Border Patrol Found 17 People On Terror Watch List At Southern Border

 December 24, 2023

In a recent disclosure, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) revealed an unsettling development at the U.S.-Mexico border.

November saw 17 individuals on the FBI's terror watch list being encountered at the southern border, elevating concerns about national security.

These encounters are part of a growing trend, reflecting a broader issue of border security. The fiscal year has already recorded 30 such incidents as of November, indicating an upward trajectory in the frequency of these occurrences.

Increasing Encounters with Terror Watch List Individuals

The Terrorist Screening Dataset, commonly known as the terror watch list, is a compilation of information on individuals known or suspected to have terrorist affiliations. The recent encounters at the southern border have brought this list into sharp focus.

In the previous fiscal year there was a record high of 169 encounters with individuals on the terror watch list. This number included encounters at both northern and southern U.S. borders, Fox News reported.

More recently, 49 individuals from the terror watch list have been encountered at both borders. These figures underscore the ongoing challenges faced by border security agencies in managing potential security threats.

Historic Highs in Migrant Encounters

Beyond the terror watch list encounters, the overall number of migrants at the southern border has surged to unprecedented levels. November alone saw over 242,000 migrant encounters, the highest for any November on record.

This surge in migrant encounters reached a peak on December 18, 2023, with a staggering 12,600 encounters in a single day. Such high numbers have not been seen before in the history of U.S. border patrol operations.

As December 2023 progresses, the number of migrant encounters is expected to surpass November's record, with over 200,000 incidents already recorded. The escalating number of migrants presents a complex challenge for border patrol and immigration authorities.

Concerns Over Security and Immigration Policies

The high number of encounters with individuals on the terror watch list has raised valid concerns about the potential for individuals with criminal backgrounds or terrorist ties to enter the U.S. amidst migrant groups.

This situation poses a significant challenge for border patrol agents and immigration officials, who must balance the humanitarian aspects of migration with the need to ensure national security.

A representative from the CBP stated, "Encounters of watchlisted individuals at our borders are very uncommon, underscoring the critical work CBP Agents and Officers carry out every day on the frontlines."

Extensive Release of Migrants into the U.S.

In 2023, the U.S. saw a significant number of migrants being released into the country.

Over 386,000 migrants were given notices to appear in court, reflecting a considerable increase in the number of individuals seeking asylum.

This influx of migrants has put additional pressure on the U.S. immigration system. The record-breaking number of migrant encounters, combined with the encounters of individuals on the terror watch list, has the Biden administration under fire.

Comprehensive Border Security and Immigration Reform Needed

The current trends highlight the urgent need for comprehensive border security and immigration reform. The escalating number of migrant encounters and the presence of individuals on the terror watch list demand an immediate response.

Effective border management is crucial for ensuring the safety and well-being of both migrants and the U.S. population. It requires a multifaceted strategy that encompasses robust security measures, efficient processing systems, and humane treatment of migrants.


The challenges at the U.S.-Mexico border are multifaceted and require the concerted efforts of various government agencies.

  • November 2023: 17 individuals on the FBI's terror watch list encountered at the U.S.-Mexico border.
  • Fiscal year 2024 records 30 terror watch list encounters so far.
  • Over 242,000 migrant encounters in November 2023, the highest for the month on record.
  • Record 12,600 migrant encounters in one day on December 18, 2023.
  • Over 386,000 migrants were released into the U.S. in 2023 with notices to appear in court.

Please share this article on Twitter and Facebook to inform others about the complexities and developments at the U.S.-Mexico border.

About Victor Winston

Victor is a freelance writer and researcher who focuses on national politics, geopolitics, and economics.

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