U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), along with a group of Republican senators, sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas demanding answers after individuals with suspected ties to ISIS were apprehended at the southern border, underwent vetting, and were then released into the United States. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement recently arrested these individuals after one was reportedly caught on a wiretap talking about bombs.

“We write to express our grave concerns regarding reports of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrests of eight individuals from Tajikistan suspected to have terror ties to ISIS who crossed the southern border to enter the U.S. last year and this year,” the senators wrote.

“Moreover, there are skyrocketing U.S. Border Patrol encounters of aliens on the terrorist watchlist as well as a record number of Chinese national encounters at the southern border during the Biden administration. In fiscal years 2017 to 2020 combined, 11 noncitizens on the terrorist watchlist were caught attempting to enter via the Southern border between ports of entry. That number increased to 15 in FY 2021, 98 in FY 2022, 169 in FY 2023, and 80 in FY 2024 as of May 15,” the senators continued.

In addition to Senators Young and Budd, Senators Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), John Thune (R-S.D.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), JD Vance (R-Ohio), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W. Va.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.), and Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.) also joined the letter.

Full text of the letter is available here.