US border sees influx of 24,000 Chinese migrants crossing from Mexico in the ... trends now
Federal data shows a major influx of Chinese nationals at the US border with Mexico, as migrant caravans from Latin American increasingly attract asylum seekers from around the world.
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.
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 much of China remained under strict pandemic travel bans and lockdowns.
Although Latin America remains by far the largest regional source of migrants seeking to cross the southern US border, China and other nations in the Eastern Hemisphere represent a growing source of migration using the southern land route.
Border Patrol arrested 41,719 Indian nationals at the southern border in fiscal year 2023, a 129 percent increase from the prior year. Border apprehensions of Russians were up 42 percent, to 7,390, and 15,429 Turkish nationals were arrested, roughly flat from the prior year.
Federal data shows a major influx of Chinese nationals at the US border with Mexico, as the crossing becomes an increasingly global migration route for asylum seekers around the world
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
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.
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.
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.'
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
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