Lawmakers Want to Know Why Biden Made it Easier for Terrorists to Enter the U.S.

A formal probe has been launched by congressional Republicans into the Biden administration’s decision to change federal law giving terrorists easier access to the United States.

House Armed Services Committee member Jim Banks (R., Ind.) leads the probe, which comes soon after a Washington Free Beacon report detailing how the Biden administration altered federal law to allow immigrants that give “insufficient material support” to terrorist organizations to be granted “immigration benefits or other status” in the US.

The State Department argues that the amendments to the law were to make it easier for vulnerable Afghans who have worked with terrorist groups to find safety in the US. However, many U.S. officials, in speaking with Washington Free Beacon, feel the law is far too generic as it could also apply to individuals who are directly linked to al Qaeda or Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

“These loose and overly broad definitions will open the floodgates for supporters of terrorism to enter the United States,” Banks and three Republican colleagues wrote in a letter to the White House, according to the Washington Free Beacon. “Such a general waiver, if implemented, would create additional difficulty in immigration vetting process, have catastrophic consequences on border security and put American families at increased risk from terrorism.”

Lawmakers Banks and Reps. Claudia Tenney (R., N.Y.), Greg Steube (R., Fla.), and Rob Wittman (R., Va.) are requesting the administration to provide Congress with details about if this rule change was approved as a concession to Iran with the purpose of enticing the country into inking a revamped version of the 2015 nuclear accord.

“This order was also released just weeks before negotiations with Iran over restoring the nuclear deal recommenced,” they write. “Your administration may be trying to entice Iran back to the nuclear deal by using broad executive authorities to weaken the penalties connected to the [foreign terrorist organization] designation without requiring the IRGC and other Iran-supported terrorist organizations to verifiably cease their terrorist activities.”

The State Department and Department of Homeland Security worked together to implement the rule change, which is supposedly “an effort to address issues related to Afghanistan. The circumstances between Afghanistan and Iran are very different.”

The rule appears to cover all U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organizations with no specific mentions to Afghanistan. Additionally, the Taliban is not designated as a foreign terrorist organization, adding more confusion.

The Federal Register published a copy of the rule, which provides examples of individuals who would fall into the new category: those who provided “humanitarian assistance” or “routine commercial transactions” to designated terror groups.

“Exercising broad executive authorities to weaken the legal force of foreign terrorist organization designations is bound to increase risks to U.S. national security,” the lawmakers assert.

Lawmakers want to know the justification of these changes and how it could possibly support “the national interest to allow any supporters of terrorism into the United States.”

Additionally, lawmakers are curious about how many individuals have and will qualify for the immigration benefits under this new rule change.

“If, as the State Department spokesperson commented, this order is intended to benefit Afghan Special Immigration Visa applicants and holders, why is this group not explicitly mentioned?” the lawmakers questioned.

“Does your administration intend to issue any immigration related waivers for IRGC and its affiliates? If, as State Department spokesperson commented, this order is not intended to benefit the IRGC and its affiliates, why are IRGC and its affiliates not explicitly excluded from this order?”

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