16 People on FBI’s Terror Watch List Arrested at the Border

16 People on FBI's Terror Watch List Arrested at the Border

(WatchDogReport.org) – According to data from the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), there were over 2.7 million encounters at the nation’s borders during the fiscal year 2022 and nearly 1.3 million already this fiscal year. Those numbers include single adults, accompanied and unaccompanied minors, and members of family units stopped at the northern and southwest land border of the US.

Recently, Fox News reported another demographic included in the number of encounters — terrorists. The source stated CBP released data that showed agents stopped 16 people between ports of entry at the southern border in February who were on the FBI’s terror watch list. If the current pace of encountering such individuals stays on track, the number will likely exceed the number of suspected terrorists captured before entering the US during the fiscal year 2022.

More Details About the Numbers

So far, CBP has prevented 69 people on the FBI terror watch list from coming to America. During 2022, agents stopped 98. According to Fox News, previous years’ data showed alarming statistics. Between 2017 and 2020, border patrol agents only encountered eight individuals from the agency’s terror watch list. However, that number nearly doubled in 2021, bringing the interactions to 15.

Counting ports of entry encounters at both the southern and northern borders, CBP data reportedly showed 214 people in the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB) have attempted to cross into the US since October 2022. During the entirety of 2022, agents captured 380 at both borders.

Reactions and Border Issues

Many Republicans see the numbers as proof that there needs to be more security at the border, calling on President Joe Biden and his administration to take action. The same day the recent numbers came out concerning the terror watchlist encounters, Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz told the House Homeland Security Committee that, based on the definition presented to him during the hearing, DHS doesn’t have operational control of the border.

Writer Julio Rosas shared a statement apparently from a DHS spokesperson on Twitter that said DHS works hard to secure the border and enforce the law. The communication made the excuse that the Biden Administration inherited a “dismantled immigration system” and more people are trying to enter the country than ever before. The note called for suggestions from Congress, pointing out that there has been no significant immigration reform in over four decades.

While it’s impressive that border patrol was able to apprehend so many on the terror watch list, it begs the question: how many evaded capture?

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