White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Tuesday that catching terrorists at the border is a “very uncommon” thing. Of course she had to play interference after Customs and Border Patrol reported on Monday that two Yemeni men on a terror watchlist were taken into custody at the border.
"These set of incidents are very uncommon," Psaki said during the daily press briefing, adding "encounters of known and suspect terrorists are very uncommon."
She said, "They do underscore the importance of the critical work that is done on a daily basis to vet those at the border."
"While this is rare, it is a reflection of them doing their jobs," Psaki continued.
She also acknowledged reports about resuming construction on the border wall. "It is paused; there has been some limited constructed and allocated for, but it is otherwise paused," Psaki said.
The men, arrested in January and March near a port of entry in California, were on a U.S. government watchlist for terrorism suspects and a "no-fly" list, CBP said in a press release.
A group of Republican lawmakers that visited the border in El Paso, Texas, in March said border agents told them during the trip that some people caught crossing the border were on a U.S. terrorism watchlist. Republicans have criticized President Joe Biden for easing some restrictions put in place by former President Donald Trump as the number of border crossings has risen in recent months.
One of the men, 33, was arrested Jan. 29 after allegedly attempting to cross the border illegally near a port of entry in Calexico, California, CBP said.
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