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Authored by Darlene McCormick Sanchez via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Fears of attacks on the homeland and foreign espionage stemming from the border crisis are growing in light of illegal immigrants breaching military bases as well as those with suspected terrorist ties.

(Illustration by The Epoch Times, Shutterstock, Getty Images)

On June 11, news broke that eight Tajikistan nationals with possible connections to the terrorist group ISIS had been arrested in New York, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles in recent days.

Tajikistan nationals were responsible for the March 22 attack on the Crocus City Hall concert near Moscow that left more than 140 people dead and hundreds injured.

The individuals in the United States were being tracked by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. They were taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on immigration violation charges, according to wire agency reports.

The suspects crossed the U.S. southern border illegally in 2023 and were released after being vetted. The federal government’s screening process did not turn up any information that would have identified them as potential terrorists with ties to ISIS.

Rep. Pat Fallon (R-Texas), who sits on the National Security, the Border and Foreign Affairs subcommittee, said that wiretap information revealed that one of the Tajikistan suspects was discussing “bombs.”

“That’s scary. The vetting is a joke,” he said in an exclusive interview with The Epoch Times.

The incident highlights an increase in foreign nationals from adversarial nations encountered at the U.S. southern border from 180 different countries that include state sponsors of terrorism.

One of the fastest-growing groups of illegal immigrants arriving from hostile countries is China.

In the first seven months of this fiscal year, beginning October 2023, border agents have apprehended 48,500 Chinese illegal immigrants, which stands to smash the 2023 fiscal year’s record of 52,700.

At the same time, Chinese nationals and others from adversarial nations have increasingly been caught attempting to access America’s military bases.

The breaches sparked Mr. Fallon’s subcommittee to hold a classified hearing in May titled: “Intruder Alert: Assessing the CCP’s Ongoing Infiltration of U.S. Military Installations.”

Mr. Fallon described what he heard in the closed hearing as concerning.

Dozens of incidents have come to light of Chinese nationals snapping photos near military installations and critical infrastructure such as reservoirs, claiming to be tourists—even when the facilities are rural and isolated, he said.

A Border Patrol agent apprehends a large group of mostly Chinese illegal immigrants who crossed the U.S.–Mexico border, at Jacumba, Calif., on June 6, 2024. Since October 2023, border agents have already apprehended 48,500 Chinese illegal immigrants. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

Mr. Fallon noted that Navy Adm. Daryl Caudle said in a recent interview that incidents of foreign nationals from China and Russia trying to breach Navy bases occur “two or three times a week.”

“There are some folks in positions of authority and power that want to stick their heads in the sand and say, ‘Oh, there’s nothing here,’” he said.

It could be that the Chinese are probing how the United States responds and how close they can get to bases, he said.

That information would be critical, for example, should there be a conflict between China and the United States over Taiwan.

While the majority of Chinese nationals coming into the United States may be looking for a better life, even if 1 percent were communist “sleeper agents,” that would give Beijing about 480 operatives, he said.

Mr. Fallon said he doesn’t think the record-breaking number of Chinese nationals entering the United States illegally is an accident.

“That is a sky-high number when you consider under the Trump administration, it was under 1,000,” he said.

In fiscal year 2020, Border Patrol agents apprehended 554 Chinese illegal immigrants nationwide, according to government data.

So I unfortunately believe that there’s going to be something awful that happens from an incident like this,” Mr. Fallon said.

More than 9 million illegal immigrant encounters have been documented nationwide by Border Patrol since the beginning of 2021.

Additionally, officials estimate hundreds of thousands of unknown “gotaways” who aren’t seeking asylum have illegally crossed the southwest border.

Republicans have long complained that President Joe Biden created the border crisis by rescinding policies under the Trump administration, such as  “Remain in Mexico,” where asylum-seekers waited in Mexico while their cases were pending.

But Democrats have downplayed mass illegal migration and have blamed global political and economic instability for the border crisis.

Rep. Pat Fallon (R-Texas) questions a witness during a hearing on the U.S. southern border, in Washington on Feb. 7, 2023. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Accountability member Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) said during the hearing last month that America’s immigration system was “broken” and implied racism was the reason behind opposition to migration.

Simon Hankinson is a senior research fellow at the Center for Border Security and Immigration for the Heritage Foundation who worked as Consul with the State Department during the Trump administration.

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