(CNS News) – When asked why so many people on the terrorist watchlist are being encountered at the U.S.-Mexico border compared to previous years – 78 so far this fiscal year – Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kans.) said it was because of President Joe Biden’s “open border policy,” and that there are “so many people coming across.”
At the Capitol on Sept. 21, CNS News asked Senator Marshall, “According to Customs and Border Protection, in fiscal year 2020 it encountered three people on the terrorist watchlist trying to cross the Southwest border between the ports of entry. Last year, it encountered 15. In the first 11 months of this fiscal year it has encountered 78. Why do you think there has been that increase?”
Marshall replied, “Because Joe Biden has an open border policy. The cartel has figured this out, they know very well how to smuggle people across. There’s just literally so many people coming across at the same time.”
“The Border Patrol get distracted, and it’s just easy pickings right now,” he said. “This is the easiest way to get into this country – just, every day I hear of stories of someone said they got tired of waiting coming into this country the right way, so they just went ahead and got a plane ticket to Mexico and came in that way.”
As CNS News has reported, “The 78 Border Patrol encounters with people on the terrorist watchlist reported in the first eleven months of this fiscal year is 5.2 times the 15 encounters that occurred through all of fiscal 2021.”
“In fiscal 2017, according to the CBP data, the Border Patrol only had 2 encounters with individuals on the terrorist watchlist between the ports of entry on the Southwest border. In fiscal 2018, it was 6. In fiscal 2019, it was zero. In fiscal 2020, it was 3. In fiscal 2021, it was 15. Then, in October through August of this fiscal year, it was 78.”
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Terrorist Screening Dataset (TSDS) holds sensitive information on terrorist identities. Although TSDS originally contained information on only known or suspected terrorists (KSTs), it now includes individuals that pose a potential threat to the U.S.