IED Found at Border as Senator Warns, ‘Terrorist Cells Are Going to Have Premeditated Attacks Here’
Border Patrol agents have found an improvised explosive device (IED) at the U.S. border with Mexico, as security experts warn lax enforcement of immigration laws will invite terrorist attacks on American soil in the near future.
Border Patrol uncovered an IED in Texas in September and another at a port of entry in Arizona in May. Officials have found homemade explosives, similar to the kind terrorists used to maim U.S. soldiers in Iraq, since at least 2018. The discovery comes as officers encountered 736 people on the U.S. terror watchlist this year, and 286 people on the terror watch list between ports of entry over the last three years — compared to 11 during the last three years of the Trump administration.
“What’s coming across the southern border is not just Central Americans, Mexicans, South Americans. It is individuals from states that are bases for known terrorist entities, like Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, [and] Lebanon. The San Diego Border Patrol issued a warning bulletin about a week and a half ago, and it said, we need to be on the watch for Hamas terrorists coming across the southern border,” said Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.) on “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” Thursday. Earlier in the day, Daines warned that more than 500 people had illegally crossed the U.S. border who hail from such hostile states as Afghanistan and Somalia. “We should be prepared that they could attack us from within,” he warned in a press conference, standing alongside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
“I’m very worried” that the “horrible attacks from Hamas will inspire lone wolves in our country — like we saw happen in Belgium when those two Swedes lost their lives, murdered by an Islamic terrorist,” Daines told Perkins. “It also could release terrorist cells that are going to have premeditated attacks here.” Some worry the United States is for importing Mexico’s drug wars, which have claimed the lives of 61,637 Mexicans since 1964 — the vast majority since 2006, according to Karla Quintana, head of Mexico’s National Search Commission.
On Thursday, Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) asked Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to brief Congress on the number of known or suspected terrorists encountered at the southern border since Biden took office, as well as “their countries of origin, their terrorist group affiliations, any documented criminal or terrorist activity they may have engaged in.”
The numbers of illegal immigration under President Joe Biden have shattered records. Border Patrol agents have encountered at least 10 million illegal immigrants during the Biden administration. Biden and “Border Czar” Kamala Harris presided over three record-breaking years of illegal immigration in a row.
U.S. officials encountered a total of 8,396,199 illegal immigrants during the Biden-Harris administration, according to official figures from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), including:
- 3,201,144 apprehensions in fiscal year 2023;
- 2,766,582 in fiscal year 2022;
- 1,956,519 in fiscal year 2021; and
- 471,954 in the nine months Biden held office in fiscal year 2020.
The 8.4 million does not include the known gotaways who crossed the southern border but escaped. DHS Secretary Mayorkas testified under oath that the number of known gotaways was “over 600,000” — but Border Patrol agents and whistleblowers (who remained anonymous for fear of retaliation) told The Center Square the number is actually 1.7 million at the southern border alone. Former U.S. Customs and Border Protection Chief Mark Morgan placed the number of known gotaways at one million in 2023 alone.
That brings the total of illegal immigrants who entered the U.S. during the Biden administration to 10 million — but it does not include unknown gotaways. Border Patrol figures told Senator Daines, “By definition we don’t know, but we think it’s another 50% … so, another 800,000 to 900,000” additional illegal immigrants who entirely evaded detection, Daines told Perkins. “We have no idea who these people are.”
While the southern border captured headlines, the number of illegal crossings at America’s northern border with Canada exploded by 237% over the last year — more than the previous 11 years combined. The number of unaccompanied minors has also increased by 792% between fiscal year 2020 (944) and fiscal year 2023 (7,482).
If the illegal immigrants encountered at the border during the Biden administration were a state, they would be the 10th largest state in America, after California, Texas, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, Georgia, and North Carolina.
The crush of humanity crowding across the southern border has imposed a high cost on the communities where they have settled — or been placed by the Biden administration. In states from Alaska to Texas “shelters are full, food pantries empty, law enforcement strained, and aid workers exhausted,” a coalition of 24 Republican governors wrote the Biden administration in September. “States are forced to provide financial, educational, and medical support to migrants entering our country illegally — support that is skyrocketing in cost due to record inflation and the unprecedented influx of migrants into our states.”
The governors called on Biden — who has commissioned an endless string of secret charter planes and buses to settle illegal immigrants throughout the country — “to provide honest, accurate, detailed information on where the migrants admitted at the southern border are being relocated in the United States.”
Illegal immigrants cost the American taxpayer between $84 billion and $94 billion a year, Robert Rector, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, told the Senate Budget Committee on September 13. Another estimate, from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), put the figure at $150.7 billion, subtracting the $32 billion illegal immigrants pay in taxes from the more than $182 billion illegal immigrants cost U.S. taxpayers. “Each illegal alien or U.S.-born child of illegal aliens costs the U.S. $8,776 annually,” said a report from FAIR.
The Biden administration’s porous border has made the president an object of derision for South American nations, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and illegal immigrants themselves. “I believe the Biden administration has dropped the ball [on] immigration,” said Irineo Mujica, who is leading a caravan of thousands of illegal immigrants into the U.S. “Mexico is … ganging up with all the countries to make sure that all of this immigration goes straight into the United States.”
“This is being used by the countries to make sure they get what they want from the United States. And Joe Biden has lost,” said Mujica. Former President Donald “Trump at least knew what to say to make sure he doesn’t fuel immigration.”
The Biden administration’s response to state efforts at curtailing illegal immigration has been to cut the wire Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) placed across the border near the well-trafficked corridor at Eagle Pass and sue to have barriers removed from the Rio Grande. U.S. District Court Judge Alia Moses, a George W. Bush appointee, issued a temporary restraining order demanding the Biden administration stop destroying the Texas border wire.
As chaos increases, Congressional Republicans have tried to bring ailing states much-needed relief — and American citizens greater security. Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-La.) has said he will not approve President Biden’s request for additional foreign aid to Ukraine unless it contains funding for U.S. border security and enforcement. Biden has requested additional funding to speed up the processing and release of illegal immigrants into the United States.
Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has introduced the Terrorist Inadmissibility Codification Act to prohibit entry to any immigrant who has publicly supported al-Qaeda, the Islamic State (ISIS), Hezbollah, Hamas, or the Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ). “It’s in our national security interest to ensure foreign nationals seeking to harm our nation are prohibited entry. Those that are already here must be removed,” said Rubio.
But that will deal with only a fraction of the 10 million illegal immigrants the Democratic administration in Washington has released onto American streets in less than three years.
“This is a very, very dangerous time for our country,” Daines told Perkins. “And I hold Joe Biden and the Senate Democrats accountable for this, because it’s their policies that put us in this mess.”
Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.