Mexico Border Seeing Influx of Chinese Migrants

( – The economy in China has struggled to completely recover since the pandemic, leaving many young people unemployed. Prior to 2020, many Chinese citizens were leaving the country in fear of further oppression after President Xi Jinping did away with presidential term limits and declared himself president of the communist country for the rest of his life.

Now that Chinese people can travel out of the country, tens of thousands are seeking a new life in the United States. In the first nine months of 2023, Customs and Border Protection arrested 22,187 Chinese people for illegally crossing the southern border. That number is 13 times higher than the first nine months of 2022.

In September alone, more than 4,000 Chinese people were arrested by CBP. Outside of Central and South American countries, China accounts for the largest number of migrants arriving at the southern border. Many travel to Ecuador because Chinese nationals do not have to have a visa to enter the country. Then they head up through several other countries in Central America to reach the United States. The trip includes a once-dangerous trek through the Darien Gap jungle, which used to lead to death or severe injuries.

Most of the Chinese migrants arriving in the United States are single adults and have families already in the country. Once processed into the system, they are taken to shelters or hotels, where most only stay for one day or less. Nearly 98 percent are entering the country through San Diego. Migrants who spoke with the Associated Press reported that they spent between $41,000 and $56,000 to get to the United States. Most migrants said they came to the country due to the economic conditions in China, but one female migrant said that she was escaping oppression after being harassed and jailed.

Border crossings have been at record highs since President Biden took office and have consistently increased year over year. In September alone, 269,735 CBP encounters were recorded.

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