Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera accused Matt Drudge’s website of “the worst kind of jingoistic rhetoric ever” for carrying news stories about the dangers of illegal immigration. He said Drudge “is doing his best to stir up a civil war. I mean, shame on Matt Drudge.” Republican Rep. Todd Rokita and his Indiana delegation have been criticized for suggesting the possibility that Latin American children pouring across our southern border are carrying deadly diseases. Some of them have already been discovered to be carrying lice and suffering from disease. We’ve yet to find out what kind of communicable diseases they could spread to American children when schools across the country are forced to admit them.
Unfortunately, many people approach our recent southern border problem as a “humanitarian crisis” and hint that congressmen who want to make securing our border our No. 1 priority are, as President Barack Obama says, “mean.” Others who argue for border security run the risk of being dismissed as racists. The Democrats are hoping that painting the Republicans as mean racists will help them with the Latino vote in November.
Securing our border is not only an immigration issue but, more importantly, a national security issue. International terrorists know that our southern border is insecure. They can simply fly to a Latin American country and then sneak across the border with deadly germ or chemical warfare weapons and dirty bombs, which could be planted anywhere.
According to Breitbart, “a leaked intelligence analysis from the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reveals the exact numbers of illegal immigrants entering and attempting to enter the U.S. from more than 75 different countries.” It reports that 28 “individuals from Pakistan were caught attempting to sneak into the U.S. this year alone, with another 211 individuals either turning themselves in or being caught at official ports of entry.” Texas Gov. Rick Perry says that the number of apprehended illegal aliens who come from countries with “substantial terrorist ties” is at a record high, countries such as Yemen, Somalia and Saudi Arabia. On top of this, individuals from nations currently suffering from the world’s largest Ebola outbreak have been caught attempting to sneak into the U.S.
Deroy Murdock’s article titled “The Southern Border: Our Welcome Mat for Terrorists,” for National Review Online (April 25, 2013), reports that “Somalia’s Ahmed Muhammed Dhakane told authorities in 2011 that he earned up to $75,000 per day smuggling East Africans into America. His clients included three al-Shabaab terrorists. As the House report states: ‘Dhakane cautioned that each of these individuals is ready to die for their cause and would fight against the United States if the jihad moved from overseas to the U.S. mainland.'” Many Syrians and Iranians have been caught making illegal entry. Both Syria and Iran are supporters of Hezbollah, have chemical weapons and materials for dirty bombs, and hate “the Great Satan.”
Murdock makes reference to the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency study titled “A Line in the Sand: Countering Crime, Violence and Terror at the Southwest Border.” It explained that between September 2001 and September 2012, there were 59 homegrown violent jihadi plots within the United States. The study said that the more violent threat to Americans is the ability of Islamist terrorist organizations, resulting from their growing presence in the Western Hemisphere, to exploit our porous southwestern border and enter the United States undetected.
Here are some questions that should be of concern to every American: Can the U.S. Customs and Border Protection assure Americans that it has arrested every terrorist attempting to make illegal entry to our country? Can it assure us that there are no terrorist cells operating in our country and awaiting word from our enemies to attack us? There’s another question that’s just as important: If there is a terrorist attack through our southern border, will Americans allow President Obama, congressional Democrats, the news media, and progressives and liberals to deny that their weak border security policy was responsible?
Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University.