US Sends Illegal Chinese Immigrants Packing

( – The US-Mexico border used to be the place where people from Latin America crossed into America. Over the last few years, an increasing number of migrants from other places in the world have also made the journey, including from China. Recently, the US sent the first large deportation flight in years.

On July 2, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced it deported 116 Chinese nationals, the largest in six years. The last mass deportation to China took place in 2018.

According to reports, large numbers of Chinese migrants have flown to South America throughout President Joe Biden’s administration. They travel through the Darién Gap on the border of Colombia and Panama. After passing through Central America and Mexico, they end up at the US border, where they surrender to Border Patrol and ask for asylum. If they cannot prove they face a credible fear, they are denied and must return to China.

In 2023, Chinese migrants were the fourth-largest group entering the US and applying for asylum. They were only exceeded by Haitians, Vanazuelans, and Ecuadoreans. Over 24,000 Chinese nationals were detained at the US border last year. That was more than the previous 10 years combined.

The Biden Administration is under immense pressure to solve the border crisis. The US signed an agreement with Panama on July 1 to stop the flow of migrants through the Darién Gap. They have also worked with the Chinese government to resume large deportation flights.

The New York Times reported that Liu Pengyu, a spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, DC, said Beijing “carried out international law enforcement cooperation” with other nations to “repatriate people involved in smuggling activities.”

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas vowed to “continue to enforce [America’s] immigration laws and remove individuals without a legal basis” to stay in the US. DHS continues to work with China to “reduce and deter irregular migration” and to fight human smuggling.

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