Intel Republicans warn of ‘astronomical’ threats, terrorist surge across ‘porous’ border while in El Paso

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EXCLUSIVE: Republicans on the House Select Committee on Intelligence are raising the alarm about “grave” national security threats facing Americans due to the destabilized southern border.

Fox News Digital exclusively interviewed members of the congressional delegation following their law enforcement briefings and line tour along the El Paso, Texas, border with Mexico Friday.

Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, who serves as the ranking member on the committee, said simply that counter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ claim earlier this week, the border “is not secure.”

“We met with the FBI, the Texas Department of Safety, the Border Patrol. What’s clear as we stand here on the border is that the border is not secure. Thousands of people are being apprehended a day, others cannot even be captured. The amount of drugs, even guns, that go across the border, cash, illegal activity, human trafficking. The toll that’s happening on people who are crossing this border is extraordinary,” Turner told Fox News Digital while standing next to the border wall with Mexico.


Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, said simply that counter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas' claim earlier this week, the border "is not secure."

Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, said simply that counter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ claim earlier this week, the border “is not secure.”
(Kelly Laco/Fox News Digital)

“This represents a national security threat. The number of people who are crossing who are not from Mexico, Central America, or even South America is enormous. These individuals are a threat to our national security. Many are from countries that have very questionable purposes when they come here. So our border patrol are overwhelmed. They need assistance. This wall needs to be completed.”

“What we heard repeatedly today and yesterday was the portions of the wall that had been built worked. And some areas since the [Biden] administration stopped construction of the wall have gaps in them where wall was being repaired or replaced and those repairs even stopped. So today you have a porous border, you have a great risk to our nation.”

The number of terrorists coming across the border poses an “absolute threat and danger” to the U.S., continued Turner. 

“You have people who are on the terrorism watch list, people who are known terrorists, there is a threat of them crossing the border. People who have been apprehended fall within those categories. But then you also have the people who aren’t caught at all. And then others of which there is no information who are crossing the border who are not even from this hemisphere. This represents an absolute threat and danger to our country, and it could be stopped if this border wall was completed. If we gave [Border Patrol] the right resources, we could be able to stop these border crossings and, of course, keep our country safe.”

El Paso new and old border walls meet between the U.S. and Mexico.

El Paso new and old border walls meet between the U.S. and Mexico.
(Kelly Laco/Fox News Digital)

Turner also discussed the trafficking of American guns into Mexico, which is doing little to nothing to stem the tide of migrants before they reach the U.S. border.

“What’s amazing is when you hear stories about how destabilizing the gun smuggling into Mexico is, the smuggling of cash, the smuggling of drugs into the United States, the human trafficking into the United States, the cartels that are operating within Mexico, the violence that occurs along the way as people are being smuggled into the United States, you would think Mexico would work more closely with the United States than they do. Certainly they should have an interest in this being solved. Without them, clearly this wall needs to be completed, and we need to give our border agents what they need to be safe and to keep our border secure.”


“What’s amazing is what the Biden administration is saying is just not true. This border is not secure. The amount of drugs that are occurring, the human trafficking, the human toll by having this border being unsecured is astronomical.” 

“And the fact that the Biden administration stopped this wall has had an absolute effect on the ability of the border patrol agents to control this border. These are direct actions by the Biden administration and in an Orwellian fashion they are saying the exact opposite,” continued Turner.

“I talked with a couple individual agents and all of them have encountered this taking place. Young girls being sexually abused. They are a commodity to the cartels, they are a renewable resource. Every bit is valuable, if not more than the drugs that they are trafficking. So, the idea that somehow this border is somehow secure, I don’t think those folks believe that the border is secure,” said Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Ark.

United States border, El Paso, Texas.

United States border, El Paso, Texas.
(Kelly Laco/Fox News Digital)

Crawford echoed Turner, telling Fox News Digital “first and foremost, the border is not secure. The message coming from DHS Secretary Mayorkas is absolutely false. The border is not secure and border patrol will tell you that, and they need more help.”


“We’re seeing an uptick in fentanyl, I think that’s one of the most pressing concerns in regard to drug trafficking. But I think broadly speaking the border patrol is limited with the resources they have. They can only do so much. We have to take a more holistic approach to how we address border security, that involves ICE and the courts so that we apprehend these border crossers, but then we can detain them and actually have the bed space to do that, and then adjudicate them and send them back. But we have to expand our capacity to do those things. We cannot rely exclusively on the border patrol to do it all,” continued Crawford.

The congressman summed up what he would recommend the Biden administration do in order to solve these issues.

“My advice would be come down here, see for yourself and engage with border patrol agents and find out what a fantastic job they’re doing. You put them in a very unenviable position. They’re having rocks thrown at them on one side, and negative rhetoric from the American people. So come down and talk to them yourself and you’ll find out they’re fine people.”

Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, also disagreed with the Biden administration’s assessment that the border is secure, saying Biden must “Pay attention to what is going on here, and pay attention to what’s going on throughout the country as a result of our inadequacies here and how we’re letting too much go by and acting like there’s nothing wrong when there are tremendous amounts of things we have to be concerned about.

United States border, El Paso, Texas.

United States border, El Paso, Texas.
(Kelly Laco/Fox News Digital)

“And when Mayorkas says this area is secure, or safe, it’s not. And neither is the rest of the country,” Wenstrup continued. 


Wenstrup, a physician, told Fox News Digital that he’s concerned about the rise in fentanyl smuggling from Mexico into the U.S.

“As a physician in Congress, fentanyl has some great medicinal uses, and we don’t want to lose that. At the same time, it’s extremely dangerous and too many Americans are dying, and many very innocently because they are starting to lace it into what they think are safe drugs and medications that they are taking. So that is a huge threat to us and so many people have died in America because of this. And so I look at it almost as a weapon of mass destruction that’s coming across our border and I worried about it being used in other nefarious ways,” the congressman said. 

He also said China must stop sending fentanyl precursors to Mexico for the cartels to develop and then traffic across the border. 

“The administration is turning a blind eye to all the needs, and also turning a blind eye to the effects this is having on all of America, not just our border towns,” said Wenstrup.

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