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Lankford Presses DHS Secretary Mayorkas on National Security Risk at the US-Mexico Border 

CLICK HERE download Lankford’s Q&A from Box.

CLICK HERE to watch Lankford’s Q&A on YouTube.

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today participated in a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing entitled, “The FY25 DHS Budget: Resources and Authorities Requested to Protect and Secure the Homeland,” with DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testifying. He pressed Mayorkas on rumors that the Biden Administration plans to use some of its Executive Authority to help secure the border. Lankford asked the Secretary about the timeline and what actions they plan to make. Specifically, Lankford called on the Administration to address the national security risk regarding “Special Interest Aliens,” which the Administration has not been able to provide Congress the number on how many SIAs are in the US currently. 

Lankford has continually discussed his frustration of the lack of border security and the national security risk Special Interest Aliens poses to Americans. He spoke on the Senate floor to continue to press the issue and the need to resolve the lack of security at the border.  

In March, Lankford pressed FBI Director Christopher Wray during an unclassified, open Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on the ongoing national security crisis at the southern border. In response to Lankford’s question on SIAs, Director Wray stated, “I know that we work closely with DHS, especially CBP, on the issue of Special Interest Aliens, including a whole lot of work on the other side of the border to try to prevent them from coming in the first place, and I know there are instances where we are contacted, but I’m not sure that as I sit here right now I can tell you that we’re contacted in every instance.” 

Excerpt

Lankford: …The frustration that you here, is the sense that Congress has some things that we need to do. We don’t feel like State Department is using every tool at the resource. We are eager to see the 212F and see what is being determined at this point. I think we had 5,800 people that crossed yesterday. Obviously, that is an intolerable people number for everyone. Can you talk about Special Interest Aliens? This is a different group out there that has been difficult to get information. This is a group that they have defined for a while. They have the potential for the national security risk. Thousands of individuals have been designated as a Special Interest Alien. We can’t get any information on it. This Committee that has the oversight has had one briefing on it. This was a last year that has a bipartisan briefing. They worked for months to be able to get that one classified briefing on it. Since the briefing time, we have asked for a follow-up. We have nothing on it to get details. Where are the aliens coming from? What are the details on those? These are folks that your team has identified as massive security risks. Is our understanding, thousands of them are being released. Can you give us any clarity on that? Can you give us the access to anytime about those folks?

Mayorkas: I’m very disappointed to hear that you feel that we haven’t provided you with the information that you have requested. I am working with my team to ensure briefing from those of you that are interested in is very important side effect.

Lankford: We have had six formal requests from this calendar year. We absolutely need more information about this. This is a very special concern to us.

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