Mayorkas Pressed to Answer How Terrorists Were Reportedly Freed into U.S.

Republicans on the House Homeland Security Committee are pressing Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to explain how migrants on the federal government’s “Terrorist Watch List” have been reportedly released into the United States.

In a letter to Mayorkas on Wednesday, Committee Chairman Mark Green (R-TN), as well as Reps. Clay Higgins (R-LA) and August Pfluger (R-TX), who chair subcommittees, asked Mayorkas to provide them with a classified briefing on several reported cases of migrants on the Terrorism Watch List getting released into the nation’s interior.

The congressmen write:

The first case involves a member of the U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization alShabaab. According to a news report, the alien was “caught illegally crossing the southern border near San Ysidro, California on March 13, 2023;” however, he was deemed a “mismatch” and was subsequently released into the interior. Almost one year later, the Terrorist Screening Center “made a redetermination” and confirmed the alien as a terrorist member of al-Shabaab, and then Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) located and arrested him. [Emphasis added]

The second case involves a Pakistani man allegedly on the terrorist watch list who illegally entered the United States but was apprehended by the Border Patrol the following day. Less than two weeks later, the Terrorist Screening Center confirmed his status on the “terror watchlist;” however, ICE eventually released him through the Alternatives to Detention program. [Emphasis added]

In addition to these unanswered requests for information, we are now facing a consistent stream of cases highlighted in the news of aliens allegedly on the terrorist watchlist either being apprehended at the border or discovered in the interior. [Emphasis added]

The congressmen noted Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray’s testimony last month before the Senate Intelligence Committee where he warned he is “very concerned” over the possibility of human smuggling networks to the U.S. with ties to the Islamic State (ISIS).

“The Committee is concerned with DHS’s current practices in processing and releasing known or suspected terrorists encountered at the Southwest border,” the congressmen write.

Mayorkas has been accused of withholding information related to migrants caught crossing the border who matched for suspects on the Terrorist Watch List.

A lawsuit filed last October by the Center for Immigration Studies alleges that Mayorkas has refused to comply with Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests regarding hundreds of migrants on the Terrorism Watch List.

Since President Joe Biden took office, more than 300 migrants on the Terrorism Watch List have been caught crossing the southern border.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at Follow him on Twitter here.

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