May 06, 2021

Young Sends Second Letter to Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Terrorism Concerns at the Southern Border

WASHINGTON –  After receiving no response from the Biden Administration to a letter sent in March, U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) has again asked the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for information on terrorists apprehended at the Southern Border.

 

Senator Young, the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations’ subcommittee that is responsible for counterterrorism issues, sent a letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on March 22 requesting accurate statistics regarding the surge at the Southern Border.  The letter requested this information by April 30, but DHS has failed to provide a response.

 

Since Senator Young sent the first letter, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that two Yemeni individuals who are on the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Database were arrested while attempting to cross the Southern Border illegally.

 

“Incidents like this remind us that a functionally open border poses a national security threat to the United States,” said Senator Young. “I again request a classified briefing from the Department as soon as possible, and request the declassification and full release of information previously requested in my March 22 letter to you. I expect the Department’s full cooperation with this time-sensitive request, and going forward I hope to see the level of dialogue with Congress that you promised to extend prior to your confirmation.”

 

See below to view the full text of the letter.

 

The Honorable Alejandro Mayorkas

Secretary

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Washington, D.C. 20528

 

Dear Secretary Mayorkas,

 

I write to follow up on my letter dated March 22, 2021. My letter requested a response by Friday, April 30, but to date, I have not received a response from the Department.

 

I am concerned with the lack of attention to my request, especially as the Department responds to surging immigration numbers. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has reported that it encountered more than 172,000 individuals along our Southern Border during the month of March—71,000 more than in February of this year and 138,000 more than in March 2020. Congress must be involved in working with the Department to confront this crisis and to ensure that appropriate resources are provided.

 

Regardless of whether or not the Biden Administration considers this situation a crisis, the facts and statistics speak for themselves. To make matters worse, on April 5, CBP announced that it arrested two Yemeni individuals whose names appeared on the FBI’s Terror Screening Database while they attempted to illegally cross the Southern Border. Incidents like this remind us that a functionally open border poses a national security threat to the United States.

 

As the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations subcommittee tasked with the oversight responsibility for counterterrorism matters, I again request a classified briefing from the Department as soon as possible, and request the declassification and full release of information previously requested in my March 22 letter to you. I expect the Department’s full cooperation with this time-sensitive request, and going forward I hope to see the level of dialogue with Congress that you promised to extend prior to your confirmation.

 

Sincerely,

Todd Young

United States Senator