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Suspected terrorist entered US illegally with group of migrants

May 15, 2023

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Law enforcement officials have apprehended an individual believed to be a wanted terrorist from Afghanistan at the U.S. southern border, as confirmed by sources familiar with the matter. The suspect, whose identity remains undisclosed, was taken into custody one day before the expiration of Title 42, a pandemic-era immigration policy aimed at limiting the entry of individuals due to public health concerns.

“On Wednesday, I received word from Border Patrol officials that an Afghani on the terror watchlist was arrested at our Southern Border,” San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond said in a statement. “This apprehension occurred after the individual crossed the border alongside a group of migrants near Otay Mesa, CA.”

The incident has intensified criticism of the Biden administration’s border policies, particularly from Republican lawmakers. They argue that the current border situation has become a “gateway for terrorists, human traffickers, and drug smugglers.”

“Biden’s reckless policy is an open invitation to even the most wanted terrorists in the world to come to America,” said Rep. Darrell Issa, who represents the district where the Afghan national was arrested. “They know they’ll never have to leave. This president has only begun to be held accountable for what he has done.”

“I’ve been clear for months that the situation was going to be challenging,” Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in response to criticism the administration has received over its handling of immigration at the southern border. “I’ve also been very clear that we have confidence in our plan. That our plan will take some time, but our plan will succeed.”

Meanwhile, a federal judge ruled on Saturday, May 13, to maintain a temporary restraining order that blocks the release of immigrants entering the U.S. unlawfully. The Department of Justice had requested the judge’s permission to release immigrants without court dates to avoid overcrowding. However, the state of Florida filed a lawsuit against this proposal, leading to the judge’s decision to uphold the restraining order. The DOJ has stated its intention to file an appeal in response.

“Aliens are being released into the country on an expedited basis without being placed in removal proceedings and with little to no vetting and no monitoring,” wrote U.S. District Judge T. Kent Wetherell in his decision.

“The way we see that is, it’s sabotage. It’s pure and simple,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in response to the judge’s ruling. “That’s how it reads to us. The claims that [U.S. Customs and Border Protection] is allowing or encouraging mass release of migrants is just categorically false. That’s not what’s occurring, that is not what’s happening.”

The number of border crossings has significantly decreased by 50% since the days immediately preceding the expiration of Title 42. The figures were notably high before the policy expired, with daily records of crossings frequently exceeding 10,000 individuals.

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