(READ) Govt. mobile app gives illegals with possible terrorist ties fast track entry into US


Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is demanding the Biden administration provide a full account of the scope of its “CBP One” program, a government-run mobile application that he says has been used to parole thousands of otherwise inadmissible illegal border crossers into the US without proper vetting, including over 7,000 foreigners who should be flagged as potential national security risks.  

In a letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Grassley divulged evidence obtained through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation revealing the Biden administration allowed nearly 250,000 foreigners to evade screening and enter the US using the “CBP One” app via U.S. border land ports.

Among those illegal entrants, 7,332 are classified as “Special Interest Aliens” (SIAs) from 24 countries designated as countries of national security concern due to Islamic terrorist activities.

Grassley is requesting further information on the agencies’ vetting procedures, and demanding accountability for circumventing our nation’s immigration laws.    

“… [U]nder the Biden Administration’s DHS, it appears CBP One is being used to intentionally invite SIAs into the United States without undergoing previously required national security vetting procedures, such as contacting the National Targeting Center for records checks, enrolling SIAs into various biometric identification systems, and contacting the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Joint Terrorism Task Force for follow-on interviews,” Grassley wrote.    

“Moreover, there are serious questions about whether SIAs can even be properly vetted before entering the U.S., as background check databases may come up empty if an individual has not been arrested by U.S. law enforcement or is not known by U.S. intelligence agencies…Simply put, the Biden Administration is allowing people to enter this country without knowing who they are,” Grassley continued. 

Read the full letter and CBP’s illegal entrant documents here or below.


October 26, 2023

VIA ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION

The Honorable Alejandro Mayorkas Secretary
Department of Homeland Security

Mr. Troy A. Miller
Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Commissioner U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Mr. Patrick J. Lechleitner
Deputy Director and Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Director U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Dear Secretary Mayorkas, Mr. Miller, and Mr. Lechleitner:

I write with serious concerns about the dire situation at our nation’s Southern Border. Publicly released records from the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) obtained through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation shine a light on the extent of the Biden Administration’s abject failure to protect American citizens and this country’s national security interests.1 Specifically, CBP records from May 2021 through August 2023 reveal nearly 250,000 foreign nationalsfrom 97 countrieshave been paroled into the United States at border land ports after scheduling crossing appointments with the CBP One mobile phone app (CBP One).2 This number includes roughly 7,332 Special Interest Aliens (SIAs) from 24 countries designated as a national security concern because of their Islamic terrorist activities, including Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Lebanon, and Syria.3 These immigrants are considered inadmissible but the Biden

1 Todd Bensman, New Records Unveil Surprising Scope of Secretive ‘CBP One’ Entry Scheme, CENTER FOR IMMIGRATION STUDIES (Oct. 24, 2023) https://cis.org/Report/New-Records-Unveil-Surprising-Scope-Secretive- CBP-One-Entry-Scheme.
Id.

3 Todd Bensman, Thousands of ‘Special Interest Aliens’ Posing Potential National Security Risks Entering via CBP One App, CENTER FOR IMMIGRATION STUDIES (OCT. 24, 2023) (The Center for Immigration Studies FOIA data shows SIAs were admitted through the CBP One app into the U.S. from May 2023 through August 2023 as follow: Kyrgyzstan-3,852, Azerbaijan-244, Kazakhstan-339, Tajikistan-780, Uzbekistan-1,843, Afghanistan-154, Turkey-

Secretary Mayorkas, Mr. Miller, and Mr. Lechleitner October 26, 2023

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Administration has decided to allow them entry under humanitarian parole anyway via CBP One, in what appears to be a blatant effort to circumvent our nation’s immigration laws.

Reports have revealed the White House and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) misled the American public by advertising CBP One as a new program in January of 2023; however, newly released FOIA data shows the Biden Administration started it almost two years ago.4 The Biden Administration has emphasized the primary beneficiaries of CBP One are Venezuelans, Nicaraguans, Haitians, and Cubans, processed through humanitarian parole.5 Yet, the newly released CBP One data reveals 100,000 are from an expansive array of 93 other countries, including 24,000 Russian and over 57,000 Mexican nationals.6 This is especially puzzling since Mexican nationals are rejected from asylum into the United States at an almost 96 percent rate.7

The number of SIAs entering the United States raises obvious national security concerns, which even the Obama-Biden Administration recognized stating “SIAs may consist of those who are potential national security threats to our homeland.”8 However, under the Biden Administration’s DHS, it appears CBP One is being used to intentionally invite SIAs into the United States without undergoing previously required national security vetting procedures, such as contacting the National Targeting Center for records checks, enrolling SIAs into various biometric identification systems, and contacting the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Joint Terrorism Task Force for follow-on interviews.9 These vetting procedures are especially important because many “paroled immigrants are released on their own recognizance, signing an agreement to report to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office in the town of

39, Iran-9, Lebanon-7, Turkmenistan-29, Morocco-3, Egypt-3, Jordan-5, Thailand-1, Bangladesh-2, Iraq-4, Pakistan-7, Senegal-2, Syria-3, Sudan-1, Tunisia-2, Yemen-1, Indonesia-1, Mauritania-1) https://cis.org/Report/Thousands-Special-Interest-Aliens-Posing-Potential-National-Security-Risks-Entering-CBP- One;. Breakdown by nationality included in attachment.

4 CBPONE, supra n. 6 (CBPONE – Fact Sheet: Using CBP One to Schedule an Appointment; This program started as a pilot); Todd Bensman, New Records Unveil Surprising Scope of Secretive ‘CBP One’ Entry Schemesupra n. 1. 5 Remarks by President Biden on Border Security and Enforcement, THE WHITE HOUSE (Jan. 5, 2023) https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2023/01/05/remarks-by-president-biden-on-border- security-and-enforcement/.

6 Todd Bensman, New Records Unveil Surprising Scope of Secretive ‘CBP One’ Entry Schemesupra n. 1.
Id.
8 Jeh Johnson, Cross-Border Movement of Special Interest Aliens, DHS Memorandum (June 24, 2016) (attached as addendum to letter from Senator Grassley on Oct. 23, 2018) https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/2018- 10-23%20CEG,%20Lee%20to%20DHS,%20State%20-%20Migrant%20Caravan.pdf
9 For a discussion and list of procedures CBP agents and the national security enterprise followed, see: Testimony of Todd Bensman to the Subcommittee on Immigration Integrity, Security, and Enforcement, U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, For a Hearing Regarding: “Terrorist Entry Through the Southwest Border” (Sept. 14, 2023) https://judiciary house.gov/sites/evo-subsites/republicans-judiciary house.gov/files/evo- media-document/bensman-testimony.pdf ; Todd Bensman, Terrorist Infiltration Threat at the Southwest Border, CENTER FOR IMMIGRATION STUDIES (Aug. 13, 2018) https://cis.org/Report/Terrorist-Infiltration-Threat-Southwest- Border.

Secretary Mayorkas, Mr. Miller, and Mr. Lechleitner October 26, 2023

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their choice and apply for two-year renewable work permits.”10 Upon release, it is practically impossible to track all immigrants and ensure their compliance with parole requirements.

Moreover, there are serious questions about whether SIAs can even be properly vetted before entering the U.S., as background check databases may come up empty if an individual has not been arrested by U.S. law enforcement or is not known by U.S. intelligence agencies. These knowledge gaps are made increasingly worse in cases where countries do not share intelligence information with the U.S. or lack technical capabilities to keep track of criminals or terrorism intelligence information.11 Simply put, the Biden Administration is allowing people to enter this country without knowing who they are. Even when the Biden Administration knows and understands a person’s background, it has released a migrant on the terrorist watchlist without conducting the proper interviews.12 According to a DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) report on the matter, “CBP apprehended and subsequently released a migrant without providing information requested by the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) that would have confirmed they were a positive match with the Terrorist Watchlist.”13 When the migrants’ identity was eventually verified, ICE also faced information sharing failures when planning and conducting their arrest, which took two weeks to accomplish.14

Further, a memo dated October 20, 2023, from the CBP San Diego Field Office’s intelligence unit warns “individuals ‘inspired by, or reacting to, the current Israel-Hamas conflict may attempt travel to or from the area of hostilities in the Middle East via circuitous transit across the Southwest border’” and “foreign fighters motivated by ideology or mercenary soldiers of fortune may attempt to obfuscate travel to or from the US to or from countries in the Middle East through Mexico.”15 All of this demonstrates the Biden Administration has overseen and is responsible for the chaos at our Southern Border and the collapse of our nation’s immigration laws.16

10 Todd Bensman, New Records Unveil Surprising Scope of Secretive ‘CBP One’ Entry Schemesupra n. 1.
11 Testimony of Rodney Scott to the House Judiciary Committee (Sept. 14, 2023)., https://www.google.com/search?q=rodney+scott+9%2F14%2F23+testimony&rlz=1C1GCEA enUS1062US1062& oq=rodney+scott+9%2F14%2F23+testimony&gs lcrp=EgZjaHJvbWUyBggAEEUYOTIHCAEQIRigATIHCAIQI RigAdIBCDQwNDdqMGo0qAIAsAIA&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8.; Todd Bensman, Thousands of ‘Special Interest Aliens’ Posing Potential National Security Risks Entering via CBP One Appsupra n. 3.

12 Office of Inspector General, CBP Released a Migrant on a Terrorist Watchlist, and ICE Faced Information Sharing Challenges Planning and Conducting the Arrest (REDACTED), DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, OIG-23-31 at 8 (June 28, 2023), https://www.oig.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/assets/2023-07/OIG-23-31-Jun23- Redacted.pdf

13 Id.
14 Id.
15 Adam Shaw & Bill Melugin, CBP memo sounds alarm on Hamas, Hezbollah fighters potentially using southern border to enter US, FOX NEWS (Oct. 23, 2023), https://www foxnews.com/politics/cbp-memo-sounds-alarm-hamas- hezbollah-fighters-potentially-using-southern-border-enter-us. (The article specifically mentions Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Hezbollah).
16 Chad Wolf & Robert Law, Ending Title 42 proves Biden’s border disaster could have been avoided, FOX NEWS (May 12, 2023), https://www foxnews.com/opinion/ending-title-42-proves-bidens-border-disaster-could-have-been- avoided

Secretary Mayorkas, Mr. Miller, and Mr. Lechleitner October 26, 2023

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So that Congress may conduct objective and independent oversight of the Biden Administration’s failure to secure the Southern Border, provide documents and answers to the following questions no later than November 10, 2023.

  1. 1)  From 2021 to the present, please provide a monthly breakdown, by nationality, of SIAs paroled into the U.S. through CBP One. Provide documents that support your answer.
  2. 2)  From 2021 to the present, provide a monthly breakdown, by nationality, of SIAs apprehended after illegally crossing into the United States. Provide documents that support your answer.
  3. 3)  From 2021 to the present, please describe the Notice to Appear (NTA) process for all SIAs paroled into the United States. When responding, please include the following information:
    1. All coordination between CBP, ICE, and other government agencies, including law enforcement and the intelligence community;
    2. The timeframe between parole and the required NTA dates;
    3. How many SIAs have failed to comply with the NTA;
    4. How many SIAs who failed to comply with an NTA have been deported.
  4. 4)  Describe the vetting process for SIAs paroled through CBP One. Provide documents that support your answer.
    1. Were any SIAs subject to additional or enhanced database checks? If yes, how many? If not, why not?
    2. Were any SIAs interviewed by law enforcement and/or members of intelligence community? If yes, how many? If not, why not?
    3. Were any SIAs detained during this process? If so, how many? If not, why not?
    4. Did any SIAs have ties to criminal or terrorist organizations? If yes, how manyand which organizations?
  5. 5)  Describe the vetting process for SIAs apprehended after illegally crossing into the United States. Provide documents that support your answer.
    1. Were any SIAs subject to additional or enhanced database checks? If yes, how many? If not, why not?
    2. Were any SIAs interviewed by law enforcement and/or members of intelligence community? If yes, how many? If not, why not?
    3. Were any SIAs detained during this process? If so, how many? If not, why not?
    4. Did any SIAs have ties to criminal or terrorist organizations? If yes, how manyand which organizations?

Secretary Mayorkas, Mr. Miller, and Mr. Lechleitner October 26, 2023

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  1. 6)  From 2021 to the present, did CBP utilize any electronic monitoring or tracking devices for SIAs paroled into the U.S.? If yes, please explain. If not, why not? Provide documents that support your answer.
  2. 7)  Describe the deployment of the CBP One program, including but not limited to the following: i) all costs associated with standing up and continuing the CBP One program; ii) all policy, guidance, and similar documentation; iii) all data collected and how this data was used to inform the current CBP One program; iv) all third-party contractors involved in the development and continued use of the CBP One program.
  3. 8)  When was the CBP One program expanded to include SIAs? Explain the reasons for this decision and provide documents that support your answer.
  4. 9)  Describe the information collected for SIAs through the CBP One process. Is this information shared with other agencies, including law enforcement and the intelligence community? Provide documents that support your answer.

10) Provide the most recent list of countries designated as “special interest.”17

  1. Explain and provide the criteria used to determine whether a country is designatedas “special interest.”
  2. Since it was first issued in 2004, please explain any changes to the list, includingbut not limited to, any additions to or removal of countries from the list and the reasons for additions or removals.

11) Are CBP agents required to meet daily CBP One quotas at land ports of entry? Have CBP agents ever been instructed to contact individuals in Mexico in order to meet their daily quotas?

12) Provide a status update on actions taken to implement the three recommendations made in the DHS OIG report OIG-23-31 titled: CBP Released a Migrant on a Terrorist Watchlist, and ICE Faced Information Sharing Challenges Planning and Conducting the Arrest.18

17 David Aguilar, Arrests of Aliens from Special Interest Countries. DHS MEMORANDUM BY U.S.
CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION at 1 (Nov. 1, 2004), https://cis.org/sites/default/files/2018-
08/Aguilar memo.pdf.
18 Office of Inspector General, supra n. 11. The recommendations are as follows: Recommendation 1: We recommend that the Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection develop and implement a process to maintain updated Border Patrol email distribution lists for NTC information requests; Recommendation 2: We recommend the Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection identify and share best practices for resolving inconclusive Terrorist Watchlist matches before releasing migrants; Recommendation 3: We recommend the Director, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement develop and implement a process to ensure ICE officers have immediate access to GPS data relevant to their law enforcement operations.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Grassley Ranking Member Committee on the Budget

Enclosure: CIS FOIA Request – Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) CBP One Data

Secretary Mayorkas, Mr. Miller, and Mr. Lechleitner October 26, 2023

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3 thoughts on “(READ) Govt. mobile app gives illegals with possible terrorist ties fast track entry into US”

  1. Thanks to a Biden lazy and sloppy policy at the southern border what did you expect would happen? He washed his hands of the problem and dumped it on Harris of which she has done absolutely nothing about it. It’s not just poor Latin Americans immigrants fleeing drug wars its open to all global people who can get there. Biden and this democratic administration has been a total failure at almost everything!
    There can not be another come 2024. Time for major changes throughout, congress, senate, presidency.

    1. Harold Hall,

      No accidental, coincidental,
      or mistaken INVITATION to
      world’s search-for-a-better-
      life POOR—but planned de-
      struction of WHITE Western
      Civilization, for U.N.’s one-
      world, borderless, SOCIALIST
      government.

      Recall Patrick Buchanan’s
      call for a Southern Border
      Wall in the late 1980s—a
      visionary !

      This scribbler has been writ-
      ing of that for decades—that
      U.N. officials drive to increase
      their respective racial/ethnic
      populations in America, to, in
      effect, create a truly “brother-
      hood of Man.” Socialist/Com-
      munist “brotherhood,”
      of course !

      Blame the ineptitude and
      greed in so-called “conserv-
      ative” businessmen, who
      sent U.S. manufacturing to
      China, after admitting her to
      Most Favored Trading Status
      in 1993 ( ? ).

      President and Founder
      Thomas Jefferson said
      this about greedy
      businessmen:

      “Merchants have no country. The mere spot
      they stand on does not constitute so strong
      an attachment as that from which they draw
      their gains.”

      Blame both Libertine Liberal
      Leftists—AND politically
      “conservative” businessmen
      ( and women ) for any Death-
      of-the-West – of America ! –
      outcome.

      -Rick

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