President Joe Biden and Democrats may try to present the open border as a refugee crisis, but as the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) demonstrated after bringing in an Iranian national suspected of being on the terrorist watch list, national security is at stake.
(Video: Fox News)
Wednesday morning, Fox News national correspondent Bill Melugin joined “America’s Newsroom” with details of a smuggling operation intercepted by Texas DPS in Val Verde County where agents apprehended five illegals, several of which were hiding in the sedan’s trunk, including 29-year-old Alireza Heidari.
“He’s an Iranian national and according to his Iranian passport,” Melugin detailed, ” he was born in Tehran.”
“I’m told Border Patrol then arrived and did their standard background checks with federal databases running all the names and at that point, multiple law enforcement sources tell me Heidari’s name and date of birth flag as a match on the FBI’s terror watch list,” he went on.
The reporter shared the video from DPS showing the arrests and made certain to give credit to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) for Operation Lone Star, which began as an effort to do the job that the federal government under Biden has refused to take responsibility for.
“Here is @TxDPS video of the traffic stop that led to the arrest. It’s important to point out that this Iranian national had already evaded Border Patrol and had gotten into the US as a gotaway. He was caught by Texas law enforcement as part of Gov. Abbott’s Operation Lone Star.”
Fox News was later updated by a DHS official who asserted after vetting that Heidari was not a match for the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB) which has details about individuals “reasonably suspected” of being involved with terrorism.
In December there were 17 people stopped by Border Patrol who were a match for the list and there have been 38 arrests in kind since October. By comparison, Border Patrol could account for 98 apprehensions from the watch list at the southern border throughout the entirety of fiscal year 2022, furthering a trend of dramatic increase from 15 in fiscal year 2021 and a mere three in fiscal year 2020.
Look at the gotaways numbers in Del Rio sector. Approx 40% of the people coming across the border are successfully evading & escaping into the US w/out apprehension in recent weeks. Yet, the gotaways will not be included in monthly numbers. These 4,300 evaders will not be counted https://t.co/oXHwJeVBqO
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) February 1, 2023
For those same periods of time, all ports of entry amounted to 125, 380, 157 and 196 apprehensions matching the TSDB, respectively. Meanwhile, during Biden’s administration, there have been over 1.2 million gotaways – meaning there’s no telling how many believed terrorists may have snuck in under his watch.
National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd commented on the recent arrest of Heidari and said, “If not for the work of Governor Abbott and Texas DPS, Alireza Heidari would be at large on our streets today and looking to do harm to the US and our fellow citizens. Heidari entered the country illegally and evaded apprehension by the Border Patrol. It fell to Texas DPS to do our job because Biden continues to play politics with the safety and security of our children, friends and neighbors. What Biden is doing is dangerous and the capture of Heidari by a non-federal law enforcement agency is the most recent proof.”
Melugin described the stonewalling he received in seeking the information as he “first reached out to DHS and ICE last Thursday about this, almost six days ago. They didn’t get back to me until yesterday. They referred me to the FBI. Reached out to the FBI, they tell me, they decline to comment.”
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