Last week, updated federal data revealed that the United States Border Patrol arrested 151 illegal migrants whose names appeared on the national terrorism watchlist between October 2022 and August.
According to the data, Border Patrol officials arrested 98 individuals whose names appeared on the terror watchlist in fiscal year 2022. The information also revealed that in the fiscal year 2019, Border Patrol had zero apprehensions of individuals on the terror watchlist at the US-Mexico border.
“Given the absolute chaos the Biden administration has unleashed at our southern border, it should be a surprise to no one that international terrorist organizations are using the situation to infiltrate the US,” said Ira Mehlman, media director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). “They understand our vulnerabilities and will not hesitate to take advantage,” he added.
The data also notes that Border Patrol encounters of illegal migrants between Oct. 2022 and Aug. were above 1.8 million. In Aug., Border officials encountered around 181,000 migrants entering the country illegally.
According to Mehlman, what is more worrisome is the “likelihood that many more people on the terror watchlist are among the millions of ‘getaways’ who have entered the country without being encountered.”
In a statement released Fri., Troy A. Miller, a senior official performing the duties of the commissioner, said that Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) “remains vigilant in the face of ruthless smugglers and transnational criminal organizations who exploit vulnerable migrants, the same criminal organizations trafficking in lethal drugs that harm our communities.”
Miller’s statement outlined that the CBP operations at the border have “increased in response to increased encounters, and we remain squarely focused on our broader security mission and enforcing US immigration laws.”
“We are maximizing consequences against those without a legal basis to remain in the US, including by processing more individuals into expedited removal than ever before. The men and women of CBP continue to work, day in and day out, to protect our nation, disrupting the entry of dangerous people and dangerous goods into the country while providing humanitarian care for vulnerable individuals,” he added.
Currently, federal agents are trying to track down more than a dozen Uzbeki migrants who came into America through the Southern Border with Mexico thanks to an ISIS-tied smuggler.
“Within the past few weeks, CNN reported that a smuggler with ties to ISIS had brought dozens of people across the border. Alarmingly, many of these people remain at large, and the Department of Homeland Security does not know where they are,” Mehlman told The Foreign Desk.
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