The Washington Times has obtained a confidential report issued by the Drug Enforcement Agency that underscores the urgent need to get our souther border under control:
Islamic extremists embedded in the United States — posing as Hispanic nationals — are partnering with violent Mexican drug gangs to finance terror networks in the Middle East, according to a Drug Enforcement Administration report.
This report was written in 2005. One would think this would be the focus of any immigration reform bill, instead many of our representatives are more concerned with the illegal aliens, eliminating their "fear of arrest or deportation". Our priorities have gone haywire.
Another report was issued in the fall of 2006 titled "A Line in the Sand: Confronting the Threat at the Southwest Border". This report was prepared by the Majority Staff of the House Committee on Homeland Security Subcommittee on Investigations. Among the many disturbing findings in the report was this:
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.
The danger is real, it's documented, and it's being ignored. Even after the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill was defeated, largely because of the outcry from the American people, some in Congress are determined to put legalization on the front burner. Arlen Specter (again) is more concerned with finding "a more hospitable America" than he is in securing our borders and preventing terrorists, drug dealers and gang members from entering our country and disappearing into the shadows:
In an opinion column published Monday in The Washington Post, Mr. Specter argued that illegal aliens in the United States should be given "the company of their spouses and minor children and ... Other indicators of citizenship short of the right to vote (which was always the deal-breaker)."
Some Republicans are giving support to Specter's plan as long as felons are excluded. The problem with that is how can we be sure we have identified all the felons? Fake names and identifying papers are easily obtained by illegals. And assuming we do, somehow, identify all the felons, what about those who are here intending to do us harm but have not yet committed a crime, or at least haven't been caught? The conventional wisdom is that Americans might accept allowing the illegals to stay as long as there is no path to citizenship. In other words, no amnesty:
Rick Beltram, chairman of the Spartanburg County, S.C., Republican Party, said Mr. Specter's proposal "seems to properly deal with the issue" of amnesty for illegals.
"However, it must be clear that felons would be excluded," Mr. Beltram said."The other concern would be enforcement. The 1986 law [that penalizes employers who hire illegals] has not been enforced."
Allowing illegals to remain in the country is different than granting them citizenship, said Saulius "Saul" Anuzis, chairman of the Michigan Republican Party.
"My principal objection is giving amnesty and citizenship to someone whose first act in the United States is to break the law," he said. "I would not oppose a system to legalize them and give them a different status to work and pay taxes here ... but no citizenship."
This solution does not make Americans safer. If terrorists are in this country, and they are, the fact that they cannot become citizens is meaningless. The same holds true for drug dealers and gang members. We now have so many illegal Hispanics in this country the terrorists can blend right in with a simple name change:
Peter Brown, terrorism and security consultant, stated that the "biggest element" to the DEA report is the ease with which terrorist cells have taken on new identities.
"The ability for people to completely transform their nationalities absent of their own identities is a dangerous step in the evolution of this cross-border operation," he said. "This is a true threat."
Lending credence to Mr. Brown's concern, an El Paso, Texas, law-enforcement report documents the influx of "approximately 20 Arab persons a week utilizing the Travis County Court in Austin to change their names and driver's licenses from Arabic to Hispanic surnames."
Under the current drug-intelligence collection, analysis and reporting posture, the DEA runs the risk of failing to detect or report the entry of terrorists, weapons of mass destruction or portable conventional weapons into the United States, according to the DEA document.
At this point I could not care less if illegals are "fearful of arrest or deportation". They should be. Instead of jumping through hoops trying to figure out how to "regularize" them we should be focusing our efforts on how to identify them and get them out of this country. Then we need to revisit our immigration laws and reduce the number of legal immigrants we will allow into the US, at least until we have our current backlog under control. Legal immigration is a convoluted, time consuming process. With proper management it could be streamlined. That should be our goal.
The DEA report was written two years ago. What has our government done about it?