Former chief asks what happened to 23 migrants on terrorist watch list after arrests

(Video: Fox News)

Former border chief Mark Morgan wants to know what the Biden administration did with nearly two dozen illegal immigrants apprehended last year who were on the terrorist watch list.

Morgan, the former U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner and Chief of the Border Patrol, called out the “false narrative” of President Joe Biden’s administration and asked what it’s “actually trying to hide” as he responded to a Fox News report on the situation.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data that was obtained by Fox News through a Freedom of Information Act request reveals that 23 migrants who illegally crossed into the U.S. from Mexico in 2021 and were arrested were found to be on the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB).

The data revealed that the arrests made in 2021 involved four in the Rio Grande Valley Sector, 4 in Del Rio Sector, 3 in El Paso Sector, 2 in Tucson Sector, 2 in Yuma Sector, 4 in El Centro Sector, and 4 in San Diego Sector, according to Fox News.

“These are only the ones they know about, only the ones they caught,” Fox News reporter Bill Melugin told “America’s Newsroom” anchor Bill Hemmer on Monday. “In the last six months alone here at the border, there have been more than 300,000 known gotaways. Border Patrol can’t be everywhere at once. People are getting through in major major numbers.”

In an interview with Breitbart News, Morgan said the “real question we need to be asking this administration is, what did you do with the 23 people from the Terrorism Screening Database you took custody of?”

“Their arrest would have triggered further investigation by the FBI and other law enforcement entities,” he noted.

“Did you release some or all?” Morgan asked. “Did you remove some or all?”

“Among the more than 700,000 got-a-ways in the first 14 months of this administration, how many KSTs or other high-value targets managed to get by us?” he wanted to know, referring to Known and Suspected Terrorists or KSTs.

“This goes to the very heart of the false narrative of this administration. That you can be for border security and illegal immigration at the same time,” the former commissioner said, noting that the information about the arrests was removed from public view by the Biden administration despite attempts by some sector chiefs to draw attention to the situation.

“As Commissioner, I supported releasing this data, all day, every day. What is this administration actually trying to hide?” he asked.

Last month, U.S. Representatives James Comer and John Katko also wanted some answers, writing to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

“Reporting indicates that multiple individuals with terrorist ties have been recently apprehended after illegally crossing the border, and that such encounters may be increasing,” the ranking members of the House Oversight and Homeland Security Committees wrote, according to Fox News. “The American people deserve to know whether President Biden’s weak border policies are allowing terrorists to enter our homeland.”

Former acting director of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Tom Homan, also called out Mayorkas for not acting to protect the national security of the U.S.

“He knows 23 people have been arrested off the FBI screening database. He knows that. He is the secretary of Homeland Security,” Homan told Fox News.

“At what point does this man have enough integrity to tell the White House ‘I cannot keep this border open no matter what because we have created a national security issue of the highest proportions,'” he added. “If he had any integrity at all, he would tell the White House ‘no, we need to secure the border.'”

According to Melugin’s report, some border facilities are over capacity and are “doing these mass releases day in and day out.”

“What you’re seeing is mostly single adults being released. These are happening by the hundreds every single day up here,” he reported from the border.

“Those March numbers you guys were talking about, they show that the federal government released more than 80,000 illegal immigrants into the U.S. in the month of March alone,” he added. “That is not counting the more than 60,000 gotaways during the month of March. You add those two numbers together, we’re talking upwards of 140,000 people who got into the country illegally and are still in the country right now.”


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