October 27, 2023 - November 2, 2023 The Sun Bay Paper Page 19 The Biden administration’s dereliction of duty at the southern border has been quantified by a recent report unveiling a chilling statistic: a record number of illegal immigrants on the FBI’s Terror Watchlist have been apprehended in the past 12 months. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) disclosed these alarming figures detailing the troubling reality of homeland security under the stewardship of Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Eighteen individuals on the federal terrorist watchlist were encountered at the southern border in September alone. The cumulative total for fiscal year 2023 ascended to an unprecedented 169 encounters— the highest annual tally since the inception of Border Patrol in 1924. Homeland Security Secretary Alexander Mayorkas has presided over the single greatest border failure in American history. Republican lawmakers are sounding the alarm. With the recent devastating attack on Israel looming large, the presence of potential terrorists attempting to infiltrate US soil has set off warning sirens and questions of whether the nation’s borders are secure. “The Biden administration is turning a blind eye to the glaring vulnerabilities exposing our nation to potential terrorist incursions,” asserts Rep. Eli Crane (R-Ariz.), a member of the Congressional Freedom Caucus. CBP’s revelations have unveiled a staggering escalation. The 169 encounters in 2023 tower over the 98 recorded in 2022 and the 15 in 2021, drawing a haunting curve of escalating threats. Another chilling statistic also emerges from the security reports - over 18,000 illegal immigrants, their identities shrouded in mystery, have evaded border patrol officials since the dawn of fiscal year 2024. With over 2.47 million encounters recorded in 2023 and fentanyl seizures escalating by 800% since 2019, many believe the nation is embroiled in a full-scale security crisis. Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) voiced growing consternation, “Biden’s open border policies have not only instigated this crisis but have laid out a welcome mat for illegal incursions, including those from terror-supporting nations.” Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), also added a dire warning, “This month’s terrorist attacks against Israel, and threats of ‘global jihad’ issued by Hamas and their overlords in Tehran, mean that the open-borders policies of the Biden administration have placed the American public at greater risk than at any time since 9/11” he said. Richard Luthmann Record-Breaking Apprehensions Expose Vulnerabilities in US Border Security Homeland Security Secretary Alexander Mayorkas has presided over the single greatest border failure in American history.