Among the flood of migrants caught at the southern border last month, 16 people were on the FBI's terror watch-list.
This brings the total to 69 such apprehensions for fiscal year 2023, a trend U.S. Customs and Border Protection said is on pace to exceed last year's 98 encounters. The agency only arrested 8 terror watch-list migrants in total between 2017 and 2020 and 15 in 2021, Fox News reported.
The report comes the same week all 15 Democratic members of the House Homeland Security Committee boycotted a field hearing at the Texas border. In that hearing, Border Patrol chief Raul Ortiz told lawmakers that the Department of Homeland Security does not have operational control of the entire border, contradicting Homeland Security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas's insistence last year to the contrary.
Operational control is defined in the U.S. code as "the prevention of all unlawful entries into the United States, including entries by terrorists, other unlawful aliens, instruments of terrorism, narcotics, and other contraband."
"The migration flow represents challenges and in some areas, a crisis situation," Ortiz said.
Border Patrol also reported last week that the number of Chinese migrants illegally crossing the southern border—mostly in the Rio Grande Valley region of Texas—has increased 920 percent compared with fiscal year 2022, and 91 percent of them are single adults. On Thursday, agents in the region apprehended 90 Chinese nationals, the most encountered in a single day since 2010, NewsNation reported.