(RightIsRight.co) – During a critical Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas failed to provide specific figures regarding the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States with connections to terrorist organizations based in the Middle East.
Per a confidential memo obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation, Border Patrol was alerted about the potential entry of individuals affiliated with Hamas, Hezbollah, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad through the southern border amidst the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
Republican Senator Roger Marshall of Kansas inquired about the issue. He asked, “Approximately how many illegal aliens in this country or here on asylum have direct ties to Hamas, to Hezbollah, to the Islamic Jihad or the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran?”
Secretary Mayorkas emphasized the DHS’s commitment to national security, stating, “Senator Marshall, let me assure you that individuals that pose a risk to our national security are our highest enforcement priority, the safety and security of the American public.”
Despite Senator Marshall’s insistence on a precise figure, Mayorkas reiterated the department’s focus on enforcement regarding individuals linked to terrorism. He explained, “If detention is indeed warranted by reason of the risk they present, then we indeed detain them.”
When further pressed for an answer, Mayorkas maintained his stance, indicating that individuals identified as having connections to terrorist organizations would be considered national security threats and subject to appropriate enforcement actions, including detention and removal.
The issue of undocumented immigrants on the terror watchlist being apprehended at U.S. borders has seen a significant increase. Border Patrol data shows a rise in the number of such individuals, with 172 recorded in the most recent fiscal year, compared to 98 in fiscal year 2022 and 16 in fiscal year 2021. This escalating trend highlights the ongoing challenges faced by border security and immigration enforcement agencies.