While high-profile Democrats have long insisted that America's border is "secure," the recent arrest of 16 people on the FBI's terror watch list throws doubt on that claim.
According to Fox News, the individuals in question were apprehended last month, and they bring the total number of terror watch suspects found along the southern border in fiscal year 2023 to 69.
Fox News noted that the number of suspected terrorists caught attempting to illegally enter the country has grown sharply in recent years.
Whereas just eight were nabbed between ports of entry along the southern border from fiscal year 2017 to fiscal year 2020, the figure jumped to 15 in fiscal year 2021 and 98 in fiscal year 2022.
This report came less than a week after Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz told members of the House Homeland Security Committee that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) lacks "operational control" over America's border with Mexico.
🚨🚨🚨 BREAKING: Border Patrol Chief Ortiz contradicts Secretary Mayorkas and admits the truth:
DHS does NOT have operational control over our southern border. pic.twitter.com/YmpVy0t6c1
— Rep. Mark Green (@RepMarkGreen) March 15, 2023
Ortiz also told Oklahoma Republican Rep. Josh Brecheen that he disagreed with President Joe Biden's decision to halt construction of a border wall.
Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz told @RepBrecheen on Wednesday that he disagreed with the Biden administration’s decision to stop building the Southern border wall that President Donald Trump had begun. pic.twitter.com/ULuVorIKHi
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) March 16, 2023
Ortiz at one point complained that the Border Patrol "tore down perfectly good infrastructure system in some areas that we should have just left alone."
"I do not believe in a wall from sea to shining sea, but I do believe in infrastructure and barrier systems in concentrated areas, especially urban areas," the official added.
Meanwhile, Fox News reported last week that the Senate Armed Forces Committee found taxpayers are shelling out $47 million per year to store and maintain unused border wall materials.
Republican members of the committee raised the issue in a letter to Melissa Dalton, who serves as assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense and hemispheric affairs.
"At present, over 20,000 border wall sections, otherwise known as bollard panels, lie unused at 20 project sites across southern Arizona and New Mexico," they pointed out.
"Every day, the Department of Defense pays $130,000 to store, maintain, and secure these materials," the lawmakers complained.