U.S. Customs and Border Protection
flagged approximately 75,000 illegal immigrants as being possible national security threats or having terroristic ties in the previous 10 months leading up to August 2023, the Daily Caller
CBP data showed that between October 2022 and August 2023, 74,904 illegal aliens were labeled as "
," which stands for "Special Interest Alien."
According to a Department of Homeland Security
, an SIA is a "non-U.S. person" who potentially "poses a national security risk to the United States or its interests."
"Often such individuals or groups are employing travel patterns known or evaluated to possibly have a nexus to terrorism. DHS analysis includes an examination of travel patterns, points of origin, and/or travel segments that are tied to current assessments of national and international threat environments," the DHS stated.
"This does not mean that all SIAs are 'terrorists,'" the government report added. However, the travel and behavior of certain individuals "indicates a possible nexus to nefarious activity (including terrorism) and, at a minimum, provides indicators that necessitate heightened screening and further investigation."
The unearthed numbers were a massive increase from the reported 25,627 special interest encounters from fiscal year 2022, and the comparably miniscule 3,675 from fiscal year 2021.
Illegal immigrants can automatically be deemed SIAs based on their country of origin, such as
or Uzbekistan, due to such countries' status as a "source and transit country."
DHS didn’t respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller regarding the SIA figures.
CBP and the DHS are under heightened scrutiny as a result of the shocking increase in border crossing encounters under the Biden administration.
A former immigration judge claimed in late August 2023 that the DHS was
deliberately not disclosing
the number of illegal immigrants who have been released into the United States each month.
"The only reason why ICE and OFO [Office of Field Operations] would refuse to disclose that information is to hide the fact that it is releasing more than 100,000 aliens per month into the United States and to conceal the effects of those migrant releases on communities across the United States," Andrew Arthur said.
in fiscal year 2023 are on pace to match the near 2.4 million that were seen in 2022. There were just over 1.7 million encounters in 2021, while in 2020, President Trump's administration saw a little more than 450,000.
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