Authorities said this week that U.S. Border Patrol agents have stopped 16 people on the FBI’s terrorism watch list who illegally crossed into the country from Mexico — with new data showing that border arrests this year are on track to surpass the 2022 record.
The total number of encounters in the United States and Mexico for fiscal year 2023 is now 69 and is likely to exceed the 98 encounters documented in the last fiscal year, according to data from Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Last month, agents at the southern border stopped 16 people who were on the FBI’s terrorism watch list, according to CBP.
CBP’s Office of Field Operations encountered 214 individuals in its terrorism screening database at ports of entry at both the northern and southern borders this fiscal year. During fiscal year 2022, there were 380 apprehensions.
The number jumped significantly compared to 157 in fiscal year 2021 and 196 in fiscal year 2020. Between 2017 and 2020, there were eight arrests on the terrorism watch list among ports of entry and in 2021 there were just 15.
The Biden administration has led a record rise in illegal immigration — with nearly 2.4 million illegal cross-border arrests in fiscal 2022.
The immigrants encountered in the terrorist screening database are only a small fraction of the total number – more than 150,000 in February – stopped at the US border. With the database numbers in mind, Republicans have urged Biden to better secure the border.
this number jumped from 1.7 million in fiscal year 2021 but it was fewer than 500,000 arrests in 2020 and nearly a million in 2019. So far, 2023 is set to surpass that record, with CBP recording more than 762,000 arrests at the southwestern border. until January.
While the numbers appear to be higher overall, there was not a significant jump in the total concerns between January when there were 128,877 people crossing the border illegally and February, when there were a total of 128,913.
“The measures to enforce the new limits kept the overall numbers meeting February through about January,” said Acting Commissioner Troy Miller, acting commissioner at CBP.
According to Miller, CBP has launched a new app to allow immigrants the ability to make an appointment at the port of entry to request a humanitarian exemption from Public Health Act 42.
“The app eliminates smugglers and reduces exploitation of migrants,” Miller said. “CBP continues to make improvements to the app to address feedback we have received from stakeholders.”
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