Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy sparred with White House press secretary Jen Psaki over terrorists crossing the southern border at Monday’s press briefing.
Border authorities recently apprehended 42 suspects named on a terror watchlist since President Joe Biden took office after attempting to enter the country illegally by crossing the southern border. Doocy questioned the press secretary as to why Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas did not say the suspects are in jail.
“He says ‘we know where those 42 are. Why isn’t he saying ‘we know where those 42 are, they’re in jail?'”
“I would really point you to the Department of Homeland Security to get more followup details on his comments,” Psaki said. “I know he’s spoken extensively at a range of hearings and obviously on a range of Sunday shows yesterday, including on Fox, I believe.”
“So then what is the president’s priority, would it be stopping potential terrorist attacks or letting these migrants come in?” Doocy asked. (RELATED: Doocy Presses Psaki On Whether Biden’s ‘Minister Of Truth’ Will Censor News Related To Hunter Biden’s Laptop)
“I think as we noted a couple of weeks ago, when there was reporting about the number of individuals who were on the watchlist being stopped at the border, that that was the Border Patrol doing their jobs,” she replied. “That was the system working and certainly part of the role of the Department of Homeland Security is to keep our country safe, to keep the American people safe and I think that’s an indication of Secretary Mayorkas’ role to do just exactly that.”
The Fox News reporter questioned the severity of an attack 42 individuals are capable of given that it only took 19 terrorists to carry out 9/11. The press secretary reiterated the role of the DHS and their accomplishments in protecting the American people.
“Again Peter, the number one job of the President of the United States, the Vice President and certainly the Secretary of Homeland Security is to keep the American people safe and I think a lot of this reporting you’re referencing is an indication that they’re doing their jobs and doing exactly that.”
In 2021, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) apprehended 23 people at the border flagged for possible terror ties by the Terrorist Screening Database. Four suspected terrorists were found in the Rio Grande Valley, Del Rio, El Centro and San Diego areas, while three were discovered in El Paso and two were each found in the Tuscon and Yuma sectors.
In August 2021, former Border Patrol chief Rodney Scott said suspected terrorists were entering the country “at a level we have never seen before.”
As of 2017, roughly 1.2 million people, including 4,600 U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, were listed on the Terrorist Screening Database, according to PolitiFact.