Experts are sounding the alarm on the border crisis, issuing stark warnings on the national security implications of the surge after the number of migrant encounters for December shattered records.
Former El Paso U.S. Marshal Robert Almonte joined “Fox News Live” to discuss the record-breaking number of migrant encounters and why he is worried about possible terrorist attacks as illegal immigrants flood into the porous southern border.
“I was bracing myself for a terrorist attack Christmas and New Year’s,” Almonte told host Molly Line on Monday.
“Thankfully, that didn’t happen, but I think the terrorists are already in the United States. They’re planning a terrorist attack, and they’re going to do it when we least expect it, and then that’ll be the wake-up call when finally [we] will secure the borders.”
“I just don’t understand what’s going on,” he continued. “I’m very worried about the situation on our border right now.”
CBP sources confirmed to Fox that there were more than 302,000 migrant encounters in December, making it the highest number on record. Additionally, there were 785,000 migrant encounters since October 1, which also shattered previous quarterly records.
According to CBP, there were 17 encounters of people between ports of entry at the southern border on the FBI’s terror watch list in November.
“It’s really unbelievable what’s going on on the southwest border,” Almonte said.
Cochise County, Arizona Sheriff Mark Dannels also addressed the ongoing crisis and reacted to the record-breaking numbers, noting there is not a successful component to the Biden administration’s handing of border security.
“We’re seeing the tragedies every day,” Dannels said. “We’re seeing death on the migrants, which nobody talks about. We’re seeing the fentanyl at record numbers, the drugs, illicit drugs coming across, the terrorists come into our country, and then you see the economic impact that we’re seeing.”
“No matter what box you look at… there’s not a box here to check that successful right now,” he continued.
Currently the White House is requesting $14 billion in border funding as part of the emergency supplemental funding request, but that has stalled as Republicans demand additional restrictions on asylum and the government’s use of parole to stop the interior releases.
Last week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas were part of a U.S. delegation to Mexico City where they met with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
In the joint statement, the countries affirmed their commitments to “orderly, humane and regular migration” and stressed their efforts to tackle “root causes” of migration, disrupt human smuggling and promote private investment while also investing in “ambitious development programs” in the region.
“2024 has to be a change. If we don’t see a change and elections have consequences, this is no better time to see that than now when it comes to elections and people getting in touch with that,” Dannels warned.
“Never forget 911. We’re living in a global unrest right now,” he continued. “We need to secure our country’s borders. All the borders and leaving them open right now is leaving every American vulnerable.”
Fox News’ Griff Jenkins and Adam Shaw contributed to this report.