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Mayorkas dodges GOP Senator’s question on whether border crisis presents terrorism threat

by

Daily Caller News Foundation

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas couldn’t provide a clear answer as to whether the surge in illegal immigration presents a terrorism threat during a Senate hearing on Wednesday.

Republican North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven pressed Mayorkas on his concern with the possible security issues associated with the border crisis that could lead to a terrorist attack on the U.S., during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on DHS’ supplemental funding request from Congress. Mayorkas testified that there have been 6 million encounters of illegal migrants at the southern border since President Joe Biden took office, but dodged Hoeven’s questions about terrorist threats.

With the increase in illegal immigration, Border Patrol has made an increasing number of arrests of individuals crossing the southern border illegally whose names appear on the terror watchlist.

Border Patrol apprehended 169 individuals whose names appeared on the watchlist in fiscal year 2023, which increased from 98 in fiscal year 2022, 15 in fiscal year 2021, three in fiscal year 2020 and zero in fiscal year 2019, according to federal data.

WATCH:

“Do you think that millions of people crossing our border illegally creates a risk of a terrorist attack in our country?” Hoeven asked.

“Senator, I think that the men and women of the Department of Homeland Security to an extraordinary job of ensuring the safety and security of the American people,” Mayorkas said.

Border Patrol recently received a notice to lookout for Hamas, Hezbollah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, according to a copy of the internal memorandum exclusively obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“That wasn’t what I asked. I said, do you think that millions of people crossing our border illegally every year, two and a half million last year, creates the risk of a terrorist, with what’s going on in the world, people coming from more than 100 different countries crossing here illegally, you don’t even know how many of them are still here, you came here today without that information. Do you think that creates a risk of a terrorist attack in our country?,” Hoeven asked.

Mayorkas then accused the senator of mischaracterizing his testimony. “Yes or no, do you think that creates a risk? Millions of people come here, are here illegally, we’re not even talking about the got always, how many got always in our country here illegally? Does that create the risk of a terrorist attack in our country? Simple question,” Hoeven asked.

“Let me assure you, senator, that the safety and security of the American people is the single highest priority of the Department of Homeland Security,” Mayorkas said.

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Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation

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