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Panama Caught 52 Al Qaeda Suspects Headed to USA as All-Time High of 1.7M People Flooded US Border

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Officials stopped more than 1.7 million migrants on our southern border during the 2021 fiscal year, which ended in September, according to Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) data. 

The Washington Post reports illegal crossings began rising last year but skyrocketed in the months after President Biden took office.

Agents with the CBP also arrested the highest number of migrants since 1986, taking more than 200,000 into custody in July and August alone.

In the fiscal years between 2012 and 2020, border arrests averaged about 540,000. The 2021 figure was more than three times that amount and the second-highest annual total ever recorded, according to the newspaper

Of the 1.7 million detained during the 2021 fiscal year, 61 percent were expelled under Title 42, the CBP data shows.

Governors Call Out Biden Admin for Abandoning Americans Who Live on Border

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and other Republican governors have blamed Biden for the humanitarian crisis and chaos at the border.

"We're seeing the highest number of cross border crossings and it's all because of the catastrophic open border policies by the Biden administration," Abbott told Fox News. He added that the Biden administration "completely abandoned" ranchers, residents in his state, and "all the people who live on the border."

As CBN News reported earlier this month, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds was among 10 Republican governors who visited the U.S. - Mexico border, unveiling a 10-point plan to end Biden's immigration crisis at the nation's southern border by stopping the flow of illegal immigrants.  

When asked if the trip was more about politics than confronting immigration issues, Iowa Gov. Reynolds replied, "No it's not a political stunt."

"This is the real thing. Biden owns this," she said. "This is a self-inflicted crisis. He overturned all the policies that worked."

CBP Nominee Calls Situation at Border a 'Significant Challenge,' but Not a Crisis

On Tuesday, lawmakers pressed President Biden's nominee to head the CBP to call the situation "a crisis."

Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus admitted it's a "significant challenge" and pledged to humanely enforce immigration laws if he's approved.

He also said he's open to completing parts of the border wall still unfinished after President Biden halted construction

Are Terrorists Among the Illegal Migrants? 

Meanwhile, one Texas congressman is warning terrorists could pass through our porous defenses.

U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX) recently told Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, about a conversation he had recently with Panama's foreign minister.

"She visits with me. She sits down, she goes, 'There are over 100,000 migrants coming through Panama on their way to the U.S.,'" Gonzales recalled. "And we started talking about that, but I asked her one specific question. 'Have you caught anybody on the terrorist watch list? She goes, 'Funny you ask that Tony because in Panama we do biometrics and we have apprehended 52 people that are associated with al Qaeda.'"

A record number of migrants from Haiti also entered the U.S. over the summer, trying to escape the ongoing poverty, crime, and political instability in their home country.

Last week, the Biden administration announced it plans to reinstate a Trump-era border policy next month to make asylum-seekers wait in Mexico for hearings in U.S. immigration court, complying with a judge's order.

However, it hinges on the approval of the Mexican government, which has raised concerns that U.S. officials are working on. 

Mexico wants cases to generally conclude within six months and ensure that asylum-seekers have timely and accurate information about hearing dates and times and better access to legal counsel.

U.S. Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas ended the policy in June after an internal review, saying it achieved "mixed effectiveness."

As CBN News reported, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the policy to be reinstated in August saying the Biden administration likely violated federal law in trying to end a Trump-era program that forces people to wait in Mexico while seeking asylum in the U.S.

There also is nothing preventing the administration from trying again to end the program, formally called Migrant Protection Protocols.

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About The Author

Steve Warren is a senior multimedia producer for CBN News. Warren has worked in the news departments of television stations and cable networks across the country. In addition, he also worked as a producer-director in television production and on-air promotion. A Civil War historian, he authored the book The Second Battle of Cabin Creek: Brilliant Victory. It was the companion book to the television documentary titled Last Raid at Cabin Creek currently streaming on Amazon Prime. He holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and a B.A. in Communication from the University of