BRADENTON — In December, the United States Border Patrol processed 225,000 migrants who entered the U.S. illegally, more than any other month in the agency's history. While most of the migrants are coming up through Mexico from places like El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Peru, and Venezuela, a dramatic rise in Chinese migrants has surprised the agency.
In 2023, U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported that 37,000 Chinese citizens had been caught crossing illegally from Mexico into the U.S., a whopping 50 times more than had been apprehended just two years earlier. Considering that China is almost 7,000 miles away, the numbers become even more surprising.
The two most common reasons Chinese immigrants give for embarking on the expensive journey are to find work and escape the oppressive nature of the autocratic Chinese Communist Party. Much of China's economy has yet to rebound from the strict COVID-19 lockdown policies implemented by the CCP. Most of the migrants say that they learned how to navigate the process through posts on TikTok, a Chinese social media platform.
Hopes for a bipartisan border deal look doomed, with Senate Republicans poised to block a procedural motion to begin debate on the matter. Under pressure from former President Trump to deny Democrats anything that could benefit President Biden in November, a competing proposal from House Republicans also seems unlikely to pass.
Former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, who is the only candidate still challenging Trump for the Republican nomination, accused Trump of "playing politics" with the border crisis for his own gain.
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