Skip to comments.Mexican Diplomat Charged With Helping Smuggle Arabs Into U.S.
Posted on 12/31/2003 10:26:01 AM PST by VU4G10
The real life horror story that began eighteen months ago when an Arab illegal alien named Youseff Balaghi showed up at a San Diego hospital, dying from what the Border Patrol initiallyand erroneouslyfeared was radiation sickness, has now reached high into Mexico's foreign service.
On Sept. 11, 2001, Imelda Ortiz Abdala was Mexico's consul in Lebanon. On Nov. 12, 2003, Mexican authorities arrested her, according to the Associated Press, "on charges of helping a smuggling ring move Arab migrants into the United States from Mexico." The AP said Mexico had also arrested "alleged ring leader Salim Boughader Mucharafille." Boughader earlier pleaded guilty in the U.S. to the smuggling incident that resulted in Balaghi's death.
Unfortunately, this story is not over.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Skerlos prosecuted Boughader. This week, citing Ortiz's arrest, I asked him if there were other rings still bringing Middle Easterners in from Mexico.
"Yes," he said.
Far from Iraq, there's another front where the terror war's not over. It's on our own borderand, here, the key enemies are the smugglers who bring people such as Balaghi into California, and who collaborate with allegedly corrupt officials such as Ortiz.
In congressional testimony in 2002, then-Assistant Immigration and Naturalization Service Commissioner Joseph Greene said: "Information available to the INS indicates terrorist organizations often use human smuggling operations to move around the globe." According to a Library of Congress study, "Organized Crime and Terrorist Activity in Mexico, 1999-2002," former Mexican national security adviser Adolfo Aguilar Zinser said in May 2001: "Spanish and Islamic terrorist groups are using Mexico as a refuge."
How is the U.S. countering the threat of terrorists using human smuggling operations and finding refuge in Mexico? Rather than securing our border generally, the government tolerates large-scale illegal immigration, while trying to selectively stop the smuggling operations most likely to move terrorists. The administration, Greene told Congress, has put in place an "enforcement initiative aimed at targeting alien smuggling organizations specializing in the movement of U.S.-bound aliens from countries that are of interest to the national security of the United States."
Balaghi was from Lebanon.
On June 5, 2002, he showed up, vomiting blood, at Scripps Memorial Hospital-Chula Vista. He quickly died. When the Border Patrol heard his symptoms, they feared radiation sicknessand dispatched an agent with a detector to check his remains.
Balaghi was clean. But he was far from the only Middle Easterner Boughader's ring had smuggled.
In an affidavit, Border Patrol Agent John R. Korkin said an investigation "positively identified at least 80 Lebanese nationals that have been, or were intercepted in the process of being, smuggled into the U.S." by the ring. Boughader admitted in court to smuggling more than 100. He was sentenced to one year in prison, and deported to Mexico in November.
Almost immediately, Mexican authorities arrested him in their own anti-smuggling case. A few days later, they arrested Ortiz.
She had worked in Mexico's foreign service for 25 years. From 1998 to October 2001, AP reported, she was Mexico's consul in Lebanon. She later directed the consular office in Mexico City.
She was fired in May, AP said, "after 150 Mexican passports were stolen and two others were found to have been issued irregularly."
Jose Santiago Vasconcelos, Mexico's assistant attorney general, told Notimex that Boughader's ring moved "a great number of Arabs" into the United States. El Occidental, a Mexican newspaper, said it was "at least 200."
I asked Skerlos to compare that number to the "at least 80 Lebanese nationals" cited in Korkin's affidavit "I think it is fair to say that the numbers we included in our affidavit were conservative," he said.
Almost a month after Ortiz was arrested, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said: "The bottom line is, as a country we have to come to grips with the presence of 8 to 12 million illegals, afford them some kind of legal status some way, but also as a country decide what our immigration policy is and then enforce it."
No, Mr. Secretary. We already have immigration laws. It's your duty to enforce them. If the arrest of a Mexican diplomat for helping to smuggle Arabs into the U.S. can't convince you of the need for that, what will?
And all those currently legal will then be illegal.
In related news, "black" has now been declared to be "white", and "up" is now officially known as "down". "Evil" is now "good", and vice versa. Likewise, the terms "sweet" and "bitter" will be interchanged.
Props to anybody who spots the reference.
We already decided as a country to have borders, a border patrol, and a legal process for those who wish to cross our borders.
How about: The bottom line is, as a country we have to come to grips with the presence of 8 to 12 million crack dealers, afford them some kind of legal status some way, but also as a country decide what our illegal drug policy is and then enforce it." , or perhaps
The bottom line is, as a country we have to come to grips with the presence of 8 to 12 million terrorists, afford them some kind of legal status some way, but also as a country decide what our anti-terrorism policy is and then enforce it."
Can one of you GWB/Karl Rove enthralled illegal immigration appologists here in Freeperland please tell me how this administation can consistently ignore enforcement of immigration laws? Despite the risks presented.
What happened to "the rule of law" that was so frequently cited when refering to the previous administration? Has the rule of law been suspended?
It is becoming clear that our national leaders believe they have the right to pick and choose which laws are enforced and which are not. What hypocrisy!!!
If you disagree with what I said in my post, then why don't you actually contribute to the discussion by offering something substantial, such as a defense for the seemingly indefensible actions (or inaction) of this administration?.
I mentioned Karl Rove because it is my understanding that he is the primary architect of GWB election and re-election strategy. Unfortunately that strategy seems to include selling out this country in a blatant pandering to illegal immigratation supporters and other Hispanic interests.
This IS an important issue, and it takes a real whackjob to even suggest that I, and others who are just as concerned, just shut up and take it.
If you disagree with my views on immigration, or my views on the mishandling of this issue, make your case.
If you have no problem with the total disregard of our immigration laws, then say it. I DO have a problem with the way it is being handled, and so do plenty of others here at Free Republic.
From this post, we read: Balaghi was from Lebanon. On June 5, 2002, he showed up, vomiting blood, at Scripps Memorial Hospital-Chula Vista. He quickly died.
And from this post earlier today we read about an illegal in Cochise County, AZ: "He said his brother started throwing up blood, and apparently the group left them behind, but one member of the group stopped by a rancher's home and asked for help," said Capas.
Or is it that these third world illegals are more often just plain sick...?