Customs and Border Protection has recently released new data indicating that 16 individuals on the FBI’s terror watch list were apprehended by Border Patrol agents last month while attempting to illegally cross the Mexico border into the United States in February.
Since the beginning of CBP’s fiscal year in October 2022, a total of 69 individuals on the FBI’s terror watch list have been captured while attempting to cross the southern border.
Since the beginning of CBP’s fiscal year in October 2022, a total of 69 individuals on the FBI’s terror watch list have been captured while attempting to cross the southern border. Moreover, this year, CBP’s Office of Field Operations has encountered 214 terror watch list individuals at the northern and southern ports of entry.
According to the latest data from CBP, the number of terror watch list encounters at the southern border is expected to surpass last year’s 98 apprehensions. From fiscal years 2017 to 2020, only eight individuals on the FBI’s terror watch list were arrested. However, in fiscal year 2021, another 15 individuals were apprehended at the southern border.
Furthermore, CBP’s most recent data indicated that there were over 150,000 total encounters at the southern border in February, which is approximately the same number of migrants encountered in January.
Fiscal year 2022 saw a record-breaking number of nearly 2.4 million encounters at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Fiscal year 2022 saw a record-breaking number of nearly 2.4 million encounters at the U.S.-Mexico border. Meanwhile, fiscal year 2023 is already on track to surpass last year’s numbers, with over 1 million encounters reported so far.
In response to the ongoing situation, CBP acting Commissioner Troy Miller has announced the launch of a new app designed to enable migrants to schedule appointments at ports of entry. According to Miller, “The new border enforcement measures kept February’s overall encounter numbers nearly even with January.”
“The app cuts out the smugglers and decreases migrant exploitation,” said CBP Acting Commissioner Troy Miller, in reference to the new app launched by the agency to enable migrants to schedule appointments at ports of entry. “CBP continues to make improvements to the app to address feedback we have received from stakeholders.”
CBP’s latest data was released shortly after Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz testified to lawmakers that the Department of Homeland Security does not have control of the southern border.
In the face of mounting criticism from Republicans, who have repeatedly called on the Biden administration to secure the U.S.-Mexico border and stem the tide of illegal immigration and drug trafficking, the CBP has been making efforts to improve its border enforcement measures.
The current administration has pointed to the Republican lawmakers’ rejection of a $5 billion border funding request in December as a cause of the current situation at the border. However, Republicans have argued that the crisis stems from flawed policies, rather than insufficient funding.
In the meantime, the Department of Defense is spending a staggering $130,000 per day to store and maintain unused border wall panels instead of utilizing the material to secure the remaining gaps in the border.