The Department of Homeland Security has definitively said that “the suggestion that individuals who have ties to ISIL have been apprehended at the Southwest border is categorically false, and not supported by any credible intelligence or the facts on the ground,” but it’s election season, which means that GOP candidates are fear-mongering without proof anyway.
There’s Rick Perry, who said he had “no clear evidence” that ISIS agents were crossing the border yet expressed an “obvious, great concern that — because of the condition of the border from the standpoint of it not being secure and us not knowing who is penetrating across — that individuals from ISIS or other terrorist states could be.” And Marco Rubio, who answered, “sure, potentially” when asked if ISIS crossing was a possibility.
Some GOP Congressmen have gone even further. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) told Fox News he knew of “at least ten ISIS fighters have been caught coming across the border in Texas.” Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) have also raised the specter of imminent ISIS crossings.
But where’s the proof? Various media outlets, including the Huffington Post and Vox Media have attempted to get in touch with Congressional offices in order to follow up on their sources. Rep. Hunter’s office told the Huffington Post only that Hunter had a “high level source” within DHS, while the other two wouldn’t even comment.
One claim from Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) claiming to have seen information detailing “four individuals trying to cross through the Texas border who were apprehended at two different stations that do have ties to known terrorists organizations in the Middle East” has in fact been substantiated — but the individuals he refers to are not affiliated with ISIS, belong to the Kurdish Worker’s Party which in fact actively opposes ISIS, and reportedly will be deported.