The Border Patrol has seen an increase in Chinese nationals arriving at the United States' border with Mexico, according to government figures.
The Los Angeles Times
cites U.S. Customs and Border Protection data that shows 663 Chinese nationals were apprehended in San Diego over the first eight months of the current fiscal year. That's significantly more than the 48 who were caught in fiscal year 2015, five in 2014, and eight in 2013.
"We just weren't getting [Chinese nationals]," Border Patrol spokesperson Wendi Lee told the Times, alluding to pre-2013.
The rise, according to the report cited by the Times, could be due to highly educated Chinese nationals looking for well-paying jobs in the U.S. The journey from China via smugglers, however, is expensive.
"We're talking anywhere from $50,000 to $70,000 per person," Lee told the Times. "The farther you travel ... the more arrangements these criminal organizations have to make, the more expensive it will get."
A Migration Policy Institute report cited by the Times concluded that Chinese are the fifth most populous group of illegal immigrants living in the U.S.
Along a similar thread, there is a growing number of Chinese illegally living in the U.S. that support Republican Donald Trump for president — despite his calls to crack down on illegal immigration.
According to NBC News
, it has even motivated some of those illegals to pursue U.S. citizenship so they can vote in the November election.
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