Biden Admin’s Watered Down Vetting Process For Chinese Illegal Immigrants Poses National Security Risk, Experts Warn

National security experts sounded the alarm over the Biden administration’s lax vetting process for Chinese illegal immigrants during a House hearing on Thursday.

The House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Accountability held a hearing Thursday examining the roughly 8,000% increase in Chinese illegal immigration the U.S. has experienced since March 2021, as well as federal policies that may have contributed to the surge. The hearing follows a January 2024 Daily Caller News Foundation investigation revealing an internal U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) email showing that the Biden administration drastically simplified the vetting process for Chinese illegal immigrants in April 2023, which has increased the speed of Chinese illegal immigrants entering the U.S.

“Unfortunately, under the Biden administration, Border Patrol agents have been instructed that when processing Chinese nationals, they should conduct short, basic interviews, that include only generic background questions, instead of in-depth interviews,” Republican Rep. Dan Bishop, chair of the subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Accountability, said during the hearing. “In other words, there is no serious vetting.”

“How likely is it that someone showing up at the border is going to admit that they are here to do the bidding of the Chinese Communist Party or perhaps the [People’s Liberation Army]?” Bishop asked. “Instead, that person will likely provide the answers their smugglers told them to give Border Patrol.”


The DCNF’s January 2024 investigation revealed that the Biden administration directed Border Patrol agents to reduce the 40 questions they were required to ask Chinese illegal immigrants down to just five “basic questions” concerning their “Military Service,” “Universities,” “POB/Region,” “Employment” and “Political Party.”

As a result, there are few guardrails to keep Chinese illegal immigrants from falsifying their identities, Todd Bensman, a senior national security fellow at the Center For Immigration Studies, testified.

“The Biden administration gifted the Chinese intelligence an especially sparkling new policy. Washington ordered Border Patrol to reduce the number of interview questions for incoming Chinese nationals from 40 to just five, The Daily Caller has reported,” Bensman said. “Why? To move them into the country even faster, including those who tossed their identity documents and might as well have given their names as Mickey Mouse.”


Prior to the Biden administration, around 1,000 Chinese illegal immigrants were encountered by Border Patrol agents each year, Rep. Bishop said during the hearing.

However, the U.S. experienced a 1,100% jump in Chinese illegal immigration between fiscal year 2022 and 2023, around the time that the Biden administration simplified the vetting process, Bishop said, with encounters reaching just over 24,000 in 2023.




Yet, the number of Chinese illegal immigrants is likely even higher still, because Border Patrol data does not include so-called “got-aways” who enter without ever encountering U.S. authorities, Simon Hankinson, a senior research fellow in the Border Security and Immigration Center at The Heritage Foundation, testified.


“Under President Biden’s policies, what was once a privilege has become a right. And despite what the administration wishes the public to believe, there is no real vetting of those released at the border, nor of those allowed in under parole programs, much less the got-aways who enter entirely without inspection.”


The experts warned that Chinese intelligence agencies are likely already using Chinese illegal immigration to their advantage.

“The influx provides cover for Chinese intelligence operatives or those acting on their behalf to potentially infiltrate our borders,” Craig Singleton, a senior fellow at Foundation for Defense of Democracies, testified.

Bensman, from the Center For Immigration Studies, testified that he believes Chinese intelligence operatives will exploit rampant Chinese illegal immigration to “hunt down dissidents” within the US., and cited a U.S. intelligence community threat assessment.

“Recent spy prosecutions in the U.S. and public intelligence community assessments tell us this threat is not speculative,” Bensman said.

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