Texas Republican Introduces New Bill Requiring CBP to Screen Migrants Against Federal Terrorist Watchlist

Rep. Roger Williams, a Republican from Texas, plans to present a bill in the House of Representatives this week. The proposed legislation would mandate federal immigration authorities to screen all migrants crossing the U.S. border against the FBI’s terrorist watch list.

The Identifying Potential Terrorist at the Border Act of 2024 proposes that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers must thoroughly check every migrant entering the U.S. border, regardless of their legal status.

This involves screening them against the terror watch list and holding them in custody until each individual’s background has been thoroughly examined.

“Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection shall take into and maintain custody over an alien until the Commissioner cross references the name of such alien with the terrorist screening database and a result for such cross reference is received by the Commissioner,” the measure states.

“We are a land of laws, and it is past time this administration acts like it,” Williams said in a statement to Fox News Digital.

“Joe Biden is encouraging a deadly invasion of fighting-age men on American soil, and each day this Democrat-created influx of illegal aliens allows bad actors to slip past Border Patrol undetected,” he continued.

“Under current law, CBP is not required to screen migrants against the terrorist watchlist database, and as we have seen too often, dangerous criminals are released into our nation who go on to harm American citizens and communities,” he added.

“My bill requires CBP to screen and detain all individuals attempting to cross the border until a match is returned on that migrant. Now more than ever, we must be aware of who is in our country as Republicans fight to restore law and order and end Biden’s deadly open border policies that are destroying America,” Williams said.

Williams’ proposal follows revelations by Patrick Lechleitner, the interim head of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), earlier this year.

Lechleitner disclosed that a terrorist managed to move around unrestricted in the U.S. for almost a year after unlawfully crossing the border into the country.

During a briefing in February, Lechleitner mentioned that the terrorist was arrested within 48 hours, but only after ICE “became aware.”

Lechleitner’s acknowledgment came after The Daily Caller reported that federal officials had caught a terrorist unlawfully entering the U.S. through the southern border in March 2023.

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Despite being flagged by the terror watch list, the terrorist was subsequently released into the country due to a reported “mismatch” in his identity.

The unnamed terrorist was a member of al-Shabab and was captured last month in Minneapolis, according to the outlet.

“A 27-year-old Somali native entered near San Ysidro, California, without inspection on March 13, 2023, and was arrested that same day by U.S. Border Patrol,” ICE spokesperson Erin Bultje told Fox News earlier this year.

“On Jan. 18, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) received information regarding the noncitizen’s threat to national security and took the noncitizen into ICE custody on Jan. 20, where he is currently detained in accordance with ICE policy, subject to the ongoing evaluation of their case.”

Earlier this month, reports surfaced indicating that 40-year-old Carlos Obed Yepez-Bedoya, listed on the terror watchlist, was detained for illegally crossing the Texas border in February.

Sources from CBP informed Fox News Digital that Yepez-Bedoya was identified as a “positive match” on the terror watchlist, although the specific terror organization was not disclosed.

Williams’ proposal arrives at a time when illegal immigration has emerged as a prominent issue for the 2024 elections and continues to pose challenges for President Biden and his administration.

Surveys indicate that over half of Americans view the influx of illegal immigrants into the U.S. as a significant threat to the nation’s security.

The ongoing crisis at the southern border, now in its third consecutive year, has shattered numerous records. Fiscal year 2023 saw over 2.4 million encounters, while December alone recorded over 300,000 encounters, setting a new record for monthly encounters.

There were 169 encounters of people between ports of entry at the southern border on the FBI’s terror watch list in 2023, according to CBP data.

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By Hunter Fielding
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23 days ago

Duh. Are we just now thinking about this?

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