Napolitano: Terrorists Enter America ‘From Time to Time’
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano should be grateful that the last two weeks of news have been dominated by stories of activist attacks on the Chick-fil-A franchise, the Olympics, Mitt Romney’s trip abroad, and a stalled economy. It allowed one of the more outrageous statements ever made by the woman tasked with maintaining a substantial portion of America’s national security to go largely unnoticed. Yet what she said was chilling: at a July 25 hearing of the House Homeland Security Committee, Napolitano admitted that suspected terrorists enter the U.S. from Mexico “from time to time.”
Rep. Ron Barber (D-AZ) asked the revealing question. “As you know, Madam Secretary, there have been anecdotal reports about material evidence of the presence of terrorists along our southern border. My question is, is there any credible evidence that these reports are accurate and that terrorists are, in fact, crossing our southern border with the intent to do harm to the American people?”
“With respect, there have been…from time to time, and we are constantly working against different and evolving threats involving various terrorist groups and various ways they may seek to enter the country,” she answered.
To put it bluntly, Napolitano is lying. A thoroughly alarming 2010 Judicial Watch Report revealed the U.S Border Patrol “has captured thousands of people who have been classified as OTM (Other Than Mexican) along the 2,000-mile southern border and many are from terrorist nations like Yemen, Iran, Sudan, Somalia and Afghanistan. The feds call them SIAs (Special Interest Aliens) and the government doesn’t want Americans to know about them.” The report further noted that the “Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) revealed that Islamic terrorists and violent Mexican drug gangs have teamed up to successfully penetrate the U.S. as well as finance terror networks in the Middle East.”
Napolitano remains willfully oblivious: “What I can tell you, however, is that that southern border–the U.S.-Mexico border–is heavily, heavily staffed at record amounts of manpower, materiel, infrastructure and the like, and we are constantly making sure we’re doing all we can to make that border as safe as possible,” she contended.
The key word here is “border.” Two weeks before her congressional appearance, the Obama administration announced it was closing nine Border Patrol stations across four states. The six affected stations in Texas are located in Lubbock, Amarillo, Dallas, San Angelo, Abilene and San Antonio. The other three are in Billings, Montana, Twin Falls, Idaho, and Riverside, California. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) claims it is closing the stations in order to reassign agents to high-priority areas closer to the border. “These deactivations are consistent with the strategic goal of securing America’s borders, and our objective of increasing and sustaining the certainty of arrest of those trying to enter our country illegally,” said CBP spokesman Bill Brooks in a statement. “By redeploying and reallocating resources at or near the border, CBP will maximize the effectiveness of its enforcement mandate and align our investments with our mission.”
The agents on the ground weren’t buying it. “It could impact us tremendously since we’ve only got two agents up here now for 26 counties,” Potter County, TX Sheriff Brian Thomas told FoxNews.com. ”I can’t hold a carload of people out there on I-40 for eight hours while somebody comes from El Paso. I mean, that’s just crazy,” he added. The targeted station in Amarillo, TX is right in the middle of the Interstate-40 corridor, which is a major pathway for illegals. Robert Green, the Border Patrol’s resident agent in charge in Amarillo, echoed that concern. “As a former deputy I found myself on the other end of the radio hoping to contact USBP to assist me with a vehicle full of undocumented foreign nationals on the side of the road.”
A letter sent by several members of Congress to Border Patrol Chief Michael Fisher asked him to reconsider the plan, further noting that the Amarillo and Lubbock stations alone accounted for 638 apprehensions of illegal immigrants just this year. Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) voiced his own concerns as well. “The Department of Homeland Security hasn’t demonstrated that sending additional resources to the border will be a more efficient use of resources than maintaining a presence further north,” he said. “I’d like to see numbers that reassure me that this strategy change won’t ultimately result in fewer arrests.”
Bob Dane, communications director with the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), cut to the chase. “It’s part of the systematic dismantling of both border and interior enforcement,” he said. “It complements the non-enforcement policy of this administration.”
That policy is nothing more than an executive order issued by the president, effectively instituting the DREAM Act he couldn’t get though Congress. Illegal aliens who entered the country under the age of 16 and those who are now less than 30 years of age will not be deported, and will receive works visas as well–provided they meet certain criteria.
Or so the public has been told. Two days after Napolitano’s appearance before Congress, Chris Crane, president of the union representing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers, hammered the administration, saying the policy is forcing immigration officials to ignore the law, and allowing illegals to exploit the system. “Prosecutorial discretion for dreamers is solely based on the individual’s claims,” said Crane at a press conference. “Our orders are if an alien says they went to high school, then let them go. Officers have been told that there is no burden for the alien to prove anything…At this point we don’t even know why DHS has criteria at all, as there is no requirement or burden to prove anything on the part of the alien.” George McCubbin, president of the National Border Patrol Council union confirmed Crane’s allegation, contending that the DHS has made it impossible for agents to do their jobs.
ICE defended its operations with a tiresomely familiar refrain: the agency is only funded to remove roughly 400,000 people a year. Thus, it has to “prioritize” deportations, with those accused of serious criminal offenses going to the top of the list. “Because the agency encounters more removable aliens than it is able to process, the agency prioritizes its resources on aliens whose removal have the greatest impact on public safety and the integrity of the immigration system,” spokeswoman Gillian Christensen said in a statement.
Yet one is left to wonder what ICE’s threshold for “greatest impact on public safety” truly is. Last Friday, Todd Starnes of Fox News revealed that an ICE agent is facing a three-day suspension for arresting a 35-year-old illegal immigrant from Mexico who had as many as 10 traffic violations. The agent was told that the arrestee was not a “priority target.” The officer balked, but was forced to let the alien go, or face the suspension. Adding insult to injury, a spokesperson for the Newark, Delaware Police Dept., the jurisdiction in which the alien was apprehended, told Fox News an American citizen stopped under the same circumstances would have been jailed.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) is demanding answers from ICE. “Federal law enforcement should certainly not be giving illegal aliens more preferential treatment than is afforded American citizens,” Sessions wrote. “Your agency’s apparent treatment of the criminal alien sends the troubling message that the demands of public safety are trumped by the desire for reduced deportations of those deemed ‘not presidential priorities.’”
ICE officers union president Crane, who is acting on the threatened agent’s behalf, again fired both barrels at the Obama administration. “They’re willing to take away (an agent’s) retirement, their job, (sic) their ability to support their families in favor of someone who is here illegally and violating our laws,” Crane told Fox News. “Right now (the Obama administration) is standing in the way of us enforcing the law by either taking a disciplinary action, threats of disciplinary action, or refusing to sign off on charging documents to put an illegal alien into immigration proceedings so a judge can sort it out.”
All of the above represents a pattern of duplicity and calculated indifference that should infuriate Americans. The essence of what drives millions of people to our country, namely that we are a nation of laws, not a nation of men, is being deliberately subverted by a president and a Democratic Party desperate to add to their political base–by any means necessary. Furthermore, why should anyone believe the seemingly coordinated media claims that the most odious part of this agenda, an illegally implemented DREAM Act, affects “only” 800,000 people? As the border agent representatives themselves revealed, there is no reliable criteria for determining a person’s eligibility.
Furthermore, the 2010 U.S. Census criteria for counting the total number of illegal aliens in America is meaningless. “To encourage undocumented immigrants to respond to the census the Census Bureau uses TV, radio and billboard messages, and enlists the help of community organizations to let people know that responding to the census won’t get them in trouble,” said Mark Mather, Associate Vice President of the Population Reference Bureau back in 2010, when the last Census was undertaken.
For an Obama administration determined to ram de facto amnesty down the throats of the American public, “getting in trouble” is rapidly becoming a largely meaningless term as well. If such laxity results in another domestic terror attack, every proponent of this agenda should be held fully accountable.
Arnold Ahlert is a former NY Post op-ed columnist currently contributing to JewishWorldReview.com, HumanEvents.com and CanadaFreePress.com. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.