The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) is grappling with an unprecedented surge in migrant apprehensions at the southwest border, reaching a record-breaking high in September. As the numbers continue to escalate, concerns about border security and the potential infiltration of individuals on the government’s terror watch list are mounting. This surge in illegal immigration has ignited a political firestorm, with House Republican Homeland Security Chairman Mark Green of Texas accusing the administration of failing to enforce the law and secure the border.
Record-Breaking Numbers: According to recent data released by CBP, federal border agents apprehended a staggering 269,735 migrants in September alone, breaking the previous monthly record set in December. This surge brings the total for fiscal year 2023 to over 2.47 million apprehensions, surpassing the figures for the previous two fiscal years. The September numbers mark an 18 percent increase from the same month in the previous year and a nearly 16 percent rise from August.
Chairman Mark Green’s Critique: Chairman Green expressed his concern, characterizing the escalating crisis as a result of the administration’s “refusal to enforce the law and secure our border.” He highlighted the overwhelming pressure on CBP and Border Patrol, emphasizing that the flood of illegal immigration has persisted since the current administration took office. Green also drew attention to the 1.7 million “known gotaways” and raised the alarm about the potential security threats posed by individuals seeking to cause harm.
Terrorism Concerns: The gravity of the situation is further underscored by the record number of individuals on the government’s terror watch list apprehended along the southern border. CBP reported 169 non-U.S. citizens on the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Database were apprehended in September. This alarming statistic, coupled with a total of 564 potential terrorists recorded at ports of entry in fiscal year 2023, has raised red flags about the security vulnerabilities at the border.
National Security Response: In response to the heightened security threats, President Joe Biden proposed a $105 billion emergency “national security” package. However, critics argue that the allocation of funds, with less than $14 billion marked for the southern border, does not adequately address the severity of the situation. The proposal designates a substantial portion of the funds to Ukraine and Israel, raising questions about the prioritization of domestic security concerns.