Biden admin scrambles to close loophole that allowed migrant on terror watchlist to go free

The Biden administration is looking to close a loophole in immigration proceedings that helped allow a man on the terrorist watchlist to roam free in the U.S. for over a year.A memo penned by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas earlier this month overrides a 2004 directive that made it more difficult for officials prosecuting immigration cases to share classified information, according to a report from NBC News.The change comes after an NBC News report from April that detailed the story of 48-year-old Mohammad Kharwin, an Afghan migrant who was on the terrorist watchlist but released on bond by an immigration judge in Texas.AFGHAN MAN ON TERROR WATCHLIST APPREHENDED BY ICEKharwin, who the FBI’s terror watchlist indicated is a member of Hezb-e-Islami, an organization designated as a terrorist group by the U.S., was initially caught crossing the border in 2023 but was released from custody because Border Patrol agents did not have biometric information tying him to the terrorist watchlist.He was able to live in the U.S. for over a year before being arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) earlier this year, but he was released once again after ICE prosecutors withheld evidence Kharwin was on the terror watchlist because the information was classified. Instead, prosecutors attempted to argue that the Afghan national was a flight risk, the report notes.Kharwin was scheduled to appear in court for an asylum hearing in 2025, officials told NBC News, but he was arrested again in San Antonio shortly after the publishing of the NBC News report.BIDEN ADMIN REFUSES TO REVEAL TERROR WATCHLIST NATIONALITIES AS ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION EXPLODES ON HIS WATCHThe 2004 policy that was recently overridden by Mayorkas allowed classified information to be used in immigration proceedings “as a last resort,” with prosecutors attempting to present a deportation case having to gain approval from the Department of Homeland Security secretary in order to share such information.Under the new policy, employees of agencies such as ICE or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will only have to go to the head of their individual agency to gain approval to share classified information, while DHS officials told NBC News that the administration is considering steps that would allow for more employees to obtain security clearances.”Over the last five years, we have seen a significant shift in the way transnational criminal organizations are becoming increasingly involved in the movement of people in our hemisphere, most concerningly people from the Eastern hemisphere,” a DHS official told NBC News. “We have seen the terrorist threat landscape become much more complex over the last few years than it was right after 9/11.”Neither DHS nor the White House immediately responded to a Fox News Digital request for comment.
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