sobota, 13 lipca, 2024
Strona głównaEcuadorEcuador Suspends China Visa Deal Amid Flood Of US-Bound Migrants

Ecuador Suspends China Visa Deal Amid Flood Of US-Bound Migrants

Ecuador Suspends China Visa Deal Amid Flood Of US-Bound Migrants

Ecuador is suspending a visa agreement with China amid a „worrying increase” in arrivals who are using the South American country as a jumpoff point to begin their northbound journey to the United States to take advantage of the criminally open border.

Chinese nationals detained at the U.S-Mexico border. U.S. Border Patrol

The mutual visa waiver program between the two countries has been in place since 2016, and grants visa-free travel to Chinese nationals. The only other South American nation with a similar agreement is Suriname.

According to the country’s foreign ministry, nearly half of Chinese travelers entering Ecuador did not leave „through regular routes” or within the 90 days allotted, the Financial Times reports.

Many global migrants headed to the US land in Ecuador, which has fewer visa restrictions than other South American countries. The onward journey north includes the Darién Gap, a treacherous tract that separates Colombia and Panama. There, migrants are vulnerable to crime, sexual violence and the hazards of the jungle.

Last year the number of Chinese individuals attempting to enter the US through the southern border skyrocketed – with US Customs and Border Protection detaining over 37,000 Chinese nationals – a 10x increase from 2022.

Around 66,000 Chinese travelers entered Ecuador last year, while just 34,000 left via traditional channels, according to officials.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lin Jian gave a milquetoast response to FT, saying that the agreement with Ecuador „plays an important and positive role in promoting cross-border travel and practical co-operation in various fields between the two countries.”

Lin added that China is working with other counties to combat human trafficking.

The suspended visa agreement will take effect July 1, according to Ecuadorean officials, who say the country „reiterates its commitment so that people who visit the country can do so with adequate security guarantees, preventing them from being victims of human trafficking or migrant smuggling.”

China is Ecuador’s largest non-oil trade partner, and has been a key source of financing for infrastructure and energy.

National Security Threat

On June 11, news broke that eight Tajikistan nationals with possible connections to the terrorist group ISIS had been arrested in New York, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles in recent days. Tajikistan nationals were responsible for the March 22 attack on the Crocus City Hall concert near Moscow that left more than 140 people dead and hundreds injured.

The suspects crossed the U.S. southern border illegally in 2023 and were released after being vetted. The federal government’s screening process did not turn up any information that would have identified them as potential terrorists with ties to ISIS.

Last month, Rep. Pat Fallon (R-TX), who sits on the National Security, the Border and Foreign Affairs subcommittee, held a classified hearing in May titled: “Intruder Alert: Assessing the CCP’s Ongoing Infiltration of U.S. Military Installations.”

Rep. Pat Fallon (R-TX)

Fallon described what he heard in the closed hearing as concerning.

Dozens of incidents have come to light of Chinese nationals snapping photos near military installations and critical infrastructure such as reservoirs, claiming to be tourists—even when the facilities are rural and isolated, he said.

Border Patrol agent apprehends a large group of mostly Chinese illegal migrants in Jucumba, CA on June 6, 2024. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

As the Epoch Times notes, Fallon mentioned that Navy Adm. Daryl Caudle said in a recent interview that incidents of foreign nationals from China and Russia trying to breach Navy bases occur “two or three times a week.”

“There are some folks in positions of authority and power that want to stick their heads in the sand and say, ‘Oh, there’s nothing here,’” he said.

It could be that the Chinese are probing how the United States responds and how close they can get to bases, he said.

That information would be critical, for example, should there be a conflict between China and the United States over Taiwan.

While the majority of Chinese nationals coming into the United States may be looking for a better life, even if 1 percent were communist “sleeper agents,” that would give Beijing about 480 operatives, he said.

Mr. Fallon said he doesn’t think the record-breaking number of Chinese nationals entering the United States illegally is an accident.

That is a sky-high number when you consider under the Trump administration, it was under 1,000,” he said.

In fiscal year 2020, Border Patrol agents apprehended 554 Chinese illegal immigrants nationwide, according to government data.

Tyler Durden
Wed, 06/19/2024 – 12:35

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