- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 16, 2022

Homeland Security recorded more than 200,000 illegal border jumpers in June, marking the fourth straight month that the Biden administration has topped that elevated level of border chaos.

Among those were six more arrests of terrorism suspects at the southern border, according to data released by Customs and Border Protection late Friday.

The total arrests marked a decline compared to May.

Of the 207,416 people encountered, 191,898 were nabbed by Border Patrol agents as they sneaked across the border between official crossings. The rest were encountered by CBP officers at the ports of entry.

Fewer than half of the border jumpers were ousted under the pandemic health emergency, or Title 42 powers. More than 72,000 were processed and released directly at the border, while most of the rest were released after transfer to another federal agency in the interior.

CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus celebrated the lower numbers.

SEE ALSO: ‘Temporary’ migrants who entered illegally get new path to permanent status under Biden policy

“While fluctuations are normal from month to month, we saw a 14 percent decrease in encounters compared to the previous month,” he said in announcing the new data.

Digging into the numbers, there were some worrying trends.

While the number of migrants traveling as family units — at least one parent and minor child — dropped, the number of illegal immigrant children traveling unaccompanied rose to more than 15,000.

And the Border Patrol reports nabbing 56 people this fiscal year whose names were on the terrorism screening database. As of May that figure stood at 50, meaning six new suspects were caught in June alone.

This is shaping up as the worst year on record by far for terrorism activity on the southern border. In 2021, just 15 terrorism suspects were arrested by the Border Patrol, and before that agents tallied just 11 arrests combined for 2017 through 2020.

CBP has not offered an explanation for the surge.

SEE ALSO: RNC coaching immigrants to take the citizenship test, earn the right to vote

Analysts say the more people being caught, the more are likely getting by — including terrorism suspects.

Indeed, federal authorities announced charges earlier this year against an alleged ISIS operator they say was orchestrating a plot to assassinate former President George W. Bush.

The man told an informant he planned to smuggle an ISIS hit squad across the southern border, and told the informant he’s already smuggled two Hezbollah figures into the county, charging them $50,000 apiece.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide