Chinese national caught illegally crossing border with child pornography sentenced to 12 years in prison

 April 1, 2024

A federal sentencing hearing this week featured two significantly concerning issues that expose the dangerous realities of President Joe Biden's lax border security and immigration enforcement policies.

On Wednesday, a Chinese national who was caught after illegally crossing the southern border with child pornography on his cellphone was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison, Breitbart reported.

That development highlighted not only the recent surge in illegal border crossings by Chinese nationals, which potentially threatens national security, but also more broadly revealed the real risk some foreign nationals pose to our nation's cultural and societal norms.

12 years in prison plus other conditions and likely deportation

A Justice Department press release on Wednesday announced that Chinese national Tong Sun, 46, was sentenced to serve 144 months in prison, or 12 years, for transporting child pornography into the country.

Sun was also hit with $35,000 in special assessments and, upon completion of his prison term, will be required to serve five years of supervised release. On top of that, he will also have to be registered as a sex offender and face other conditions of release that include restricted access to children and the internet, among other things.

However, given that Sun is not a U.S. citizen and entered the country illegally, the supervised release and other conditions may not matter as he will likely face deportation and removal proceedings as soon as his prison term is finished.

Transportation and possession of child porn could have resulted in up to 20 years in prison

Per the DOJ release, Sun was apprehended by law enforcement after he illegally crossed the southern border into Texas in May 2023, at which time officers discovered child pornography on his cellphone during processing.

Some of the images and videos found depicted sex acts between an adult and a child believed to be less than five years old, and upon being questioned about the material in his possession, Sun admitted to his ownership of the cellphone and its contents.

A prior DOJ release in December 2023 noted that Sun had pleaded guilty to the crime he'd been charged with and faced a maximum possible penalty of up to 20 years in prison plus a $250,000 fine.

Both of those announcements from the DOJ specified that Sun had been and will continue to be held in federal custody since he was first apprehended.

Sharp rise in illegal border crossings by Chinese nationals

To be sure, Sun's possession of child pornography is a terrible thing for which he deserves to spend ample time in prison, but just as concerning to some is his Chinese nationality and the recent dramatic surge in illegal border crossings by Chinese nationals, a majority of whom are military-age single males who may have ties to the Chinese Communist Party, according to a Fox News report in February.

That report, which cited figures provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, revealed that more than 20,000 Chinese nationals have been apprehended after illegally crossing the border since the Fiscal Year began on Oct. 1, 2023, with nearly 90% of those illegal entries occurring in the San Diego sector of California's southern border.

That figure was roughly 500% higher than the number of Chinese nationals who were caught at the border at the same time last year, which in turn was up substantially from the year before, making them the fastest-growing demographic group among illegal border crossers.

For further context, per Fox News, there was a total of 450 Chinese nationals apprehended at the border during the entirety of FY2021, which is roughly equivalent to the number that passes through the San Diego sector every 48 hours now -- in large part due to President Biden's lax border policies that have served as a welcoming beacon to illegal migrants around the globe.

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