President Joe Biden’s mass release of illegal aliens at the southern border—which takes the Department of Homeland Security’s eye off “gotaways” who avoid detection—is a huge national security risk.
The latest examples are the 12 Uzbeks who apparently paid an Islamic State trafficker to bring them to the U.S. so they could claim asylum and the preventable death of a boy whose school bus was hit by a Haitian who was released last year at the border.
On the watch of Biden’s homeland security secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, another pervasive risk is espionage, both commercial and military. The Uzbeks illustrate the potential for radical Islamist terrorism to creep across the border, but the more dangerous infiltration is being done by the Chinese Communist Party.
All countries spy on their enemies, and sometimes they even spy on their friends for commercial advantage. Chinese companies have stolen American technology for decades, and the Chinese government is after our military and industrial secrets.
The traditional methods are by mixing covert agents among staff at embassies and by inserting clandestine agents into the U.S. The former is easy, but diplomats tend to be watched. The latter is harder, at least when a country has strong borders and immigration controls.
Luckily for China, the Biden administration has offered a perfect combination of bad policy and incompetence on our borders to facilitate Chinese collection of American secrets.
According to the Federation of American Scientists, China’s external intelligence agency “is beginning to increasingly focus on scientific and technological intelligence in the military field.”
In addition to undercover agents, China has been known to recruit Chinese visa-holding students, visitors, permanent residents, and naturalized American citizens through a mix of techniques that include appealing to their ethnic patriotism, making cash payments, and threatening their families back home.
Exploiting an Open Border
Still, it isn’t a cakewalk for Chinese agents to burrow into U.S. government agencies or military-technology contractors. The U.S. government runs background checks, and the companies that are targets for spies are aware of the risk.
Most importantly, Chinese nationals must be authorized to work here. U.S. immigration law restricts the issuance of visas to foreign applicants who present high risks for stealing sensitive U.S. technology, although this barrier often is overcome in practice.
During the Biden administration, however, an increasing number of Chinese citizens don’t need a visa to get into the U.S. and work. They can accomplish the same by exploiting our open southern border.
This year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported “encountering” over 39,000 Chinese nationals attempting to enter the U.S. illegally—more than twice as many as in 2020.
Over 6,000 Chinese entered illegally in July alone. Some are genuine asylees looking to escape communist tyranny, as others have before them. More are simply economic migrants looking for a job with higher wages than they can make in China; they came here because they know that they can get in.
They also know they’ll be able to stay indefinitely, since Biden and Mayorkas have crippled the asylum system by flooding it with bogus cases, and DHS has almost abandoned interior enforcement.
And I’ll bet my last yuan that a few of those released at the border were brought here as agents to collect and pass information to Beijing.
Inadmissible aliens released at the border under Biden’s blatant abuse of immigration parole may obtain authorization to work. Letting aliens in on parole was supposed to be done rarely, as when aliens need critical medical care or are testifying as crucial witnesses in a trial, with no time to apply for a visa.
But as Texas and other states complain in an ongoing lawsuit, Biden’s egregious interpretation “amounts to the creation of a new visa program that allows hundreds of thousands of aliens to enter the United States who otherwise have no basis for doing so,” flouting “clear limits imposed by Congress.”
Meanwhile, those aliens not paroled but placed in deportation proceedings usually will claim asylum (unless they just disappear) and then they too can get a work authorization while their cases are pending.
While applicants wait out an asylum process that currently takes over four years and will get much longer with the millions being fed into it, they will apply for jobs in all sectors of the U.S. economy. It makes sense for companies involved in defense and sensitive technology to be careful who they hire.
As noted above, the U.S. shouldn’t give work or even tourist visas to foreigners who present a high risk of transferring technology to a foreign government. However, the millions of people with pending asylum applications, about whom we know far less, appear to have fewer restrictions.
Biden’s Department of Justice is now suing SpaceX, entrepreneur Elon Musk’s space exploration company, for discouraging asylees and refugees from applying for jobs and refusing to hire them if they did apply.
Refugees and asylees are two sides of the same coin.
“Refugees” are those brought here after being identified, screened, and processed abroad under the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. “Asylees” are those in the U.S. either legally (on a visa) or illegally who then claim they can’t go home again because they’d be persecuted on specific grounds such as their religious or political beliefs.
If approved, both refugees and asylees are on a path to permanent U.S. residency and citizenship. If they don’t qualify, the law requires that they be removed from the U.S.
Not Making Sense
According to news reports, SpaceX thought that it only could hire American citizens or green card holders to work at a government-affiliated space company. Musk’s company rejected refugee or asylee applicants in the belief that they were not authorized to work because of laws that prohibit the export of sensitive U.S. technology to certain countries.
But the Justice Department says that under these laws, a “U.S. person” includes foreigners with asylum or refugee status. That makes little sense.
And even if so, that shouldn’t be the case. For over a century, U.S. immigration policy has been that temporary and permanent immigrants should not be a public charge—that is, a drain on taxpayers.
But the Biden administration has completely perverted immigration law by giving illegal aliens two things they want: entry into the U.S. without visas and work authorization through fraudulently submitted asylum claims, the trigger to the work document.
Even for those aliens with a work authorization tied to legitimate immigration applications, until they’ve been approved for permanent status, or perhaps even become American citizens with skin in the national security game, there is no reason to put them in jobs where they could obtain technology vital to U.S. national defense and commercial competitiveness.
If the Justice Department is interpreting the law correctly and SpaceX is not, then Congress needs to clarify the position and sharpen the teeth of our technology transfer laws.
More importantly and urgently, the Biden administration needs to roll up the red carpet it’s extended to the Chinese and every other nationality illegally entering the country by reinstating the “Remain in Mexico” policy, third-country transit agreements, and other means to return integrity to the asylum process.
Meanwhile, Congress needs to defund Biden’s open border operations, fund real border security and enforcement, and secure our nation through legislation such as HR 2, called the Secure the Border Act.
A core reason that the Constitution set up the federal government was to “provide for the common defense.”
If our government doesn’t do that, it’s hard to see why we would fund it at all.
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