search
Sections List
American Journal News

Congressional Democrats ask DHS for update on investigation into extremism in department

A March 2022 internal investigation by the Department of Homeland Security found problems in its process for identifying and dealing with members of extremist groups within its ranks.

By Matt Cohen - July 19, 2023
Share
Alejandro Mayorkas
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas testifies during the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Comittee hearing on the President's proposed budget request for fiscal year 2024 for the Department of Homeland Security in the Senate Dirksen Office Building on Tuesday, April 18, 2023. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)


On Monday, Democratic Reps. Dan Goldman and Robert Garcia and Democratic Sen. Ed Markey sent a letter, co-signed by 63 other Democratic members of Congress, to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas requesting an update on what his department is doing to root out extremism within its ranks.

The letter comes more than a year after leaked data from the far-right extremist group the Oath Keepers revealed that more than 300 of its members claimed to be current or former DHS employees. The leak sparked an internal investigation conducted by senior DHS officials to evaluate how effectively the department can prevent, detect, and respond to potential threats from domestic extremists within its own ranks.

The report states that “the Department has significant gaps that have impeded its ability to comprehensively prevent, detect, and respond to potential threats related to domestic violent extremism within DHS.”

To help address these issues, the group of officials who worked on the report came up with 15 recommendations for the department to help address and prevent internal threats from domestic extremists. Among the top recommendations were for the department to define what a “domestic violent extremist” is, come up with a list of behavioral indicators to identify someone who might be part of an extremist group, and educate DHS employees about the threat that domestic extremists pose to the department’s mission.

The members of Congress who signed the letter said they are eager to hear how the department has implemented these recommendations, especially as the threat of extremism — particularly from right-wing groups — is on the rise. The letter asks Mayorkas to provide Congress with an update on the steps that DHS has taken to “weed out extremists within your ranks” and how many of the 15 actions recommended in the March 2022 report have been implemented thus far.

In January 2023, Markey, along with Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker, sent a letter to Mayorkas, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection acting Commissioner Troy Miller expressing serious concern about the rise of far-right paramilitary and vigilante groups patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border. The senators highlighted that one of the groups, Patriots for America, seemed to have a working relationship with law enforcement, including Customs and Border Protection agents.

A report from January from the technology sector watchdog group the Tech Transparency Group reported on illegal citizen militia groups along the U.S.-Mexico border recruiting members and spreading immigration conspiracy theories on Facebook.

In a statement, Rep. Garcia noted: “Far-right militia groups operating on our Southern border pose a significant threat to our national security. The Department of Homeland Security needs to come forward and explain their protocol for dealing with these extremist groups.”

The ongoing investigation into the deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, revealed that members of the Oath Keepers were among those responsible for planning and executing that attack. Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes was found guilty in May and sentenced to 18 years in prison on charges of seditious conspiracy. In total, 29 members of the extremist group were charged with crimes related to the attack, and at least 15 have been found guilty.

“In the wake of the January 6th attack on the Capitol we have uncovered existential threats facing our most sensitive federal agencies and departments,” Goldman said in the statement. “The knowledge that the Department of Homeland Security has potentially been infiltrated by violent domestic extremism is an issue of utmost urgency. Members of the Oath Keepers have planned and attempted to violently overthrow the government and these individuals have no place in our federal agencies, especially not in our Department of Homeland Security.”

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


Read More
‘We need something that works’: Activists call for more resources for gun violence prevention

‘We need something that works’: Activists call for more resources for gun violence prevention

By Lucy Valeski, Michigan Advance - June 07, 2024
‘Democracy begins with each of us,’ Biden says at site of D-Day invasion in Normandy

‘Democracy begins with each of us,’ Biden says at site of D-Day invasion in Normandy

By Jennifer Shutt, States Newsroom - June 07, 2024
Nessel, House LGBTQ+ Caucus warn that Trump and GOP endanger hard-fought rights 

Nessel, House LGBTQ+ Caucus warn that Trump and GOP endanger hard-fought rights 

By Jon King, Michigan Advance - June 06, 2024
Virginia U.S. Senate candidate Hung Cao says workplace diversity is ‘Marxism’

Virginia U.S. Senate candidate Hung Cao says workplace diversity is ‘Marxism’

By Jesse Valentine - June 06, 2024
All 6 Republicans in Colorado’s 4th District primary deny the science of climate change

All 6 Republicans in Colorado’s 4th District primary deny the science of climate change

By Chase Woodruff, Colorado Newsline - May 30, 2024
Republicans deceive voters about Jon Tester’s immigration stance

Republicans deceive voters about Jon Tester’s immigration stance

By Jesse Valentine - May 28, 2024
AJ News
Latest
Ted Cruz leverages Trump conviction on podcast for own personal gain

Ted Cruz leverages Trump conviction on podcast for own personal gain

By Jesse Valentine - June 11, 2024
Arizona Republican Kari Lake proposes massive cuts to Medicaid and Medicare

Arizona Republican Kari Lake proposes massive cuts to Medicaid and Medicare

By Jesse Valentine - June 10, 2024
Virginia U.S. Senate candidate Hung Cao says workplace diversity is ‘Marxism’

Virginia U.S. Senate candidate Hung Cao says workplace diversity is ‘Marxism’

By Jesse Valentine - June 06, 2024
Republican Bernie Moreno’s rags-to-riches story exposed as a lie

Republican Bernie Moreno’s rags-to-riches story exposed as a lie

By Jesse Valentine - May 24, 2024
What happens to clinics after a state bans abortion? They fight to survive.

What happens to clinics after a state bans abortion? They fight to survive.

By Chabeli Carrazana and Shefali Luthra - May 22, 2024
Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte took job at Caterpillar after tax fraud probe

Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte took job at Caterpillar after tax fraud probe

By Jesse Valentine - May 21, 2024
Alabama OB-GYN residencies dropped over 20% after Dobbs, state abortion ban, says analysis

Alabama OB-GYN residencies dropped over 20% after Dobbs, state abortion ban, says analysis

By Alander Rocha, Alabama Reflector - May 21, 2024
House GOP celebrates National Police Week while pushing to defund local law enforcement

House GOP celebrates National Police Week while pushing to defund local law enforcement

By Jesse Valentine - May 16, 2024
Evolution denier Mark Robinson could reshape North Carolina’s education system

Evolution denier Mark Robinson could reshape North Carolina’s education system

By Jesse Valentine - May 16, 2024
Republican Jay Ashcroft backs anti-abortion clinics that push lies and disinformation

Republican Jay Ashcroft backs anti-abortion clinics that push lies and disinformation

By Jesse Valentine - May 14, 2024
Republican Sam Brown’s assault on teacher unions could backfire

Republican Sam Brown’s assault on teacher unions could backfire

By Jesse Valentine - May 09, 2024
Florida abortion ban puts GOP Rep. Anna Paulina Luna’s anti-choice views in spotlight

Florida abortion ban puts GOP Rep. Anna Paulina Luna’s anti-choice views in spotlight

By Jesse Valentine - May 07, 2024
Trump leaves door open to banning medication abortion nationwide

Trump leaves door open to banning medication abortion nationwide

By Jennifer Shutt, States Newsroom - April 30, 2024
Republican Caroleene Dobson wants Alabama abortion ban to go nationwide

Republican Caroleene Dobson wants Alabama abortion ban to go nationwide

By Jesse Valentine - April 30, 2024
Ohio Gov. DeWine said he didn’t know of millions in FirstEnergy support. Is it plausible?

Ohio Gov. DeWine said he didn’t know of millions in FirstEnergy support. Is it plausible?

By Marty Schladen, Ohio Capital Journal - April 29, 2024
GOP Rep. Zach Nunn suggests laws against hate crime aren’t needed

GOP Rep. Zach Nunn suggests laws against hate crime aren’t needed

By Jesse Valentine - April 15, 2024
GOP Senate candidate Hung Cao blames racial equity for Baltimore bridge tragedy

GOP Senate candidate Hung Cao blames racial equity for Baltimore bridge tragedy

By Jesse Valentine - March 29, 2024
GOP Rep. Jennifer Kiggans donates thousands to far-right extremists

GOP Rep. Jennifer Kiggans donates thousands to far-right extremists

By Jesse Valentine - March 08, 2024
Ohio senate candidate Bernie Moreno: “Absolute pro-life no exceptions.”

Ohio senate candidate Bernie Moreno: “Absolute pro-life no exceptions.”

By Jesse Valentine - March 07, 2024
Anti-China Republicans pocket thousands from Chinese owned conglomerate

Anti-China Republicans pocket thousands from Chinese owned conglomerate

By Jesse Valentine - March 04, 2024
Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

By Jesse Valentine - February 26, 2024
Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

By Jesse Valentine - February 09, 2024
Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

By Annmarie Timmins, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 31, 2024
UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

By Ashley Murray, States Newsroom - January 24, 2024
Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

By Jesse Valentine - January 17, 2024
A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

By Bonnie Fuller - January 10, 2024
Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - January 08, 2024
How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

By Jesse Valentine - January 05, 2024
NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

By Ethan DeWitt, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 04, 2024
Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

By Jesse Valentine - December 22, 2023
Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

By - December 15, 2023
Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

By Jesse Valentine - December 08, 2023
Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

By Jesse Valentine - December 07, 2023
Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

By Anna Liz Nichols, Michigan Advance - December 06, 2023
105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

By Jesse Valentine - December 05, 2023
For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - December 04, 2023
Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - November 30, 2023
Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

By Jesse Valentine - November 06, 2023
Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

By Jesse Valentine - November 03, 2023
Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

By Adam Ganucheau, Mississippi Today - October 24, 2023
Judge strikes down Florida gender-affirming care restrictions for minors and adults

Judge strikes down Florida gender-affirming care restrictions for minors and adults

By Orion Rummler, Louisiana Illuminator - June 12, 2024
‘We need something that works’: Activists call for more resources for gun violence prevention

‘We need something that works’: Activists call for more resources for gun violence prevention

By Lucy Valeski, Michigan Advance - June 07, 2024
‘Democracy begins with each of us,’ Biden says at site of D-Day invasion in Normandy

‘Democracy begins with each of us,’ Biden says at site of D-Day invasion in Normandy

By Jennifer Shutt, States Newsroom - June 07, 2024
Nessel, House LGBTQ+ Caucus warn that Trump and GOP endanger hard-fought rights 

Nessel, House LGBTQ+ Caucus warn that Trump and GOP endanger hard-fought rights 

By Jon King, Michigan Advance - June 06, 2024