During a House subcommittee hearing on Wednesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray said he couldn’t "speak to" the sharp increase of individuals on the terror watch list crossing the border.
"Why do you think in the four years before this, there were only 11?" asked House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Law Enforcement, and Intelligence Committee member Mark Green. "And suddenly, there are 294 in the past few years, why do you think that?"
"I can’t really speak to, you know, to that issue," Wray responded. "it’s not in my lane."
"I can tell you that the threats that come from the other side of the border are very much consuming all 56 of our field offices, not just in border states."
Between ports of entry, 172 individuals on the terror watch list crossed the borders into the US illegally in fiscal year 2023. In the 2022 fiscal year, that number was 98, and in 2021, the first full fiscal year under the Biden administration, 16 were captured.
In Fiscal Year 2024, which began in October, 13 people have been captured attempting to enter the US illegally through the northern or southern borders.
Along the southern border alone, a record 2,475,699 people were encountered crossing into the US illegally in 2023.
The first month of the fiscal year is already up from the 2023 fiscal year number, with 240,988 encounters in October 2023 compared to 231,529 in October 2022.
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