A group of migrants and an Afghan national on the FBI’s terror watchlist were caught trying to enter the U.S. illegally last week.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection authorities, Fox News reported that the suspect—who has not been publicly identified—was apprehended Wednesday while attempting to cross the southern border at Otay Mesa in San Diego, California.
The FBI launched an investigation after a fingerprint scan on the Afghan national revealed that he was included in the Terrorist Screening Database.
“The FBI has no comment on your specific inquiry. We are vigilant in our efforts to detect and assess possible threats, and we work closely with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to keep our communities safe,” a statement from the FBI said, as quoted by CBS 8.
The suspect terrorists’ names and the nature of their alleged crimes are unknown. The incident occurred amid thousands of refugees’ asylum requests at the border.
“The lack of having a comprehensive good immigration program, we are creating those masses on the other side of the border by not having an understandable process,” Supervisor Desmond said, as quoted by CBS 8.
With more than 70 non-US citizens on the FBI’s terror watch list already detained during CBP’s most recent fiscal year, 2023 will probably see more arrests than the 98 made in the previous year.
During the Trump administration, the emergency measure made it easier for border officials to deport people from specific countries, while after Title 42 expired, thousands of migrants flocked to the border to request asylum in the U.S.
According to Department of Homeland Security data, less than 5,000 of the 77,000 Afghans resettled in the U.S. through a unique legal process have obtained permanent legal status for themselves and their families, and efforts to make them permanent residents are failing in Congress.
Tens of thousands of Afghan refugees who fled to the U.S. since the regime change in 2021, their legal status at risk and losing their work permits and protection against deportation this summer.
The Biden administration intends to give these Afghan migrants the opportunity to apply to stay and work in the country legally for at least another two years.
As a result of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) decision, Afghan evacuees who were resettled on a large scale in 2021 and 2022 will have the opportunity to renew their temporary work permits and protections from deportation under the parole immigration policy, CBS News reported.