The Hamas terror attack on Israel has prompted worries about national security and southern border immigration. In fiscal year 2023, 169 terror watchlist persons were detained at the border, up from zero in 2019. Amazingly, over 20,000 Chinese crossed the border in fiscal year 2023.
These worrying results prompted over 20 congressional Republicans to write to Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas to safeguard the border. The letter, led by Missouri Republicans Sen. Eric Schmitt and Rep. Mark Alford, seeks to defend Americans from China, Russia, Iran, and other threats.
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) October 31, 2023
The congressmen worry about Iran-backed proxies and other terrorist groups using the southern border to target the U.S. They ask if Hamas and Hezbollah members have crossed the border and how the government has dealt terrorism. They also want to know how many Chinese Communist Party members have crossed the border and tried to enter U.S. military locations.
Over the past year, concerns about Chinese spies into the country have intensified. Border Patrol arrested 17 Chinese boaters in Key Largo. Nearly 100 Chinese tourists had gained unlawful access to U.S. military bases and other places in recent years, according to a September investigation. The U.S. Air Force shot down a Chinese surveillance balloon that collected data from numerous military facilities earlier this year.
The House Republicans' letter urges the Biden Administration to secure the border because failing to do so undermines American military capability and deterrence. They urge the administration to fulfill its Constitutional duty to provide for the common defense and Secretary Austin and Secretary Mayorkas to act immediately to safeguard the American people. Lawmakers want answers by December 13.