Rodney Scott has retired as US Border Patrol chief, but not before reportedly warning his agents that unprecedented numbers of suspected terrorists are crossing into the country, creating a “national security crisis.”
With record numbers of illegal aliens crossing the southwestern US border since President Joe Biden took office in January, public attention has been focused on an immigration crisis, Scott told Border Patrol members in a video message obtained by the Washington Examiner. But the bigger issue is the flow of so-called TSDBs, the term used for suspected terrorists in the FBI’s terrorist screening database, he said.
“I firmly believe that it is a national security crisis,” the newspaper quoted Scott as saying in the video. “Immigration is just a subcomponent of it, and right now, it’s just a cover for massive amounts of smuggling going across the southwest border – to include TSDBs at a level we have never seen before. That is a real threat.”
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At least four suspects who were on the FBI’s terrorism watchlist were apprehended by Border Patrol agents as they tried to cross into the US over the past year. A Border Patrol press release about the arrests was removed from the agency’s website hours after being posted, and other such incidents haven’t gotten public attention.
Scott, who had been with the Border Patrol for nearly 30 years and took the helm as chief in February 2020, was forced out of his job after Biden took office. He urged agents to keep trying to prevent terrorists and criminals from entering the US.
“Your peers or you are taking criminals, pedophiles, rapists, murderers, and like I said before, even TSDB alerts, off the streets and keeping them safe from America,” Scott said. “Even if we processed several thousand migrants that day and even if thousands of them were allowed into the US, you still took those threats off the street, and I think that's worth it. So please don’t ever undersell how important your mission is.”
The Biden administration has been forced to take 40% of agents from the field to help process, care for and transport the flood of illegal migrants coming into US border facilities, reducing manpower to intercept potential terrorists. Nearly 213,000 illegal aliens were encountered by Border Patrol agents at the US-Mexico border in July, marking the second straight month of setting a new 20-year high.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas last week reportedly told Border Patrol agents in Texas that “unsustainable” numbers of migrants are flooding into the US. “We can’t continue like this,” Mayorkas said, according to leaked audio obtained by Fox News. “Our people in the field can’t continue, and our system isn’t built for it.” He took a different tone with reporters the same day, saying, “We have seen the surges in migration before. We’ve seen them in the past, and migration surges are not new.”
Former President Donald Trump earlier this year accused Biden of creating a “humanitarian and national security disaster” at the border with his “reckless” policies. Scott told Border Patrol agents to remind themselves that they’re not “immigration police.”
“Our job is to know what and who comes into our country and then to filter it out based on the rules applied by Congress and by law,” he said. “That’s critically important, and when you put it in the context of immigration only, I think you miss the bigger fight.”
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