Customs and Border Protection encountered a record number of Russian and Chinese foreign nationals along America’s borders and at ports of entry in fiscal year 2023.
CBP encountered 57,163 foreign nationals from Russia between Oct. 1, 2022, and Sept. 30, 2023, over 20,000 more than the previous fiscal year. In the same time period, 52,700 Chinese nationals were encountered on America’s borders and at ports of entry, nearly 25,000 more than during fiscal year 2022.
“These alarming figures should not shock anyone,” Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., told The Daily Signal. “The Biden administration’s border policies continue to incentivize foreign nationals from all over the world to enter our country illegally via the southern border.”
Along America’s southern border with Mexico, CBP encountered 24,314 Chinese foreign nationals and 43,210 Russian foreign nationals.
Biggs added: “Having tens of thousands of Russian and [Chinese Communist Party]-linked individuals show up at our border is not normal by any measure. The inaction from the Biden administration is unacceptable and jeopardizes American lives.”
During the final full fiscal year of the Trump administration, 5,946 Russian nationals were encountered on America’s border and 18,395 Chinese nationals were encountered.
On Saturday, CBP released data revealing that agents encountered a record 3.2 million illegal aliens at U.S. ports of entry and between ports of entry on the northern and southern borders. That number does not include “gotaways.”
A recent report from the House Judiciary Committee found that “more than 1.7 million known gotaways” have successfully evaded Border Patrol agents and entered the country during the first 26 months of the Biden administration. It is unclear how many illegal aliens have successfully evaded Border Patrol detection and entered America.
CBP also reported that 736 illegal aliens on America’s “terrorist watchlist” have been encountered at or between a port of entry in fiscal year 2023, which ended Sept. 30. The terrorist watchlist includes “individuals who represent a potential threat to the United States, including known affiliates of watchlisted individuals,” according to CBP.
“The United States’ adversaries understand that now is the prime opportunity to infiltrate our country, and the data should raise immediate concerns, especially with the increasing threats of terror attacks,” Biggs said, referring to Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel that triggered a war.
CBP’s San Diego Field Office issued a memo Friday warning of members of Hamas, Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, or the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine attempting to cross the border.
The San Diego office “assesses that individuals inspired by, or reacting to, the current Israel-Hamas conflict may attempt travel to or from the area of hostilities in the Middle East via circuitous transit across the southwest border,” according to the memo, which was first reported Monday by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“Foreign fighters motivated by ideology or mercenary soldiers of fortune may attempt to obfuscate travel to or from the U.S. to or from countries in the Middle East through Mexico,” that CBP memo says.
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