(CNSNews.com) — When asked about the increased amount of individuals encountered on the terrorist watch list by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the U.S.-Mexico border, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) said, “frankly, what Joe Biden has done here is inexcusable.”
At the U.S. Capitol on Feb. 9, CNS News asked Sen. Hawley, “(In fiscal 2019), Customs and Border Protection encountered no individuals on the terrorist watch list trying to sneak across the U.S.-Mexico border between the ports of entry. In fiscal 2022, it encountered 98. Why do you think there has been that increase?”
Hawley responded, “Because of Joe Biden’s open border policy clearly. I mean, he’s not even attempting to enforce the law — ask border patrol. Border patrol will tell you they’ve had their legal authorities taken away from them. ICE will say the same. Man power reduced, they have been completely hamstrung.”
“The border is just wide open,” said Hawley. “Who knows, by the way, these are just the folks on the watch list that we’ve heard about. Who knows who else has actually come in cause we’re not even able to keep track any longer.”
“We are not even attempting, I say we, the administration is not even attempting to keep track,” added Hawley. “It is a completely open border, it is a huge national security threat. And also, from my perspective, fentanyl being the number one cause of death for Missourians between 18-44, fentanyl is just pouring across the border, and pouring into every school and community in my state. And, frankly, what Joe Biden has done here is inexcusable.”
Hawley’s statement is supported by the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services as the most recent data involving fentanyl overdoses shows: “The 2020 figure is nearly seven times higher than the 2015 count of 179 synthetic opioid-involved deaths.”
The Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services also reports, “Among adults aged 18-44 in Missouri, drug overdose is the leading cause of death, and more than 70% of all drug overdose deaths in the state involve opioids.”
The question comes amid a report released by the CBP showing that in 2019 it encountered no individuals on the terrorist watch list trying to cross the Southwest Border of the United States. Since 2020, the number of individuals has increased each year, with a rise in 2021 and a significant jump in 2022.
The data show that during the Trump administration the CBP encountered 11 individuals on the terrorist watch list between 2017-2020. The significant rise has occurred since the Biden administration took over in January 2021. The combined number of encounters between 2021 and 2022 is 113, with 38 already being reported in fiscal 2023.
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