The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has flagged thousands of Mexican passports with Middle Eastern names as part of a fraud investigation, according to a memo obtained by The Washington Free Beacon.
Since Jan. 1, DHS’ National Targeting Center has identified 28,500 individuals for “further evaluation,” according to an excerpt of the memo.
The investigation will seek to determine whether the passport holders entered the U.S., according to a senior DHS official, who spoke with the Beacon.
Federal officials have raised concerns about the potential risks of the vulnerabilities in border security amid the influx of illegal migration, according to the Beacon. Since October, CBP has encountered 343 people whose names appeared on a national terror watchlist, according to agency data.
“This investigation highlights that criminals often use legal travel to facilitate criminal activity. The nexus to Mexico should cause the public and lawmakers to reflect on how a porous border can be even more dangerous,” the anonymous DHS official told the Beacon.
FBI Director Christopher Wray recently said that the border posed a “significant security issue” and “represents a wide array of criminal threats that flow out of it,” including potential terrorists.
CBP officials apprehended two men from Yemen whose names appeared on the FBI terrorism watchlist after they illegally crossed the southern border into California during two separate occasions in January and March, 2021.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) continues to encounter record numbers of migrants under the Biden administration and is on pace to surpass 2,000,000 migrant encounters for fiscal year 2022, according to agency statistics.
DHS didn’t respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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