Gov. Greg Abbott is highlighting recent numbers from U.S. Customs and Border Protection that show a record-breaking number of Chinese nationals encountered at the southwest border. 

According to the latest numbers released, border patrol agents encountered 4,261 Chinese nationals in October—a massive increase from the 430 encounters in October 2022. 

The increase in illegal aliens attempting to cross the southwest border has caused Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to take several measures to secure Texas’ southern border. 

Abbott spoke to Fox News, explaining how the crisis at the southern border has become an “existential threat” to the United States. 

It is extraordinarily dangerous because, first of all, as you point out, we have people from China coming here. We also have people on the known terrorist watch list who are coming across the border. And so there’s extraordinary dangers, calls to our country by Biden’s open border policies. And obviously, Biden is doing nothing about it. And that’s why Texas has to step up and apprehend as many of these people as possible to make sure that they’re not posing a threat to our country.

As more Chinese nationals continue to flood across the border, concerns also rise about the American land they are buying up. 

In 2022, Texas Scorecard reviewed the widely reported activities of Chinese billionaire Sun Guangxin, whose companies bought hundreds of thousands of acres in Val Verde, Texas, in 2015. As a member of the Chinese military, Guangxin has ties to the Chinese Communist Party. His companies planned to start a wind farm on a portion of the land near Laughlin Air Force base.

These acquisitions drew shock and concern from lawmakers and citizens in 2019. It prompted the passage of the Lone Star Infrastructure Protection Act in 2021, which was supposed to prohibit foreign companies or citizens from countries like China from purchasing land near critical infrastructure, such as military bases.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Chinese firms and investors have bought 383,935 acres of U.S. land. 

Some of that land was bought in Texas, near Laughlin Air Force base, and more in North Dakota near Grand Forks Air Force base.

During Texas’ 88th regular legislative session, State Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R–Brenham) filed  Senate Bill 147. The legislation would have banned the ownership of Texas’ agricultural land, mineral interests, and timber by citizens, companies, or governmental entities of countries designated by the federal government as threats to U.S. national security. The measure would have applied to countries like China, North Korea, Iran, and Russia. 

Despite public interest in protecting Texas’ land and resources, State Rep. Todd Hunter (R–Corpus Christi), who chairs the House State Affairs Committee, never gave SB 147 a hearing.

Advocates have called on Abbott to include the ban in a special legislative session call. However, Abbott has yet to do so.

Emily Medeiros

Emily graduated from the University of Oklahoma majoring in Journalism. She is excited to use her research and writing skills to report on important issues around Texas.