Both men were captured in different incidents after passing the border illegally just west of the Calexico Port of Entry in California.
Agents arrested the first man, a 33-year-old, on Jan. 29. They also found a cellular phone sim card concealed under the insole of his shoe, according to CBP.
The man was transported to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The second man, a 26-year-old illegal immigrant, was captured on March 30. CBP said he is being retained in federal custody awaiting removal.
“These apprehensions at our border illustrate [sic] the importance of our mission and how we can never stop being vigilant in our everyday mission to protect this great country,” Chief Patrol Agent Gregory K. Bovino wrote in a statement.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said in January 2019 that an average of 10 discovered or suspected terrorists are prevented from entering the United States every day. Most are found at airports or even while still away as they appeal for a visa.
But an extra 3,000 “special-interest” aliens were arrested at the southwest border in 2018, former DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said on Jan. 4, 2019.
Mexican cartels dominate the south side of the U.S. border and they’re known to use large groups of families and children to tie up Border Patrol resources so they can send unauthorized goods and criminals through an unpatrolled area. Another strategy is to set criminals in with large groups so they can blend in.
In Europe, concerns ascended in 2015 and 2016, when terrorists started to infiltrate the massive refugee flows mostly out of Syria and into Europe.
In two years from the end of 2015, more than 300 people were killed and thousands more were injured in ISIS-inspired attacks, including those in Paris (mass shootings and suicide bombings), Brussels (two suicide bombings), Nice (truck attack), Berlin Christmas markets (truck attack), Manchester Arena (suicide bomb), London Bridge (van and stabbings), and in Barcelona (van attack).
“We should remember, most of the terrorists that infiltrated the European borders abused that asylum system—made up fake names and fake stories—and got in [during] the crisis,” said Todd Bensman, author of “America’s Covert Border War” and senior fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, on Feb. 10.
Bensman said the threat in the United States “may very well be elevated and escalating.”