Cruz Wants Immigration Details on Terror Suspects

As discussed in my current NER article, it is almost impossible to find out basic information about criminals’ or terrorists’ immigration status. Congress actually has to force the Administration to divulge it. The Hill:

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) wants the Obama administration to hand over details on dozens of individuals he says are tied to terrorism, including their immigration status.

Cruz, who is running for president, and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) sent a letter on Wednesday to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Secretary of State John Kerry. They are asking for information on 72 individuals and the “nexus between terrorism and our immigration system.”

“We write regarding the alarming increase in the number of individuals in the United States who have engaged in acts of terrorism or conspired to provide material support to foreign terrorist organizations over the last year,” the two senators said in the letter.

Sessions’s office added in a release that the letter “addresses the large number of persons inside the United States involved with [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria] and other Islamic terror organizations whose presence in the United States results from immigration policy.”

The two senators said they used publicly available information to identify 72 people in the United States who during the past year “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.”

Cruz and Sessions also included a table on the 72 individuals with the letter. They are asking Lynch, Kerry and Johnson to fill out the table, which asks about current immigration status, country of birth, date of initial U.S. entry, immigration status at time of entry and the immigration status of the individual’s parents.

For individuals who aren’t U.S. citizens or are naturalized citizens, the senators want a copy of the person’s Alien File, known as A-Files.

The senators also want to know how many non-U.S. citizens and U.S. citizens since Feb. 26, 1993, have endorsed, supported, been connected to or been a member of a terrorist organization or a group that supports terrorism; have encouraged or committed a terrorist activity; received “military-type training” by a terrorist group or engaged in “criminal conduct inspired by terrorist ideology.”

Of those individuals, Cruz and Sessions want to know how many were prosecuted for a federal crime related to terrorism and how many are currently believed to be living abroad and involved with a terrorist organization or terrorism.

For non-U.S. citizens, the senators also want to know how many are currently in custody, how many are currently in the process of being deported, how many have been deported and how many were initially expected to be deported but were allowed to stay in the United States.

The letter comes after a shooting in Tennessee earlier this year that killed five. Sessions pledged after the incident that a subcommittee he chairs would look into “issues experts have been raising since 9/11 about how our immigration system is vulnerable to terrorism and those seeking to foster radicalization.” 


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