Chairman Goodlatte: I was troubled to learn that the State Department has never designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization.

Since the Muslim Brotherhood formed in Egypt in 1928, it has sought to foster the establishment of a global Islamic state and jihadism in Muslims around the world.  The Brotherhood’s strategic goal “in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

The Brotherhood and its leaders and affiliates, such as Hamas, have supported Islamist terrorism — directly, through fundraising, and through exhortation.  Each of these activities constitutes an act of terrorism under the Immigration and Nationality Act.  Under the Act, the Secretary of State has the power to designate groups as foreign terrorist organizations.  Such groups must be foreign organizations that engage in terrorist activity or retain the capability and intent to engage in terrorist activity which threatens the security of Americans or the national security of the United States.

The effect of such designation is fourfold.  First, it is true that aliens are subject to grounds of inadmissibility and deportability for ties to all terrorist organizations — whether or not the groups have been designated by the Secretary of State.  However, following designation, this Administration would actually have to deny admittance to aliens tied to the Muslim Brotherhood rather than continue to proclaim to the world that the Brotherhood is a moderate and secular organization.

Second, the grounds of inadmissibility and deportability are more expansive for aliens with ties to designated terrorist organizations.  In addition, the Administration can’t waive the terrorism grounds of inadmissibility with respect to aliens who are members or representatives of designated terrorist organizations or have received military training from such organizations.

Third, persons who provide material support to designated terrorist organizations are subject to federal criminal penalties.

Fourth, the Secretary of the Treasury may require U.S. financial institutions possessing or controlling any assets of designated organizations to block all financial transactions involving those assets.

H.R. 3892 simply asks the State Department to do what it should have done long ago — recognize the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization that threatens the United States – and, if not, explain why not.

I commend Mr. Diaz-Balart for introducing this legislation. It is the right thing to do. And designation will make it less likely that the Muslim Brotherhood will be able to further infiltrate the United States.

I urge my colleagues to support this bill.  I should also note that I will be offering an amendment in the nature of a substitute that I will describe during its consideration.

For more on today’s markup, click here.