1,811. It was learned this week that was the number of illegal aliens who were ‘mistakenly’ granted American citizenship by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. All of these 1,811 illegal immigrants now turned American citizens were previously ordered to be deported or removed from the U.S. for various reasons, including criminal activity and because their home countries were flagged as ‘special interest countries’ or threats to the United States. This is not only unacceptable, but it’s horrifying. Your federal government, the single entity responsible for the safety of millions of American families is actually doing the opposite – putting them more at risk.

Just this past weekend, twenty-nine people were injured when a bomb exploded in New York City and nine people were victims of a stabbing at a mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Both of these attacks were ones of terror. More must be done to strengthen our national security to ensure that those who wish to do Americans harm don’t have that opportunity.

Unfortunately we see the opposite happening. While hundreds scheduled for deportation are now wrongfully granted American citizenship because of an error in fingerprint tracking, the Obama Administration continues to push forward with a plan to ship more and more terrorists from American custody back to the battlefield to commit atrocities against our brave military men and women and innocents across the globe. Simply put, the Obama White House continues to ignore the evidence that nearly one-in-three former detainees return to their jihadist activity upon their release. In an interview last December, with 653 confirmed terrorists once held in Guantanamo Bay already released, President Obama stated, “we assume that there are going to be -out of four, five, six hundred people that get released- a handful of them are going to be embittered and still engaging in anti-U.S. activities and trying to link up potentially with their old organizations.” Unfortunately the President’s rhetoric doesn’t match reality, at the time of that statement, of the 653 who had been released, it was confirmed by the Director of National Intelligence that 196 of these individuals were either confirmed or suspected of returning to terrorist activity – more than just ‘a handful’ I’d say.

Why is the President giving these individuals the opportunity to once again spread the disease of terrorism and hate back in their home countries and once again plan horrifying acts against American citizens? That is why I helped co-author and pass legislation last week to prohibit the transfer of any individual detained at Guantanamo Bay. Don’t let the statements by the Obama Administration fool you into thinking that the closing of that facility does not pose a risk to the safety of our nation. The fact is that the Obama Administration is downplaying just how dangerous those housed at Guantanamo Bay are to fulfill a campaign promise before he leaves office – once again putting politics ahead of the true interest of the American people.

It is the number one job of the federal government to provide for the defense and security of the American people. At a time when our country is under a constant threat of terrorism, we cannot give those who wish to do us harm the chance to attack innocent Americans. We must deny access to those who jeopardize our national security whether they are known terrorists housed at Guantanamo Bay or illegal immigrants who have been mistakenly granted American Citizenship. I remain committed to fighting for the safety of Missourians including physically securing our borders, thoroughly screening and vetting anyone desiring to enter our country with background checks, thwarting the release of any more terrorists back to the battlefield and providing our military men and women with the resources they need to get the job done.. despite the Obama Administration’s attempts to do otherwise.

Jason Smith represents Missouri’s 8th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives. Contact him at 573-335-0101 or visit

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