FBI terror watch list border crossings in FY23 highest ever – higher than last 6 years combined

U.S. Border Patrol encountered 169 suspected terrorists at the southern border in fiscal year 2023, according to newly released data.

This marks a notable increase from the 98 suspected terrorists encountered in 2022 and the 16 encountered in 2021, the year President Joe Biden assumed office.

By “suspected terrorist,” it’s meant that each of these border crossers is on the FBI’s terror watchlist. The watchlist is separate from the No-Fly list and reportedly contains the names of people either directly involved with terrorism or related to or associated with someone else involved in terrorism.

As seen in the tweet above, the number of suspected terrorists crossing into the U.S. has been rising exponentially since Biden assumed office. Prior to his presidency, as few as three were encountered in 2020, up from the ZERO encountered in 2019.

Of the 169 encountered in fiscal year 2023, which ended on Sept. 30th, 18 were encountered in September alone. That’s more than was encountered during any single year of the Trump administration.

Keep in mind that these numbers just represent the suspected terrorists who were CAUGHT trying to enter the U.S. According to data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, there have been a total of 1.6+ million gotaways at the southern border since Biden assumed office, and any one of them could be a suspected terrorist.

Congressional Republicans are not pleased by these exorbitant numbers.

“It only took 19 al Qaeda operatives to kill nearly 3,000 Americans on Sept. 11, 2001. Many, many times that number of known terrorists have surely crossed our southern border since Joe Biden took office. His open border is the gravest terrorist threat to the U.S. homeland,” Sen. Tom Cotton told the Washington Examiner.

Also speaking with the Examiner, Rep. Henry Cuellar, the ranking member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, touted his own personal efforts at attempting to increase CBP’s budget.

“Border security is national security. The horrific attacks in Israel reaffirm the need to secure our border and prevent terrorists from entering our country. I will continue to push for solutions that our men and women on the front line need, such as more border technology and personnel at ports of entry and in between ports,” he said.

The number of possible terrorists streaming across the border isn’t the only concern. So is proper screening.

“The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General found in a report released this summer that Border Patrol agents in Arizona arrested then released into the country an illegal immigrant on the FBI’s terror watch list, which set off a weeks-long effort by federal agencies to locate and re-arrest the individual,” the Examiner notes.

“One Border Patrol agent interviewed by the inspector general staff explained that agents were under pressure from management to process immigrants in custody expeditiously, which led to the security failure.”

Transparency is also a concern. Up until Biden assumed office, CBP used to publish a press release whenever it encountered a suspected terrorist. This habit has gone by the wayside.

All this comes amid an ongoing effort by the Biden administration to blame their border woes on congressional Republicans. To hear them tell it, if a lawsuit by a number of GOP states against its CHNV parole program is successful, the border will be flooded (not that it’s not already flooded).

Launched earlier this year in preparation for the end of Title 42, the parole program allows up to 30,000 Cuban, Haitian, Nicaraguan and Venezuelan (CHNV) nationals to be “flown into the U.S., paroled and allowed to apply for work permits if they meet certain conditions,” according to Fox News.

Conservatives believe the parole program is patently illegal and thus filed suit against it immediately after its launch.

“A coalition of 20 states and a top conservative legal group are suing the Biden administration over its recently expanded humanitarian parole program that allows tens of thousands of migrants from designated countries a month into the U.S., arguing that the program is unlawful,” Fox News reported in January.

“The lawsuit, filed by Texas and America First Legal in the Southern District of Texas, is joined by 19 additional states who are seeking to block the Biden administration’s parole program, which allows up to 30,000 migrants from Haiti, Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela into the U.S. each month,” the outlet added.

Fast-forward to last month, when arguments challenging the policy were finally heard in federal court.

The Biden Department of Homeland Security subsequently tried to push back on the arguments by submitting a filing dubiously claiming that if the parole program is terminated, there’ll be another surge at the border …

Except there’s already been a surge at the border since the day President Joe Biden took office …

Vivek Saxena

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