In a startling revelation, over 70,000 migrants, labeled as ‘special interest aliens,’ have been detained at the U.S. southern border over the past two years, according to leaked data from Customs and Border Protection.
This surge in detentions has reignited concerns regarding the potential infiltration of terrorists into the country.
‘Special interest aliens’ refers to individuals originating from countries that either favor, harbor terrorism, or potentially threaten national security.
Notably, these migrants were detained between ports of entry and do not account for those who presented themselves at crossing points. The actual number of individuals who managed to enter the country undetected remains unknown.
Among the detained, 6,386 are nationals from Afghanistan, where the Taliban seized control in 2021, and 659 are from Iran, a known supporter of the terrorist group Hamas, and Syria, a designated state sponsor of terrorism.
However, a significant portion of the detainees hail from NATO ally Turkey and Mauritania, a West African nation currently grappling with extremist violence.
Fox News reporter Bill Melugin, who obtained the numbers, shared on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, “Border Patrol sources express extreme concerns about the individuals entering the country due to the limited capacity to vet people from these special interest countries.”
He further explained that unless individuals have previously committed a crime in the U.S. or appear on a federal watchlist, verifying their identities proves challenging as most of their home countries do not share data or records with the U.S.
Among those arriving at the U.S. border were 13,624 people from Uzbekistan, a central Asian country that not only shares a border with Afghanistan but has also supplied foreign fighters to various militant groups.
Last week, the Department of Homeland Security announced it was waiving 26 federal laws to commence building new sections of Donald Trump’s border wall, signaling a potential shift in the administration’s approach to managing the escalating crisis at the border.