Amid a massive surge of migrants at the United States-Mexico border, the outgoing Border Patrol chief told his 19,000 agents prior to retiring over the weekend that known or suspected terrorists are coming into America “at a level we have never seen before.”
“Over and over again, I see other people talk about our mission, your mission, and the context of it being immigration or the current crisis today being an immigration crisis,” Rodney Scott, who retired Saturday, said in a video to employees.
“I firmly believe that it is a national security crisis. Immigration is just a subcomponent of it, and right, now it’s just a cover for massive amounts of smuggling going across the southwest border — to include TSDBs at a level we have never seen before. That’s a real threat,” he said.
The term “TSDB” is a reference to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Terrorist Screening Center Database. The database is used by government agencies and launched after the attacks of September 11, 2001.
Scott’s comments come days after U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data from July showed a 20-year record in arrests, more than 212,000, and a 13 percent increase from June. Due to migrants coming into the U.S. from Central America, the Biden administration has yanked over 40 percent of federal agents to assist in processing, custody care, and transport needs.
For the second time this year, CBP chart-makers have had to stretch the x-axis on their graphic, this time to accomodate 200,000+ migrants per month.
Blue line is FY2021. pic.twitter.com/Ddkv25uUlJ
— Nick Miroff (@NickMiroff) August 12, 2021
“Your peers or you are taking criminals, pedophiles, rapists, murderers, and like I said before, even TSDB alerts off the streets and keeping them safe from America,” the chief said. “Even if we processed several thousand migrants that day and even if thousands of them were allowed into the U.S., you still took those threats off the street, and I think that’s worth it. So please don’t ever undersell how important your mission is.”
This is not the first time the alarm has been sounded about known or suspected terrorists making their way to the U.S. amid the border crisis.
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy requested the FBI and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) host a briefing for members of Congress in April over “the number of bad actors” who escaped arrest at the border.
In January, CBP officials told congressional leadership in a briefing that four terrorist watchlist members from Yemen and Serbia were arrested at the border.
In leaked audio obtained by Fox News, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas acknowledged that the border crisis is “unsustainable.”
“The extent of the challenge should not be understated, but nor should our ability to meet it,” Mayorkas also said.