Though President Joe Biden has done his best to minimize the risks posed by the end of Title 42 expulsion rules at the southern border, five migrants ultimately found to be included on the FBI's Terrorist Screening Database list were apprehended on Friday alone, as Breitbart reports.
The arrests all reportedly occurred in the U.S. Border Patrol's Tucson Sector, and the individuals at issue have since been referred for further investigation and processes designed to confirm their identities.
According to a source with knowledge of the situation, the foreign nationals made their foray into the country during separate incidents spanning the entire day, but thus far, no information on their countries of origin was available.
The Terrorist Screening Database is comprised of data on individuals deemed to pose a reasonable risk of involvement in terrorism, and the presence of a person's name on the list sets reporting and investigation process in motion, according to Breitbart.
Apprehensions in the Tucson Sector were not the only incident of this nature to take place in the immediate run-up to the expiration of Title 42, as an Afghan national on the terror watchlist was also reportedly arrested attempting to enter the country with other migrants on Wednesday near San Diego, California, according to the New York Post.
Fox 5 in San Diego noted that the Afghan suspect's identity is still unclear, as is the conduct for which he or she ended up on the terror watch list.
The incident triggered a strong response from San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond, who said, “This should serve as a stark reminder to President Biden and the federal government on the critical need for maintaining a strong border.”
“As a nation, we must remain steadfast in our commitment to protect the safety and security of our citizens,” Desmond continued. “A strong and orderly border process is crucial in preventing individuals with nefarious intentions from entering our country.”
Concurring with Desmond was Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), who said that the Afghan's apprehension was a predictable consequence of Biden's unwillingness to enforce the law, as the Post added.
“Biden's reckless policy is...an open invitation to even the most wanted terrorists in the world to come to America,” Issa said, further lamenting, “[t[hey know they'll never have to leave.”
These most recent terror watch list arrests are, unfortunately, not outliers, in that Customs and Border Patrol reported in March that no fewer than 69 such individuals had been caught trying to illegally cross the border since October of 2022.
The pace of such apprehensions this year is on track to surpass that of 2022, which saw 98 watch list arrests, a startling increase from the tally of just 15 seen back in fiscal year 2021.
Even so, amid growing concerns about the potential deluge of migrants and overwhelmed border resources stemming from Friday's end of Title 42 rules, Biden asserted to reporters on Sunday that everything is going “much better than [they] expected.”
Vice President Kamala Harris appeared to have received the same talking point, declaring that all is “going rather smoothly” in the wake of Title 42's demise, but precisely how long the administration will be able to paper over the worsening crisis unfolding in plain sight, only time will tell.