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STARTLING STATS FACTSHEET: Encounters of Chinese Nationals Surpass All Fiscal Year 2023 at the Southwest Border

April 18, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. –– Today, the House Committee on Homeland Security released its “Startling Stats” factsheet detailing the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) border encounter numbers for March of Fiscal Year (FY) 2024. Last month marked the halfway point for the fiscal year and the third worst March in decades at the Southwest border (189,372). Read previous “Startling Stats” factsheets at

So far in FY24, 24,376 Chinese nationals have been encountered at the Southwest border, 24,214 of them apprehended illegally crossing the border. Encounters of Chinese nationals in March 2024 increased over 8,000 percent compared to March 2021, and have surpassed all of last fiscal year––just six months into FY24. March also marked a historic high for encounters along the busiest sector of the northern border, the Swanton Sector, which saw a nearly 50-percent increase compared to the previous March, and more than a 2,000-percent increase compared to March of FY21. More than 1,000 Chinese nationals have crossed the northern border every month for the past five months.

The potential national security implications of this unprecedented influx are concerning, as a Chinese national in the U.S. illegally breached a military base in California and refused to leave on March 29. Unfortunately, reports from last year revealed Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ DHS had instructed Border Patrol agents to drastically reduce the number of vetting questions for Chinese nationals in order to more quickly process these aliens into the interior––potentially putting our homeland security at risk. According to Rio Grande Valley Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez in her transcribed interview with the Committee in September 2023, in order to interview and process Chinese nationals, her sector “had to go through a translation service. That translation service took about six to seven hours to interview a Chinese national. So that was very tasking on our end.”

According to CBP data, nationwide encounters at just ports of entry (107,298) have increased 375 percent compared to FY21. This drastic increase in encounters highlights Secretary Mayorkas’ willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law through his unlawful use of mass parole for otherwise inadmissible aliens.

“Secretary Mayorkas’ willful and systemic refusal to comply with the laws of the United States and his breach of the public trust continue to incentivize a record number of inadmissible aliens to flock to our borders, putting themselves in harm’s way and straining our Border Patrol agents and Custom and Border Protection officers on the frontlines of the crisis,” Chairman Green said last week.“Among these encounters were more Chinese nationals, totaling more in the first six months of this fiscal year than in all of Fiscal Year 2023.

“Nationwide encounters continue to tell the story of this administration’s brazen and unlawful use of mass-parole to funnel unprecedented numbers of otherwise inadmissible aliens into communities across this country through ports of entry, forcing taxpayers to bear the overwhelming cost. The American people continue to demand accountability from the individual responsible for this crisis—Secretary Mayorkas.”

Key Facts:

  • Since President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas took office, there have been 9.2 million encounters nationwide and over 7.6 million encounters at the Southwest border alone.
  • In March, CBP, including Air and Marine Operations (AMO), seized 1,392 pounds of fentanyl coming across the Southwest border, bringing the total for the fiscal year to 9,657 pounds—enough to kill roughly 2 billion people.
  • Since January 2023, 547,000 individuals have scheduled appointments with the CBP One app.
  • Since the program began, 404,000 Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans have been mass paroled under the administration’s CHNV parole program at ports of entry nationwide.
  • In March 2024, 6 more individuals whose names appear on the terrorist watchlist were stopped trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border between ports of entry. Since FY21, 357 of these individuals have been caught crossing our Southwest border illegally.
  • March marked the highest monthly total of northern border encounters so far in FY24 (16,238).