As OBP Chief Admits Lack of Border Control, Rate of Terror Watchlist Encounters Rises
On March 15, Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz acknowledged that his department currently does not have “operational control” of the U.S.’s southern border. Ortiz’s testimony contradicted that of U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, who in April of 2022 testified that his department did in fact have operational control of the southern border. Meanwhile, news broke Sunday that the current rate of apprehended persons on the FBI’s terror watch list is on pace to exceed the number from the previous fiscal year.
The New York Post reported Sunday that almost 70 individuals on the FBI’s terror watch list have been caught attempting to cross the southern border illegally since last October. The number will likely easily exceed the number apprehended during the last fiscal year, which some lawmakers say is a further symptom of the increased numbers of encounters since President Biden took office and is likely a sign that some potential terrorists have slipped through the border.
Congressman Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) recently joined “Washington Watch” to give an assessment of the current situation at the border.
“[To have] operational control, it means you prevent all unlawful entries into the United States [of] terrorists, aliens, narcotics, contraband,” he explained. “And we know that’s not the case. I’ve been to the border. … There have been 4.6 million encounters since this president took office, a million in the last five months that we know of.”
Government data shows that the number of illegal border crossing encounters is three times higher under President Biden than under former President Trump.
Norman went on to note how much the Biden administration’s decision to halt the construction of an expanded border wall is costing in taxpayer dollars.
“We’re paying an estimated $130,000 per day, which is around $50 million per year, to store the steel and the materials that have already been paid for. We’re paying that to the to the property owners — it just sits there. Until you have designated points of entry and a wall, you’re not going to have any type of security.”
Norman further observed that it will be difficult for the next president to undo the damage done by the current administration’s border policies.
“When I was on the on the Oversight committee, when I asked [Mayorkas], ‘Is the border secure?’ he said, ‘Yes.’ Then I said, ‘Well, define unsecured.’ And he was like a deer in headlights. So they have no credibility. And the sad part about it [is] … [if a] Republican president comes in to unwind it — I don’t know how you do that. We’ve got two more years of this. And at this rate, we will have 10 to 15 million illegals in this country ballooning the budgets of every city and every municipality in America, which is sad.”
Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.