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Republican Senators Call for Border Terrorism Hearing

U.S. Border Patrol agents stop people trying to enter the country on April 11, 2024. U.S. Border Patrol
U.S. Border Patrol agents stop people trying to enter the country on April 11, 2024. U.S. Border Patrol

By: Ireland Owens | The Center Square

Several Republican members of a U.S. Senate committee want the committee's chair to schedule a hearing on the possibility of terrorist threats arriving at the southern U.S. border.

The GOP senators sent a letter to U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, requesting the hearing.

The letter to Peters mentions how these senators are concerned about a rise in potential terrorist activities on the border. The letter states how these senators are “strongly urging” Peters “to examine the threat of individuals exploiting the Southern border for potential terrorist activities and the recent arrests of eight foreign nationals with suspected ties to ISIS.”

Millions of foreign nationals have illegally crossed into the United States since President Joe Biden took office. Many elected officials and former border security chiefs have criticized the Biden administration amid the ongoing border crisis, The Center Square previously reported.

The committee members' letter to Peters highlights the large number of border crossings that have occurred at the southern border for the past several years.

“Since 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has encountered more than 8 million aliens at the Southwest border.” the letter said. "The high volume of crossings overwhelms our ability to effectively vet and track these individuals. Consequently, even more individuals evade capture, and we lack the capacity to adequately vet those we do catch. During the same period of record-breaking encounters, CBP encountered more than 360 individuals on the terrorist watchlist attempting to cross the Southwest border illegally. This number marks a significant increase compared to the 11 encountered in the previous four years. It is clear, that the unprecedented influx has created a dangerous gap in our national security, allowing terrorists to enter undetected and remain unnoticed for years.”

The influx in crossings at the southern border is not the only point of entry in the US causing security concerns. The northern border has also seen a steep rise in concerns about possible attacks amidst a rise in border crossings, which is partially due to the border patrol in the North being severely understaffed, The Center Square reported.

“Faced with elevated threats, it is well past time to hold a public hearing on the danger of terrorism facilitated by easy access across the border," the letter said. "For over three years, members of this Committee have repeatedly sounded the alarm on the need for oversight of the crisis at the Southwest border. The policies implemented by the Biden administration have directly contributed to unprecedented levels of illegal immigration, exposing a vulnerability that bad actors can exploit to enter the country.”

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