Border Patrol agents have encountered 98 total non-U.S. citizens at ports of entry that are on the government’s terror watchlist, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) statistics.
The Terrorist Screening Dataset (TSDS) is the U.S. government’s database or “watchlist” on terrorist identities. This database includes known or suspected terrorists, as well as individuals who represent a potential threat to the United States and its affiliates.
CBP reports that so far in 2023, Border Patrol agents have stopped 96 individuals on the terror watchlist at the southern border, and 2 individuals at the northern border.
This matches the 98 total TSDS encounters by U.S. Border Patrol for the entire fiscal year 2022.
From FYs 2017 through 2021, there were a combined total of just 30 TSDS encounters at the southern and northern borders.
This means that in 2022 and 2023, the number of border encounters of noncitizens on the government’s terror watchlist increased by over six times from the previous five years.
The agency also reports the arrest of 5,193 criminal noncitizen arrests so far in 2023, 2,999 of which were arrested for attempted illegal entry or re-entry.
In the first 7 months of 2023 CBP reported a total of 1,246,371 border encounters, which includes Title 8 apprehensions and Title 42 expulsions, a measure which expired as of May 11.
CBP released their April 2023 Monthly Operational Update on Wednesday, in which Acting Commissioner Troy A. Miller reaffirmed the agency’s commitment to addressing the challenges posed by the expiration of Title 42.
“As part of our planning for the end of the Title 42 public health order, we have surged resources, technology, and personnel to safely and orderly manage challenges along the southern border,” Miller said.
April’s report showed that encounters at the southwest border totaled 211,401, up 10 percent from March.
Despite this rise in border encounters, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said in a May 10 press briefing that the Biden Administration’s border policies are effective.
“The message is quite clear. Do not come. The border is closed. The border is secure,” Mayorkas said.
Contrary to Secretary Mayorkas’ narrative, U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz tweeted on May 15 that there had been a total of 14,752 apprehensions and approximately 4,316 “gotaways” in the span of just 72 hours.
Watch DHS Secretary Mayorkas’ full May 10 press briefing here: