Customs and Border Protection (CBP), after facing increased pressure from Republican lawmakers, has begun revealing the true numbers of accused terrorists who have been arrested trying to enter the United States illegally.
As reported by Fox News, CBP has been posting the numbers online since last week, following written requests from Republicans in Congress. The data concerns individuals who are officially listed on the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB).
Initially, CBP and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had stopped posting these numbers publicly after Biden came to power in January of 2021, declaring that such information was “law enforcement sensitive,” even though the same information had previously been made public by the Trump Administration.
According to the new information, the total number of TSDB encounters have increased substantially since Fiscal Year 2017, which saw 333 such encounters overall; 217 of these encounters actually took place at the northern border with Canada, while the remaining 116 were at the southern border with Mexico. In Fiscal Year 2019, there were 538 such encounters, which then plummeted to just 196 in 2020.
After 157 encounters in Fiscal Year 2021, the current total for 2022 stands at 131, which is set to outpace the overall total of 2021 by year’s end.
However, this information does not account for those who managed to elude border authorities, known as “gotaways.” It is estimated that up to 62,000 illegal aliens managed to get into the country without encountering Border Patrol in the month of March, with approximately 2,000 such gotaways per day.
Republicans in Congress have repeatedly criticized the Biden Administration for easing restrictions on immigration, favoring an open-borders and pro-amnesty approach that prevents Border Patrol and other enforcement agencies from doing their job.
“The American people deserve to know this information and the realities of the security situation we face at our broken borders, especially where terrorists attempt to gain entry to our country,” said an open letter signed by multiple Republican representatives in March.