During the 2020 campaign, Joe Biden declared that he would build “not another foot” of border wall. The day President Biden took office in 2021 he kept that promise by ordering an immediate end to border wall construction, sending a message to the world that our southern border was wide open. The impact of that decision, and of ending the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy for asylum seekers, have been catastrophic.
Recently, big-city mayors from sanctuary cities like New York, Chicago, and Denver went to Washington, D.C., to demand $5 billion in federal funding to deal with the massive influx of illegal migrants into their cities.
This has put an immense burden on law enforcement, hospitals, and schools. It’s also creating a humanitarian crisis where migrant women and children are trafficked into the sex trade and illicit drugs like Chinese fentanyl flood our communities and kill over 100,000 Americans each year.
While all of those impacts on our society from the Biden open border policy are terrible, the threat to our national security may be worse. During a recent Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing, it was reported that more than 1.7 million known “gotaways” have occurred since President Biden took office. That’s on top of the nearly 2.5 million encounters with illegal migrants the Border Patrol reported in 2023. An estimated 6.2 million illegal border crossings have occurred since President Biden took office, enough to fill up the Big House and Spartan Stadium 34 times.
Included in the 2.5 million encounters are nearly 200 individuals who appeared on the terrorist watch list, the greatest number ever recorded. This contrasts sharply with 2019, when President Trump’s border policies were in place, when zero people on the terrorist watch list were encountered. Zero.
As the former Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, I understand the threats to America posed by terrorists and rogue regimes like Iran. If you are an Iranian-backed terrorist trained to do bad things, your goal is to not get caught. So it raises the question: how many other terrorists are included in the 1.7 million “gotaways” who crossed our border during the Biden administration? Extrapolating from the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data tells us there are a whole lot more bad actors in our nation today as a result of our non-existent southern border.
We don’t know who they are, where they are, or what they are doing in the United States.
We all watched in horror as Hamas terrorists invaded Israel on Oct. 7, raping, torturing, and murdering over 1,400 innocent Israelis and taking hundreds more as hostages into Gaza, including Americans. Fox News recently reported on an internal memo from CBP’s San Diego field office warning that terrorists “inspired by, or reacting to, the current Israel-Hamas conflict may attempt travel to or from the area of hostilities in the Middle East via circuitous transit across the Southwest border.”
This comes as we’ve seen a spike in Iranian and Chinese nationals crossing our border, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence.
We must secure the southern border immediately and stop anyone from illegally entering our country. Full stop.
We cannot take a chance of a Hamas style attack in this nation, and to stop it from happening the Biden administration and Congress need to get to work immediately. Necessary actions include immediately reinstating the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy for asylum seekers, restarting the construction of physical barriers in places that make sense, hiring additional border protection personnel, and utilizing technology to locate illegal crossings.
The time to secure our wide open southern border is now, because it has quickly become a massive threat to our national security.
Mike Rogers is an Army veteran, businessman, former FBI Special Agent who took down organized crime in Chicago, and former U.S. Representative from Michigan who chaired the House Intelligence Committee. He is a Republican candidate for Michigan’s open U.S. Senate seat.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller.