Border Patrol Agents Record ‘1000 Percent Increase’ in Illegal Immigrants From Nations Including China, Afghanistan

Border Patrol Agents Record ‘1000 Percent Increase’ in Illegal Immigrants From Nations Including China, Afghanistan
U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz at a press conference in Del Rio, Texas, on June 24, 2021. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)
Katabella Roberts
6/14/2023
Updated:
6/14/2023
0:00

Border Patrol agents have seen a more than 1000 percent increase in the number of illegal immigrants from countries including China and Afghanistan attempting to enter the United States, according to Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz.

Ortiz, who is set to retire next month after more than three decades with the agency, took to Twitter on June 9 where he shared the latest data pertaining to fiscal year 2022–2023.

Similar illegal immigrant increases were seen from the nations of Algeria, Djibouti, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, Mauritania, Paraguay, and Vietnam, according to Ortiz’s post.

“While we work diligently to repatriate migrants from these countries, we still have challenges with countries’ governments to get working programs in place to repatriate all those we apprehend,” said Ortiz, who will be succeeded by Jason Owens, the current head of the Del Rio Sector.

Official data from Border Patrol shows that agents recorded 342 encounters with immigrants from China in fiscal year 2021, with that figure rising to 1,987 in fiscal year 2022.

In the first seven months of fiscal year 2023, agents recorded 9,753 encounters with immigrants from China.

The rise in illegal immigration from China comes amid increasing tensions between the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and Washington over Beijing’s increasingly aggressive actions toward the self-ruled island of Taiwan, its alleged surveillance of Americans, and its highly-documented human rights abuses.

‘Extreme Pessimism’ in China

“Right now in China, there’s extreme pessimism, especially among people in their 20s about the future of their country, so it’s understandable that they’re leaving and they’re trying to get into the United States. And, you know, these are people who are relatively middle class, so it shows you the problems in Chinese society are severe,” China expert Gordon Chang previously told the Daily Caller.
Border Patrol has not published official data on encounters with immigrants from Afghanistan, but a March report from Foreign Policy states that more than 150,000 Afghans have applied for special immigrant visas following the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021, when the leader of the U.S.-backed Afghan government fled and the Taliban captured the capital city of Kabul.

The Epoch Times has contacted U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for further comment.

Ortiz’s comments come shortly after the end of the Title 42 emergency health restrictions that had allowed agents to turn illegal immigrants back to Mexico immediately if they were deemed to pose a health threat.

Data shows that overall, Border Patrol encountered a record-high 2.2 million illegal migrant encounters at the southern U.S. border in 2022.

Biden Admin Touts Decline in Illegal Border Crossings

Despite concerns that the number of border crossings would surge after Title 42 came to an end, the Biden administration has reported a decline in such crossings.
“As a result of planning and execution—which combined stiffer consequences for unlawful entry with a historic expansion of lawful pathways and processes—unlawful entries between ports of entry along the southwest border have decreased by more than 70 percent since May 11,” The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said in a June 6 memo.

“The [Biden] administration’s plan is working as intended,” the DHS memo noted.

However, so far in fiscal year 2023, agents have recorded more than 1.8 million encounters at the border.
Meanwhile, DHS Inspector General Joseph Cuffari has warned that agents at the border are suffering from low morale due to widespread staffing shortages and improper management of resources and planning during a surge in immigrant crossings.

This, he says, has resulted in many officers having to take on responsibilities outside of their typical roles which has left them unable to perform their primary law enforcement duties.

In a lengthy report published in May, Cuffari stressed that the Biden administration needs to reassess and strategically change the staffing issue at the border or risk seeing an increase in high staff turnover and earlier retirements which he believes could ultimately impact security operations at entry points into the United States.

Katabella Roberts is a news writer for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States, world, and business news.
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