Monday 17 June 2024

House Intel Dem Concedes Undocumented Immigrants Pose National Security ‘Threat’

 Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, acknowledged on Sunday that undocumented immigrants crossing into the United States pose a “threat” to the country.

“Fox News Sunday” anchor Shannon Bream asked Himes how worried he is about “potentially millions of people in this country” whose “full story” is not known after noting concerns raised by FBI Director Christopher Wray and others.

“Well, it’s not just that, Shannon, right? I mean, remember, the perpetrators of 9/11 pulled off the most spectacular terrorist attack against the United States from inside the United States, on student visas,” Himes said.

“So, yes, the fact that there are lots of people who — who are here on an undocumented basis is a threat and the FBI director is right about that, and the FBI director and the chiefs of all of the intelligence community are very, very focused,” he added.

Himes went on to talk about how the fight between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip as well as tensions with China and Ukraine’s years-long conflict against Russia are affecting the situation at the border.

“Underlying this, of course, is the conflict in Israel and Gaza which has sort of activated radical Islamic terrorists. They more than ever before would like to undertake an attack in a spectacular way,” Himes said.

“The other thing going on, of course, is that over time we have gradually shifted our attention to China and, of course, to Russia,” Himes said. “And, you know, to some extent, it’s a little bit of a zero-sum game. If you’re really focused on China, which I think is appropriate, if you’re really focused on supporting the Ukrainians, which is appropriate, inevitably, there is a little bit less — fewer resources devoted to count — the counterterrorism mission.”

Bream then pressed Himes about eight men from Tajikistan with potential ties to ISIS reportedly getting arrested by federal authorities after they crossed the border and their criminal background checks were clean.

“The issue was not that they came across the border, although that is an issue, and the issue is not fundamentally with the vetting process per se. The issue was that when their identities were determined, we did not have derogatory information on them. Now, that’s sort of an inevitable aspect of you never have perfect information,” Himes said.

The congressman added later that Americans “should take some comfort in the fact that the moment these guys started communicating and doing suspect things, we were all over them.”

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