A large influx of Special Interest Migrants across the US/Mexico border, including Syrian and 50 Iranian male nationals of “military age”, have been apprehended by the Border Patrol since the beginning of October as tension in the Middle East continues to escalate.
According to CBP sources, the influx of Syrian and Iranian Special Interest Migrants is concerning, considering the recent threats Iran has made to the United States.
Syrian and Iranian migrants were apprehended across the southwest border in October.
An Iranian national was arrested by the Border Patrol near Eagle Pass, Texas, on Saturday.
The Iranian national was discovered within a group of more than 300 that crossed into the small border city.
According to sources, encounters of Syrian and Iranian nationals are a major concern due to the US air strikes against Iran-linked sites in Syria.
The arrivals of Special Interest Migrants at the border have no advance intelligence warning, the source added.
“We are receiving no advance warning of the arrival of Special Interest Migrants from the region with any specificity,” the source explained.
“We are left to sort through the grab-bag of migrants in small and large groups to figure out who is in the group and why they are coming.”
In one week alone, 11 Special Interest Migrants from Middle Eastern countries were apprehended by border patrol agents.
As Breitbart reported: During the week of October 8 to October 14, Border Patrol agents apprehended six Iranian nationals, three Lebanese nationals, one Egyptian national, and one Saudi Arabian national that made landfall in Texas on the banks of the Rio Grande in the Del Rio Border Patrol Sector that includes Eagle Pass.
The Syrian and Iranian Special Interest Migrants are mostly single adult males.
This comes as a Level-4 advisory regarding travel to Syria due to terrorism was issued by the State Department
Iran is at a Level-4 travel warning, due to the risk of kidnapping and the arbitrary arrest of US citizens.
The source adds that due to the absence of significant intelligence, Special Interest migrant may pose a known threat to the United States.
Over 61,000 Special Interest Migrants were encountered by the Border Patrol in Fiscal Year 2023, Breitbart noted.
The number of migrants from Special Interest countries soured by 40 percent from Fiscal Year 2022.
In total, 86,000 Special Interest migrants have illegally entered the US in the previous two fiscal years.
According to a 2019 DHS fact sheet, the term “Significant Interest Alien” is defined as follows:
Generally, an SIA is a non-U.S. person who, based on an analysis of travel patterns, potentially poses a national security risk to the United States or its interests.
Often, such individuals or groups employ travel patterns known or evaluated to possibly have a nexus to terrorism.
DHS analysis includes an examination of travel patterns, points of origin, and/or travel segments that are tied to current assessments of national and international threat environments.
This does not mean that all SIAs are “terrorists,” but rather that the travel and behavior of such individuals indicate a possible nexus to nefarious activity (including terrorism) and, at a minimum, provide indicators that necessitate heightened screening and further investigation.
The term SIA does not indicate any specific derogatory information about the individual – and DHS has never indicated that the SIA designation means more than that.