Hamas’s surprise incursion into Israel across a heavily protected border has refocused Republican attention on the southern and eastern borders of the United States, where they fear the next 9/11-style attackers may be plotting to enter or have already entered.
More border fences, additional army deployments, and a halt to the catch-and-release free-for-all that has allowed millions of unlawful migrants to disperse to towns around the country are all demands made by lawmakers to President Biden.
Bernie Moreno, a Republican candidate, has proposed halting asylum petitions until 2025 to stop the flood of migrants trying to enter the United States illegally at the southern border.
Experts believe the biggest concern isn’t a Hamas-style strike but rather that the incident in Israel dispels any hope that the terrorist threat in the Middle East has subsided.
Policymakers pondered issues like the “right level and kind” of immigration, drugs at the border, the growing hand of smuggling organizations in illegal immigration, and migration pressures in the Caribbean and elsewhere, according to the 9/11 Commission report, which cited failures that led to the attack that claimed nearly 3,000 lives.
According to the report, the possibility of terrorists abusing the immigration system has received little consideration.
The terrorist watchlist is the most prominent of the flashing warning indicators. From October 1, 2022, to August 31, 2023, 151 illegal border crossers were tallied, shattering the previous record of 98 persons set under Biden’s administration. Only eleven people on the watchlist were apprehended during the Trump administration.
Foreign terrorist organizations are still interested in attacking the United States, according to the Homeland Security Department’s 2024 Homeland Threat Assessment released last month.
However, the report also suggests that illegal drugs and social media disinformation pose more significant domestic threats. The possibility of a terrorist strike in the United States due to a porous border has been hotly debated, notably at a congressional hearing last month.
According to Alex Nowrasteh, an immigration expert at the Cato Institute, the watchlist is a flawed indicator of terrorist activity because of the names and other information that it includes.