Democrats who downplayed the possibility of individuals on the FBI’s Terrorism Watch List coming across the border illegally have been silent about Border Patrol agents capturing suspected terrorists at the southern border.
On Monday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced that Border Patrol agents had apprehended a Yemeni man at the southern border whose name was on the FBI’s Terrorism Watch List. This is the second Border Patrol arrest of a Yemini national with their name on the Terrorism Watch List in two months.
The arrest happened on March 30 two miles from the southern border in the El Centro Sector of the border, near Calexico, California. The apprehended suspect was also on the no-fly list.
The previously apprehended man was arrested three miles from the Southern border in the El Centro Sector on January 29. He was also on the No-Fly list in addition to the terror list.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy warned last month in a press conference at the border that individuals on the watch list from Middle Eastern countries were taking advantage of the border crisis and coming across the southern border.
“When you go out to Monument 3 and you talk to those agents, it’s not just people from Mexico or Honduras or El Salvador, they are now finding people from Yemen, Iran, Turkey,” McCarthy said at the press conference. “People on the terrorist watch list they are catching and they are rushing it all at once.”
However, some House Democrats were quick to denounce McCarthy’s warning.
Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., accused the House minority leader of being “either wrong or lying” in a tweet posted after the press conference.
“Weird as the Chairman of the subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations and a border state member of Congress haven’t heard anything about this,” Gallego tweeted. “Gonna ask for a briefing. Pretty sure he is either wrong or lying.”
Gallego also said in a separate tweet about the presser that he has “the same security clearance” as McCarthy and asked for the House minority leader’s office to “arrange for a classified briefing for members to see where this info derived from.”
Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, joined her Arizona colleague in taking shots at McCarthy, accusing the leader of trying to “fuel the divisions” and make people afraid of immigrants.
Neither Escobar’s office nor Gallego’s office responded to Fox News’s question asking if the members regretted downplaying suspected terrorists trying to take advantage of the border crisis.
Prior to today, four foreign nationals with names on the FBI’s Terror Watch List had been caught while trying to illegally cross the southern border since October, a congressional aide previously told Fox News.
That information showed that, not counting the most recent arrest, three migrants from Yemen and one from Serbia were picked up at the southern border by U.S. Border Patrol since the beginning of the fiscal year in October
Eleven Iranian citizens were arrested in Arizona in early February after they illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border.
Fox News’ Cameron Cawthorne, Louis Casiano and Adam Shaw contributed to this report.