One aspect of the so-called immigration debate that goes virtually unmentioned in America is, perhaps, the single greatest reason to strengthen border security. Though our nation must commit to halting illegal immigration as a function of strengthening our economy and reinstating the rule of law in America, securing the border is important to seal the U.S. off from the invasion of terrorists who see our porous borders as welcoming opportunities to gain access to the U.S. without undergoing scrutiny from customs officials.
According to a letter sent by Rep. Duncan Hunter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) several dozen Pakistani and Afghan men have recently been apprehended near San Diego as they entered the country from Tijuana, Mexico. Of these several dozen, two have verified ties to terrorist organizations.
Muhammad Azeem and Muktar Ahmad were both apprehended crossing into the country with U.S. cash.
Unfortunately, Azeem and Ahmad may just be the tip of the iceberg as customs officials have noticed a steep climb in the number of Arabs being apprehended in transit.
“We have detained more Pakistanis and Afghans in the first month of this fiscal year than we did all last year,” Border Patrol Assistant Chief Richard Smith stated last November.
Since then, 3 more Afghans and 6 more Pakistanis have been caught. Though there appears to be a decline in the number of captures, officials claim that they believe that Arabs are now making a stronger effort to avoid detection. Prior to November, a common procedure for many non-Mexican nationals illegally entering the U.S. was to promptly surrender to Border Patrol who would then give the immigrants a date to appear in immigration court and release the invaders on their own recognizance. With scrutiny enhancing for non-Mexican entrants, such as Arabs, officials believe that immigrating Arabs are taking more caution to avoid detection.
With our Southern border remaining remarkably porous and our nation maintaining a “catch-and-release” policy of illegal immigration enforcement, it seems clear that as we continue to encounter occasional Arabs crossing into the U.S., there are many more that are successfully entering the U.S. at a time when terrorist groups around the world remain committed to carrying out jihad on U.S. soil.
While only a handful of Arabs have been identified as having ties to terrorism, officials caution that that does not mean that the others have been free from such affiliations.
Stratfor vice president of intelligence Fred Burton highlighted,
“The challenge of getting these individuals is getting who they actually are confirmed — proving identity is difficult in that environment. Afghanistan and Pakistan do not have a robust identification system — these are places where there is tremendous potential for official document and visa fraud.”
So, to summarize: we have dozens of Arabs sneaking into the country via Mexico and we have no reliable way to ascertain who these people are or why they are coming here. Instead of detaining them, the policy up until recently has been to accept their backstory and release them into the U.S. population with the hopes that they will voluntarily appear in court.
Meanwhile, the Obama Administration assures Americans that not only is it our moral obligation to accept 10,000 Syrians into the country, but that they can properly vet these refugees.