*For all press release inquiries, please reach out to Theresa Meyer (Theresa.Meyer@mail.house.gov)

WASHINGTON— This morning, the Daily Caller reported that every Minnesota House Republican had joined a letter pressing Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas on the recent capture of an Al-Shabaab terrorist in Minnesota. Representative Tom Emmer (MN-06) led Representatives Brad Finstad (MN-01), Michelle Fischbach (MN-07) and Pete Stauber (MN-08) in the inquiry.

The letter follows the outlet’s report earlier this week on an internal federal memorandum revealing that the terrorist had been living in the United States despite being assessed by the Terrorist Screening Center. The Representatives asked Secretary Mayorkas what factors led the Terrorist Screening Center to release the individual after a positive terrorist identification, what information led them to reverse their initial assessment and how the Department of Homeland Security plans to prevent other terrorists from crossing the border.

“President Biden’s border crisis has forced Minnesotans to live side-by-side with known terrorists. This isn’t rhetoric, it’s reality and it’s putting all our safety at risk,” Emmer said. “At bare minimum, Minnesotans deserve to know how and why this terrorist was allowed to live in our community.”

On January 20, an unnamed affiliate of the Somalia-based Al-Shabaab terror group was arrested in Minnesota, nearly a year after he had been initially apprehended at the southern border in San Ysidro, California. During the terrorist’s ten months in the United States, the memorandum says that he was involved in arms dealing.

“It is completely unacceptable that a terrorist with ties to Al-Shabaab was released at the southern border and allowed into our country,” said Rep. Finstad. “It is clear that the Biden Administration’s reckless, open-border policies have created a national security crisis, endangering Minnesotans and Americans in communities across the country. I am joining my colleagues in demanding answers from Secretary Mayorkas to ensure dangerous terrorists are stopped from entering our borders and keep Americans out of harm’s way.”

“It is inexcusable that an Al-Shabaab terrorist was released from custody at the border and able to live in this country for almost a year. I am so thankful to the law enforcement who finally apprehended him, but I am horrified this Administration’s policies have caused such a crisis that terrorists can embed themselves in our communities,” said Rep. Fischbach. “Reports like this are dark reminders of America's weakening national security under Biden and Secretary Mayorkas. We have a lot of work to do repairing the damage done by this Administration, and that starts with getting clear answers from the Department of Homeland Security regarding their failures.”

Rep. Stauber said, “Under the Biden Administration’s watch, terrorists are crossing our southern border and being released into the interior of our country. While I am glad that this Al-Shaabab terrorist was apprehended, I am furious that he was allowed to roam free in Minnesota in the first place. I shudder to think about the violence this dangerous individual could have committed in our communities, and I fear if this Administration’s negligence at the border continues, then it could just be a matter of time before the next major terrorist attack occurs on American soil. Border security is national security, so I am proud to join my Minnesota Republican colleagues in demanding answers from Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas on how such a massive failure was allowed to take place and what steps this Administration plans to take to prevent this from happening again.”

Since President Biden took office, nearly 10 million illegal immigrantsincluding known gotaways, have crossed into the United States. An estimated 81,000 live in Minnesota, where they are eligible to receive taxpayer-subsidized free college and insurance through MinnesotaCare.

Text of the letter is available here.

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