Katko, Higgins, Pfluger Push DHS to Release Number of Suspected Terrorists Crossing Border
WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. John Katko (R-NY), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA), Ranking Member of the Border Security Subcommittee, and Rep. August Pfluger (R-TX), Ranking Member of the Intelligence and Counterterrorism Subcommittee, today pressured the Department of Homeland Security to disclose the number of individuals, present within the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB), apprehended attempting to cross the southern border this year.
The members are simply calling for the topline number of known or suspected terrorists (KSTs) encounters, which is not classified and would not jeopardize national security, to be coupled with the currently released monthly border encounter numbers from Customs & Border Protection (CBP). After receiving troubling information in a classified briefing, Katko, Higgins, and Pfluger are leading an effort to provide the American public with the information they need to form their own opinions about Biden’s Border Crisis, including the number of KSTs encountered attempting to illegally enter the country.
In a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Katko, Higgins, and Pfluger wrote, “Although most of the information on this topic is rightfully classified, the number of known or suspected terrorists attempting to illegally cross into the United States is not kept secret in the interest of national security and the American people deserve to be informed of this number. This is not unprecedented. As recently as January of this year Customs and Border Protection was releasing this information to the public. It was only after the change in administration that DHS leadership determined this statistic should be labeled as Law Enforcement Sensitive.”
“The American people have a right to know what threats our nation is facing. Short of divulging classified information which would compromise national security, it is incumbent upon us, as leadership within the Department of Homeland Security and the Committee on Homeland Security, to not keep this information from the American public. We request that you immediately release the number of individuals who have been apprehended at the southwest border this fiscal year who were present within the TSBD as well as those who have been apprehended and qualify as Special Interests Aliens. We also request that these statistics be provided regularly in conjunction with the border numbers which are periodically released,” the members continued.
Read the full letter here.