(ConservativeSense.com) – According to new data from Customs and Border Protection (CBP), seventeen individuals encountered at the southern border between ports of entry appeared on the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) watchlist in November.
The latest data released on Friday, Dec. 29, brings the total number of people on FBI watchlists encountered at the southern border to 30 for Fiscal Year 24, which kicked off in October. The Terrorist Screening Dataset is a database containing information on the identities of known and suspected terrorists and individuals affiliated with them.
Border Patrol agents encountered a record 169 suspects in FY23 between southern border ports of entry, exceeding the record-setting number in 2022 (98 encounters) as well as the last six years put together. The number of encounters at the actual ports is even higher.
According to the CBP website, it’s “very uncommon” to encounter “watch-listed individuals” at the border, which underscores “the critical work” carried out by agents and officers “every day on the frontlines.” Despite claiming to be on top of it, the number of encounters between entry ports is raising concerns amongst lawmakers and American citizens due to the dangerous criminal records and associations of those trying to enter the US. By blending into groups of migrants, watchlist individuals have been able to evade Border Patrol agents, becoming what border personnel call “got-aways.”
Following the attack on Israel by the radical Islamic group Hamas on October 7 last year, terrorist watchlist encounters have drawn even more attention from lawmakers who are concerned that terrorists associated with the militant Palestinian group may try to cross into the US through the border.
In a threat assessment published by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in October, the agency noted that terrorist watchlist encounters have been growing and that such individuals “may exploit the elevated flow” of migrants trying to enter the country, as well as an environment of “increasingly complex security.”
As Washington continues to debate measures on border security and immigration law, every month brings record encounters, and Americans are feeling the impact on their communities more than ever.
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