Potentially dangerous asylum seekers from China could find it easier to make their way into the U.S. after Customs and Border Protection reduced the number of screening questions they’re asked when trying to enter.
It used to be that border processors had to ask Chinese migrants 40 screening questions before they were allowed to enter. But, since there has been a surge in Chinese nationals seeking to enter the U.S. in recent months, that number has been reduced to only five.
Immigration experts who spoke with The New York Post said this change was necessary so the process of vetting migrants at the southern border could be expedited. However, they also point out that it causes some significant national security concerns, as dangerous people could end up coming into the U.S.
"5,000 [Chinese nationals] were caught [at the US border] just in the month of November. 85% of those are single men of military age… What % of those are here on [Chinese govt.] orders to intensify efforts to interfere in our election? " – @JohnRatcliffe https://t.co/rkzSBegDDU
— Cliff Sims (@Cliff_Sims) January 7, 2024
“The change in procedure appears to reflect the reality that the volume of Chinese migrants is overwhelming the U.S. immigration control system,” Timothy Heath, who works for the RAND Corporation, told The Post. “However, any simplification risks raising the risk that unwanted individuals slip through the cracks.”
Late last week, the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party said the reduction in screening questions was “unacceptable” and called for President Joe Biden to “secure the border now.”
There were nearly 60,000 encounters between Border Patrol agents and Chinese migrants between January and November of last year — more than double the 25,397 for the year before.
That has caused the workload for CBP personnel to become overwhelming, to say the least.
As such, CBP has cut the number of screening questions to streamline the process, according to a report published by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Some of the questions that have been axed include whether they paid a human trafficker to smuggle them in, how they made their way to the U.S. and whether they’ve ever been arrested.
A CBP email from April, which the DCNF cited in its story, said the five questions that are asked of Chinese asylum seekers are now all basic, ranging from military service to place of birth, employment and political party affiliation.