EAGLE PASS, Texas — According to a source within CBP, the influx of Special Interest Migrants across the U.S./Mexico border continues early in the NEW fiscal year as nearly 100 Syrian and 50 Iranian nationals have been apprehended by the Border Patrol since the beginning of October. The source says the influx of Syrian and Iranian Special Interest Migrants is concerning, considering the turmoil unfolding in the Middle East.
The Syrian and Iranian migrants were apprehended in multiple sectors across the southwest border during October. The latest arrest of an Iranian national by the Border Patrol occurred near Eagle Pass, Texas, on Saturday. The Iranian national was discovered within a single group of more than 300 that crossed into the small border city. A debrief of the Iranian migrant is pending as of press time, according to the source.
The source says the continued encounter of Syrian and Iranian nationals is more concerning considering the recent U.S. air strikes against Iran-linked sites in Syria in response to drone and missile attacks on U.S. military bases in the region. According to the source, the arrivals of Special Interest Migrants at the southwest border are appearing with little to no advance intelligence warning.
“We are receiving no advance warning of the arrival of Special Interest Migrants from the region with any specificity,” the source explained. “We are left to sort through the grab-bag of migrants in small and large groups to figure out who is in the group and why they are coming.”
Eleven Special Interest Migrants from Middle Eastern countries were apprehended in just one sector of the border patrol in one week alone.
As reported by Breitbart Texas, during the week of October 8 to October 14, Border Patrol agents apprehended six Iranian nationals, three Lebanese nationals, one Egyptian national, and one Saudi Arabian national that made landfall in Texas on the banks of the Rio Grande in the Del Rio Border Patrol Sector that includes Eagle Pass.
The Syrian and Iranian Special Interest Migrants are mostly single adult males. Both countries are subject to travel warnings by the U.S. State Department. The State Department has issued a Level-4 advisory regarding travel to Syria due to terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, armed conflict, and the risk of unjust detention.
Iran is also subject to a Level-4 travel warning by the State Department due to the risk of kidnapping and the arbitrary arrest and detention of U.S. citizens.
The source says, absent any significant intelligence indicting a Special Interest migrant may pose a known threat to the United States, they are generally released into the U.S. to pursue asylum claims.
As reported by Breitbart Texas, more than 61,000 Special Interest Migrants were encountered by the Border Patrol in Fiscal Year 2023, which ended on September 30. The number of migrants from Special Interest countries climbed by more than 140 percent from Fiscal Year 2022, when more than 25,500 were apprehended. In all, more than 86,000 Special Interest migrants have illegally entered the United States in the previous two fiscal years.
According to a 2019 DHS fact sheet, the term “Significant Interest Alien” is defined as follows:
Generally, an SIA is a non-U.S. person who, based on an analysis of travel patterns, potentially poses a national security risk to the United States or its interests. Often, such individuals or groups employ 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.
This does not mean that all SIAs are “terrorists,” but rather that the travel and behavior of such individuals indicate a possible nexus to nefarious activity (including terrorism) and, at a minimum, provide indicators that necessitate heightened screening and further investigation. The term SIA does not indicate any specific derogatory information about the individual – and DHS has never indicated that the SIA designation means more than that.
Record number of illegal immigrants from India are crossing US border
An unprecedented number of Indian immigrants are entering the US via its southern border, new federal statistics have revealed – with 42,000 intercepted in the past year alone. The number, unveiled last month by US Customs and Border Protection, is more than double the amount from the same period the year prior – when crossings by Indians were already at a record high. What’s more, an additional 1,600 have crossed from the northern border amid the rising phenomenon – four times the amount of the past three years combined.
Nearly all turn themselves in to Border Patrol – who then process them as asylum-seekers due to recent unrest surrounding India ‘s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. Since 2007, the total number of annual illegal border crossings from India only exceeded 5,000 four times. A litany of other factors, political and socioeconomic included, has since spurred the sizable jump – which has also been bolstered by records from other demographics. CBP’s total encounters along the border this past year were more than 2million, meaning migrants from India represented just under 2 percent of that sample set. The total, pertaining to the fiscal year starting last October, includes roughly 210,000 apprehensions this past month alone – the highest recorded in all of 2023. The record monthly figure brought the total number of migrant encounters for fiscal year – for the fist time ever in history – to 2.48 million, up from 2.38 million in 2022.
Illegal border crossers total over 10 million since Biden inauguration
More than 10 million people have been reported illegally entering the United States since President Joe Biden took office in January 2021, the greatest number in history and of any administration.
They total more than the individual populations of 41 states.
The number of people illegally entering the country surged after Biden and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas halted many preexisting border security policies, advanced sweeping parole and other policies to release the greatest number of illegal foreign nationals into the country, encouraged people from all over the world to use a phone app to enter the U.S., and facilitated U.S. entry application processes in foreign countries, among others.
Official U.S. Customs and Border Protection data includes 3,201,144 apprehensions in fiscal 2023; 2,766,582 in fiscal 2022; 1,956,519 in fiscal 2021; and 471,954 in the nine months Biden was in office in fiscal 2020.
CBP’s fiscal year is from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.
Combined, official apprehensions total 8,396,199.
They exclude gotaway data, which CBP does not report publicly. The Center Square has been reporting preliminary gotaway data solely reported by Border Patrol agents at the southwest border. The information is obtained from a Border Patrol agent who provides it and other information on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation.
Since January 2021, a minimum estimate of nearly 1.7 million gotaways have illegally entered the U.S.
Based on earlier projections and including Office of Field Operations data, former CBP chief Mark Morgan told The Center Square the gotaway data is likely to reach or exceed one million for fiscal 2023 alone.
In fiscal 2021, there were at least 308,655 known, reported gotaways; in fiscal 2022, 606,150 were reported. According to preliminary data obtained by The Center Square, Border Patrol agents reported at least 769,174 gotaways at the southwest border alone.
This number excludes OFO data, gotaway data at the northern border and other CBP ports of entry nationwide. The Center Square has not yet received total internal gotaway numbers.
However, even those are considered a best estimate because they exclude unknown and unreported gotaways, those who illegally enter undetected – meaning, the number is likely much higher. Law enforcement officials have said they have no idea how many gotaways there are in the U.S., or who or where they are.
Combined, the minimum estimated known, reported gotaways from Jan. 1, 2021, to Sept. 30, 2023 is at least 1,678,979.
Since January 2021, total illegal border crossers apprehended nationwide were 8,396,198. Combined with at least 1,678,979 gotaways, the number increases to over 10 million (at least 10,075,177).
This is greater than the individual populations of 41 states.
The only states with an estimated population greater than the number of illegal border crossers are California, Texas, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, Georgia and North Carolina.
They edged ahead of Michigan’s estimated population of 10,030,722.
The total number of illegal border crossers during the period equates to 25% of California’s population, 33% of Texas’ population, 44% of Florida’s population and nearly 52% of New York’s population.