The number of individuals on America’s terrorist watch list encountered on America’s borders is growing.  

Since the start of fiscal year 2023, Border Patrol has encountered 70 illegal aliens who are listed in the Terrorist Screening Database, also referred to as the terrorist watchlist, between ports of entry. The majority, 69, have been encountered on the southern border.  

“Five million illegal crossings in two years is obviously bound to include many known or suspected terrorists,” Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La., told The Daily Signal.

“Known or suspected terrorist crossing into America is likely much higher than anything reported,” the congressman said. “I would conservatively estimate over 1,000 since [President Joe] Biden and [Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro] Mayorkas have turned over operational control of our southern border to the cartels.” 

Higgins, who sits on the House Homeland Security Committee, says “Biden and Mayorkas have essentially partnered with the Mexican cartels.” 

Since the start of fiscal 2021, Customs and Border Protection reports more than five million encounters with illegal aliens at the southern border.  

In fiscal year 2022, 98 illegal aliens on the terrorist watchlist were encountered at the southern border. The total for all four years of the Trump presidency was 14. 

(Photo: Screenshot From Customs and Border Protection Website)

“It should come as no surprise that immigration authorities are witnessing a surge in terror watch list suspects at the southern border,” Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., told The Daily Signal. “President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas’ open border policies are incentivizing the entire world—including many bad actors—to enter our country illegally via the southern border.” 

Those listed on America’s Terrorist Screening Dataset include “known or suspected terrorists” and  “individuals who represent a potential threat to the United States, including known affiliates of watchlisted individuals,” according to Customs and Border Protection.  

In February alone, Border Patrol arrested 16 illegal aliens on the FBI’s terror watch list for attempting to enter the county illegally.  

“It’s unclear who these individuals are or their intentions,” Biggs said. “What is clear, as evidenced by the events that unfolded on September 11, 2001, is that only a handful of bad actors are needed to inflict catastrophic damage on this great nation.” 

Rep. August Pfluger, R-Texas, told The Daily Signal he led the charge on the Homeland Security Committee last year to “force the Biden administration to reveal the number of known and suspected terrorists who are entering our country illegal via the southern border. The skyrocketing numbers should concern every American, especially our president.” 

In fiscal year 2022, which ended Sept. 30, Customs and Border Protection reported a record 2.3 million land encounters with migrants at the southern border. Just since the start of fiscal year 2023 on Oct. 1, agents have encountered more than 1 million migrants at the border.    

“What can we do?” Higgins asks of the situation at the border. “We can restore Trump-era law enforcement policies, impeach Mayorkas, and marginalize the inaugurated POTUS until we can get Trump back in the White House, that’s what we can do, we the people.” 

According to Biggs, the “Biden Administration can severely reduce the terror threat by restoring Trump-era border initiatives including the construction of the southern border wall, the ‘Remain in Mexico’ program, and enforcing immigration laws already on the books.”

Some Republican lawmakers have called for Mayorkas to be impeached over his handling of the America’s southern border.  

Biggs introduced articles of impeachment against Mayorkas in August 2021, when he was chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus. In February, Biggs filed new articles of impeachment against Mayorkas, saying in a press release that Mayorkas “is the chief architect of the migration and drug invasion at our southern border.”   

On Friday, California Democratic Rep. Juan Vargas said he might join Republicans in a vote to impeach Mayorkas if given the opportunity.  

Secretary Mayorkas might come up for an impeachment vote because of what the Republicans have heard,” Vargas said. “I may vote for it, I may vote to impeach him, but not over those other issues – over this issue.” 

Vargas’ dissatisfaction with Mayorkas stems from the Biden administration’s decision to allow the construction of a 30-foot border wall at Friendship Park in San Diego.  

Mayorkas visited the southern border Tuesday with Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs, a Democrat. Mayorkas and Hobbs met with Border Patrol in the Tucson Sector and met with local leaders about the challenges facing border communities.  

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