In advance of his retirement earlier this month, outgoing Border Patrol chief Rodney Scott issued a stark warning about the nation’s southern border, explaining that recent months have witnessed an unprecedented influx of individuals who are either known or suspected terrorists, as the Washington Examiner reports.
As his retirement approached, Scott took the opportunity to reinforce to border agents under his purview the fact that their role requires a heightened focus on national security concerns, despite the fact that much of the Biden administration’s focus has been trained on matters more specifically related to immigration.
Scott declared in a video message recorded for agents, according to the Examiner, “Over and over again, I see other people talk about our mission, your mission, and the context of it being immigration or the current crisis today being an immigration crisis.”
“I firmly believe that it is a national security crisis. 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 [known or suspected terrorists] at a level we have never seen before. That’s a real threat,” Scott added.
A significant problem, according to Scott, is the fact that the Central American migrant surge seen since the beginning of the year has forced the Border Patrol to shift resources away from assessing and tackling national security threats in order to simply manage, transport, process, and provide for the basis needs of arrivals being held in federal custody.
Evidence of the danger such a scenario poses presented itself earlier this year when members of Congress were informed that federal agents had apprehending four individuals on the terror watch list who hailed from Yemen as well as Serbia, as Axios reported in March.
The national security peril outlined by Scott has been brought into stark relief in recent days with the collapse of Afghanistan and the release by the Taliban of thousands of imprisoned terrorists, including senior al Qaeda functionaries, something which has drawn the attention of lawmakers such as Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY).
In a statement issued in the wake of the fall of Kabul, Barr took aim at the Biden administration for its decision to surrender Bagram Air Base and the fact that “thousands of terrorists captured by American forces and detained at Bagram are now being released, free to target Americans and commit other heinous acts of terrorism.”
Echoing Scott’s concerns about terrorist access to entry, Barr unequivocally called on the administration to reverse the open borders stance it has pursued since Biden took office, but considering the unthinkable dereliction of duty displayed amid the calamitous withdrawal from Afghanistan, such a course-correction, unfortunately, seems doubtful.