Border Patrol Apprehended 98 on Terror Watchlist on Southern U.S. Border

The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) of the United States encountered almost 100 people on a national terrorist watchlist at the southern border. In the fiscal year 2022, which began October 1, 2021, and ended September 30, 2022, Border Patrol encountered 98 non-U.S. citizens on the Terrorist Screening Dataset, according to recently-released data. 

During the last fiscal year, 2021, the CBP made 16 encounters with non-American citizens on the watchlist near ports of entry. “The Terrorist Screening Dataset (TSDS) — also known as the ‘watchlist’ — is the U.S. government’s suspected terrorists (KSTs), but has evolved over the last decade to include additional individuals who represent a potential threat to the United States, including known affiliates of watchlisted individuals,” said CBP in a press release. 

The press release noted, “encounters of watchlisted individuals at our borders are uncommon.”

Data shows that 2.3 million people entered the United States illegally in the fiscal year 2022. 

Top Democrats have stayed silent on staggering new U.S. Customs and Border Protection numbers. Data shows that 856 illegal migrants were killed along the southern border in the fiscal year 2022, equaling the highest and deadliest ever recorded. In the fiscal year 2023, which began October 1, there have already been 25 deaths. 

Numbers show there were 227,547 migrant encounters in September alone. The figure is the highest total in September in the history of the Department of Homeland Security, as well as a massive increase over the most recent Septembers; in September 2021, 192,000; 57,674 in 2020; and in September 2019, 52,546.

Silence from Dems on border crisis

In a recent press briefing, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked about the report. She responded that many of the border encounters are “driven by people who are fleeing falling regimes and economic collapse” and proceeded to attack Republicans for ‘taking advantage of them.” She failed to address the staggering statistics of deaths.

The silence from the Democrats comes after years of outrage over former President Trump’s administration’s hard-line immigration policies. Policies include the “zero tolerance” policy for migrants crossing into the U.S. illegally. 

Meanwhile, Republicans are decrying the “shocking” CBP death statistics, calling President Joe Biden’s inaction a dereliction of duty. “While President Biden’s radical policies have opened our southern border to record numbers of illegal immigration, deadly fentanyl, terrorism suspects, and, tragically, a record number of migrant deaths, House Republicans are committed to securing our border by finishing the wall and ending catch-and-release,” said Kevin McCarthy, House Minority Leader. 

John Katko, R-N.Y., House Homeland Security Ranking Member, agreed, adding, “The Biden administration just wrapped up a record-breaking year of drugs, death, devastation, and a complete dereliction of duty when it came to securing our nation’s borders. The unprecedented number of migrant deaths at the border is shocking.”

“Homeland Security Republicans have sounded the alarm on the humanitarian crisis directly resulting from President Biden’s reckless policies, which have incentivized families and young children to make the dangerous journey to the U.S.-Mexico border,” he continued. “The continued silence from Democrats on this humanitarian crisis is deafening. Democrats are ready with a plan to secure the border, address the pull factors created by the Biden administration, and end this humanitarian crisis on day one of a Republican majority. The American people have had enough, and Homeland Republicans are prepared to address the raging fire at our Southwest border.”

The border crisis is “Even more alarming, 98 individuals on the terror watchlist were apprehended trying to enter the U.S. between ports of entry in the last year,” said Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Senate Homeland, and Governmental Affairs Ranking Member. “Our adversaries know they can enter our country through our failed border.”