Opinion » Columnists

An invasion we can no longer ignore

While some aspiring political candidates advocate a more “sensitive” war on terror, hordes of invaders are breaching our sovereign borders.  
This is far more serious than a failure to prevent criminal acts. As I reported in a DefenseWatch article on July 23 (“Breaking Silence Over a Possible Terror Threat”), federal officials warn that the U.S.-Mexican border in recent weeks has become a primary route of illegal entry by significant numbers of Arab-speaking males, presumably potential terrorists.   

If the only remaining global superpower cannot enforce and effectively seal its own national borders, it remains vulnerable to more terrorist attacks like 9/11. 

In an unfolding development, federal officials on Aug. 18 issued a border-wide alert for agents to be on the lookout for suspected al Qaeda member Adnan G. El Shukrijumah, who has been wanted on a 2003 federal material witness warrant. He is one of seven al Qaeda suspects Attorney General John Ashcroft publicly identified in June. 

U.S. investigators said this week they believe El Shukrijumah, whose last supposed whereabouts was in Honduras, may try to cross the border into Arizona or Texas. 

You would think that the federal government would go to General Quarters on the long-ignored security threat posed by our porous borders with Mexico and Canada. And you would be wrong.

Given this extremely troubling situation, what was the response by senior Homeland Security officials? Well, last week Homeland Defense Secretary Tom Ridge and his upper management ordered DHS agents and employees to greet foreign passengers with “a smile” and say, “Welcome to the United States!” 

Our Homeland Defense troops have also been ordered to attend a weeklong course in etiquette. If they fail to make the cut for failing to be polite enough, they might find themselves unemployed. Border Patrol Agents or Customs Officers getting the bum’s rush for not being polite to the human flotsam that is continually breaching our international borders is totally idiotic.  

Nor is this an isolated instance of political correctness trumping badly needed security upgrades. 

Yet another instructive memo from DHS leaders has surfaced. This one is titled, “Exercise of Discretion.” This memo advises all Customs/Border Patrol (CBP) agents to think twice about detaining aliens or refusing them entry into the United States if it may cause them “undue hardship.”  

Such idiocy is particularly egregious at a time when not only is the terrorist threat high, but illegals are intensifying their assaults and brazen attempts on the lives of our first line of defense (see “Border Patrol: Assaults on Agents Intensify,” the Tuscon Citizen, Aug. 9, 2004). 

In numerous incidences, CPB agents report that they are the victims of a dramatic increase in violence involving assaults by illegals using everything from rocks and vehicles against them. This assertion has been confirmed by Tucson Border Patrol spokesman Andy Adame, who specified that over the past year the degree of violence is significantly higher than past years.  

Smugglers and invaders have been ramming Border Patrol vehicles with cars and other vehicles. They are actually chasing down our agents who are guarding our borders, in vehicles or on foot, hell-bent on killing them. The weapon of choice of these illegal invaders is often a “softball-sized” rock. I guess this is a lesser evil given the absence of fully automatic weapons in illegals’ hands.  

The ever-present dangers existing along the U.S. border with Mexico generate news reports on a daily basis. For example, The Arizona Daily Star on Aug. 13 reported the apprehension of Roberto Ruiz Rodriquez, age 34, and Ramon Cordova Frederico, age 43.   

These two convicted murderers were strolling together east of Nogales, Ariz. They had served 12- and 15- year prison sentences in the United States, respectively, before being deported back to Mexico. The pair had just slipped back into our country via Arizona’s southern sieve when they were caught.   

Three days earlier, the newspaper had revealed that a Border Patrol Agent had to open fire on a vehicle containing illegal aliens that was trying to run him over. The vehicle was one of two that had just invaded the United States from Mexico around midnight on Aug. 8, near the border town of Douglas, Ariz. In that same issue, the newspaper reported yet another illegal invader had been found dead – on a children’s playfield within Fort Huachuca, the U.S. Army base. 

Translation: In spite of all the identity checks, the restricted lanes of travel on to Fort Huachuca, no matter how many guards staff the checkpoints and no matter how many military policemen or Department of Defense police officers patrol the Army’s Intelligence School and installation, illegal aliens have the run of the post just like they do the entire Southwestern United States.  

Do you need more? According to the Tucson Border Patrol office, on Wednesday, Aug. 4, a twelve-vehicle convoy was intercepted on the Tohono O’odham Indian Nation south of Tucson, just off Interstate 19. This rag-tag pilgrimage included a total of 165 illegal invaders who were rolled up by the Border Patrol and sent packing back to Mexico.   

The unrelenting disclosure of such incidents is, at an absolute minimum, troubling. The statistics of the illegal invasion are truly shocking. 

The Department of Homeland Security reports that since October 2003, a total of 418,146 illegal aliens have been apprehended in the United States. That is nearly 2Ѕ times as many as the 181,446 illegals arrested during the previous 12-month period.  

In my own locality, Cochise County, Ariz., the numbers are equally distressing: Border Patrol officials say the number of illegal invaders taken into custody in my county, just since October 2003, reflects an increase of 61,851 which is a 47 percent boom over the previous period. 

But hold on to your stacking swivel: Last month alone, the Border Patrol’s Tuscon sector nabbed 38,898 illegal aliens, of whom 19,433 were in Cochise County. 

Recent arrests of suspected al Qaeda members in Pakistan and Great Britain confirm that the terrorist network is still plotting to carry out devastating attacks on the American homeland. It is imperative that the federal government take whatever steps are necessary and pay whatever costs are involved to close the border, secure our sovereignty, and protect Americans everywhere from the invasion of illegals and the terrorists that are likely hiding in their midst.  

J. David Galland,
Deputy Editor of DefenseWatch

DEFENSEWATCH02@yahoo.com

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