(Daily Caller News Foundation) — House Majority Whip Tom Emmer sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas Friday to demand an explanation as to how an al-Shabaab terrorist crossed the southern border illegally and was able to remain in the country for nearly a year, the Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.
Federal authorities released the member of the Somali terror group shortly after they caught him illegally crossing the southern border near San Ysidro, Calif., on March 13, 2023 and the Terrorist Screening Center “deemed him a ‘mismatch,'” according to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) memo the DCNF recently obtained. Emmer is asking Mayorkas how he intends to ensure a situation like this never happens again, especially since the terrorist was ultimately nabbed in January in Minnesota, according to a copy of the whip’s letter first obtained by the DCNF.
The letter is co-signed by other Republican lawmakers from Minnesota, including Brad Finstad, Michelle Fischbach and Pete Stauber.
“Minnesota House Republicans refuse to stand idly by after the Biden administration’s open-borders agenda allowed a known terrorist to roam freely throughout our state. This is inexcusable, and we are going to use every resource at our disposal to ensure Minnesotans get the answers and accountability they deserve,” Emmer said in a statement to the DCNF.
The ICE acting director, Patrick Lechleitner, confirmed the terrorist was arrested by ICE “within 48 hours” of the agency confirming his affiliation during a press conference Thursday.
“It is unacceptable that the Department of Homeland Security wrongly allowed this terrorist into our country through the southern border after identification concluded he was on the terrorist watch list. Sadly, this is just one example of the Biden Administration’s policies that have led to this crisis. Since President Biden took office, 361 individuals on the terrorist watchlist have been encountered at the country’s border,” the letter reads.
“However, these statistics are only from individuals who were screened at the border and do not account for all the illegal immigrants who were not. Since the Biden Administration took office, there have been 1.7 million individuals who evaded apprehension and entered our country, their affiliations unknown. Bad actors are exposing vulnerabilities in national security policies,” the letter reads.
The al-Shabaab member was involved in the use, manufacture or transport of explosives or firearms, the ICE memo stated.
Border Patrol apprehended 50 illegal migrants on the terror watchlist trying to get into the country between October and December, compared to 14 similar apprehensions between fiscal years 2017 and 2020, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data. Additionally, Border Patrol nabbed over 170 suspected terrorists trying to enter the country illegally in fiscal year 2023.
Roughly 860,000 individuals evaded arrest by entering the country illegally in fiscal year 2023.