Democrat President Joe Biden’s administration has ordered border officials to relax the vetting process for Chinese nationals caught illegally entering the country.
The Biden admin significantly streamlined the vetting process for Chinese illegal border crossers in April 2023, it has now been revealed.
The order was not made public at the time, however, and was just exposed by an internal U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) email obtained by the Daily Caller.
The April 2023 email was sent by a CBP supervisor to a “master list” of about 500 Border Patrol agents.
It instructs CBP officials to radically reduce the number of interview questions for Chinese migrants apprehended after illegally crossing into the country.
Border officials were told to reduce the questions from roughly 40 to just five.
The “headquarters guidance” came as border agents were overwhelmed with near-record numbers of illegal crossings.
This scaling back of the interview process fast-tracked the release of Chinese illegal aliens into the interior of the U.S.
It also makes it more difficult for CBP agents to identify national security threats, J.J. Carrell, a retired CBP deputy patrol agent in charge, told the Daily Caller.
“This policy change has accelerated the time it takes to process Chinese illegal immigrants — this doesn’t make America safer,” Carrell said.
“The final result is that dangerous Chinese illegal immigrants will still be released into the U.S.”
“This is just the government covering their ass, so they can say they vetted,” said Carrell.
“I believe the government recognizes the threat of Chinese soldiers and spies that are pouring into America, and they want to try and identify these individuals.
“However, the same government does not want to stop the flow of illegal aliens or Chinese nationals — just the ‘bad ones,’ which is impossible.”
Previously, agents could spend hours vetting a single Chinese illegal immigrant due to national security concerns.
Under the new guidance, this process is simplified by reducing the number of questions that agents are required to ask.
This speeds up the flow of Chinese illegals into the U.S. while simultaneously raising the threat to national security, Carrell said.
The former law enforcement official said human smuggling operations quickly adapted to these new guidelines.
They responded by coaching Chinese illegal immigrants on how to answer CBP’s shorter list of questions.
The leaked email was provided to the outlet by a former law enforcement official who requested anonymity in fear of U.S. government retribution.
“It was almost immediate where [the Chinese illegal immigrants] knew what to say and what not to say,” said the former official.
Carrell described smuggling operations as “highly coordinated.”
He told the DCNF that illegal immigrants are “coached from the beginning of the journey.”
“The stories are identical,” Carrell said.
“The streets and the names they use just differ because of the nations they’re from.”
The April 2023 CBP email also states that Chinese illegal immigrants who pass field agents’ five “basic questions” may be released into the U.S. interior.
“If they do not alert to the above, there is no requirement to further delay current processing pathway — NTA/OR,” the email states.
According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), “NTA/OR” is an abbreviation for “Notice to Appear” / “Order of Recognizance.”
In practice, this allows Chinese illegal immigrants entry into the U.S. with a court date several years down the road, the anonymous email leaker said.
By November 2023, the backlog of U.S. immigration court cases topped three million, signifying an all-time high.
After answering agents’ “basic questions,” Chinese illegal immigrants are “sent out wherever they go, whether that’s contracted through Catholic Charities or other nonprofits,” the former official said.
The new guidance directs agents to ask five “basic questions” concerning “Military Service,” “Universities,” “POB/Region,” “Employment” and “Political Party.”
All the questions are aimed at determining whether or not a Chinese illegal immigrant poses a national security threat.
“They’re really trying to see their ties to either terrorism or the government itself,” the former official said.
Questions regarding “Military Service,” “Universities,” “Employment” and “Political Party” are meant to tease out potential ties to the Chinese government, Chinese Communist Party, or Chinese military.
The question on “POB/Region” relates to terrorism, the former official told the outlet.
“If there is a Yes to any of the above, they are then referred and transported to [redacted] for an in-depth interview by Tactical Terrorism Response Team,” the April 2023 email states.
The Tactical Terrorism Response Team (TTRT) is “part of the sector intelligence unit,” which is responsible for conducting in-depth questioning of Chinese illegal immigrants with potential terror or Chinese government ties, the former official said.
“Think of TTRT as the vetting unit before an individual is determined to be a national security risk or a terrorist,” Carrell, the former CBP agent, revealed.
“If TTRT determines that the individual is a security risk, that individual is turned over to Joint Terrorism Task Force for further investigation and deportation.”
Despite these concerns, DHS’s Special Interest Alien (SIA) list does not include immigrants from China.
SIAs are defined as a “non-U.S. person who, based on an analysis of travel patterns, potentially poses a national security risk to the United States or its interests,” according to DHS.
“Often such individuals or groups are employing travel patterns known or evaluated to possibly have a nexus to terrorism.
“DHS analysis includes an examination of travel patterns, points of origin and/or travel segments that are tied to current assessments of national and international threat environments.”
Carrell said the CBP vetting process was far more stringent for Chinese illegal immigrants during the Trump administration.
“If I received a Chinese national, we’d input them into the DHS database, look through [the National Crime Information Center] for criminal history in America — and nine times out of 10 these people have never been in America — so they’ll come back clean,” Carrell explains.
“I would then set that individual up for deportation and [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] would fly him or her back to China.
“Never in a million years would I then process that Chinese national and then just release them into America.”
“Now, that person would be interviewed, put into the database, and then just simply street-released,” Carrell said.