MANCHESTER - Today, Scott Brown sent a letter to U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen asking her not to adjourn for congressional recess without accomplishing two important goals: securing the border and passing a bill that will prevent American ISIS fighters from coming home.
In the letter, Brown raises concerns about our porous borders in light of recent terrorist threats, writing, “If anyone (including ISIS) can cross our borders at any time, with anything in their possession, then Washington has no control over our nation's security from terrorist attack.”
Brown also called on Shaheen to either re-introduce or sign onto the legislation recently proposed by U.S. Senator Ted Cruz to revoke the citizenship of the Americans currently overseas fighting ISIS. As a senator, Brown introduced similar efforts in 2010 and 2011.
Writes Brown: “I believe that it is just a matter of time before some of these U.S. passport holders or their terrorist allies from visa-waiver countries train their sights on our homeland. I am asking you to reintroduce my prior legislation that would strip U.S. citizenship from those fighting alongside ISIS and prevent them from returning to the United States by taking from them their greatest weapon – a U.S. passport.”
See text of the full letter below:
United States Senator Jeanne Shaheen
520 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator Shaheen:
Last Wednesday night, President Obama laid out his plan for defending our state and nation from the terrorist war being waged upon our citizens by the brutal extremist group calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (“ISIS”). ISIS is a group whose tactics exceed even al-Qaeda in their brutality and depravity.
It is clear that the ISIS threat is another wave of the jihadist movement that has been waging war on us for decades and continues to shed innocent blood in pursuit of their long-term vision of a worldwide caliphate. Just this weekend, they brutally murdered a third westerner in a gruesome public beheading.
>From the bombing that murdered 241 of our Marines in Beirut in 1983, to the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, to the attacks on our African embassies in 1998, and the cowardly suicide bombing of the USS Cole in 2000, and countless incidents in between, the United States has been a prime target of a global terrorist movement which wants to cause the collapse of our civilization.
Thirteen years ago, an attack on our homeland resulted in the murder of nearly 3,000 innocent Americans on 9/11. Since that day, terrorists have directly conducted or inspired attacks in every corner of the globe, from London to Bali to Madrid to Boston and beyond. While the Department of Homeland Security claims no "credible" threat to the homeland from ISIS currently exists, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has warned that the group is "sophisticated," "well-funded," and "beyond anything we have seen."
Like all Americans, I have a patriotic respect for the Office of the President in a time of war and I support the recent actions he has announced against ISIS. However, it has been disheartening to see that members of the Obama Administration have at times denied that there is a war going on at all, assigning it more politically palatable names that attempt to minimize the threats we face.
I continue to be concerned that Americans will not be safe and we will not have a sound national security policy so long as our borders are continually trespassed by people entering the country illegally. By failing to secure the borders and willfully refusing to enforce the laws that Congress passed and past presidents signed into law, the White House continues to put our neighbors here in New Hampshire and around the country at risk.
It only took 19 hijackers to unleash the devastating events of 9/11. Today, there are a number of Americans fighting alongside ISIS. I believe that it is just a matter of time before some of these U.S. passport holders or their terrorist allies from visa-waiver countries train their sights on our homeland. I am asking you to reintroduce my prior legislation that would strip U.S. citizenship from those fighting alongside ISIS and prevent them from returning to the United States by taking from them their greatest weapon – a U.S. passport. Senator Cruz recently filed a similar bill that I also recommend to you.
Logic and history show us that there can be no national security without border security. If anyone (including ISIS) can cross our borders at any time, with anything in their possession, then Washington has no control over our nation's security from terrorist attack. Neither of us know where ISIS and its allies are plotting their next terrorist attacks, but there is little in the Administration’s border policy to assure us that we are safe from these very real threats. We need to secure our borders as the first step in any immigration reform, but now it has become a national security imperative.
Before you leave Washington and come to the campaign trail, I hope that you will show leadership and take material steps to enforce the laws and secure the borders as soon as possible. There is no defensible excuse for the President and Congress to shirk their duty to enforce our immigration laws, a failure which undermines the will of the people and now puts them at risk. Liberty, the cherished bedrock of this state, is only secure when the rule of law is respected.
If you cannot ensure this basic level of government performance in defense of New Hampshire and our entire homeland, then I ask that you explain to our citizens why the current policy of porous borders and lax treatment of passport-holding terrorists makes sense in this era of heightened security concerns.
Scott P. Brown