Opinion: Drawing The Line On National Security

Finally, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has said something that has some truth to it where the deplorable issue of border security is concerned.

She was testifying before a Congressional oversight hearing on July 25 when she made the admission that from time to time terrorists have entered the United States via the U.S.-Mexican Border.

CNSNews.com broke the story initially.  Their report bore the title: Napolitano: Terrorists Enter U.S. From Mexico ‘From Time To Time’

Here is how that new report began:

(CNSNews.com) -- Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told Congress last week that terrorists intending to harm the American people enter the U.S. from Mexico “from time to time."

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At a July 25 hearing of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Ron Barber (D-Ariz.) asked Napolitano: “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?”

Napolitano answered: “With respect, there have been--and the Ababziar matter would be one I would refer to that's currently being adjudicated in the criminal courts--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.”

Napolitano stated that since she was sworn in as the head of the DHS, from "time to time" terrorists have managed to illegally enter the United States by running through the U.S.-Mexican border. Yet she has repeatedly claimed that our borders have never been more secure.

This is the equivalent of saying that a city with a high crime rate is safe during intervals between the crimes that are committed.

This, in part, is why I have come to refer to DHS as being the Department of Homeland Surrender.

If those borders are so secure, how are the huge quantities of illegal drugs able to flow freely into the United States each and every day, where they are distributed across our nation?

A country's borders are its first line of defense and its last line of defense.

The primary mission of our military is to keep our enemies as far from our shores as possible.

Many sections of our borders exist only on maps, and unknown millions -- or perhaps tens of millions -- of illegal aliens from the four corners of our planet are already living in towns and cities across our vast country. Consequently the prime mission for our military has virtually become “Mission Impossible.”

For decades, the only place where America's borders were secure was in the rhetoric of our political leaders and the high-ranking members of a succession of presidential administrations, from both political parties.

By neglecting the security of our borders, and by failing to enforce the immigration laws from within the United States, millions of illegal aliens managed to enter the United States in violation of our laws.  It is important to note that the underlying purpose of our immigration laws is to protect American lives and protect American jobs.

Prior to the Second World War, the responsibility for enforcing and administering immigration laws was vested in the United States Department of Labor.

It was understood that if large numbers of foreign workers entered the United States to ply their trades that American workers would be displaced by people who would work for substandard wages under substandard conditions.  By securing our borders and enforcing our immigration laws, America's middle class grew and with it the “American Dream.”

National security concerns caused the immigration enforcement mission to be transferred from the Labor Department to the Justice Department, which also served as the umbrella agency for the FBI, DEA, U.S. Marshal Service and other components of the federal government's criminal justice system.

Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, most of the various components of the immigration system were placed under the jurisdiction of the newly created Department of Homeland Security.

Clearly, our leaders understood that border security and the enforcement of our immigration laws have a nexus to national security.  Nevertheless, many of our leaders continue to repeat the mantra that immigration had nothing to do with the terrorist attacks of September 11.

It was more than a bit ironic that after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, President George W. Bush sent troops to Iraq, and also sent U.S. Border Patrol agents, including elements of the elite BORTAC units, to secure the Iraqi borders against the influx of insurgents and terrorists to help safeguard our troops and civilians in Iraq, while America's borders were left wide open.

From "time to time" we have heard Janet Napolitano declare that our borders have never been more secure.

On May 10, 2011, President Obama addressed a crowd in El Paso, Texas, a city that's located just north of what is arguably Mexico's most violent city, Ciudad Juarez, where he said in part:

"…We have gone above and beyond what was requested by the very Republicans who said they supported broader reform as long as we got serious about enforcement. All the stuff they asked for, we've done. But even though we've answered these concerns, I suspect there will be some who will try to move the goal posts one more time (someone in the crowd yells "racists!")."

"They said we need to triple the border patrol. Or now they’ll say we need to quadruple the border patrol. Or they’ll want a higher fence. Maybe they'll need a moat. Maybe they want alligators in the moat! They'll never be satisfied, and I understand that. That's politics. But the truth is the measures we've put in place are getting results."

That event and the President's remarks were noted in a news report posted by Fox News and included a video of that speech.  The article was entitled: "Obama: Republicans Want a 'Moat' With 'Alligators' on the Border

Time and again local residents and law enforcement officers ranging from local sheriffs to disgusted Border Patrol officers bitterly complained that the border that is supposed to separate the United States from Mexico is not secure.

Time and again reports surfaced about Korans and Muslim prayer rugs being discovered in the desert in proximity to the U.S.-Mexican border. All of those reports were rebuffed and refuted by Napolitano.  It is important to note that within the Muslim community, only those who are radical Islamists engage in terrorism.  However, anyone who circumvents the inspections process to enter the United States without detection must be seen as a potential threat to national security.

The inspections process is more than a formality.

It is a process that is supposed to prevent the entry of aliens into our country whose presence is problematic.

The categories of aliens who are supposed to be excluded from the United States are contained in Title 8, United States Code, Section 212, which is contained within the Immigration and Nationality Act.

This section of law enumerates the various categories of aliens who are statutorily ineligible to enter the United States.

Among the categories of aliens who are supposed to be kept out of the United States are aliens with dangerous communicable diseases, aliens who suffer serious mental illness and are prone to violence, aliens who are convicted felons, aliens who fugitives from justice in other countries, aliens who are human traffickers and drug smugglers, aliens who are war criminals and aliens who have committed human rights violations. Also aliens who are engaged in terrorism and espionage.

These laws make no distinction about race, religion or ethnicity.

It must therefore be presumed that aliens who circumvent the inspections process are members of one or more classes of excludible aliens.

Furthermore, records of entry are not created when aliens entering the United States evade the inspection process, thereby creating additional national security vulnerabilities.

Meanwhile, even as the administration continued claiming our borders were secure, the federal government's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) posted signs along swaths of land inside the United States warning motorists to avoid these areas, according to a news report, because of the threat of encountering armed smugglers driving at high rates of speed!

So now there was a sort of tacit admission by the head of the DHS that our borders have been penetrated by terrorists "from time to time!"

And what will the administration do to search for terrorists and criminals who manage to penetrate our not so secure borders?

Apparently not much!

President Obama created a massive amnesty program for the DREAMERS, as he has come to refer to the estimated one million plus illegal aliens who would benefit from his ill-conceived executive order as he discussed on June 15th.

It is likely that terrorists could easily game the immigration system and acquire official identity documents in false names that would immediately enable them to obtain driver's licenses, Social Security cards and other such authentic documents that would shield the terrorists and transnational criminals from detection.

The first step in problem solving is acknowledging that there is a problem. Clearly our nation faces huge problems where border security and immigration law enforcement are concerned -- problems that must be solved, not by words but meaningful deeds, and the sooner the better.