Katko, Pfluger: The Homeland is Less Secure Under Biden
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. John Katko (R-NY), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, and Rep. August Pfluger (R-TX), Ranking Member of the Intelligence and Counterterrorism Subcommittee, respond to shocking reports that a known terrorist was released into the country for two weeks before DHS provided authorization to ICE to arrest the terrorist.
“Recent news that the Department of Homeland Security waited two weeks to arrest a suspected terrorist after releasing him into the United States is made even more troubling now that we know Border Patrol encounters at the southwest border between ports of entry of individuals found on the terror watchlist has climbed to 35 this fiscal year alone—surpassing total encounters from the last five years combined. Also troubling is the number of known ‘got-aways’ continues to increase at a record rate along the southwest border, so we cannot be certain exactly how many watch-listed individuals have entered the United States amidst the Biden administration’s disastrous border crisis.
“The reality is that the Biden administration did not want these numbers made public, having resisted for more than a year before relenting to rigorous oversight from House Republicans to release this data to the American people. While Secretary Mayorkas claims that the border crisis is being ‘effectively managed,’ Americans know better. Be assured that Homeland Republicans will continue shining a light on the dangerous impacts of Biden’s border crisis on our national security and will do everything within our power to ensure the safety and security of Americans.”
Timeline of CHS Republicans’ Known or Suspected Terrorist (KST) Oversight Effort
- March 2021: Katko & Pfluger visit El Paso, TX with Leader McCarthy and hear from CBP agents that KSTs were encountered at the border the week before. Katko mentions in press conference.
- March 2021: Media tells Leader McCarthy & Katko they are wrong and there is no evidence of KSTs being encountered at the border.
- March 7, 2021: Pfluger asks Mayorkas to release the KST number during full committee hearing.
- March 16, 2021: Axios reporting confirms four people matching terror watchlist arrested at the border, confirming what Katko said in El Paso and was admonished for by mainstream media.
- August 2021: Katko & Pfluger send letter to Secretary Mayorkas asking to release number of KSTs crossing border.
- August 2021: Mayorkas responds to letter saying he couldn’t release the KST number because it was “Law Enforcement Sensitive (LES),” despite not having such a designation in the previous administration, and he refused to explain why it was now considered LES.
- November 2021: Katko & Pfluger letter to Secretary Mayorkas requesting LES classification be removed from TSDB border encounter number.
- January 2022: Pfluger introduces legislation to require the DHS Secretary to publish monthly KST encounters on the DHS website.
- February 8, 2022: Katko meets with CBP Commissioner Magnus, asks him to commit to releasing numbers on monthly basis.
- March 9, 2022: Katko sends letter to Magnus about Biden admin suppressing the number of KSTs at the border and asks him to release the number.
- March 22, 2022: Katko and COR RM Comer send letter to Mayorkas calling for all documents and information about terrorist apprehensions at the border and the Department’s policies for keeping that information withheld from the public.
- April 2022: Fox News gets FY21 KST numbers via FOIA request.
- April 26, 2022: Commissioner Magnus sends response to Katko & Pfluger committing to posting monthly KST numbers on CBP website.