Chinese Espionage Made Possible By Immigration Failures

What visa fraud does to our national security and public health.

With all of the focus on the Coronavirus pandemic other major issues. such as the immigration crisis, is being utterly ignored by the news media.

There is however, a direct nexus between failures of the immigration system and the current Coronavirus Pandemic.  China has robbed America blind of intellectual property that has included high tech research into biology, chemistry and physics. 

Indeed, Chinese espionage has become so routine across a wide array of areas including military secrets that the intelligence community has given it the sarcastic nickname of “Chinese Takeout!”

Obviously, in order to spy on America, Chinese operatives need to enter the United States.

Border security involves much more than our northern and southern borders, it also includes the vetting process conducted at ports of entry by CBP (Customs and Border Protection) inspectors and the issuance of visas at U.S. embassies and consulates overseas.

The preface of the official report 9/11 and  Terrorist Travel begins with the following paragraph:

It is perhaps obvious to state that terrorists cannot plan and carry out attacks in the United States if they are unable to enter the country. Yet prior to September 11, while there were efforts to enhance border security, no agency of the U.S. government thought of border security as a tool in the counterterrorism arsenal. Indeed, even after 19 hijackers demonstrated the relative ease of obtaining a U.S. visa and gaining admission into the United States, border security still is not considered a cornerstone of national security policy. We believe, for reasons we discuss in the following pages, that it must be made one.

In point of fact, that paragraph properly identified the process by which visas are issued and aliens lawfully admitted into the United States as integral elements of border security.

While that report focused on terrorists, not unlike terrorists, spies need to enter the United States to carry out their nefarious missions as well.

Most folks assume that the only threat that we face comes from aliens who evade the inspections process conducted at ports of entry and, indeed, this is a serious problem.  However, we have also seen numerous instances where aliens with nefarious goals have committed visa fraud and entered the United States through the lawful process conducted at ports of entry.

On January 28, 2020 the Department of Justice issued a press release, Harvard University Professor and Two Chinese Nationals Charged in Three Separate China Related Cases that began with this excerpt:

The Department of Justice announced today that the Chair of Harvard Universitys Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department and two Chinese nationals have been charged in connection with aiding the Peoples Republic of China.  Dr. Charles Lieber, 60, Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University, was arrested this morning and charged by criminal complaint with one count of making a materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statement.  Lieber will appear this afternoon before Magistrate Judge Marianne B. Bowler in federal court in Boston, Massachusetts.

Yanqing Ye, 29, a Chinese national, was charged in an indictment today with one count each of visa fraud, making false statements, acting as an agent of a foreign government and conspiracy. Ye is currently in China.

Zaosong Zheng, 30, a Chinese national, was arrested on Dec. 10, 2019, at Bostons Logan International Airport and charged by criminal complaint with attempting to smuggle 21 vials of biological research to China.  On Jan. 21, 2020, Zheng was indicted on one count of smuggling goods from the United States and one count of making false, fictitious or fraudulent statements.  He has been detained since Dec. 30, 2019.

Yanqing Ye is believed to currently be in China.  Her Indictment alleges that she concealed her position as a lieutenant in the PLA (People’s Liberation Army) of the Chinese Communist Party and that she was under the direct supervision of a colonel in the PLA at the time she applied for her exchange visitor visa (J-1) to attend Boston University Department of Physics, Chemistry, Bio-Mechanical Engineering, Center of Polymer Studies.  It is further alleged that consistent with her position in the PLA she was tasked with, among other things, conducting research,  assessing U.S. military websites, sending U.S. documents and information to China by masking her affiliation to the PLA.

The DOJ press release noted above said this about defendant Zheng:

Zaosong Zheng, 30, a Chinese national, was arrested on Dec. 10, 2019, at Bostons Logan International Airport and charged by criminal complaint with attempting to smuggle 21 vials of biological research to China.  On Jan. 21, 2020, Zheng was indicted on one count of smuggling goods from the United States and one count of making false, fictitious or fraudulent statements.  He has been detained since Dec. 30, 2019.

In August 2018, Zheng entered the United States on a J-1 visa and conducted cancer-cell research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston from Sept. 4, 2018, to Dec. 9, 2019. It is alleged that on Dec. 9, 2019, Zheng stole 21 vials of biological research and attempted to smuggle them out of the United States aboard a flight destined for China.  Federal officers at Logan Airport discovered the vials hidden in a sock inside one of Zhengs bags, and not properly packaged.  It is alleged that initially, Zheng lied to officers about the contents of his luggage, but later admitted he had stolen the vials from a lab at Beth Israel.

Zheng stated that he intended to bring the vials to China to use them to conduct research in his own laboratory and publish the results under his own name.

Furthermore, universities have benefitted greatly by huge gifts from foreign countries. 

My April 2, 2020 article, Welcome to the PC (Post Coronavirus) Era, included this excerpt:

On February 12, 2020 the Department of Education (DOE) issued a press release:  U.S. Department of Education Launches Investigation into Foreign Gifts Reporting at Ivy League Universities that included this subtitle:

Since July, the Department has uncovered more than $6 billion in unreported foreign gifts from countries including Qatar, China, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

This case is hardly unusual.  On November 4, 2019 the New York Times reported, Vast Dragnet Targets Theft of Biomedical Secrets for China

Here is a sobering excerpt from that report:

The N.I.H. and the F.B.I. have begun a vast effort to root out scientists who they say are stealing biomedical research for other countries from institutions across the United States. Almost all of the incidents they uncovered and that are under investigation involve scientists of Chinese descent, including naturalized American citizens, allegedly stealing for China.

Seventy-one institutions, including many of the most prestigious medical schools in the United States, are now investigating 180 individual cases involving potential theft of intellectual property. The cases began after the N.I.H., prompted by information provided by the F.B.I., sent 18,000 letters last year urging administrators who oversee government grants to be vigilant.

So far, the N.I.H. has referred 24 cases in which there may be evidence of criminal activity to the inspector generals office of the Department of Health and Human Services, which may turn over the cases for criminal prosecution. It seems to be hitting every discipline in biomedical research,” said Dr. Michael Lauer, deputy director for extramural research at the N.I.H.

The first paragraphic of that excerpt notes that naturalized United States citizens from China are being investigated for stealing biomedical research. 

Naturalized U.S. citizens have also engaged in espionage in other areas of vital concern.

This is not limited to naturalized citizens from China.  Terrorists from the Middle East have acquired U.S. citizenship as a means of concealing and facilitating their crimes in the United States and also to provide them with multiple passports and identities as a means of moving undetected around the world.

Just as our southern border needs to be hardened against illegal (un-inspected) entry, immigration fraud must receive the attention and resources essential to combat this serious threat to national security, public safety and public health.

My concerns about visa fraud is apparent in the title of an article I wrote some time ago, Immigration Fraud:  Lies That Kill.

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