AUSTIN, TX – House Republicans are seeking a hearing to investigate how the Biden administration released a suspected Islamist terrorist into the United States after being stopped crossing the southern border illegally.
Issam Bazzi, a 50-year-old Venezuela born in Lebanon, is not supposed to be in America due to his suspected connections to terrorist groups. Yet thanks to the Biden administration, he now lives in Michigan. https://t.co/SsdhFJDzSe
— David Paulin (@DavidPaulin1) January 27, 2022
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), ranking member of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, sent a request to House Democrats requesting authorization to hold the hearing, writing:
“There is no known case in which a foreign national who pinged on a terror watch list was simply released on his own recognizance.
“The facts in the case strongly suggest that the Biden Administration failed to follow appropriate protocols with respect to suspected terrorists.”
The letter sent to subcommittee Chair Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) was signed by eight Republican subcommittee members.
Democrats are unlikely to permit the hearing, and one aide to Rep. Biggs told The Federalist, “They’re ignoring us.”
The request came following revelations that a Lebanese from Venezuela crossed the border from Mexico into the United States and was released from custody into the interior despite being on the FBI terrorist watchlist.
"Lebanese (Hezbollah) TERRORIST ISSAM BAZZI swam the Rio grande, but ICE denied his FBI arrest — RELEASING HIM as they were 'concerned he would get covid in the detention center'??
"Bazzi is now free in Dearborn Michigan, another terrorist stronghold."https://t.co/ahvpWaRQ76
— news & Ⓥiews (@eclectelectric) February 15, 2022
Writing for Deadline Detroit, investigative journalist Charlie LeDuff called attention to the release in an article dated January 27. In the article, LeDuff wrote:
“The Biden administration has allowed Issam Bazzi, who was caught wading along the shores of the Rio Grande River in Texas last November, to be released on his own recognizance while he awaits a March asylum hearing in Detroit.
“According to sensitive government documents obtained exclusively by Deadline Detroit, Bazzi and his family are living, presumably, in Dearborn in a house owned by his cousin on a tree-lined street near Wyoming and Warren Avenues.”
Bazzi crossed the border in November with a rush of other Venezuelans swimming the Rio Grande after President Biden promised leniency for illegal aliens.
Reportedly, Bazzi flew to Monterrey, Mexico with his wife and daughter before crossing the river into Brownsville, Texas.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection intercepted Bazzi afterhe crossed. During processing, his fingerprints and name revealed he was on the terrorist watchlist. According to CBP documents, Bazzi was a classified as a “Category 5 group member, “meaning he was not considered armed and dangerous.
.@ByronYork: “[ICE] ‘ordered the release of a Lebanon-born Venezuelan named Issam Bazzi, who swam the Rio Grande into Brownsville, TX and then was flagged as being on the FBI's terrorism watchlist.’ (Courtesy of the Biden administration, Bazzi is now living in the Detroit area.)” https://t.co/JMhRjpKG0F
— Andrew Good (@Drewbueno) February 1, 2022
CBP protocols require that the FBI interrogate any border crossers found to be on the watch list, and then should be detained in CBP detention until removed back to their country of origin. Although deportation to Venezuela would not have been possible because of cuts in diplomatic ties, he could have been flown to Columbia under a new agreement.
The FBI recommended Bazzi be detained, and agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement classified him as a flight risk.
Shockingly, the Department of Homeland Security ignored these recommendations, and instead released him into the interior U.S. The administration reportedly released him from detention because of COVID-19 concerns, because Bazzi was considered high risk because he had the “chronic care condition” of being overweight, according to leaked Department of Homeland Security documents uncovered by LeDuff.
DHS never told Dearborn police chief of release of terror suspect Issam Bazzi from the South Texas ICE Processing Center in early Dec to await a March immigration hearing. https://t.co/3pSmnUm77Q and https://t.co/t6Z6p3bNg1
— Cynthia Dachowitz (@CynthiaDac) February 1, 2022
According to the same leaked documents, Bazzi is described as a person with “high derogatory information” with ties to an unspecified terror group. Disregarding these facts, DHS released him and his family on December 9 with a promise he would show up for an immigration asylum hearing in March.
Andrew Arena, former chief of international terrorism operations for the FBI, said the release made no sense, but was the result of the Biden administration’s lax immigration stance:
“Unless there’s something bigger going on, we don’t let people in who are on the list.
“This appears to be the new and improved border security posture. A kinder, gentler approach. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. And quite frankly, I’ve never seen it before.”
Congresista exige investigación legislativa tras liberación del terrorista libanés procedente de Venezuela Issam Bazzi https://t.co/gi5BahKiKP
— ABC Noticias (@abcesnoticias) February 24, 2022
Chris Cabrera, vice-president of the Border Patrol Council, the union representing Border Patrol agents, said the public should be concerned about people gaining access to the United States through the southern border:
“The public would be shocked to learn of very bad people who are being apprehended at the border and ultimately released into the United States.
“But the terror watch list? That’s the top of the top. The worst of the worst.”
Outrage grows as Biden diverts Border Patrol agents from U.S. border to aid Ukraine border
February 25, 2022
WASHINGTON, DC – Amid a U.S. border crisis, President Biden is diverting Customs and Border Protection officers from the strained United States southern border to send overseas to help at the Ukrainian border.
Biden’s administration is looking to divert United States Border Patrol agents from their mission at the U.S.-Mexico border to send them overseas “to assist” those fleeing from Ukraine amidst Russia’s invasion, a new report states. https://t.co/G93cCz9pZ0
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) February 25, 2022
A memo issued by the CBP’ office of field operations requested border patrol volunteers to be immediately deployed to Poland in support of “Operation Ukraine Support,” according to a report by Just The News.
The memo sent to field operations executives stated:
“The Office of Field Operations is seeking volunteers to assist with the possible evacuation of U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and their immediate family members from Ukraine.
“Eligible employees who volunteer for this situation may be selected to serve a temporary duty assignment in Poland to facilitate travelers for entry into the U.S., to include providing guidance and problems resolution to other government agencies.”
Brilliant. Biden orders our border patrol to leave our border open to help Ukraine with its borders. #AmericaLast
The incompetence and destructive policies of the Biden regime knows no boundaries. pic.twitter.com/xQUOybvWug
— Paul Gosar (@DrPaulGosar) February 24, 2022
As international humanitarian groups warned that the Russian invasion could trigger a major exodus from Ukraine, some refugee resettlement leaders in the United States called on the Biden administration to prepare to welcome people fleeing the war.
David Duea, president of Lutheran Community Services Northwest, called resettling Ukrainian refuges inside the U.S. a “moral imperative”:
“It will be our moral imperative to welcome Ukrainian refugees, as we have been doing for decades.”
However, the U.S. refugee program has been strained beyond limits trying to place 70,000 evacuees from Afghanistan following the disastrous pull out from the war-torn country in August.
🤦♀️& biden wants to send our southern border patrol "volunteers" to the Poland/Ukraine border for screenings if refugees. O, not to mention the threat of a cyber attack on Russia. Openly trying to put us in a war with Russia (& China pretty much). https://t.co/DTF1byYOKn
— Constitutionalist Meanie (@Meanie_2017) February 25, 2022
Bill Frelick, director of the refugee and migrant rights division of Human Rights Watch, said funding cuts during the Trump administration have left nonprofits involved in resettlement, and that keeping refugees overseas would be a better solution:
“Right now, our resettlement capacity, which was decimated under the Trump administration, is strained to the limits.
Establishing camps, if needed in places like Poland, would be a much higher imperative than planning for refugee resettlement at this emergency stage.”
Resettling Ukrainian refugees inside the U.S. is also complicated by the failed Afghan resettlement program, which has been widely criticized for allowing at least 50 individuals posing “potentially significant security concerns.”
This is bulls**t!!! Let Europe take care of this. We'll send a check, but not Border Patrol! We have our OWN border to take care of. https://t.co/3QICrJRshV
— Heidi Harris (@heidiology) February 24, 2022
In addition, the Defense Department Inspector General informed Congress earlier this month that 28 out of 31 Afghan evacuees with known “derogatory information” can no longer be located:
“Not being able to locate Afghan evacuees with derogatory information quickly and accurately could pose a security risk to the United States. In addition, the U.S. government could mistakenly grant ineligible Afghan evacuees with derogatory information (parole into the country).
“Significant security concerns include individuals whose latent fingerprints have been found on improvised explosive devices and known or suspected terrorists.”
With many eyes turned to Russia and Ukraine, the DHS released a report that an estimated 220,000 illegal immigrants have evaded Border Patrol and entered the U.S. through the southern border.https://t.co/szYmbzuFWf
— MRCTV (@mrctv) February 25, 2022
In addition to those concerns, pulling Border Patrol agents from the U.S./Mexico border will further stretch U.S. immigration enforcement capabilities at a time when about 2.1 million border crossers and illegal aliens are expected at the border this year.
In January, the Border Patrol apprehended nearly 154,000 border crossers as the Biden administration signalled lax immigration enforcement and calls for leniency for border crossers.
The administration has re-enacted the catch-and-release process that was ended by former President Donald Trump. The Biden administration released more than 62,500 border crossers into the U.S. just last month.
In a leaked audiotape obtained by Townhall, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the immigration crisis in the United States was the worst it has been in two decades:
“Look, it’s worse now than it, frankly, has been in at least 20 years, if not ever.”
First time I saw a Border Patrol Agent outside of the US was in Iraq and then in Afghanistan, why is it when a Dem is president they ship OUR agents to far off countries to protect their border and not ours? https://t.co/w7YhM2gfk9
— Musings of a nobody (@JustaCi54400863) February 25, 2022
Steven Kopits with Princeton Policy Advisors, predicted that this year’s immigration crisis would outpace last year under the Biden administration:
“Given the comparatively steady pace of apprehensions, we might expect recent experience under the Biden administration to continue.
“Under such circumstances, we forecast 2.1 million apprehensions for both calendar year and fiscal year 2022, both records besting not only all other administrations but even the Biden administration’s disastrous first year.”
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