A report titled A Line in the Sand: Confronting the Threat at the Southwest Border has been released by the Majority Staff of the House Committee on Homeland Security Subcommittee on Investigations, Michael T. McCaul, Chairman. The report is exhaustive, it covers problems ranging from the drug cartels that control the border to the role Venezuela is playing in helping potential terrorists enter the U.S., and everything in between. This is a very disturbing report. Much of what is in it has been reported on before but having it produced in one document by the Homeland Security Subcommittee is important. If what is contained in the report does not get the attention of the President and Congress, nothing will. You can access the report here.
The Texas-Mexico border region has been experiencing an alarming rise in the level of criminal cartel activity, including drug and human smuggling...
During 2005, Border Patrol apprehended approximately 1.2 million illegal aliens; of those 165,000 were from countries other than Mexico. Of the non-Mexican aliens, approximately 650 were from special interest countries. Special interest countries are those "designated by the intelligence community as countries that could export individuals that could bring harm to our country in the way of terrorism."
The triple threat of drug smuggling, illegal and unknown crossers, and rising violence are the reality facing communities.
The report cites many examples of the violence committed by illegals, including members of the drug cartels and gangs members, including MS13. More excerpts:
In addition to the criminal activities and violence of the cartels on our Southwest border, there is an ever-present threat of terrorist infiltration over the Southwest border....
U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigations have revealed that aliens were smuggled from the Middle East to staging areas in Central and South America, before being smuggled illegally into the United States.
Members of Hesbollah have already entered the United States across the Southwest Border.
U.S. military and intelligence officials believe that Venezuela is emerging as a potential hub of terrorism in the Western Hemisphere. The Venezuelan government is issuing identity documents that could subsequently be used to obtain a U.S. visa and enter the country.
From The Washington Times:
Having made several trips to Iran, Mr. Chavez has declared solidarity with the country's hard-line mullahs and has entertained Iranian officials in Caracas as he seeks to build an anti-U.S. axis that also includes Fidel Castro's Cuba.
Mr. Chavez has endorsed Tehran's nuclear ambitions, and voiced support for the terror insurgency in Iraq.
"I am on the offensive," Mr. Chavez said on the Arab-language Al Jazeera television network, according to a British Broadcasting Corp. translation, "because attack is the best form of defense. We are waging an offensive battle."
"On the offensive." Chavez comes across as a nutjob, anyone who would cozy up to Cindy Sheehan has to have a screw loose somewhere, but he must be taken seriously, especially since he has the ability to help terrorists enter the U.S. I hope the Bush administration reads these words from the Homeland Security report:
A U.S. intelligence official expressed concern that "Counterterrorism issues are not being aggressively pursued in this hemisphere." Another intelligence official stated terror suspects held at Guantanamo Bay are not being interrogated about connections to Latin America. The bottom line, when it comes to terrorism so close to U.S. shores, says the official, "We don't even know what we don't know."