published : 2023-11-15
FBI Director Wray Raises Alarming Concerns about Border Gotaways
FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies to House Homeland Security Committee
FBI Director Christopher Wray expressed deep worry over the growing number of gotaways at the southern border during his testimony to lawmakers on the House Homeland Security Committee.
Wray highlighted that these illegal immigrants evading Border Patrol and entering the country pose a significant threat to national security.
Chairman Mark Green pressed the FBI Director regarding the staggering numbers of gotaways, which have exceeded 600,000 in FY 23 and might reach over two million since President Biden's administration took office.
Wray confirmed that his agency is actively employing all 56 joint terrorism task forces to address this source of concern.
He emphasized that when there is a group of individuals in the United States that the FBI does not know enough about, it raises alarms from their perspective of safeguarding Americans.
In the last five years, Wray noted an increase in known or suspected terrorists attempting to cross the border, with a record number encountered in FY 23.
He could not pinpoint the reason behind this rise but stressed that the threats originating from across the border are consuming all 56 FBI field offices across the nation, not just those in border states.
These alarming revelations come at a critical time, as concerns about terrorists exploiting the border to gain access to the United States are mounting.
Republicans and some within the Biden administration have voiced apprehensions, particularly in the wake of the recent Hamas terror attack on Israel.
Chairman Green asserted that the border's open-door policy is primarily to blame, heightening the risk for the United States.
Notably, FBI Director Wray has previously warned that ongoing conflicts in the Middle East have raised the threat of terrorist attacks to a 'whole other level.'
He pointed out that homegrown violent extremists inspired by foreign terrorist organizations and domestic violent extremists targeting Muslim or Jewish targets are among the immediate concerns.
While the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) assured that no indication of Hamas-directed foreign fighters seeking entry into the U.S. exists, the Department of Homeland Security's FY 24 threat assessment warned of an increasing number on the watch list attempting to enter the country.
The CBP, in conjunction with Joint Terrorism Taskforces, diligently screens and vets individuals encountered at the border to prevent potential threats.
In light of these revelations, the imperative for immigration reform and increased funding to address the 'broken' immigration system has gained traction within the Biden administration.
This gripping narrative sheds light on the critical issue of border security, carrying significant implications for national security and public safety.