Biden admin simplifies vetting process for Chinese illegal immigrants, email shows 

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By Carina

The Biden administration made significant alterations to the vetting process for Chinese illegal immigrants in April 2023, as revealed in an internal U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) email obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation. 

This move has sparked concerns among experts, suggesting potential risks to national security.

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CBP’s simplified Chinese migrant interviews raise security concerns

According to the April 2023 email, CBP officials were instructed to streamline the interview process for Chinese migrants apprehended after illegally crossing into the U.S. 

The number of interview questions was drastically reduced from around 40 to just five, aiming to expedite the processing of Chinese illegal immigrants.

This policy shift, however, has raised concerns about the government’s ability to identify and address potential national security threats.

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Retired CBP agent concerned over quick  release of Chinese immigrants

J.J. Carrell, a retired CBP deputy patrol agent, expressed his concerns, stating that this simplification has accelerated the release of Chinese illegal immigrants into the U.S. 

While acknowledging the government’s intent to identify threats, Carrell argues that the approach is flawed and emphasizes the difficulty in distinguishing between “good” and “bad” individuals among the influx.

The former law enforcement official who shared the email highlights the adaptability of human smuggling operations to the new guidelines. 

These operations quickly coached Chinese illegal immigrants on how to navigate the streamlined vetting process, diminishing its effectiveness.

Policy change enables swift responses from Chinese immigrants

Carrell describes the immediate impact of the policy change, noting that Chinese illegal immigrants swiftly learned how to respond to the shorter list of questions. 

Previously, agents might spend hours vetting a single individual, but the new guidance significantly reduces the time spent, allowing for a quicker flow of immigrants into the U.S.

The email also reveals that Chinese illegal immigrants passing the basic questions may be released into the U.S. with a court date scheduled several years later. 

By November 2023, the backlog of U.S. immigration court cases had reached an unprecedented three million, raising concerns about the system’s efficiency.

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Five basic questions targeting Chinese immigrants’ backgrounds

The five “basic questions” listed in the April 2023 email target specific areas such as “Military Service,” “Universities,” “POB/Region,” “Employment,” and “Political Party.” 

These questions assess potential ties to terrorism, the Chinese government, or the military. 

If an individual alerts to any of these aspects, they undergo further in-depth interviews conducted by the Tactical Terrorism Response Team (TTRT).

Despite the heightened focus on national security, concerns arise as the Department of Homeland Security’s Special Interest Alien (SIA) list does not include immigrants from China. 

Changes in vetting process raise concerns over national security

This discrepancy raises questions about the effectiveness of the vetting system in identifying potential security risks.

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Carrell highlights that the CBP vetting process for Chinese illegal immigrants was more stringent during the Trump administration. 

The former process involved thorough checks and, if necessary, deportation, contrasting with the current practice of interview and release.

The changes in the vetting process for Chinese illegal immigrants have sparked debates regarding national security and the effectiveness of immigration control. 

Balancing immigration and security concerns in streamlined approach

While the streamlined approach aims to address the surge in illegal crossings, concerns persist about its impact on identifying potential threats to the United States.

The balance between facilitating immigration and ensuring national security remains a complex challenge.

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