An Afghan national on the FBI’s terror watchlist was arrested while attempting to cross the US border illegally near Otay Mesa in San Diego, California.
The suspect was caught infiltrating the southern border along with a group of migrants.
The big picture: A fingerprint scan revealed that the suspect was listed in the Terrorist Screening Database, leading to an investigation by the FBI.
- At least 69 non-US citizens on the FBI’s terror watchlist have been caught trying to enter the US illegally through the southern border since October.
Driving the news: With more than 70 non-US citizens on the FBI’s terror watchlist apprehended so far during US Customs and Border Protection’s latest fiscal year, 2023 is likely to surpass last year’s total arrests of 98.
- The latest arrest came just a day before the end of Title 42, a Trump-era emergency policy that allowed border agents to more easily expel migrants from certain countries during the pandemic.
- Immigration advocates have described the situation as a crisis, with many migrants living in trash-strewn encampments along the US-Mexico border, including in California.
- In Texas, the state’s National Guard was deployed in full force to hold off dozens of groups from attempting to enter the country illegally through the Rio Grande.
What they’re saying: Republican politicians have criticized the Biden administration’s failure to crack down on illegal border crossings.
- “Biden’s open borders aren’t just a gateway to five million illegals, record human and child trafficking and the deadliest drug crisis in our history,” said Rep. Darrell Issa, who represents the area where the arrest occurred. “Biden’s reckless policy is also an open invitation to even the most wanted terrorists in the world to come to America.”