Rep. Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., is demanding more information about a group of more than two dozen illegal Chinese immigrants who landed ashore in his southern Florida district last week.
“We don’t know why they’re here, or where they’re going, or what their purpose is. So yeah, that should concern all Americans as the world becomes less and less safe under the Biden administration,” Gimenez told Fox News Digital in an interview on Friday.
Florida officials announced last week that they apprehended 17 illegal immigrants from China and three from Ecuador after they arrived in Key Largo by boat. All the Ecuadorian nationals were men, while 11 of the Chinese nationals were men and six were women.
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They were taken into Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody after being apprehended by the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP).
Gimenez, a member of both the Homeland Security and China select committees, said he was not surprised that such an incident occurred under the current federal government policies.
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“Nothing surprises me now with the Biden administration… We have a growing presence of China in the Bahamas. We know that we have a growing presence of China in Cuba and around central South America,” he said.
“Now, why you have these – mostly men, military aged men – from China coming trying to get into the United States, sneak into the United States, that kind of worries me,” Gimenez added.
The congressman said he intends to learn where the nationals set sail from, more about their personal backgrounds, and what their intentions were in coming to the United States, among other details.
It comes after the White House asked Congress to approve a mammoth $105 billion supplemental funding request that includes $14 billion for the border, as well as aid for Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan, among other things. But Gimenez argued that money did not matter if there was no adequate plan to use it.
“There was no difference in funding from Jan. 19, 2021, to Jan. 21, 2021,” he said, referencing when Biden took office. “The difference is the policy implemented by this administration. So I may differ with some of my colleagues in the Republican conference who say that we have to give more funding to (Border Patrol) and all that. You can give all the funding in the world, if the policies don’t change, nothing will change.”
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Key Largo is one of the northernmost islands in the Florida Keys archipelago and is among the closest to the continental U.S.
Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Department Executive Director Dave Kerner said the incident showed the Biden administration “completely failed on border security” in a statement last week.
“This detention of Chinese nationals shows how an open border allows individuals from enemy nations to enter our communities,” Kerner said.