Venezuela is not sending its best. A leaked Department of Homeland Security (DHS) intelligence report warns that Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro is emptying its prisons and sending criminals to the border. Border Patrol agents are being warned to be on the lookout for violent criminals illegally entering the country. Congressional Republicans want DHS Secretary Mayorkas to release the report.
Several informants confirmed that many of the Venezuelan migrants crossing the southern border are convicts. They include those convicted of rape, murder, and extortion. Identifying Venezuelans with criminal records is almost impossible because of a lack of effective diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Venezuela. According to Breitbart News, the intelligence report warned that prisoners released by Maduro were seen within migrant caravans traveling to the U.S. from Mexico as recently as July.
Republican lawmakers are requesting a headcount of how many Venezuelan prisoners have been encountered or are expected to enter the U.S. And they want to know the precautions DHS is taking to prevent them from crossing the border. The letter sent to Mayorkas from the House Republicans said they want access to the criminal databases and copies of field intelligence reports from the last six months.
“We write you with serious concern about a recent U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) intelligence report received by Border Patrol that instructs agents to look for violent criminals from Venezuela among the migrant caravans heading towards the U.S.-Mexico border,” the letter by 14 House Republicans, led by Rep. Troy Nehls, R-Texas.
“As a result of the Biden administration’s disastrous border policies, it is unknown how many of the violent Venezuelan prisoners have been released into the interior of the U.S., as identifying Venezuelans with criminal records is nearly impossible unless the individual admits their records to U.S. authorities,” the lawmakers say in the letter, obtained by Fox News Digital. “This will undoubtedly put our country in grave danger.”
“This bombshell report confirms what we’ve known for years. Our adversaries despise what America stands for and take pride in emptying their prisons filled with the most violent and sick individuals to walk the earth and send them to our southern border, where they know they’ll have no trouble getting in.,” Nehls said in a statement. “Our overworked Border Patrol agents can only do so much when President Biden gives everyone a no strings attached invitation into this country.”
There has been an increase in Venezuelan migrants in recent months. The letter notes that there have been more than 130,000 encounters with Venezuelans between October 2021 and July 2022. There were 55,333 unique encounters from Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua in August. That number is a 175% increase over last year.
Rep. August Pfluger (R-TX), ranking member of the House Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism, also wrote to Mayorkas with his concerns from the report. He pointed to the 78 migrants encountered this fiscal year by Border Patrol agents whose names appear on the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Database. He puts the blame on the Biden administration’s policies of “encouraging Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) and Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) to take advantage of our vulnerable southern border.”
Pfluger asks for data on matches of Venezuelan migrants and names on the terror watchlist. He also questions why DHS didn’t bring this information to the attention of the House Homeland Security Committee before a leaked intelligence report surfaced last week. Pfluger wants a briefing by Mayorkas and an answer as to what action DHS, the State Department, and the intelligence community are taking to handle this threat.
As an example of a failing of national intelligence, Pfluger cited the release of a Colombian national in April into the U.S., only for him to be flagged on the terror watch list after he was released. It took him authorities two weeks to rearrest him.
“This gap in security and intelligence underscores the lack of visibility the Department of Homeland Security likely has into how many individuals present within the TSDS have been permitted to enter the country under the Biden administration’s watch,” Pfluger wrote in the letter obtained by Fox News Digital
“The number of Venezuelan migrants encountered by [CBP] has increased nearly 3,000 percent from fiscal year 2020 to fiscal year 2022,” he said. “Given the reports of the deliberate, nefarious actions of the illegitimate Maduro regime, it is more important than ever that CBP has the tools and capabilities in place to identify foreign violent criminals, affiliates of FTOs, and affiliates of TCOs.”
What is it going to take for the Biden border crisis to be taken seriously by this administration? The numbers of migrants whose names appear on terrorist watchlists is growing. It doesn’t take too many to work together to pull off some nefarious actions. Biden’s open border is not just a humanitarian crisis, it is a national security risk. The alarm should have been sounded months ago. As usual, Team Biden is asleep at the wheel.
Mayorkas needs to release the intelligence report to the pertinent Congressional committee and address how DHS will act on it moving forward.