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US deports more than hundred Chinese migrants in rare move

A US border patrol agent looks out at the US-Mexico border. The US has deported more than 100 Chinese migrants on the first such flight in years. (File photo by AP)

The United States’ Department of Homeland Security said that it deported 116 Chinese people back to China in the first such “large charter flight” in five years.

The department said it was working with China to “reduce and deter irregular migration and to disrupt illicit human smuggling through expanded law enforcement efforts”.

"We will continue to enforce our immigration laws and remove individuals without a legal basis to remain in the United States," said DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement.

The recent flight carrying 116 Chinese migrants during the weekend came amid the intense political debate ahead of the US presidential election over the issue of Chinese immigration.

The weekend's extensive charter flight announcement contrasts with ongoing attempts in other regions to block important pathways utilized by Chinese migrants to reach the western hemisphere.

In the past few years, the US has faced challenges in repatriating Chinese citizens who lack the legal right to remain in the country, as China has been reluctant to accept their return.

The issue of Chinese migration has been a focal point for Republicans and former president Donald Trump, who have expressed concerns regarding the reasons behind the influx of Chinese migrants to the US.

Asian rights groups are worried by the possibility of the rhetoric fueling harassment against Asians, while migrants have stated that their motivation for coming is to escape poverty and repression.

In 2023, over 37,000 Chinese nationals were apprehended by US border authorities at the southern border, a tenfold increase compared to the previous year.

Border officials in the United States detained over 37,000 Chinese citizens at the southern border in 2023; marking a tenfold rise from the previous year.The United States’ has deported at least 116 Chinese migrants in the first such “large charter flight” in five years.

China’s Embassy in the US said the country’s law enforcement was cracking down “hard on crimes that harm the tranquility of national border, and maintained a high pressure against all kinds of smuggling organizations and offenders.”

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