‘Ban TikTok’! Lawmakers Call for Ouster After CBS Show Exposes App Promoting Illegal Immigration

February 5th, 2024 4:57 PM

TikTok, infamous for censoring Americans, has emerged as a facilitator of illegal immigration, prompting two U.S. senators to urge the app be banned.

A CBS News’ 60 Minutes segment exposed how illegal aliens exploit the southern border crisis using Communist Chinese government-tied TikTok. The app appears to have a double standard, silencing constitutionally-protected free speech while promoting illegal immigration into the United States. 60 Minutes’ reporting ignited Sens. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) to call for TikTok to be banned.

The 60 Minutes segment showed illegal aliens pouring through a gap in the border fence. “We wondered how all of these migrants knew about this particular entryway into California,” correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi began. “The answer was in their hands.” The video shows Alfonsi talking with migrants and learning they utilized TikTok. Alfonsi reported that a TikTok post instructs migrants on hiring smugglers. 

TikTok bans illegal content, including “content which promotes or facilitates illegal services” and “national security-related offenses.” The Communist Chinese government-tied app’s own policy also bans “human exploitation, including trafficking and smuggling” content, but in doing so, the platform does still allow “for migrants and refugees to be able to document their journeys.”

“Bottom line: TikTok is anti-American,” said MRC Free Speech America Director Michael Morris. “Couple the quixotic nature of how TikTok enforces its policies regarding human exploitation with its propensity to censor constitutionally-protected speech, and the underlying issues with the Communist Chinese government-tied app become plain.”

“Time to ban TikTok,” Rubio wrote on X, while Hawley simply declared: “Ban TikTok.” Other lawmakers reacted to the video, including Rep. Lisa McClain (R-MI) who called the app a “national security threat.” Rep. Carlos Gimenez (R-FL) echoed these concerns, asking, “Is anyone actually surprised?! #TikTok’s owners are no friends of the United States & are giving our private information to Communist #China!”

Alfonsi specifically identified TikTok as “created in China.” The app is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, in which the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) owns a board seat and maintains a financial stake. According to Open Secrets data, ByteDance increased lobbying by 77 percent in 2023, from $4.94 million in 2022 to $8.74 million in 2023. Alfonsi said that CBS found a TikTok video with “step-by-step instructions for hiring smugglers and detailed directions to that hole we visited” in the border barrier. When it came to the ongoing Hamas-Israel conflict, however, TikTok boasted about removing millions of videos.

“We were struck by just how orderly and routine it all seemed,” Alfonsi continued, referring to the border crossings. She described how migrants entered the U.S. and walked to a spot where they could surrender to Border Patrol. The migrants in the video even had suitcases. The number of Chinese migrants has jumped significantly over the last year or so, with some experts, such as Fox News’s Gordon Chang, warning that CCP plants could be among them. The Daily Caller reported that Border Patrol encountered 24,000 Chinese migrants in Fiscal Year (FY) 2023, versus 1,970 in FY2022 and 323 in FY2021.

The FY2023 numbers are higher than the 10 previous years’ Chinese illegal aliens combined, according to The New York Times. CBS reported that a total of 37,000 Chinese illegals were apprehended in 2023, or “50 times” the 2021 number. The Biden administration recently reduced vetting of Chinese migrants.

TikTok is a threat to national security and to free speech. MRC Free Speech America ranked TikTok’s Hamas-Israel censorship spree as the second worst Big Tech censorship of 2023. 

Conservatives are under attack. Contact TikTok via email at communitymanager@tiktok.com and demand Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on hate speech and equal footing for conservatives. Also ask why TikTok targets free speech for censorship, but allows the promotion of illegal immigration into the United States? If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.