Politics & Policy

Report: San Bernardino Shooter Passed DHS Counterterrorism Vetting

Crime scene in San Bernardino, Calif., December 3, 2015. (Joe Raedle/Getty)

Senator Ted Cruz (R., Texas) and Senator Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.) want President Obama to release the immigration records of the San Bernardino shooters, arguing they should play a key role in the coming debate over funding the Syrian refugee resettlement& program.

Their request comes as CBS reports that one of the shooting suspects passed the Department of Homeland Security’s “counterterrorism screening as part of her vetting” for a visa. Federal officials maintain that they have a rigorous and effective screening process in place for people from countries such as Syria that have significant jihadist movements, making the immigration records of the San Bernardino shooters a potentially significant piece of the debate over refugee policy.

“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,” Cruz and Sessions wrote to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

The letter reiterates the lawmakers’ longstanding request for the immigration records of twelve other terror suspects, which the Obama administration has failed to release even as the debate over the Syrian refugee crisis has heated up.

“Congress is days away from consideration of an omnibus year-end funding bill that would set the U.S. on an autopilot path to approve green cards, asylum, and refugee status to approximately 170,000 migrants from Muslim countries during the next year,” Cruz and Sessions wrote. “The security task involved is immense, and Congress must have the requested information if lawmakers are to act as responsible stewards of American immigration policy.”

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