US Deports Undocumented Immigrants Back to China

( — On July 2, the Department of Homeland Security announced the deportation of a group of illegal Chinese immigrants via charter flight.

This marks the first such deportation to China in six years, as China has presented a longstanding challenge to deportation of their people. China has been designated as a “recalcitrant” nation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement due to its limited cooperation in deportation matters.

Details about the flight, including its routes, passenger count, and the criteria for selecting deportees, were not disclosed. However, Homeland Security framed the action as part of its intensified efforts to address illegal immigration. A Chinese Embassy spokesperson confirmed the flight, stating that some of the returned individuals were involved in organizing smuggling. Legal actions in accordance with Chinese law will be taken in those case.

The U.S. is currently experiencing a surge in illegal immigration from China. Customs and Border Protection reports that nearly 56,000 unauthorized Chinese migrants have arrived this fiscal year alone, exceeding last year’s record by over 3000. The increasing tensions between China and Taiwan have raised concerns that some of these migrants, particularly men of military age, could be engaged in terrorism or espionage in the U.S. Jon Feere, former ICE Chief of Staff, noted that there are “tens of thousands” of deportable illegal Chinese immigrants in the U.S., but China has historically resisted accepting them back.

As immigration becomes a central issue in the lead-up to the November elections, the Biden Administration appears to be taking steps to demonstrate a stronger stance. Since President Biden’s partial border closure in June, the Department of Homeland Security has operated 120 international repatriation flights. While the exact number of Chinese deportees on the recent flight remains unknown, it represents a small fraction of the vast number of illegal Chinese immigrants present in the U.S. and continuing to arrive.

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