Home » Texas Representative Introduces Bill to Require Screening of All Illegal Migrants Against the Terrorist Watch List

Texas Representative Introduces Bill to Require Screening of All Illegal Migrants Against the Terrorist Watch List

by Richard A Reagan

In a direct response to the growing threat of terrorism, U.S. Representative Roger Williams has introduced legislation aimed at reinforcing the nation’s border security. [Source]

The Identifying Potential Terrorists at the Border Act of 2024 mandates federal authorities to screen every individual entering the United States illegally against the federal terrorist watch list. 

This legislative proposal emerges against a backdrop of escalating concerns over border security, highlighted by the apprehension of more than 200 known or suspected terrorists (KSTs) attempting to breach the country’s borders in the current fiscal year alone. [Source]

Williams, a seasoned Republican congressman representing a district to the west and northwest of Fort Worth, Texas, stressed the urgency of the situation, stating, “We are a land of laws, and it is past time this Administration acts like it. Joe Biden is encouraging a deadly invasion of fighting-age men on American soil, and each day this Democrat-created influx of illegal aliens allows bad actors to slip past Border Patrol undetected.”

HR 7733 seeks to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to compel U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to detain any alien until their name can be cross-referenced with the terrorist screening database, a process that aims to reinforce the integrity of the nation’s borders significantly.

The current state of affairs, as outlined by CBP practices, does not mandate the screening of illegal border crossers against the terrorist watch list, despite the routine apprehension of KSTs by agents at ports of entry and between ports.

Williams’ bill, therefore, introduces a crucial layer of scrutiny to the existing protocols, targeting the loophole that potentially facilitates the entry of dangerous elements into the U.S.

Fiscal year 2023 witnessed a record number of KST apprehensions, totaling 736, with a notable 66% of these apprehensions occurring at the northern border.

This trend underlines the bipartisan imperative for improved border security measures that transcend political divisions and prioritize the safety and well-being of American citizens.

Moreover, the bill arrives amidst alarming revelations from federal law enforcement, including a recent testimony by FBI Director Christopher Wray before the U.S. Senate.

Wray’s disclosures about a smuggling organization affiliated with ISIS funneling criminals through the U.S. border highlight the complex and evolving nature of the threats facing the nation.

As Representative Williams poignantly remarks, “Under current law, CBP is not required to screen migrants against the terrorist watchlist database, and as we have seen too often, dangerous criminals are released into our nation who go on to harm American citizens and communities. Now more than ever, we must be aware of who is in our country as Republicans fight to restore law and order and end Biden’s deadly open border policies that are destroying America.”

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