US Deports Chinese Nationals in First Removal Flight to China Since 2018

The U.S. government conducted its first large-scale flight since 2018 to remove multiple Chinese nationals ineligible to remain in the country.

The Department of Homeland Security announced on July 2 that its Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency carried out the removal flight over the weekend, in coordination with authorities in the Chinese regime.

The charter flight carried 116 Chinese nationals back to their home country.

The DHS said the flight is one of more than 120 it has chartered to more than 20 different countries since June 4, when President Joe Biden issued new executive actions that pauses asylum eligibility once illegal crossing numbers reach more than 2.500 per day over seven consecutive days.

Since then, according to the department, Border Patrol agents have seen the seven-day border encounter average drop by more than 40 percent.

“We will continue to enforce our immigration laws and remove individuals without a legal basis to remain in the United States,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a July 31 press statement.

“People should not believe the lies of smugglers.”

Mr. Mayorkas said his department is engaging with its Chinese counterparts on issues such as illegal border crossings and cross-border human smuggling efforts.

The number of Chinese nationals apprehended after entering the United States illegally has spiked in the past couple of years.

Border Patrol agents apprehended more than 24,000 Chinese nationals illegally entering the United States nationwide in fiscal year 2023; a significant jump from the nearly 2,000 apprehended in fiscal 2022, according to data from Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

So far this fiscal year, border agents have apprehended more than 31,000 Chinese nationals.

The DHS also welcomed an announcement by the Ecuadorian government that it now requires visas for Chinese passport holders in the country, due to concerns about how Chinese nationals are using the South American country as a launching point for smuggling operations running north into the United States.

In June, the Department of Justice brought criminal charges against two dozen people in connection to an alleged Chinese money laundering network they say handled more than $50 million in cross-border drug trafficking proceeds for the Sinaloa cartel.

The U.S. Treasury Department brought additional economic sanctions targeting one resident of Mexico and two residents of China, whom the Justice Department named as defendants in the money laundering case.

From The Epoch Times