Why Is the White House Hiding the Nationalities of Terror Suspects at the Border?


May 22, 2024

By William Davis

The terror threat at the southern border has never been greater than it is now, but the federal government is attempting to hide the magnitude of this threat from the American people.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is refusing to make public the nationalities of suspected terrorists who have crossed the U.S. southern border, even as a record number of illegal aliens on the terror watch list have entered the country in recent years. The number of suspected terrorists crossing the border illegally has increased by 2,500 percent in recent years, and border security experts have warned that the next 9/11-style terrorist attack in the U.S. will likely be linked to the nation’s wide open southern border. 

Yet, the Biden Administration has rejected Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests from Fox News to reveal the nationalities of those on the terror watch list who have crossed the border illegally. The administration claims it can’t release this information because it would violate the privacy of these suspected terrorists. Apparently, protecting the privacy rights of alleged terrorists is a more important priority for this administration than alerting the public to the national security threats that threaten them. 

This lack of transparency is a slap in the face to the American public, which has the right to know where these suspected terrorists are coming from. The reason the nationality of these suspected terrorists is important is because it helps identify the potential sources behind these threats. For example, Iran, a sworn enemy of the U.S., is the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, and funds terrorist groups across the globe, including Hezbollah, which is known to operate in Central America. If a good number of the suspected terrorists who have crossed the border in recent years are Iranian or are known to have connections to Hezbollah, the U.S. should be able to identify the source of these threats, and cut it off. This is one of the main reasons the Trump administration enacted a travel ban from several countries known to support terrorism, including Iran. 

If we know which countries these suspected terrorists are coming from, one solution could be to institute travel bans on those countries until order can be restored. Perhaps this is one reason why the federal government is being so evasive in this case. If the American public was made aware of the nationalities of these suspected terrorists, it might apply pressure on an administration that is stringently opposed to any sort of immigration restrictions. Over the past three years, more than seven million illegal aliens have crossed the U.S. southern border. It is important that we know where these aliens are coming from, not for any prejudicial reasons, but because of the national security implications. 

The large number of illegal aliens who are unaccounted for poses perhaps the biggest risk to U.S. national security because we have no idea who these people are, where they’re going, or what their intentions are.

It is newsworthy that the fastest growing group of aliens illegally crossing the border are Chinese nationals. It is, generally speaking, not a good idea for the U.S. to welcome large-scale illegal migration from countries that wish to do us harm. This is especially true of countries that are known to be hotbeds for terrorism. These countries are aware how vulnerable the U.S. currently is at our border. The terrorists they support are capable of causing major harm to the U.S. The American public deserves to know who they are and where they’re coming from. The root cause of the 9/11 attacks was a failure of the U.S. immigration system. If a similar attack were to occur on U.S. soil, the federal government’s lackadaisical approach to national security when it comes to migration would almost certainly once again be the culprit.

The ongoing crisis at the border has also led to other national security threats that have little to do with the federal government’s lack of transparency. Perhaps the most ominous data coming from the border is the large number of “gotaways” who have illegally entered the country and eluded Border Patrol. The number of gotaways skyrocketed to more than 670,000 during the 2023 fiscal year, which ranged from October 2022 to September 2023. The large number of illegal aliens who are unaccounted for poses perhaps the biggest risk to U.S. national security because we have no idea who these people are, where they’re going, or what their intentions are. If you were a terrorist seeking to do America harm, you would likely want to immerse yourself in this group to avoid detection. The high number of gotaways means it is likely that the actual number of suspected terrorists who have entered the U.S. illegally is much higher than the official data shows. 

For the suspected terrorists we do know about, however, the federal government owes the public the upmost transparency. If the Biden administration refuses to secure the border, the least they can do is let the public know who’s coming here and where they’re coming from.

William J. Davis is a communications associate for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.

Also published at Townhall, May 22, 2024.

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