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1,500 Illegal Immigrants From ISIS ‘Recruiting Ground’ Country Have Crossed The Border Since 2020

Migrants Crossing Border
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Foreign nationals from ISIS hotbeds have crossed the southern border in record-breaking numbers under the Biden administration.

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Hundreds of migrants from Tajikistan, a country known for being an ISIS breeding ground, have crossed the southern border in never-before-seen numbers under President Biden’s administration. 

More than 1,500 Tajiks have been apprehended between October 2020 and May 2024, a stark increase from the previous 14 years, during which only 26 Tajikistan nationals were caught. At least 500 Tajiks have been caught in 2024 alone, with most claiming asylum, according to the New York Post.

The article by the Post’s Jennie Taer follows multiple reports that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested eight Tajikistan nationals with connections to ISIS in three major U.S. cities.

The House Homeland Security Committee attributed the rise in ISIS-connected crossings due to “Custom and Border Protection’s … limited ability to fully vet and screen those crossing” into the United States. Officials have since then expelled the individuals from the country.

A recent article by Foreign Affairs labeled Tajikistan “a fertile recruiting ground” for ISIS-K, a regional branch of the Islamic State, citing the nation’s “poverty, a lack of social opportunities, and petty criminalization.”

“It’s only a matter of time before one of these individuals connected to a terrorist group is involved in something devastating on U.S. soil, and this administration will be responsible,” said House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green, R-Tenn. 

The most recent border encounter total reached 170,723 individuals in May alone, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Of those, nearly 100,000 are single adults.

The majority of these illegal border crossers claim asylum and are released into the United States while they await their court hearings. According to Fox News’ Bill Mellugin, “ICE’s non-detained docket has exploded to 7.4 million cases,” dooming each ICE officer “to manage an average of 7,000 cases each.”

ICE’s non-detained docket is made up of migrants who have crossed the border illegally, have been released, and are waiting on their immigration court dates. It is worth noting this number does not include the 1.9 million “gotaways,” a number that is likely heavily underestimated, who have entered the United States since Biden took office. 

An inspector general report earlier this month revealed border patrol was pressured into vetting only drivers at legal ports of entry. FBI Director Christopher Wray has sounded the alarm on a potential terrorist attack on U.S. soil given the unvetted number of migrants crossing the southern border, specifically from crisis-ridden nations in the Middle East.


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