U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reports that 127 foreign individuals (noncitizens) listed on the FBI’s terror watchlist tried to enter the United States illegally since the start of fiscal 2023. Border patrol agents have interceded with the incursions at both the Canadian and Mexican borders, according to data released by the federal agency.
On Tuesday, CBP published figures that showed terror watchlist apprehensions between the eight months from October 2022 to May 2023 were higher than last year’s 98 arrests over 12 months, which until now had been the highest level in at least the last four years when comparable data became available, the Washington Examiner reported.
Combining the 98 in 2022 and 127 thus far in 2023 represents a major spike from zero in 2019 when the U.S. border faced a smaller-scale humanitarian and national security crisis created by the Biden Administration’s border policy.
The nearly two dozen individuals on the terror watchlist stopped in May alone were among more than 170,000 people arrested by Border Patrol agents found skirting around ports of entry and into the country illegally, according to the Examiner.
The nationalities of immigrants who were a match for the terror watchlist are not published by CBP. The FBI database includes known and suspected terrorists, which can include family members or affiliates of such people.