Washington, DC – Ranking Member Lamar Smith (R-TX) issued the following statement today after the arrest of naturalized citizen Faisal Shahzad for his terror plot to detonate a bomb in Times Square.
“The arrest of naturalized citizen Faisal Shahzad for his terror plot to detonate a bomb in Times Square is an example of why we must reject proposals to give amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.
“It appears that even the background checks conducted prior to naturalization did not identify Shahzad as a national security risk. If we cannot detect a potential terrorist who submits himself to our security process, how can we expect to identify other potential terrorists or criminals who have been hiding behind their illegal status?
“The fact is that a massive amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants has the potential to legalize many individuals with ties to terrorism and give them cover for their activities.
“History should be our guide. In the past, terrorist threats against America have been primarily by persons who came to the United States from abroad. We cannot afford to ignore this reality.
“Every aspect of our immigration system has been used by foreign terrorists to gain a safe haven in the United States. A massive amnesty would not only fail to address this problem, it would overburden the system with millions of more individuals whose identities cannot be known or, as a practical matter, checked.
“In the interest of the security of all Americans, we must reject proposals to grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.”