"The migration is going into hyperdrive," Anthony Rubin, owner of investigative journalist site Muckraker.com, told Gatestone this week. He was referring to individuals traveling by foot, boat and truck to America's southern border.
A caravan of some 7,000 people, one of the largest ever, is now making its way to the U.S. During the last few weeks, Rubin has been reporting on this mass movement of humanity as it surges toward America.
Those who want to cross the U.S. southern border and do not live in this hemisphere usually fly to Quito because Ecuador allows visa-free entry to Chinese and others, such as those from the Middle East and the Central Asian "stans."
Migrants cross from Ecuador into Colombia and from there take one of three routes into the Darien Gap, a strip of jungle about 70 miles long, covering northern Colombia and southern Panama. The Pan-American Highway does not run through the Gap, which separates Central America from South America.
As Rubin reports, the Chinese use the most expensive and the safest of the routes. He just traveled it with the migrants.
Chinese migrants usually start in Necocli, on the east side of the Gulf of Uraba, an inlet at the southern end of the Caribbean Sea. They take a boat to Acandi or Capurgana, on the other side of the gulf but still in Colombia. From there, they are smuggled by boat into Panama, landing at Carreto.
Recently, Rubin saw 300 to 400 people at Carreto, the majority of them Chinese.
From Carreto, the Chinese migrants trek west across the Darien jungle to Canaan Membrillo. At Canaan Membrillo, they board a piragua boat to Puerto Limon, where the trekkers hop on open-air trucks, each holding about 60 tightly packed people. The trucks take them to a staging center, the end of the dangerous portion of the trip. From the staging center they catch a bus to the San Vicente Camp along Highway 1. The Biden administration has been funding the camp to facilitate migration to the U.S.
Migrants leave San Vicente for quick rides to and through Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico. The migrants cross each country illegally.
Some Chinese migrants are almost certainly members of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA). U.S. Rep. Mark Green (R-TN.), chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said at a press conference in June that, based on his conversation with a U.S. Border Patrol sector chief, some of the Chinese migrants at the southern border have "known ties to the PLA."
As Rubin notes, the Chinese are by no means the scariest in the caravan. He said that in fact he felt safest with the individuals from China.
The Chinese, after all, are not waging jihad.
Who is? The most confrontational of the groups in the caravan are military-aged Syrian males. Rubin also saw South Americans with markings indicating gang affiliations.
"I see aliens from over a hundred countries," war correspondent Michael Yon, who is currently near the Darien Gap, told Gatestone, "including growing rivers of Chinese, Arabs of many sorts, Afghans of various sorts, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Iranians, Venezuelans, and on and on." By far, most are military-aged men unencumbered by impulse control or political correctness."
There are definitely "people of interest" coming through. Some appear desperate to leave their homelands. Others, however, look as if they have malign intentions. When asked where they are going, for instance, they clam up.
At the southern border, the U.S. Border Patrol has apprehended migrants with explosive devices that were, in the words of Sen. John Barrasso, "tailored for terrorism."
"In the first three years of the Biden administration, there have been at least 264 apprehensions on the U.S. southern border of persons on a terror watchlist," Joseph Humire of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for a Secure Free Society informed Gatestone. "This is a drastic increase from the four years of the Trump administration, when only 11 terror-watch list apprehensions took place on the southern border."
As Humire, who spends time in Latin America, notes, these figures do not include terrorists who are potentially part of the 1.5 million known "gotaways" at the southern border in the last three years. The Department of Homeland Security has a classification for irregular migrants coming from a terror-prone country: Special Interest Aliens. The Border Patrol has encountered larger numbers of SIAs from, for instance, Syria.
Terrorists may now be entering the U.S. through another route. At the end of last month, 17 Chinese nationals landed at Key Largo from Cuba.
"I don't know who they are, why they're here, or what they were doing," U.S. Rep. Carlos Gimenez, who represents the Florida Keys, said to London's Daily Mail. He thinks that this was the first time migrants from China had tried to enter the U.S. through the Keys.
Gimenez, who sits on the House Committee on Homeland Security, told the British paper that Cuba may be working with the Chinese migrants to smuggle them into U.S. He is undoubtedly right. It is unlikely that individuals from China could organize a boat and head north to Florida without Havana's help.
Cuba is not the only party facilitating migration to America. Venezuela's regime has been using migration as a weapon against the United States. Humire terms it "Strategic Engineered Migration."
"It took only 19 terrorists to carry out 9/11," Humire points out. "America is likely heading toward an era of increased terrorist attacks in the homeland."
And Biden is welcoming the attackers onto American soil.
Gordon G. Chang is the author of The Coming Collapse of China, a Gatestone Institute distinguished senior fellow, and a member of its Advisory Board.