Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson said that he does not know if any of the illegal aliens that were accidentally granted U.S. citizenship were from Syria, Iran, or Libya.
The massive federal government error provided fodder for Donald Trump in his hurried closing remarks in Monday’s presidential debate against Hillary Clinton. More than 1,800 aliens set for deportation were instead accidentally naturalized. At a hearing Tuesday before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Johnson lacked knowledge about the origin of the lucky illegals.
“I’d have to check. I don’t know sitting here right now, sir,” Johnson told Sen. Ben Sasse, when asked if any of the illegals were from the special interest countries of Syria, Libya, or Iran.
“It’s a knowable fact. I can get you the information. Sitting here right now, I don’t have the list in front of me. And I don’t want to be wrong,” Johnson said. “Just sitting here right now, I cannot give you the answer to the question.”
“Not offhand. I can’t give you that breakdown offhand,” Johnson said.
“I have no basis to believe that any of them were terrorists or suspected terrorists,” Johnson said.
Johnson also admitted to Sen. Jon Tester of Montana that there are probably some “gaps of communication on the northern border” among law enforcement agents.
“It’s something that I’ve heard about. Um, and I know you have an interest in this. Frankly, I would not be surprised if there were some level of gaps in communications that should not exist,” Johnson said.
Asked if DHS is doing anything to coordinate with other agencies or local law enforcement to fill in those gaps, Johnson said, “I’d have to get back to you on that.”
Johnson also conceded that U.S. programs to stop Middle Eastern migrants from crossing the Southern border is “limited.”
“I think that’s a very legitimate concern and we are focused on it,” Johnson said on the topic of “migrants from the other hemisphere.”