In 2021, border officials apprehended at least 23 individuals illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border whose identities flagged the U.S. Terrorist Screening Database which archives known and suspected terrorists.
That database falls under the Terrorist Screening Center and was developed in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that revealed gaps in how information was shared within the federal law enforcement and intelligence communities. According to the TSC, the database is populated with individuals who are “reasonably suspected to be involved in terrorism (or related activities).”
Those 23 individuals were only noted as being on the federal government’s terrorist watchlist because they were apprehended. But 2021 also had more than 400,000 estimated “got-aways” — illegal immigrants who were not captured by border agents or law enforcement due to a lack of physical border security and border agents who are occupied processing those who turn themselves in or are apprehended. How many more individuals on the Terrorist Screening Database crossed illegally into the U.S. unnoticed?
The number of “got-aways” in 2022 is already nearing 2021 levels and there’s still roughly one month until the Biden administration ends Title 42, a move that’s guaranteed to drive the number of illegal border crossings even higher. Of course, those who turn themselves in are least likely to be criminals beyond the illegal manner in which they enter the U.S. But those who seek to evade apprehension are more likely to be involved in criminal activity or, as the information Melugin uncovered, on the Terrorist Screening Database and suspected of being involved in terrorist activities.
The information disclosed to the FOIA request was already known to the federal government — yet the information was concealed until Melugin requested it specifically. The Biden administration knew of the risk and the fact that those suspected of being terrorists were attempting to enter the country, but haven’t done anything to prevent a continuation of the record-high illegal migration. The only action Biden and his crew have taken is to spur even more illegal border crossings.
Despite lawmakers and Americans’ increasing concern for the lack of security at the border and those long-term consequences, the Biden administration has committed itself to destroy what remains of law and order at the border.