Republican senators are expressing concerns about the Biden administration’s border policies after Border Patrol agents apprehended illegal immigrants with explosive devices. Senators John Barrasso, John Cornyn, Ted Cruz, and Pete Ricketts shared their findings during a press conference.
They revealed that over 8 million illegal border crossings have occurred since President Joe Biden took office, highlighting the elevated risk of terrorism due to the explosive devices on some border crossers. The senators argued that President Biden’s open border policy puts the country at an increased threat of a terrorist attack. U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents recently seized improvised explosive devices from illegal immigrants, with Senator Barrasso describing them as “tailor-made for terrorism.”
During the press conference, Senator Ricketts stated that President Biden’s border policies led to 18 individuals on the terrorist watchlist being apprehended in September and 172 last year. He noted that this number was significantly higher than in previous years and warned that the country was opening itself up to a terrorist attack.
FBI Director Christopher Wray also testified before Congress, stating that foreign terrorist organizations have been calling for attacks against Americans and the West since the recent Hamas attack. The Department of Homeland Security has previously issued a terror alert, citing the threat of individuals with links to foreign terrorist organizations targeting schools, government facilities, or critical infrastructure.
A record number of illegal border crossings occurred in September, with over 269,000 people apprehended. Senator Barrasso stated that the situation has become so dire that Homeland Security raised the terror threat due to the high number of illegal border crossings and the significant number of “gotaways”—people who attempt to evade detection. Since President Biden assumed office, there have been 1.7 million “gotaways.” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas acknowledged the challenge of “gotaways” but also referred to it as a broken immigration system.
The senators argued that the Biden administration is to blame for the border crisis and called for the restoration of the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy. This policy required asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico for their U.S. court hearings.
The White House did not respond to statements blaming the president for the border crisis. In response to the latest illegal immigration data, CBP stated that they will remain vigilant and make operational adjustments as necessary, as well as enforce consequences under U.S. immigration law. President Biden has requested Congress to approve an additional $105 billion in funding aimed at providing support for Israel and Ukraine.