Terrorist-Linked Illegal Immigrants Released by Biden Administration — GOP Outraged

AlinStock / shutterstock.com
AlinStock / shutterstock.com

A coalition of 21 Republican U.S. senators, led by Sen. Ted Budd of North Carolina, is pressing Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for explanations regarding the release of undocumented border crossers into the U.S. without proper vetting, some of whom were later found to have alleged terrorist connections.

In a letter addressed to Mayorkas and FBI Director Christopher Wray, the senators cited concerns raised by the chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee and a retired CIA director about potential terrorist threats on U.S. soil before the year’s end.

Senator Budd criticized President Biden, accusing him of failing in his duty to safeguard the nation. He pointed to recent incidents as evidence of significant national security risks associated with the open southern border. Budd emphasized the need to investigate these events to prevent them from recurring and stressed the importance of securing the border to restore order.

The letter expressed alarm over reports that eight individuals from Tajikistan, suspected of having ties to ISIS, illegally entered the U.S. and were either released by Border Patrol agents or used the CBP One app under the administration’s lawful pathways program instead of being detained and properly vetted at the border.

“We are particularly troubled by reports that wiretaps revealed discussions about explosives involving one of these individuals, who had previously been released with a court date set for next year after being apprehended at the southern border,” the senators wrote. They expressed further concern that Border Patrol agents are releasing inadmissible illegal foreign nationals into the country by issuing “notice to appear” documents for them to appear before an immigration judge several years in the future.

According to CBS News, the individuals were only arrested after their release, highlighting a recurring issue identified by the Office of Inspector General: individuals with potential security risks being released due to ineffective processes within CBP.

FBI Director Wray previously testified before Congress about the risks of Islamic terrorism and other national security threats infiltrating through the border, warning of the potential for coordinated attacks similar to the ISIS-K incident in Russia. He also noted investigations into ISIS-affiliated smuggling networks using the U.S. southern border.

The senators pointed to multiple instances of individuals on terrorist watchlists being released into the U.S. from countries including Afghanistan, Jordan, Somalia, and Uzbekistan. They highlighted specific cases, such as an Afghan national linked to Hezb-e-Islami who evaded deportation and was only rearrested after ten months due to suspected terrorist ties.

Similarly, a Somali national and confirmed member of Al-Shabaab illegally entered the U.S. and was released before being arrested a year later in Minnesota for alleged involvement in explosives-related activities. An Uzbekistan national with ISIS connections entered illegally in Arizona and was released by Border Patrol agents despite being wanted internationally by Uzbek authorities for ties to ISIS.

The senators also cited incidents involving Jordanians attempting to breach Marine Corps Base Quantico, one of whom overstayed a visa and the other entered illegally, both released rather than being detained for removal despite one being on the Terrorist Watch List.

According to CBP data, the number of known or suspected terrorists apprehended at U.S. borders has increased significantly, with 316 apprehended in fiscal year 2024, predominantly at the northern border. Fiscal year 2023 saw the highest number on record, with 736 apprehensions, including an Iranian with terrorist affiliations.

The senators demanded answers from DHS, seeking detailed information on arrested individuals, their entry points, asylum claims, vetting procedures, and affiliations with terrorist organizations, setting a deadline for response. DHS was given until Tuesday to provide the requested information.