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House Homeland Republicans urges DHS to explain why number of migrants in terrorism database is not made public


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FIRST ON FOX: Republicans on the House Homeland Security Committee are demanding answers from Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on why his agency will not make public the number of apprehended migrants in the screening database terrorists (TSDB) – after DHS allegedly claimed the information was “Law Enforcement Sensitive.”

“The real purpose of a Law Enforcement Sensitive label is to prevent damage to our law enforcement officers and law enforcement related activities, but it appears that rather this label is used to protect the reputation of the current political administration ”John Katko, R-NY, Clay Higgins, R-La., and August Pfluger, R-Texas, said in a letter to Mayorkas, obtained by Fox News.

HOUSE REPUBLICS ASK DHS TO REVEAL HOW MANY MIGRANTS ARE ON TERROR WATCH LIST

Republicans have been pushing for months for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to reveal how many migrants have been apprehended at the southern border and whose names are on TSDB

The database contains information on the identity of those who are “known or reasonably suspected” of being involved in terrorist activities. Lawmakers said they received the number of migrants identified on the TSDB during a classified briefing and now want that number made public.

In March, Fox News reported that at least four migrants whose names match those on the terrorist watch list had been recovered by the US Border Patrol since the start of the fiscal year. But that number is expected to be much higher, especially given the huge increase in the number at the southern border – with more than 1.7 million migrant encounters in fiscal 2021.

Former Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott has repeatedly sounded the alarm bells at the number of TSDBs crossing the border, telling fellow officers it is “at a level we have never seen before “.

“We have terrorist threats that we cannot participate in in this type of forum, but they are real,” he told Fox News’ Bret Baier in October.

FRONTIER PATROL LEADER DEPUTES SAYS TERRORISTS ARE TRYING TO ENTER US THROUGH THE BORDER

Republicans on the Homeland Security Committee pushed DHS on the issue in August and said they were only seeking the release of the highest number of people apprehended – not more sensitive information such as identities.

“On the contrary, the frontline issue requested by the committee in no way threatens the safety or mission of our honorable law enforcement officers. We believe that the publication of this frontline issue would be an important step towards the transparency promised by the Biden administration which has so far been absent, ”they say.

FOUR MIGRANTS WITH NAMES ON THE TERROR WATCH LIST REPRESENTED AT THE BORDER SINCE OCTOBER

Republicans say DHS, in response to their request, only said the number was “law enforcement sensitive” – ​​a response that lawmakers said “clearly eschews our demand for transparency and fails to respond. sufficient to a legitimate monitoring request. of Congress. “

The letter asks for the processes, procedures and protocols used to determine what information is eligible to be labeled as sensitive for law enforcement. It also requests information on the official who makes the final decision on law enforcement sensitive information, and any other labeling information on restrictions placed on that frontline number.

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“Specifically, why is this frontline issue considered law enforcement sensitive and why did the Biden administration overrule the previous administration’s decision that this information was indeed information?” public? they ask.

“It is of the utmost importance that the American people have a full and transparent view of the threats facing our homeland,” they write. “It is essential that political considerations do not hamper the transparency and accountability of DHS, including the duty to ensure that the American public is equipped with all viable resources relevant to understanding threats to our homeland security.”


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