In a startling and unprecedented reality, a relentless wave of unlawful migrants is pouring across our southern border, and the numbers are nothing short of alarming. Despite reassurances from President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas, America finds itself grappling with a historic border crisis that demands our immediate, undivided attention.
In the past year, Custom and Border Patrol (CPB) agents have encountered an astonishing 2.1 million unlawful migrants attempting to cross the border. Even more concerning is the surge of unauthorized migrants at official ports of entry. Our officers have engaged a staggering 1.1 million individuals, which is double the rate from 2022.
While the Biden administration tries to convince us that our border is “secure,” it appears that President Biden didn’t learn from 2014 when a heavy influx of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) caught the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) completely unprepared. We all remember the pictures of “kids in cages.” Well, these pictures originated from these facilities back in 2014 and were recycled in 2019 as a cynical political cudgel against President Trump. The rollback of the Trump’s Administration’s border policies undoubtedly has contributed to this surge and raises serious concerns about our nation’s safety.
September marked one of the worst single months on record, with CBP apprehending 220,323 unlawful immigrants. The situation at official ports of entry is equally dire, with another 121,069 encounters with inadmissible migrants recorded, making it the second-worst month on record, trailing only slightly behind August. Critical indicators like fentanyl seizures have doubled from the previous year and surpassed the 2020 rate by five times.
What’s more concerning is the increasing number of individuals on the government’s terrorist watchlist detected at the southern border. The terrorist watchlist or Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB) is a tool used to identify individuals with known or suspected ties to terrorism, enabling authorities to take necessary precautions to prevent potential threats. This database is not only essential for preventing terrorist attacks within the United States but also upholds international security. With the current war in in Israel, the terrorist watchlist is even more critical as we seek to protect America from terrorists seeking to infiltrate our nation through the porous southern border.
While unrest in the Middle East is not new, the war in Israel has provided extremist organizations a breeding ground for potential threats. We know Iran, the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, is funding and equipping Hamas terrorists to attack our ally, Israel.
In the past year, 169 suspected terrorists were detained at the border, a number greater than the previous six years combined. Disturbingly, 18 of them were apprehended in September alone. This further underscores the need for President Biden to take our border security seriously. Securing our southern border is an urgent matter that has a direct effect on the security and safety of our nation.
The urgency of the border crisis cannot be overstated. Texas should not be responsible to secure the border for the rest of the country. The American people rightfully demand that President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas take immediate action. Our national security teeters on the precipice, threatened by rampant drug trafficking and the looming specter of potential terrorist exploitation. Now, more than ever, we urge President Biden to enforce the laws of our nation, fulfilling his constitutional duty to provide for the safety and well-being of the American people.
Republican Michael Burgess represents Texas’ 26th District in the U.S. House of Representatives, including all of southern Denton County.