The host made the comments during an interview on Sunday with Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
“It seems like the cartels are really winning and making big money here,” she said. “Someone told me this week that they’re making $400m monthly. I mean, the numbers, because they’re charging $4,000 a head, they’re taking 2,000 people a day into America. And depending on where you come from, the numbers are even higher.”
She then claimed another individual told her about the alleged Chinese incursion.
“One guard told me that they apprehended a group from China,” Ms Bartiromo said. “And the group from China told them that they paid $50,000 a head. And by the way, these were scientists and doctors and engineers from China.”
Then, having apparently accepted the unnamed border guard’s story, she said: “You have to ask, why the CCP is sending these people through the border, obviously they don’t want to be noticed. What are they doing when they get here?”
Despite the story being unverified, Mr Abbott was happy to speculate on what might be behind it.
“It could be espionage,” he volunteered. “They’re forgetting about the people from China, from Iran, from terrorist-based nations. It could be espionage.”
While it is not unheard of for Chinese nationals to try to enter the US through the southern border, it is rare; according to far-right news outlet Breitbart, fewer than 1 per cent of border arrests are believed to be Chinese nationals.
Though Chinese power and global influence has been expanding and poses a threat to the US’s stranglehold on world power, there have been as much disinformation about the country’s actions as there has been legitimate analysis.
In December, a conspiracy theory circulated among members of the QAnon movement alleging that Chinese troops had amassed a force of some 50,000 troops on the northern border of Maine.
According to the baseless claim, the troops were obliterated by US airstrikes and “anti-personnel bombs” at the border.
The theory also claimed that an F-16 that crashed in Michigan was actually shot down by the Chinese, which had supposedly prompted the US response.
Officials in both the town of Jackman, Maine – approximately 16 miles south of the state’s border with Canada – and the state’s National Guard said there was no US military action in the region that corroborates the claims.