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Spike in number of illegal Chinese immigrants becoming US national security issue

The number of Chinese nationals coming to the U.S. border and crossing illegally has surged significantly since FY 2021, according to government figures.

The number of Chinese nationals arriving at the U.S. border illegally has surged more than 6,300% in recent years, further fueling national security concerns that came back into focus last week when a Chinese immigrant was stopped at a Marine base.

There have been 22,233 encounters of Chinese nationals crossing illegally at the northern and southern border so far in fiscal year 2024, which began in October. That means this year is likely to significantly exceed last year's total of 24,125.

That figure was itself a massive increase over the previous two years. There were just 342 apprehensions of Chinese nationals in fiscal year 2021 and 1,987 in FY 2022, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE COVERAGE OF THE BORDER SECURITY CRISIS

In the San Diego Sector this week, 182 Chinese nationals were apprehended in a single day. 

Lawmakers have raised concerns about the migrants' potential ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). 

"There have been numerous documented instances of Chinese nationals, at the direction of the CCP, engaging in espionage, stealing military and economic secrets," lawmakers, led by Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., said last year. 

The Biden administration has noted the national security threat from China more broadly. In its most recent threat assessment, the Department of Homeland Security warns China will likely use predatory economic practices, including espionage and market manipulation, against the U.S.

CHINESE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT ARRESTED AFTER DRIVING ONTO MILITARY BASE IN CALIFORNIA

Last week, a Chinese illegal immigrant was detained in California after entering a Marine Corps base without authorization and ignoring orders to leave. The individual had attempted to access the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms without a valid ID, a spokesperson for the U.S. Marine Corps' Training and Education Command told Fox News Digital.

"Despite being prompted to exit at the Condor gate by installation security, the individual proceeded onto the installation without authorization. Military law enforcement were immediately notified and detained the individual," the spokesperson said. 

CBP has stressed that there will be consequences for those who enter the U.S. illegally.

CHINESE MIGRANTS MAKE MULTI-COUNTRY TREK TO US SOUTHERN BORDER: ‘I JUST WANT TO MAKE MONEY'

"DHS continues to enforce United States immigration laws, expanding lawful pathways while strengthening enforcement consequences for those who cross our border unlawfully," the agency said in a statement last week. "Individuals and families without a legal basis to remain in the U.S. are subject to removal pursuant to Title 8 authorities and are subject to a minimum five-year bar on reapplying for admission and potential criminal prosecution if they subsequently re-enter without authorization."

It added: "CBP is leveraging all available resources and partnerships to efficiently vet and process migrants consistent with law."

But other migrants coming from China have said they just intend to make a better life for themselves and their families.

"My English is not very good, and I don't know anyone in the United States," one migrant told Fox last month. "Once I get to the United States, I know I have to start all over again. But I want to live a good life in the future, and I want my children to be educated well. I strive to take root in the United States as soon as possible."

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