Terrorists ‘a real threat’ to enter US through southern border, Rodney Scott says

0
28
Terrorists 'a real threat' to enter US through southern border, Rodney Scott says

​The former ​Border Patrol chief is warning that President Biden’s mishandling of the surge of illegal immigrants at the southern border has caused more than a humanitarian crisis — it’s also created a national security threat because of the number of known or suspected terrorists crossing into the US.

“Over and over again, I see other people talk about our mission, your mission, and the context of it being immigration or the current crisis today being an immigration crisis,” ​Rodney ​Scott ​said in a video message to his agents before retiring on Aug. 14, which was obtained by the Washington Examiner.

“I firmly believe that it is a national security crisis. Immigration is just a subcomponent of it, and right now, it’s just a cover for massive amounts of smuggling going across the southwest border — to include TSDBs at a level we have never seen before. That’s a real threat​,” Scott said, referring to the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Database. ​​

Scott, who was pushed aside by Biden ​in June after serving as the head of Border Patrol since 2020, ​urged the agents to remain vigilant.​

An asylum seeker from Colombia turned himself in to US Border Patrol agents on May 13, 2021 in Yuma, Arizona.
An asylum seeker from Colombia turned himself in to US Border Patrol agents on May 13, 2021 in Yuma, Arizona.
Apu Gomes/Getty Images

“Your peers or you are taking criminals, pedophiles, rapists, murderers, and like I said before, even TSDB alerts off the streets and keeping them safe from [sic] America,” ​he said. 

“Even if we processed several thousand migrants that day and even if thousands of them were allowed into the U.S., you still took those threats off the street, and I think that’s worth it. So please don’t ever undersell how important your mission is​,” Scott continued. 

​​Customs and Border Protection officials told Congress in ​March that four people — three from Yemen and one from Syria — on the terror watchlist had been arrested at the border since Oct. 1. 

President Joe Biden pushed Rodney Scott out of his role of Border Patrol chief.
President Joe Biden pushed Rodney Scott out of his role of Border Patrol chief.
Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images

In the past two previous fiscal years, fewer than four people on the watchlist were busted at the border. Six people from Yemen and Bangladesh were arrested in fiscal year 2018.​

Republican lawmakers have warned that terrorists are blending in with the thousands of illegal immigrants coming through Central America and Mexico to slip into the country. ​​

Border Patrol agent watches as a group of migrants walk across the Rio Grande on their way to turning themselves in upon crossing the U.S.
Four people on the terror watchlist have been arrested at the US border since October 1.
AP/Eric Gay

“Individuals that they have on the watchlist for terrorism are now starting to exploit the southern border,” Rep. John Katko (R-NY) said​ during a trip to the border in March​. “We need to wake up.”

In July, border officials stopped 212,672 illegal immigrants trying to cross into the US — the highest total in 21 years. 

​CBP also reported that there have been more than 1.1 million illegal border crossings already this year. 

​A press release about the arrest of two Yemeni nationals on the terror watch list was deleted from the CBP website earlier this year. 

A spokesman told The Post that it had been removed because it had not been properly reviewed for “information related to national security.”

The agency did not provide data about terrorist arrests when asked by the Washington Examiner, saying people stopped at the border undergo multiple screenings.

Migrants line up at an intake area after turning themselves in upon crossing the US-Mexico border in Roma, Texas.
Migrants line up at an intake area after turning themselves in upon crossing the US-Mexico border in Roma, Texas.
AP/Gregory Bull

“While encounters of known and suspected terrorists at our borders are very uncommon, they underscore the importance of the critical work our agents carry out on a daily basis to vet all individuals encountered at our borders,” a CBP spokesperson wrote in an email.

“DHS works with our international partners to share intelligence and other information, including to prevent individuals on the terrorist watchlist from entering the United States,” the official wrote. “CBP adjudicates individuals encountered at and between our ports of entry against several classified and unclassified databases to determine if they pose a threat to national security, consistent with the law.”

Source link