A source with U.S. Customs and Border Protection said that this week, Border Patrol officials caught an Iranian immigrant who crossed the border with 130 other people. The Iranian immigrant is said to be a single adult man of “fighting age.”
Border Patrol officers were processing a party of 130 migrants, most of whom were from Venezuela. They found one adult male Iranian hidden among the others. The man was dealt with by officials as a “Special Interest Alien,” the person said.
A 2019 DHS info sheet says the following about the term “Significant Interest Alien” (SIA):
“An SIA is a foreigner who, based on their travel habits, could be a threat to U.S. national security or the country’s interests. Often, these people or groups use travel habits that are known or thought to be linked to terrorism. As part of its research, DHS looks at travel patterns, starting places, and/or segments of travel that are linked with current assessments of national and foreign threat environments.”
Last week, Breitbart Texas noted that a report from the Department of Homeland Security showed that over 61,000 Special Interest Aliens (SIA) were caught during Fiscal Year 23, which finished not long ago.
Breitbart heard that three more SIAs were caught by agents in Eagle Pass this week. These immigrants came to the US from Egypt (1) and Lebanon (2).
Although the DHS study doesn’t say that all SIAs are “terrorists,” it does say that their travel and behavior point to a possible link to illegal activity, which includes terrorism, and at the very least, they show that more screening and research is needed. The label SIA does not imply any specific negative information about the person, and DHS has never said that it could mean anything beyond that.
While on a recent trip to Eagle Pass, Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy shared a Fox News video that showed 17 Syrian as well as 19 other Iranian refugees having been caught in the past week. It’s unclear where those SIAs came across the border.
Ramaswamy said, “This is not acceptable and is actually very dangerous. My number one national security priority is protecting the homeland without apologies.”
It’s unclear where those SIAs came through the border, but the fact that they did it at the same time as the most recent war in Israel worries officials.
The CBP source says that many of the migrants coming from Special Interest areas may be running away from problems like terrorism, criminal activity, kidnappings, and illegal detentions within their home nation, which is what the U.S. State Department says. The source is worried, though, that some people in that group could be a threat to national security.
“It is understandable why folks would want to leave countries where terrorism exists, but with so many people crossing every day from all over the world, it’s hard to tell who is just trying to get away from the situation and who may be taking part in it,” the source said.