A number of Republican senators criticized the Biden administration’s border policies, arguing that they lead to an increased chance of terrorism within the United States. The discussion took place after U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced the highest number of attempted border crossings on record last month.
The Senate held a hearing on border security and potential terrorist threats Tuesday, including testimony from Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
Separately, several prominent senators took a trip to the southern border to survey the current situation there.
Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) said that the group of senators “just returned from our southern border, and it is painfully clear that with Joe Biden’s open border policy, our country is really at an increased threat for a terrorist attack.”
Barrasso cited recent seizures of migrants carrying explosives with them.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said that the current situation is frustrating CBP agents who “risk their lives catching dangerous people, and they turn around and their political superiors just let them go.”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) exposes Biden's emergency supplemental request as a 'joke,' claiming it would worsen illegal immigration
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) October 31, 2023
He also said that about 30% of the adults attempting to cross into the country with children are not their biological parents.
During the Senate Homeland Security Hearing, Mayorkas said that more than 600,000 migrants entered the United States in the last fiscal year and were not apprehended.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) said that there are currently “no consequences associated with illegal entry in the United States.” He said that criminal organizations “know how to exploit our system.”
The hearing took place after a CBP source indicated that about 150 people from the Middle East crossed the border into the United States in October.
These include almost 100 Syrians and about 50 Iranians who entered into the country. The news comes as Iranian-linked groups are launching rocket and drone attacks against American targets in the Middle East amid the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.
In addition, in a one week span, the CBP captured six Iranians, three Lebanese, one Egyptian and one Saudi in Texas. Most of the entries from Iran and Syria are single adult males.