Republican Senator Eric Schmitt is demanding answers from TikTok and its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, regarding videos circulating on the platform that purportedly provide guidance on crossing the U.S. southern border. These videos reportedly offer detailed instructions and advice to Chinese nationals seeking to enter the United States illegally, fueling concerns as the number of Chinese migrants crossing the border continues to rise.

In his letter to the CEOs of TikTok and ByteDance, Senator Schmitt expressed alarm over reports of Chinese nationals utilizing TikTok and its Chinese counterpart to facilitate illegal border crossings. The senator highlighted how migrants are being provided with step-by-step instructions on hiring smugglers and identifying vulnerabilities along the southern border, particularly in areas like San Diego.

Various media outlets have detailed how Chinese immigrants are leveraging social media influencers, private groups, and user comments to plan their journeys abroad. Senator Schmitt underscored the prevalence of information related to breaching the U.S. southern border on these platforms, including specifics on transportation methods and bribery expectations.

Schmitt emphasized that ByteDance's role in this crisis raises significant national security concerns and called for transparency regarding TikTok's efforts to address the dissemination of content promoting illegal immigration. He demanded information on the companies' awareness of such videos, steps taken to mitigate their impact, and any communications with Chinese government officials regarding illegal border crossings.

The senator accused TikTok of empowering human smugglers and cartels and jeopardizing national security by facilitating illegal immigration. He urged TikTok's leadership to clarify its communications with the Chinese Communist Party and disclose the extent of the platform's involvement in enabling illegal immigration.

In response to inquiries, TikTok stated its strict prohibition of human smuggling content on its platform, removing such material and reporting it to law enforcement when necessary. However, the company did not directly address Schmitt's specific concerns.

Meanwhile, the House passed a bill compelling ByteDance to divest from TikTok, led by bipartisan efforts spearheaded by Representatives Mike Gallagher and Raja Krishnamoorthi. The legislation, approved by a significant margin, aims to block TikTok in the U.S. unless ByteDance divests from it within a specified timeframe and sells it to a non-adversarial country.