McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — A surge in Chinese nationals crossing the border illegally from Mexico into South Texas is putting a strain on Border Patrol resources, the Rio Grande Valley Sector chief says.
Chief Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez tweeted that the RGV Sector is leading the nation in Chinese migrant encounters. So far in Fiscal Year 2023, agents have encountered Chinese nationals over 1,667 times.
This includes 90 Chinese nationals who were apprehended Thursday, which Chavez tweeted Friday in an update is the “most encountered since 2010 in a single day.”
Chavez says there has been a 920% increase in Chinese nationals encountered, compared to Fiscal Year 2022, the vast majority of whom are single adults.
She tweeted it is “creating a strain on our workforce due to the complexities of the language barrier and lengths the processing.”
Border Report asked U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials to elaborate on the strains to the agency but was told on Monday that Chavez is out of state in Arizona and no one else can talk about the situation.
But according to CBP data released last week, the number of Chinese nationals encountered in February drastically shot up more than 200% from January to February. The number of Chinese migrants that Border Patrol agents encountered in the RGV Sector went from 195 to 624. This includes 41 family units.
This is a significant spike from October when only 30 Chinese nationals crossed between legal ports of entry, according to CBP.
Migrants of other nationalities, like Russians, also reportedly are waiting south of the border in northern Mexican towns like Reynosa and Matamoros for the opportunity to come into the United States.
Typically this region has seen immigrants from what is called the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. But in the past year, there has been much diversity of immigrants coming through South Texas, including an increase in Haitians. However, in February CBP reports only one Haitian was encountered in the RGV.
The majority of immigrants who cross from Mexico into South Texas, however, are Mexican. There were 4,355 Mexicans encountered in the RGV in February. That’s a 37% decrease from the number of Mexican nationals encountered in February 2022, according to CBP.