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‘Pouring through’: Expert cites DCNF reporting about potential terrorist threats at Congress border hearing


Daily Caller News Foundation

An immigration expert expressed concerns over the Daily Caller News Foundation’s report about special interest migrants assumed to be risks to national security crossing the southern border illegally by the tens of thousands, during a House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing Thursday.

Certain illegal migrants are deemed to be “special interest aliens” because their travel patterns may “possibly have a nexus to terrorism” or may come from countries with such ties, according to a 2019 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) fact sheet. Center for Immigration Studies’ Todd Bensman cited the DCNF’s reporting that showed that between October 2022 and August Customs and Border Protection (CBP) flagged 74,904 illegal migrants nationwide for potentially posing risks to national security, according to CBP data recently obtained exclusively by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“Vast numbers of special interests aliens are currently pouring through the Darien Gap between Colombia and Panama. Usually 10,000 migrants or less pass through the gap. In 2023, however, 300,000-plus have gone through the gap and whereas only 3,000 or 4,000 special interests aliens among them reached our southern border annually, the Daily Caller just reported that 75,000 came in just the last nine months. DHS cannot possibly vet or even interview a fraction of these numbers, raising the terrorism risk,” Bensman said.


Border Patrol agents encountered 25,627 special interest aliens in fiscal year 2022, compared to 3,675 encounters in fiscal year 2021, according to internal agency data previously obtained by the DCNF.

Nationality alone can make an illegal migrant a special interest alien.  Turkey and Uzbekistan, for example, are considered special interest countries, according to an internal Border Patrol document previously obtained by the DCNF.

Federal authorities are currently trying to track down a group of more than one dozen Uzbek migrants that federal authorities released into the country after they used an ISIS-tied smuggler to cross the southern border illegally.

Border Patrol has seen a surge in migrants whose names appear on the terror watchlist crossing the southern border illegally in recent years, recording 149 in fiscal year 2023, which is up from 98 in all of fiscal year 2022 and 16 in fiscal year 2021, according to agency data.

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Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation

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