Republican California Rep. Darrell Issa is demanding Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas explain the nearly 600% increase in illegal migrants in fiscal year 2022 who were flagged as potential national security risks, according to a Tuesday letter exclusively obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Border Patrol reported 25,627 encounters of “special interest migrants,” who often travel in areas designated as national security concerns due to terrorist activity or other types of “nefarious activity,” according to internal U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data exclusively obtained by the DCNF. In fiscal year 2021, Border Patrol encountered 3,675 “special interest migrants.”
“We know that Biden’s open borders are the gateway to unprecedented illegal immigration, deadly fentanyl, and the worst human and child trafficking in history. Reporting by the Daily Caller News Foundation now also confirms this has left us vulnerable to new terror threats as well. It’s only a matter of time before the American people pay for it with their lives,” Issa, who represents 88 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border, told the DCNF.
The category of illegal migrants can include people who “possibly have a nexus to terrorism,” according to 2019 DHS fact sheet. (RELATED: DHS Released Record Number Of Illegal Migrants With Tracking Devices, Phones)
Most of the “special interest migrants” encountered in fiscal year 2022 were from Turkey, which comprised 60% of the grouping, with 15,376 encountered, according to the data. There were also 3,246 illegal migrants from Uzbekistan and 2,446 from Bangladesh.
CBP encountered a record number of over 2,000,000 migrants at the southern border between October 2021 and August 2022.
The Biden administration has scaled back a number of Trump-era immigration policies, including what is known as “Remain in Mexico,” which forces certain illegal migrants to await immigration proceedings in Mexico.
“The national security ramifications of this dereliction of duty must be fully understood and resolved at once,” Issa wrote.
“As is substantially documented, President Biden’s reckless open border policies also continue to be the gateway to an unprecedented flood of deadly fentanyl and the worst period of human trafficking in our history,” Issa wrote. “But these open borders also lay the groundwork for something else: the safe passage of terrorists from around the globe into the homeland, which has endangered America in ways that you have surely not cared to calculate.”
DHS didn’t immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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