Number of Migrants on Terror Watch List Arrested at Border This Year Surges Past Previous 5 Years Combined
Amid a crisis at the Southern Border in which several hundred thousand illegal immigrants have slipped away from the Border Patrol, new data shows the number of people on the terror watch list trying to enter the country has spiked.
Since the 2022 federal fiscal year began in October, the Border Patrol has arrested 50 illegal immigrants along the Southern Border who were on the Terrorist Screening Database, according to Fox News.
Fifteen alone were arrested in May, according to The Washington Times.
For the sake of comparison, FY 2021 saw 15 arrested in total, while there were only three in FY 2020. No wanted terrorists were detained in FY 2019, but six were detained in FY 2018 and two FY 2017.
That means that partway through the fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30, the Border Patrol has already nabbed more illegal immigrants on the terrorist database than in the past five years combined. In fact, the 50 detained to date is roughly double the 26 of the past five years.
The numbers had long been made public, but their release stopped when the Biden administration took office before resuming last month.
The increase in illegal immigrants on the database is part of a massive increase in illegal immigrants flooding into the United States that reached almost a quarter of a million people in May.
According to Customs and Border Protection there were 239,416 migrant encounters in May, up from 180,597 in May 2021 and more than 10 times the 23,237 in May 2020, during the Trump administration.
The month broke a record for encounters set in April when there were 235,478.
Fox News reported that according to what it called “a high-level CBP source,” there were more than 50,000 “gotaways” in May. These represent illegal immigrants whom the Border Patrol knows have entered but dispersed before agents could detain them.
The source said since the fiscal year began, there have been 440,000 gotaways.
“The big worry is with the chaos down there, when you have these kinds of people coming to the border, you have to assume that some of them got in,” said Todd Bensman, author of “America’s Covert Border War.”
Bensman said the 15 people on the terror list arrested in one month was “a bad number.”
“It’s always a five-alarm fire if somebody comes over who’s on the TSDB,” he said.
Republican Rep. August Pfluger of Texas noted in a statement that it does not take many terrorists to cause vast damage.
“It only took 19 evil actors to execute the deadly 9/11 attacks on American soil. Now, 15 possible terrorists have been caught in only one month. How many more are in the nearly 500,000 who got away in the past nine months alone?” he said.
“Border security is national security,” he said.
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