Skip to Content

Press Releases

Homeland Security Republicans: Mayorkas Protecting "Privacy Rights" of Terrorists Over Safety of American Citizens

WASHINGTON, DC – Thursday, Congressman August Pfluger (TX-11), the Republican Leader on the Homeland Security Intelligence and Counterterrorism Subcommittee, Republican Committee Leader John Katko (NY-24), and Rep. Mayra Flores (TX-34) sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

The letter reveals that the Department of Homeland Security has implemented a new policy blocking the Homeland Security Committee from receiving information on criminal non-citizens accused of terror and assassination plots without signed privacy waivers. Pfluger and his colleagues discovered the policy when they were blocked from receiving information on the Iraqi citizen who planned an ISIS-inspired plot to assassinate former President George W. Bush and the two illegal aliens who plotted a mass shooting event at a Fourth of July fireworks show in Richmond, Virginia.

Rep. August Pfluger:I am outraged that the Secretary of Homeland Security is protecting potential terrorists inside our country illegally. If the 9/11 hijackers were caught on September 10, 2001, would we have waited for the terrorists’ sign-off to brief Congress? This Administration’s first priority should be ensuring the safety of American communities, not protecting the supposed ‘privacy’ of terrorists.”

“The attempted assassination plot of a former U.S. President by an illegal immigrant attempting to smuggle other illegal immigrants across the porous southwest border to carry out this plot could not have more of a nexus to the Homeland Security mission,” said Ranking Member Katko. “The fact that DHS would like this suspected terrorist to sign a privacy wavier before providing a briefing to a committee of jurisdiction is just a glimpse into how the Biden administration‘s DHS does business. DHS is stonewalling Congress and our ability to carry out our Constitutional oversight responsibility and that will not be tolerated.”

“It’s bad enough the Department of Homeland Security is failing to secure our nations border, but now, they are protecting terrorists and those breaking our laws and preventing Congress from carrying out our oversight duties,” said Rep. Flores. “My district residents, my colleagues, and I, demand an answer from Secretary Mayorkas.”

In the letter, the Members state: “There are clear homeland security implications when non-U.S. citizens enter our country illegally and plot violent crime or terrorist activities against Americans. We have serious concerns surrounding how these individuals entered into the United States, as well as how long they were permitted to reside in the country while planning their attacks. Let us be clear: as Members of the Committee with oversight and legislative jurisdiction of DHS, we cannot fulfill our constitutional role to the American people if we are not provided with timely information from the Department of Homeland Security relating to the actions the Department has or has not taken regarding non-U.S. citizens plotting terrorist attacks and criminal activities on American soil. Further, requiring Congress to get permission from accused terrorists and criminals, who are not U.S. citizens, as a prerequisite to receiving information on homeland security threats is both unprecedented and absurd.

Read the full letter here.