In the aftermath of the recent deadly terror attacks launched by Hamas from Gaza into Israel, in which more than 1,200 mostly civilian Israelis were murdered or kidnapped as hostages, serious questions have been raised about President Joe Biden's lax border security policies here in the United States.
Among those raising questions is former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who pointed out Monday that, directly because of Biden's open borders policy, U.S. authorities simply didn't know if a potential terror cell was "currently in our country waiting to come forward," according to Breitbart.
Fueling that uncertainty about possible terrorists waiting to strike Americans within the U.S., per McCarthy, is the fact that border authorities have acknowledged catching a skyrocketing number of foreign individuals on the government's official terrorist watch list after they had illegally entered the country.
During an appearance Monday on "Fox & Friends," Rep. McCarthy was asked by co-host Brian Kilmeade for his reaction to the news that at least two Iranian nationals on the terror watch list had been apprehended so far this month after illegally crossing the southern border to enter the U.S.
"This is a great fear of mine, it is one of the five steps in the program that I believe we need to do to secure this border," McCarthy replied. "In 2019, we did not catch one person on the FBI terrorist watch list -- today we’ve got 151. Two years ago I sent a letter to the director of the FBI. He still has not responded."
"But the real concern here is having an open border that Iran and 160 other countries know," the California congressman continued. "We don’t know if there’s a cell currently in our country waiting to come forward based upon what’s happening to Israel and other places around the world. We are at a great threat ourselves and it’s based upon Biden’s policies. That’s why one of the five steps I thought we needed to take, one is securing this border."
Kilmeade expressed hope that "both sides" will now realize the problem at the border, but McCarthy interrupted and said, "But it's been a problem for a long time. A year or so ago we caught two people on different days coming from Yemen into California, and they're not just from Yemen, they're on the terrorist watch list."
"Do you understand how difficult it is just to get on that terrorist watch list?" he added. "They come from 160 different other countries, from China, Saudi Arabia, from all different places, and we know from history what a few individuals can do and disrupt the safety of America."
What Kilmeade had referenced and McCarthy reacted to was the revelation that U.S. Customs and Border Protection had caught at the border so far this month at least two Iranian nationals on the terrorist watch list, which is formally known as the Terrorist Screening Data Base, according to the Daily Signal.
Over the course of the 2023 Fiscal Year that just concluded at the beginning of this month, CBP had apprehended at least 151 individuals on the terrorist watch list who had crossed the border between official ports of entry, as well as another 76 who tried to get through those ports of entry -- though that number doesn't count the unknown number of "gotaways" who managed to successfully evade capture after illegally entering the country.
That number had previously been zero or low single-digits under former President Donald Trump's tough border security enforcement, but has steadily risen under President Biden's far more lax enforcement policies, from 15 in FY2021 to 98 in FY2022 to now more than 150 in FY2023.
On top of that, the CBP also revealed that over the past two years at least 72,823 "special interest aliens" -- a term for illegal migrants who aren't on the watch list but nonetheless hail from predominately Middle Eastern nations that harbor and promote terrorists or otherwise threaten U.S. national security -- had been encountered and apprehended along the southern border.
As former Speaker McCarthy said, this is a legitimate and "real concern" about an easily avoidable danger for the American people that stems directly from Biden's open borders policy.