Republican Senators Question Immigration System After Finding 72 Individuals Tied to Terrorism

Leah Barkoukis
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Posted: Aug 12, 2015 9:00 PM
Republican Senators Question Immigration System After Finding 72 Individuals Tied to Terrorism

In an effort to learn more about the growing terrorism threat posed by weaknesses in our immigration system, Sens. Ted Cruz and Jeff Sessions have written a letter to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Attorney General Loretta Lynch, asking for more information regarding the individuals in the U.S. who have ties to terrorism.

“Based on publicly available information, we have identified at least 72 individuals in the United States who, over the last year: have engaged in or attempted to engage in acts of terrorism; conspired or attempted to conspire to provide material support to a terrorist organization; engaged in criminal conduct inspired by terrorist ideology; or who have been sentenced for any of the foregoing,” they wrote. “We would like to understand more about these individuals, and others similarly situated in recent history, and the nexus between terrorism and our immigration system.”

The Washington Examiner has more:

In a chart, they said the suspects come from Bosnia, Sudan, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Uzbekistan, Iraq and even Cuba.

Of the 72 [individuals], 22 were shown to be naturalized citizens. The others were of "unknown" immigrant status or American-born with apparent Arab ties.

Recent legislative proposals have pushed to expand the naturalization process. Officials added that immigrants from Muslim nations are arriving in huge numbers.

Their letter sought information on all the 72, including their immigration status.

The letter was prompted by a recent hearing with FBI Director James Comey, in which he said that while the agency is “stopping [terror plots] so far through tremendous hard work … it is incredibly difficult.” He further warned that “[he] cannot see [himself] stopping these indefinitely.” One week later, five service members were murdered in a terror attack in Chattanooga.

The worst part is that while 72 people sounds like a fairly large number, we have no way of knowing how many have flown under the radar, and how many more are on their way.

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