Chinese, Jordanian, Turkish illegal immigrants caught in large numbers at southern border

Over 3,500 Chinese nationals were encountered crossing the southern border illegally in May, along with hundreds of Jordanian, Turkish and Mauritanian nationals, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) sources who spoke to Fox News.

The vast majority (98%) were encountered in the San Diego Sector, which has emerged as a top border-crossing point, even as numbers across the border have decreased in recent months. 

While the Tucson Sector in Arizona saw the most encounters, with over 33,000 illegal encounters, San Diego was a close second with over 32,000.

MAYORKAS SAYS SOME MIGRANTS ‘TRY TO GAME’ ASYLUM SYSTEM, AS BORDER CRISIS REMAINS TOP POLITICAL ISSUE

In the San Diego sector, there were over 770 Jordanians, more than 670 Turkish, and over 500 Mauritanian nationals recorded crossing illegally in the sector in May, giving a glimpse into the global nature of the U.S. migrant crisis, which has expanded beyond the Western Hemisphere.

The influx of Jordanian nationals was put in the spotlight last month when two people from Jordan were arrested for attempting to breach Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia. One of those nationals had crossed into the U.S. illegally in April and had then been released into the interior of the U.S.

The number of Chinese nationals has increased enormously since 2021. There were 1,970 encounters in FY 2022 and over 24,000 in FY 2023, and so far there have been over 24,200 encounters so far this fiscal year.

Fox News is told that approximately 118,000 migrants crossed the U.S. illegally and were apprehended by Border Patrol in May. Over 6,300 of those were “special interest aliens” coming from countries with potential national security concerns. 

The ongoing crisis at the border threatens to be a major issue for President Biden’s re-election campaign. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said recently that some migrants crossing the southern border “try to game” the U.S. asylum system – a hardening of rhetoric as the crisis at the border remains a top political issue going into the November presidential election.

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“The reality is that some people do indeed try to game the system,” Mayorkas told CBS News. “That does not speak to everyone whom we encounter, but there is an element of it, and we deal with it accordingly.”

The administration has demanded reform from Congress, including the bipartisan Senate bill. It has also pointed to 720,000 removals or returns of illegal immigrants since May 2023, more than in every full fiscal year since 2011.  

CLICK HERE FOR MORE COVERAGE OF THE BORDER SECURITY CRISIS

Mayorkas said in the interview that a recent bipartisan border security proposal, which has failed to pick up support in the Senate, “would have equipped us with more tools to deal with those individuals who seek to game the system.”

Republicans have blamed the policies of the administration, including the rollback of Trump-era policies such as wall construction, the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) and increased interior enforcement. They have passed their own legislation in the House that would significantly limit asylum claims and restart border wall construction and similar measures. It has not yet been taken up by the Senate.

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