Joe Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, must disclose the total number of so-called “special interest aliens” released into the United States over the last two years, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) says.
As Breitbart News reported this month, DHS figures reveal that in Fiscal Year 2023, nearly 61,500 special interest aliens were released by the Biden administration into American communities — a foreign population the size of Portland, Maine.
These illegal aliens, according to DHS, are typically “a non-U.S. person who, based on an analysis of travel patterns, potentially poses a national security risk to the United States or its interests.”
“Often such individuals or groups are employing travel patterns known or evaluated to possibly have a nexus to terrorism,” DHS officials wrote of the category in 2019.
In a letter to Mayorkas, Hawley is requesting all information related to special interest aliens released into the U.S. over the last two years, including the total number, the steps DHS is taking to heighten security at the border post-Hamas attack on Israel, and whether the agency is working with the FBI on terrorism issues related to immigration.
“I write with alarm regarding the uptick in potential terrorist-linked illegal aliens encountered at the southern border,” Hawley writes:
This development follows the barbaric attack perpetrated by Hamas terrorists on innocent American and Israeli civilians. It is imperative that you address this issue immediately to ensure the safety of American citizens, especially Jewish Americans, who are facing increased threats to their physical safety following the Hamas attack. [Emphasis added]
Meanwhile, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents are encountering a growing number of “special interest aliens” from countries known to harbor terrorists—including Iran, Syria, and Lebanon. Just this week, four Iranians were apprehended in Texas by Border Patrol. [Emphasis added]
Illegal aliens with potential ties to terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah have no place in the United States. In the wake of Hamas’s attack on Israel, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is already alerting Americans about an elevated number of violent threats against civilians, including antisemitic threats. It is therefore critical that you abandon your radical open border policies, and instead, take immediate action to secure the border. As Secretary, your number one priority should be protecting American citizens against potential terrorist entering our country. [Emphasis added]
Also mentioned by Hawley is a recent DHS “Homeland Threat Assessment” wherein agency officials detail a growing concern that illegal aliens linked to terrorism are continuing to exploit the southern border to get into the U.S.
“… individuals with potential terrorism connections continue to attempt to enter the Homeland,” the DHS report states. “… as of July, approximately 160 non-U.S. persons in the [Terrorism Watch List] attempted to enter the U.S. via the southern border this year, most of whom were encountered attempting to illegally enter between ports of entry.”
Last month, DHS Inspector General (IG) Joseph Cuffari revealed that Biden’s catch and release network is releasing more than 60,000 border crossers and illegal aliens into American communities every month.
This is the equivalent of adding a foreign population the size of New Orleans, Louisiana, to the U.S. every six months or a population the size of Seattle, Washington, every year.
Specifically, DHS is using three pipelines to release border crossers and illegal aliens into the United States interior: Notices to Appear (NTAs), prosecutorial discretion, and Parole + ATD, which stands for Alternatives to Detention.