The Trump administration and its Fox News allies have recently used the network to push a highly misleading claim that roughly 4,000 “known or suspected terrorists” attempted to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in 2018. The figure is merely a retelling of a twice-discredited talking point from earlier in the year -- a fraud so obvious that even Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace grilled White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders when she attempted to push the statistic on his show.
After Wallace’s confrontation with Sanders attracted considerable media attention, former acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement director and Fox News contributor Tom Homan responded to the controversy by insisting that “terrorists do come across that southern border” and saying we should shift the focus away from “how many terrorists have been arrested entering the country illegally” to “how many did Border Patrol not catch.” From the January 7 edition of Fox News’ America’s Newsroom:
TOM HOMAN (FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR): Despite what I've seen this weekend on media, terrorists do come across that southern border. I detained them as an ICE director. It has happened. And many more come. We have a relationship with the Panamanian government. We stop literally hundreds of special interest families -- some with known/suspected ties to terrorism -- in Panama that are attempting to get to Mexico to our southern border. It has happened. My biggest concern is it ain't so much how many terrorists have been arrested entering the country illegally. How many got through? How many did Border Patrol not catch? That's what Americans should be thinking about.