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Rick Scott Joins Sen. Rand Paul in Letter Requesting Hearing on Threat of Terrorists Exploiting Southern Border

Florida Sen. Rick Scott joined Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul to request a hearing regarding the threat of terrorism along the southern border with Mexico. Below is an official statement from the office of Sen. Scott.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Rick Scott joined Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) along with Senators Ron Johnson (R-WI), James Lankford (R-OK), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Josh Hawley (R-MO), and Roger Marshall (R-KS), all Republican members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, in sending a letter to committee Chairman Gary Peters requesting a hearing to examine the threat of individuals exploiting the southern border for potential terrorist activities.

The letter outlines how the Biden administration has allowed millions to cross the border, including an increased number of individuals with potential criminal and terrorist intent, such as the recent arrests of eight foreign nationals with suspected ties to ISIS. Since 2021, an alarming 360 individuals on the terrorist watchlist attempting to cross the Southwest border illegally have been apprehended by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Due to these numbers, Attorney General Merrick Garland and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray expressed concern over the threat posed by the increased number of known or suspected terrorists attempting to exploit the Biden administration’s vulnerable border policies. As a result, the senators request a hearing with top officials from the relevant federal agencies to discuss strategies on how to handle the significant increase in terrorists entering the country due to the Biden administration’s failed policies.

Read the full letter HERE or below.

Dear Chairman Peters:

We, as members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC), strongly urge you to convene a hearing to examine the threat of individuals exploiting the Southern border for potential terrorist activities and the recent arrests of eight foreign nationals with suspected ties to ISIS. Over the past three years, the current administration’s policies have effectively opened our borders, allowing millions, including individuals with potential criminal and terrorist intent, to enter the United States unchecked.

Recent incidents underscore the urgency of this matter. In June 2024, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), in coordination with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), detained several individuals with suspected ties to the Islamic State. The operations were conducted in New York, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles, involving foreign nationals who allegedly entered the U.S. through the Southwest border. This alarming situation requires immediate oversight from our Committee, particularly given the complete lack of information about the circumstances.

See also  Report: Illegal Aliens Receiving Free Services Funded by Democrats and Republicans

Since 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has encountered more than 8 million aliens at the Southwest border. The high volume of crossings overwhelms our ability to effectively vet and track these individuals. Consequently, even more individuals evade capture, and we lack the capacity to adequately vet those we do catch. During the same period of record-breaking encounters, CBP encountered more than 360 individuals on the terrorist watchlist attempting to cross the Southwest border illegally. This number marks a significant increase compared to the 11 encountered in the previous four years. It is clear, that the unprecedented influx has created a dangerous gap in our national security, allowing terrorists to enter undetected and remain unnoticed for years

During his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on June 4, 2024, Attorney General Merrick Garland expressed grave concern on this very subject, stating, “I’m worried about the possibility of a terrorist attack in the country after October 7. The threat level has gone up enormously. Every morning, we worry about this question.” On the same day, the FBI Director Christopher Wray provided similar testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies. Director Wray stated, “We have seen over the last five to six years an increase in the number of known or suspected terrorists, in other words, watch-listed suspects attempting to cross the border.”

Faced with elevated threats, it is well past time to hold a public hearing on the danger of terrorism facilitated by easy access across the border. For over three years, members of this Committee have repeatedly sounded the alarm on the need for oversight of the crisis at the Southwest border. The policies implemented by the Biden administration have directly contributed to unprecedented levels of illegal immigration, exposing a vulnerability that bad actors can exploit to enter the country. 

Therefore, we urge you to convene a critically needed hearing with top officials from the relevant federal agencies to discuss the Biden administration’s strategy for handling the significant increase in terrorists entering the country due to their policies.

We appreciate your attention on this important matter.

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Ed Dean is a leading radio and news media personality including hosting the #1 statewide radio talk show in Florida. Contact Ed.Dean@FloridaDaily.com

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