(Daily Caller News Foundation) — The number of illegal migrants on the terror watchlist caught by Border Patrol in the first two months of the new fiscal year puts 2024 on pace to hit a new record, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data updated Friday.
Border Patrol has recorded a total of 31 illegal migrants whose names appeared on the terror watchlist so far in fiscal year 2024, 13 of which were caught in October, according to the data. Border Patrol recorded 172 encounters of migrants whose names appeared on the watchlist in fiscal year 2023, 98 in fiscal year 2022 and 16 in fiscal year 2021, according to federal data.
Federal authorities warned Border Patrol to keep watch for Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah terrorists possibly crossing the southern border illegally after the Oct. 7 terrorist attack on civilians in Israel, according to an internal memo exclusively obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“Encounters of watchlisted individuals at our borders are very uncommon, underscoring the critical work CBP Agents and Officers carry out every day on the frontlines. DHS works tirelessly to secure our borders through a combination of highly trained personnel, ground and aerial monitoring systems, and robust intelligence and information sharing networks,” CBP says of its encounters with individuals on the terror watchlist.
“SDS watchlisted individuals encountered by the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) after entering the country without inspection may be detained and removed, to the extent possible under CBP policy, or turned over to another government agency for subsequent detention or law enforcement action, as appropriate,” CBP adds.
The increase in migrant encounters of terror watchlisted individuals has coincided with record levels of illegal immigration. Border Patrol recorded more than 2 million encounters of migrants entering the U.S. illegally in fiscal year 2023 and more than 2.2 million in fiscal year 2022, according to federal data.