Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas acknowledged Wednesday that known or suspected terrorists are crossing through the southern border, though he said it’s been going on for years.
He said they have tried to cross “the land border” as well as try to arrive by air.
“That is not a new phenomenon,” he said.
He was testifying to the House Homeland Security Committee, two days after GOP leaders during a visit to the border in Texas said Border Patrol agents told them illegal immigrants on the terrorist watch list had been coming across the boundary.
The question of how terrorism suspects enter the U.S. has been heated for some years, as the Trump administration used it as justification for its get-tough policies, including construction of the border wall. Trump opponents downplayed the threat.
Mr. Mayorkas said the department has gotten adept at detecting terrorist suspects and is able to sniff them out when they arrive and oust them.