House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has requested a classified briefing from the FBI and CIA on the arrest of two Yemeni nationals on the terror watchlist who illegally crossed the border amid the record migrant surge.
McCarthy (R-Calif.) made the request in a letter to CIA Director William Burns and FBI Director Christopher Wray sent on Tuesday evening, asking that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Vice President Harris also be permitted at the briefing.
“I hope [Harris], along with Congressional leaders, could benefit from this briefing,” the California lawmaker said, noting that the vice president was tasked by President Biden with addressing the diplomatic measures related to the crisis.
The top ranking House Republican went on to share some of the intel provided to him by Customs and Border Protection agents during his visit to the region last month, noting that, “[A]gents conveyed to us that they have apprehended individuals from not only Mexico and Central America, but also countries including China, Iran, Yemen, and Turkey.”
“While I am grateful to the Border Patrol for doing all they can, I have great concern about the number of bad actors that have escaped arrest and are residing in the United States,” he warned, “We simply have no way of knowing if other terrorists have crossed the border undetected.”
Federal authorities revealed on Monday that two Yemeni men on the FBI’s terror watchlist had been arrested in recent months for illegally entering the US from Mexico.
The men, ages 33 and 26, were busted near the Calexico Port of Entry in California in separate incidents on Jan. 29 and March 30, CBP said.
The older man was found with a mobile phone SIM card under the insole of his shoe, the agency also said.
Records checks conducted after both men were caught revealed they were on a government watchlist for terrorism suspects and a “no-fly” list.
CBD did not release the identities of either of the men.
In a since-deleted release about the men, CBP said the 33-year-old man had been transferred to the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which handles deporting people back to their home countries.
The 26-year-old man, meanwhile, was being held in federal custody “pending removal.”
The terror watchlist includes people who are “known to be or reasonably suspected of being involved in terrorist activities,” according to the FBI.
US Customs and Border Protection officials removed a press release from their website that announced the arrest of the two men.
Officials deleted the release because it “was not properly reviewed and contained certain disclosure and policy information related to national security,” CBP spokesman Justin Long told The Post Tuesday.
The press release, which is archived online on Wayback Machine, was originally published Monday but is no longer accessible on CBP’s website. When its link is clicked, readers are sent to a page that says “Access Denied” and “You are not authorized to access this page.” It’s not clear when the release was removed.
The Biden administration’s undoing of Trump’s border policies has prompted a flood of Central American and Mexican illegal migrants at the US border, including thousands of unescorted children.
Central Americans looking for refuge from the Northern Triangle countries — El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala — have taken these policy moves, as well as the overwhelmingly more welcoming tone from Democrats, as a sign that this president is inviting them to cross the border.
Insisting that the border was not facing a crisis, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in early March that the problems the agency faced should be blamed on the previous administration.
The data, however, overwhelmingly shows that migrants were flooding the border because they believed Biden would welcome them with open arms.
Late last month, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador blamed the new president for the crisis, arguing that the “expectations” he set left migrants with the perception that they would be let into the US.