You May Have Missed It, But Biden Basically Admitted Terrorists May Be Exploiting The Border

President Joe Biden seemingly admitted that terrorists may be taking advantage of America’s borders during Thursday night’s debate with former President Donald Trump.

Along with a massive jump in immigration to the U.S., authorities have reported a significant increase in encounters with terror-watchlisted individuals at the southern border in the years since Biden took office. In the middle of an exchange with Trump about immigration on the debate stage, Biden said that “[he’s] not saying no terrorist ever got through,” according to CNN’s rush transcript.

“We have the largest number of terrorists coming into our country right now. All terrorists all over the world, not just in South America, all over the world,” Trump said during the exchange. “They come from the Middle East, everywhere, all over the world. They’re pouring in. And this guy just left it open.”


CNN’s Jake Tapper, one of the debate moderators, then offered Biden an opportunity to respond to Trump’s claims about border security and immigration.

“The only terrorist who has done anything crossing the border is one who came along and killed three under his administration, killed – an al-Qaida person in his administration, killed three American soldiers – killed three American soldiers. That’s the only terrorist that’s there,” Biden said, appearing to reference an Islamic extremist’s December 2019 attack against a naval air station that took three lives. Notably, the perpetrator of that attack did not come over the southern border, but was actually a member of the Saudi Arabian military who was in the U.S. for aviation training, according to the Department of Defense and Department of Justice.

“I’m not saying no terrorist ever got through. But the idea they’re emptying their prisons, we’re welcoming these people, that’s simply not true. There’s no data to support what he said,” Biden continued. “Once again, he’s exaggerating. He’s lying.”

The Biden administration, and especially the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), have defended their policy approach to immigration enforcement. During a Wednesday appearance on MSNBC, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas disputed recent reporting about hundreds of individuals who entered the U.S. with assistance from an Islamic State-tied smuggling network, and insisted that DHS “[screens] and [vets] individuals when we encounter them.”

For example, one member of the Somali jihadist group al-Shabaab entered the U.S. in March 2023 and roamed inside the U.S. for nearly a full calendar year before federal authorities arrested him in Minneapolis. The al-Shabaab member had been vetted by authorities upon his arrival at the border, but he was considered a “mismatch” on the terror watchlist and was released into the interior.

Moreover, federal authorities apprehended eight individuals from Tajikistan with suspected ties to the Islamic State in coordinated raids across the U.S. earlier in June. At least one of those individuals entered the country at a port of entry using the CBP One app, according to the New York Post, a tool that the Biden administration rolled out with an eye toward making the situation at the border more orderly.

Federal authorities nabbed more individuals whose names appear on the terror watchlist between October 2023 and January 2024 than they did between fiscal years 2017 and 2020 combined. As of February, authorities had released at least 30,000 “Special Interest Aliens” — migrants from particular countries who are considered potential national security risks — over the previous 15 months. DHS reported about 3,000 such encounters in 2018.

There were about 286 encounters with people whose names are on the federal terror watchlist at the northern and southern borders between fiscal years 2021 and 2023, with an additional 91 encounters on the record so far in fiscal year 2024, according to Customs and Border Patrol data. Fourteen such encounters are on record between fiscal years 2017 and 2020.

Neither the White House nor DHS responded immediately to requests for comment.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments