Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials were stumped when asked by a congressional subcommittee to provide data on high-level threats that have slipped through the U.S. border.
Rep. Lamar Smith (R., Texas) asked DHS officials whether they had a percentage or exact figures on how many people labeled as potential risks have slipped through visa screenings.
The officials could not supply an accurate number to the subcommittee.
“I’m talking about people that are security risks. Surely you know that number,” Smith said. “I mean, we are talking about the safety of the American people here.”
The witnesses offered to submit data to the House Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security on how they are deporting high-risk targets.
The exchange came as DHS announced that it will ramp up its overseas screening operations as a method of heading off attacks at home on Tuesday. The agency said it will add nine new pre-screening stations in 10 different countries. The officials said the agency has cargo screening stations in 60 ports in 32 countries.
Rep. Filemon Vela (D., Texas) also asked the DHS officials about the current state of relations with Mexico, citing specific examples of drug related violence from his home state.
“Just this past weekend, I had neighbors come up to me talking about how there were gun battles five miles from their house,” Vela said. “I was wondering if you could give us an idea, on the diplomatic front, what is going on with Mexico City to address this situation?”
Full article: DHS Has No Idea How Many ‘Security Risks’ Slipped Past Border (Washington Free Beacon)