Elections 2022FederalImmigration & BorderIssuesRussian, Chinese Illegal Aliens Breached Southern Border, Gov. Greg Abbott Says

Russia and China are in the spotlight as the Ukrainian people defend their country from Russia’s invasion.
March 1, 2022
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The weekend before primary day, Gov. Greg Abbott highlighted illegal immigration by Russian and Chinese nationals following the Russian government’s invasion of Ukraine.

Abbott took the opportunity to criticize the Biden administration ahead of Tuesday’s Republican primary in which he is facing seven GOP opponents.

“In the past 2 weeks 15 people from Russia & 15 people from China were apprehended crossing our border illegally. Why are they sneaking into our country?” Abbott tweeted on Sunday.

“Why does Biden seem to not care about it and do nothing to stop it? We will get to the bottom of it & do what Biden won’t.”

Abbott did not specify how he would go about investigating the Russian and Chinese illegal aliens. The governor also did not state whether they had been arrested by the federal government or by state authorities via Operation Lone Star, his border security effort.

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Since President Biden took office, Abbott has blamed the White House for the number of people crossing the border illegally during the president’s administration. Abbott’s primary opponents, including Don Huffines and Allen West, have criticized the governor’s response to illegal immigration while Abbott has centered his criticism on Biden and the federal government.

The most recent apprehensions are not the first Russian illegal immigrants to attempt to breach the southern border.

On the night of December 12, 2021, a Ford SUV and a Mercedes sedan sped toward the border patrol checkpoint in San Ysidro, California, prompting an agent to open fire on the vehicles. Though no one was hurt by the gunfire, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported in a press release that a total of 18 Russian illegal aliens ranging in age from 10 to 53 were in the convoy.

Though most illegal aliens apprehended are from Mexico or Central America, illegal immigrants come from all over the globe. When the Taliban toppled the Afghan government, the outgoing border patrol chief, Rodney Scott, raised alarm about the specter of terrorists entering through the U.S.’s porous border with Mexico.

In Texas border patrol sectors, more than 410,051 illegal aliens have been taken into custody since the Fiscal Year began in October 2021. CBP reported 98,992 apprehensions in Texas border patrol sectors in January. This is almost twice as many as the approximate 50,117 that were arrested in January of last year. 

The agency reported that 39 percent of the illegal aliens taken into custody in Texas border patrol sectors last month were nationals from somewhere other than Mexico or Central America.

Russia and China’s relationship has come into focus since the former invaded Ukraine at the behest of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The U.S. government is seeking to apply pressure on China for its cooperation with Russia. The U.S. Department of State reportedly indicated that sanctions are not out of the question for China or any other nation that “wants to engage in activity that would be subject to our sanctions.”

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Hayden Sparks

Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."