Concerns Mount as Over 70,000 ‘Special Interest Aliens’ Detected at U.S. Southern Border

Concerns Mount as Over 70,000 ‘Special Interest Aliens’ Detected at U.S. Southern Border

70,000 ‘Special Interest Aliens’ at the U.S. Southern Border

Over the past two years, more than 70,000 individuals categorized as ‘special interest aliens’ have been detained at the U.S. southern border.

This significant number has raised concerns about the potential threat of terrorists entering the country.

Countries of Concern

The data, obtained from leaked Custom and Border Protection records, reveals that among these individuals, 6,386 are nationals from Afghanistan, 659 from Iran (a backer of Hamas), and Syria, designated as a state sponsor of terrorism.

However, the majority of these ‘special interest aliens’ come from NATO ally Turkey and the West African nation of Mauritania, which is grappling with extremist violence.

Entry Points and Vetting Challenges

These ‘special interest aliens’ were detained between ports of entry, highlighting the challenge of vetting individuals from these countries.

Border Patrol sources express extreme concerns because they lack effective means of screening people from such countries.

Unless these individuals have a prior criminal record in the U.S. or are on a federal watchlist, their identities are challenging to verify.

Many of their home countries do not share data or records with the U.S., making fingerprint matching difficult.

Defining ‘Special Interest Aliens’

‘Special interest aliens’ are defined by their country of origin, rather than individual intelligence accusations.

Federal agencies use this term to refer to people coming from countries where conditions favor or harbor terrorism, posing a potential national security threat.

Complex Dilemma

This situation creates a complex dilemma for U.S. authorities. Countries affected by violent terrorist movements are also places where desperate populations seek safety and asylum.

Surge in Southern Border Activity

The numbers of ‘special interest aliens’ at the southern border underscore the overall surge in border activity.

Preliminary data from last month recorded approximately 210,000 apprehensions, marking the third-highest number on record. September’s tally is the highest since December 2022 when 222,000 migrants were apprehended, the second-highest monthly figure on record.

Record Figures for 2023 Fiscal Year

The 2023 fiscal year, concluding in September, witnessed the interception of two million illegal migrants crossing the border, making it the second-highest annual figure on record.

Policy Reversal

Meanwhile, the Biden administration has reversed one of its key commitments. The Department of Homeland Security announced that it would waive 26 federal laws to resume the construction of sections of Donald Trump’s border wall.

This shift contrasts with the administration’s previous stance on border wall construction when President Joe Biden took office.

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