In a letter dated Thursday, Republican Sens. Jeff Sessions of Alabama and Ted Cruz of Texas demanded that Obama administration officials release immigration records of of the San Bernardino shooters, arguing that they would be germane to the debate on funding the Syrian refugee program.
Although San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook was a U.S.-born citizen, CBS News reported that his Saudi-born wife, Tashfeen Malik, was vetted by Department of Homeland Security counterterrorism screening.
NEW: Shooting suspect Tashfeen Malik passed DHS counterterrorism screening as part of her vetting for K-1 visa, @margbrennan reports.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) December 3, 2015
“In our struggle against terrorism, we are dealing with an enemy that has shown it is not only capable of bypassing U.S. screening, but of recruiting and radicalizing Muslim migrants after their entry to the United States,” the senators said in their letter.
“The recruitment of terrorists in the U.S. is not limited to adult migrants, but to their young children and to their U.S.-born children, which is why family immigration history is necessary to understand the nature of the threat.”
The senators’ letter was delivered to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
“We are dealing with an enemy that has shown it is not only capable of bypassing U.S. screening, but of recruiting and radicalizing Muslim migrants after their entry to the United States,”
They also indicated that the administration has so far failed to comply with their request of nearly four months ago for immigration information on 72 other individuals in the United States having ties to terrorist activities.
“A response is not only long overdue, but urgent in light of a series of assaults, including: the heinous attacks in San Bernardino, Calif., the earlier attacks on the military recruiting center in Chattanooga and the Boston bombing,” the senators said.
Sessions and Cruz reminded the administration that “Congress is days away from consideration of an omnibus year-end funding bill” that would “include funding for myriad immigration programs that have allowed for these events to occur.”