Homeland Security has removed the press release announcing the arrest of two Yemeni men on the terrorist watch list.
The release was posted Monday, but by Tuesday morning it was no longer available. An archived version is still available at the Internet Archive.
The deletion sparked questions on Capitol Hill.
“Why did you take down your previously public tweet & press release announcing that two people on the terror watch list were apprehended exploiting President Biden’s open border policies?” demanded the Republicans on the House Homeland Security Committee.
“Transparency in name alone is not transparency,” said the Republicans, who are led by ranking member Rep. John Katko.
Customs and Border Protection, which oversees the Border Patrol, didn’t respond to multiple inquiries.
The Border Patrol announced Monday that agents had arrested one Yemeni man last week near Calexico, California.
The 26-year-old was found to be on both the FBI’s terrorism watch list and the no-fly list.
The other man was arrested near Calexico, California, early in the morning on Jan. 29, just days after President Biden was inaugurated. That 33-year-old was also on both the watch list and the no-fly list.
Agents also said they found a cellular phone sim card concealed under the man’s shoe insole.
The revelations confirmed something Mr. Katko had said during a border trip last month, when he told reporters agents had said they were arresting terrorism suspects amid the migrant surge.
Democrats and immigrant-rights activists had mocked that suggestion.
At the White House on Tuesday, press secretary Jen Psaki acknowledged terrorism suspects do jump the border, but she said “these types of incidents are very uncommon.”
She also said the fact that the ones in question were caught is testament that Border Patrol agents are “doing their jobs.”