While all eyes are on Texas as the US-Mexico border crisis deepens, thousands of migrants are taking a different route into the country – and San Diego is seeing a majority of that action as Colombian and Chinese citizens flood the border. Here’s what we know as the crisis unfolds!

What Is The San Diego Sector California? 

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the San Diego Sector encompasses 56,831 square miles, including 60 linear miles of international boundary with Mexico – just north of Tijuana and Tecate, Baja California. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Like the Texas-Mexico border, the San Diego-Mexico border sees its fair share of illegal entries. In fact, it’s one of the busiest Border Patrol sectors in the country – currently ranking as the second busiest sector in 2024 (behind Tucson, Arizona). 

Chinese Nationals Crossing At An Alarming Rate

In 2021, just 342 Chinese nationals were arrested after entering the US illegally through the San Diego sector. That number has been increasing at an alarming rate these past few years – even more so in these past few months. 

Source: X/Cato Institute

Nearly 2,000 arrests were made in fiscal year 2022, but that number jumped to a whopping 24,125 arrests in 2023. Now, in the first six months of fiscal year 2024, San Diego has already seen 22,233 such arrests – and that’s with six more months to go!

182 Chinese Citizens Apprehended On Tuesday

The illegal entries continued this week when 182 Chinese migrants were apprehended by Border Patrol agents after crossing the San Diego sector. They were temporarily taken into custody before being released into the US while they await a permanent decision. 

Source: Shutterstock/sirtravelalot

It goes to show just how common this scene is. Every month, hundreds of Chinese nationals cross the border – many of whom know they’ll be caught, but know they’ll be released almost simultaneously. It’s a small price to pay for supposed freedom. 

Colombians Also Crossing Border At High Rate

That said, Chinese nationals aren’t the only ones taking advantage of the San Diego sector. In fact, Colombians make up the majority of all migrants crossing through San Diego, totaling more than 28,000 arrests since October 2023. 

Source: Freepik

What’s even more surprising is that Colombian and Chinese nationals are crossing the sector at a higher rate than Mexicans. Where 28,000 Colombians and 22,000 Chinese nationals have been arrested since October, only 18,000 Mexican nationals have been apprehended. 

Some Chinese Migrants Support Joe Biden

Whether they know it or not, most Chinese migrants attempting to enter the United States want one thing in 2024, and that’s to see Joe Biden win in this year’s presidential election – because a Biden win means a Trump loss. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Trump spent a lot of his four-year term trying to make it as hard as possible for Chinese migrants to enter the country illegally. A lot of the orders he signed were immediately replaced or killed when Joe Biden came into the picture. 

Chinese Social Media Apps Act As A Guide

In a recent interview with Fox News, one Chinese migrant who crossed the border illegally said he received tips and guidance from Chinese social media apps – which helped make his arduous journey into the US possible. 

Source: Canva

“He said he collected information from online sources to learn how to make it to the U.S., including information about routes, border navigation and ways to dispose of information to avoid having your origin traced,” Fox News wrote. 

One Migrant Wants Better Life For Family

Another Chinese migrant spoke about the legal identity problem they face once entering the United States. This particular migrant didn’t seem to care if Biden or Trump were in office – they just wanted a fresh start in a new country. 

Source: Freepik

“I am not worried about my legal identity problem, because as long as we arrive in the United States, there will always be a way to solve the identity problem. We want to go to the United States mainly for our children and to give them a better future,” they said. 

National Security Analyst Suggests Ill Intent

Rebecca Grant, a national security analyst at IRIS Independent Research, suggests that some of these Chinese migrants aren’t entering the United States with good intentions. In fact, she’s ‘99% certain that at least a little bit of this is [the] Chinese military infiltrating for reasons harmful to our national security.’ 

Source: Shutterstock/New Africa

“Some of those people want to come here and have a better way of life, but I think some of those Chinese [nationals] quite possibly are here to spy and report back at a minimum,” she added. 

Rep. Mark Green First Pointed It Out In June 2023

Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.), who currently chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, raised a similar concern in June 2023. He suggested that China was sending over spies to steal our economic and intellectual property. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons

At the time, he pointed out how the majority of nationals entering the country were military-age men with known ties to the Chinese Communist Party and People’s Liberation Army – which raised suspicion for obvious reasons.

Brandon Judd Seconds Green’s Sentiment

Brandon Judd, the president of the National Border Patrol Council, shared a similar sentiment – agreeing that a majority of Chinese migrants are of military age and are single adults. 

Source: Canva

“That is a very scary prospect, we know that China does not like us, we know that we are in the crosshairs of China,” Judd said in an interview with Fox News. “And they are exporting so many people to our country, and you have to really fear about that.”

Chief Patrol Agent Can’t Seem To Figure It Out

Before the start of fiscal year 2024, Chief Patrol Agent Anthony Good of the El Paso sector spoke about the recent influx of Chinese immigrants. He admitted that it was a major talking point among agents, but they had little answers at that point. 

Source: Canva

He complained that ‘information can be hidden’ and that ‘their agendas, their ideologies, the reason for them coming, could be missed.’ This makes it hard to determine which Chinese immigrants are here for a better life, and who’s here with ill intentions. 

Border Remains A Key Issue Ahead Of 2024 Election

The US-Mexico border is one of the biggest issues among Americans ahead of the 2024 presidential election. Those voting for Biden support an open border policy, while those voting for Trump support a secure border. 

Source: Canva

As of right now, Trump has a slight advantage over Biden in the polls, but Biden has pulled off an upset against Trump before – and he’s prepared to do it again this year. We’ll see which way the polls swing in November!