you point out, we have people from China coming here.’
‘We also have people on the known terrorist watch list who are coming across the border. And so there’s extraordinary dangers, calls to our country by Biden’s open border policies,’ Abbott told Fox News on Sunday.
‘And obviously, Biden is doing nothing about it. And that’s why Texas has to step up and apprehend as many of these people as possible to make sure that they’re not posing a threat to our country,’ he added.
‘But this is a very serious existential threat to our country caused by Joe Biden. And that’s exactly why Texas is taking extraordinary steps to try to crack down on it.’
In California, the migrant surge is forcing governments to ponder spending millions on further facilities to house people.
In San Diego, the county board of supervisors is voting Tuesday on a bill that would allocate an additional $3million for migrant facilities, NBC News reported. They’ve already spent $3million since September.
Around 100,000 of the 1.3 million people on final orders to be deported from the United States are Chinese nationals, the New York Times reported.
The migrants, reported to be mostly Chinese nationals fleeing authoritarian leader Xi Jinping, were lined up neatly dressed and with proper luggage as they were processed following their illegal crossing
While previously many of the migrants causing the US border crisis had come from central and South America, now thousands have come from China
Around 100,000 of the 1.3 million people on final orders to be deported from the United States are Chinese nationals
They were lined up near the San Diego County town of Jacumba Hot Springs as the county debates approving millions more in emergency funding to help shelter them
Texas Governor Greg Abbott noted the new trend of people from Communist China and said it was only making President Biden’s battle at the border worse
The Times spoke with several of the migrants, who claimed they were fleeing the authoritarian government of Xi Jinping, whom President Biden has called a dictator.
‘The largest reason for me is the political environment,’ Mark Xu, 35, who teaches elementary and middle school English in China but is now in Colombia attempting to migrate north.
He added that Xi’s COVID polices were making it ‘harder to breathe’ back home.
Although Latin America remains by far the largest regional source of immigration, China and other nations in the Eastern Hemisphere represent a significant and growing minority of migration using the southern land route.
Border Patrol arrested 41,719 Indian migrants crossing from Mexico in fiscal year 2023, up 129 percent on the previous year.
Some 7,390 Russians were captured, up by 42 percent, while 15,429 Turks were detained, roughly flat from the prior year.
Among nations not categorized by CBP, because they are traditionally not a significant source of illegal immigration, a total of 148,471 migrant were arrested at the southern border last fiscal year, three times more than the year before. This includes many countries in the Middle East and Africa.
In total, Border Patrol apprehended 2,045,838 migrants at illegal crossing points on the southern border in the 12 months through September, and another 429,831 were expelled at ports of entry, for the highest annual total on record.
Over the 2023 fiscal year, which ended in September, US Customs and Border Protection reported 24,048 Border Patrol apprehensions of Chinese migrants at the southern border
A group of people, including many from China, walk along the wall after crossing the border with Mexico to seek asylum, on October 24 near Jacumba, California
The surge in migrants attempting to enter the US underscores the scale of the humanitarian crisis at the border, and the political challenge it presents for President Joe Biden as he seeks re-election in 2024.
The influx of migrants from China follows years of draconian pandemic restrictions in that country, which threw the economy into disarray and shattered confidence in the ruling Communist Party.
Chinese asylum-seekers who spoke to the Associated Press in a recent article say they are seeking to escape an increasingly repressive political climate and bleak economic prospects.
Deng Guangsen, 28, spent the last two months traveling to San Diego from the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, through seven countries on plane, bus and foot, including traversing Panama’s dangerous Darién Gap jungle.
‘I feel nothing,’ Deng said in the San Diego parking lot where Border Patrol agents dropped him off after processing. ‘I have no brother, no sister. I have nobody.’
Chinese migrants are often relying on a relatively new and perilous route through Panama’s Darién Gap jungle that has become increasingly popular with the help of social media, where posts and videos provide step-by-step guidance.
Chinese people were the fourth-highest nationality, after Venezuelans, Ecuadorians and Haitians, crossing the Darién Gap during the first nine months of this year, according to Panamanian immigration authorities.
Now emigration has resumed, as China’s economy is struggling to rebound and youth unemployment soars.
The United Nations has projected China will lose 310,000 people through emigration this year, compared with 120,000 in 2012.
Deng Guangsen winces as he talks about his journey from his homeland China to crossing the United States border with Mexico, as he sits in a transit center in San Diego last month
A group of people, including many from China, walk along the wall after crossing the border with Mexico to seek asylum, October 24 near Jacumba, California
A migrant caravan advances through the south of the country to try to reach the border with the United States, in Tapachula, Mexico, on Monday
It has become known as ‘runxue,’ or the study of running away. The term started as a way to get around censorship, using a Chinese character whose pronunciation spells like the English word ‘run’ but means ‘moistening.’ Now it’s an internet meme.
‘This wave of emigration reflects despair toward China,’ Cai Xia, editor-in-chief of the online commentary site of Yibao and a former professor at the Central Party School of the Chinese Communist Party in Beijing.
‘They’ve lost hope for the future of the country,’ said Cai, who now lives in the U.S. ‘You see among them the educated and the uneducated, white-collar workers, as well as small business owners, and those from well-off families.’
The Darien Gap route is viable for Chinese immigrants because they can fly into Ecuador without a visa.
From Quito, they join Latin Americans to travel through the once-impenetrable Darién Gap and across several Central American countries before reaching the U.S. border.
The journey is well-known enough it has its own name in Chinese: walk the line, or ‘zouxian.’
Short video platforms and messaging apps have popularized the route.
They provide on-the-ground video clips and step-by-step guides from China to the US, including tips on what to pack, where to find guides, how to survive the jungle, which hotels to stay at, how much to bribe police in different countries and what to do when encountering U.S. immigration officers.
Translation apps allow migrants to navigate through Central America on their own, even if they don’t speak Spanish or English.
Short video app Douyin, owned by TikTok owner ByteDance, is one of the main sources of the Chinese tech giant’s revenue overall, Reuters previously reported.
A couple from China adjust their masks as they wait to board a bus to the airport after crossing the border and being dropped off by Border Patrol agents at a transit center in San Diego
A man from China gets a bowl of oatmeal from a volunteer as he waits with others for processing to apply for asylum after crossing the US border with Mexico
A major influx of Chinese migration to the United States on a relatively new and perilous route through Panama’s Darién Gap jungle has become increasingly popular thanks to social media
One Chinese migrant told Reuters she came across ‘Baozai,’ an internet personality who gained tens of thousands of followers on Douyin, Xigua Video, YouTube and Twitter by posting videos about his migration to the United States.
Baozai’s original account ‘Baozai adventure the world alone’ was blocked on Douyin for violating ‘community self-discipline regulations.’
He is now posting under a new account with the same name on Douyin, sticking to content about his life in the United States.
Reuters found other social media accounts giving advice in Mandarin on crossing the US-Mexico border.