U.S. Customs and Border Protection encountered almost 100 people on a national terrorist watchlist at the southwest border over the course of fiscal year 2022, according to data released this week.
In fiscal year 2022, which began on Oct. 1, 2021, and ended on Sept. 30, 2022, Border Patrol encountered 98 non-U.S. citizens on the Terrorist Screening Dataset at the southwest border. Last fiscal year, Border Patrol made 16 encounters with non-American citizens on the watchlist in between ports of entry.
"The Terrorist Screening Dataset (TSDS) — also known as the ‘watchlist’ — is the U.S. government’s database that contains sensitive information on known or suspected terrorists (KSTs), but has evolved over the last decade to include additional individuals who represent a potential threat to the United States, including known affiliates of watchlisted individuals," CBP said in a press release.
The release goes on to note that "encounters of watchlisted individuals at our borders are very uncommon."
The Office of Field Operations reported 380 total encounters with watchlisted individuals in fiscal year 2022, most of which occurred near the northern border, an increase from the previous two years but below the 538 encounters made in fiscal year 2019, when former President Donald Trump was in office.
Previously released data shows that 2.3 million people entered the U.S. illegally in fiscal year 2022.
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