VAL VERDE COUNTY, Texas – An Iranian illegal immigrant at the southern border whose name and date of birth subsequently turned out to be a match on the FBI’s terror watch list was captured by Texas law enforcement authorities.
Alireza Heidari, 29, was taken into custody last week by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) during a traffic stop of a human smuggler at the border in Val Verde County, Texas, Fox News Digital reported.
The arrest was part of Operation Lone Star, which is a multi-pronged approach initiated by Gov. Greg Abbott due to the porous border security on the part of the Biden Administration.
Heidari was with four other illegal immigrants being smuggled in the vehicle when it was detained. He was located in the trunk.
Heidari was handed over to Border Patrol custody and later determined to be a match of the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB), officials told Fox.
The news outlet reached out to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Thursday and multiple times since. No one responded until Tuesday when DHS refered Fox to the FBI, which declined to comment, consistent with policy outlined on their website.
Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council noted that it was Texas DPS, not Border Patrol, that captured Heidari.
“If not for the work of Governor Abbott and Texas DPS, Alireza Heidari would be at large on our streets today and looking to do harm to the US and our fellow citizens,” Judd said. “Heidari entered the country illegally and evaded apprehension by the Border Patrol. It fell to Texas DPS to do our job because [President] Biden continues to play politics with the safety and security of our children, friends and neighbors. What Biden is doing is dangerous and the capture of Heidari by a non-federal law enforcement agency is the most recent proof.”
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released a new report in January showing the number of people on the nation’s terror watch list who are trying to cross the southern border has soared under the Biden administration, Law Officer reported.
CBP data shows an alarming increase from just three arrests of individuals on the terror watch list at the southern border in 2020 to nearly 100 in 2022.
CBP reported that 15 arrests of individuals from the terror watch list occurred at the southern border during 2021, Biden’s first year in office. What now appears to be a low number, it was still five times higher than Trump’s final year in office.
By comparison, during Trump’s four years in office, merely 11 individuals from the terror watch list were caught trying to sneak into the country. Biden’s defacto open border policy has opened the floodgate to undesirables trying to get in. During two years under Biden’s administration, 151 people on the terror watch list have been snagged by CBP, according to the January report.
Sadly, the high numbers under the current administration do not include an unknown number of “gotaways,” people who have eluded CBP as they’ve been pulled from the field to perform other tasks with a historic wave of border crossers.
According to the Daily Wire, CBP has estimated approximately 1.2 million “gotaways” under Biden’s leadership.
So far this fiscal year, nearly 300,000 illegal immigrants have evaded Border Patrol, with an average of 2,450 a day in the last 120 days, sources told Fox News last week.