Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah.) grilled Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson over his department's failure to deport four members of a terrorist organization who were captured crossing illegally into the U.S.
During a Tuesday hearing, Chaffetz recalled that Johnson had previously promised four men nabbed crossing the Southern border in early September would be deported. The individuals were thought to have ties to the Kurdistan Workers' Party, an organization designated as a terrorist group by the State Department.
"Did you deport them?" the Utah representative asked Johnson.
"Uh, no. Not at this point," Johnson answered.
"What is the disposition of those four people," Chaffetz pressed.
"Two are detained, the two others were released by the judge — uh, not my preference — they were released by the judge and they fled to Canada and they are seeking asylum in Canada," the homeland secretary responded, before placing blame on an immigration judge for releasing two of the four men.
Chaffetz then asked if the U.S. was aware of the location in Canada the two fled to.
"I'm not sure about their exact whereabouts, sir," Johnson answered, later adding that he wanted the two brought back to the U.S.
"Mr. Secretary, this is the problem," Chaffetz said. "You come, and you say — you tell the world that you're going to deport these four people tied to — these are terrorists and you don't. They get released."
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