US Border Patrol agents arrested 11 Iranians on Monday trying to illegal cross the U.S.–Mexico border in Arizona.
In a statement, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said there were six men and five women in the group. They were arrested and are being processed in Arizona’s Yuma sector station.
“Yuma Sector agents regularly encounter people from all over the world, including Special Interest Countries,” the agency said in a statement. “Agents adjudicate each arrest in accordance with law and policy in order to secure our nation’s borders.”
Iran is a “special interest country,” which means it is a country known by the U.S. to have terrorists and terrorist organizations. It is not clear how the Iranians got to Mexico or why they were seeking to enter the U.S.
Over the past two years, Border Patrol agents have arrested the most Iranian illegal immigrants it has ever apprehended.
Last year alone, it arrested eight Iranians attempting to illegally enter the country. And in fiscal 2021, Yuma agents have already arrested 14 Iranian people crossing the border.
“Iran is a designated Special Interest Country and the agents of Yuma Sector work diligently to protect our borders for the safety of our nation,” the statement reads. “Border security is national security.”
President Donald Trump warned back in 2018 that Middle Eastern terrorists would try to take advantage of loose immigration restrictions.
“Over the course of the year, over the course of a number of years, they have intercepted many people from the Middle East,” Trump said.
“They have intercepted ISIS. They have intercepted all sorts of people. They have intercepted good ones and bad ones,” he continued. “They have intercepted wonderful people from the Middle East, and they have intercepted bad ones. There’s no proof of anything. But there could very well be.”