Border Patrol arrests of migrants whose names appeared on the terror watchlist have already hit 98, the total number encountered in fiscal year 2022, in the first seven months of fiscal year 2023, according to federal data updated on Wednesday.
The federal data accounts for encounters at both the southern and the northern borders. The increase in terrorist arrests at the border coincides with a 10% increase in migrant encounters by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the U.S.-Mexico border overall in April, where there were roughly 211,000 migrant encounters. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Biden Admin Asks Agriculture, Interior Departments For Help Stemming Tide Of Migrants Crossing Border)
FBI Director Christopher Wray raised concerns about the national security threats posed by the situation at the southern border to Congress in November, saying there’s “significant criminal threats” coming across the border.
The 98 encounters of migrants on the terror watchlist encountered by Border Patrol in all of fiscal year 2022 was a new record for the agency. Border agents encountered three individuals whose names appeared on the watchlist in fiscal year 2019, three in fiscal year 2020 and 15 in fiscal year 2021.
Of the 98 apprehensions, 96 were made at the southern border, according to the data. In April alone, federal authorities at the southern border apprehended 27 migrants on the terror watchlist.
“Encounters of watchlisted individuals at our borders are very uncommon, underscoring the critical work CBP Agents and Officers carry out every day on the frontlines. DHS works tirelessly to secure our borders through a combination of highly trained personnel, ground and aerial monitoring systems, and robust intelligence and information sharing networks,” CBP says on its website regarding terror watchlist apprehensions.
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