Skip to comments.Napolitano : People tied to Terrorism Could ‘Potentially’ Enter USA, Thousands Already Have
Posted on 03/02/2010 6:58:24 AM PST by IbJensen
(CNSNews.com) Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told senators it is a national security concern that people from countries with ties to terrorism could 'potentially' gain entry into the United States by crossing the countrys southern border.
But according to the Department of Homeland Securitys own reports, thousands of people from 14 special interest countries already have come into the United States illegally, including some across the U.S.-Mexico border. (The State Department designates some nations as "special interest" counties because of their links to terrorism.)
Napolitano testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Thursday. Her remarks on special interest persons came after Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) asked her about the ongoing violence in Mexico and the possibility of that violence spilling over into the United States.
So, if the drug cartels succeeded, then it would be a matter of time before the violence would spill over onto our side of the border, McCain said. Not to mention the free, basically free, access they would have to bring drugs, as well as humans, into our country.
We havent seen spillover violence in that sense yet, Napolitano said. It is a risk. The ability to traffic in drugs cause their own damage to lives in the United States.
Our ability to curtail that would be affected, she said. On the human trafficking side, its not solely illegal immigrants coming to work, but the ability of people from countries of special interest to immigrate into Central America and be ferried up to the border and over into the United States is also a concern.
McCain responded: Countries of special interest people could come up through our southern border?
Potentially, yes, Napolitano said.
The State Department lists four special interest countries as sponsors of terror Cuba, Sudan, Syria and Iran. The other 10 countries of interest are: Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen.
A prototype of a tower for a virtual fence along the U.S.-Mexico border at a test facility in Playas, N.M. (AP Photo/U.S. Customs and Border Protection) According to the DHSs 2008 Yearbook of Immigration Studies, from the Office of Immigration Statistics, a total of 791,568 people where detained by federal law enforcement agencies in fiscal year 2008 5,506 of those people were from those 14 special interest countries.
The report states that those individuals were detained at the borders of the United States, in the interior of the country and at designated sites outside of the United States. It does not disclose those details for each individual, however.
The specific numbers of individuals by country are labeled in the yearbook at the chapter, Deportable Aliens Located by Region and Country of Nationality: Fiscal Year 2008.
Afghanistan 29 Algeria 41 Cuba 3,896 Iran 98 Iraq 118 Lebanon 188 Liberia 98 Libya 11 Nigeria 299 Pakistan 494 Saudi Arabia 71 Somalia 66 Sudan 46 Syria 71 Yemen -- 78
In accordance with federal law, any individual arrested by U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) are then turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which is responsible for detention and deportation.
Aside from the number of individuals and their country of origin, the DHS does not release any further information about the individuals, including whether they were found to have links with terrorist groups. CNSNews.com is seeking further information about illegal aliens in U.S. custody from 2007 to 2009 from the 14 countries of special interest, through the Freedom of Information Act.
According to an August 2009 report on checkpoints and border security by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), 530 illegal aliens from countries of special interest were encountered at CBP checkpoints in fiscal year 2008.
The report states:
Checkpoints also help screen for individuals who may have ties to terrorism. CBP reported that in fiscal year 2008, there were three individuals encountered by the Border Patrol at southwest border checkpoints who were identified as persons linked to terrorism.
In addition, the Border Patrol reported that in fiscal year 2008 checkpoints encountered 530 aliens from special interest countries, which are countries the Department of State has determined to represent a potential terrorist threat to the United States.
While people from these countries may not have any ties to illegal or terrorist activities, Border Patrol agents detain aliens from special interest countries if they are in the United States illegally and Border Patrol agents report these encounters to the local Sector Intelligence Agent, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Joint Terrorism Task Force, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Investigations, and the CBP National Targeting Center.
For example, according to a Border Patrol official in the El Paso sector, a checkpoint stopped a vehicle and questioned its three Iranian occupants, determining that one of those occupants was in the United States illegally. The individual was detained and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further questioning.
As reported earlier by CNSNews.com, the federal government, including DHS, have extensive information about the drug and human trafficking over the U.S. border with Mexico.
The entire U.S.-Mexico border is 1,954 miles long, according to the International Boundary and Water Commission. While 697 of those miles are now under effective control, according to the Border Patrol, 1,257 miles are not under effective control.
Each year, the Justice Departments National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) produces drug market analyses for each of 32 regions of the country that the NDIC describes as high intensity drug trafficking areas. Five of these areas sit along the U.S.-Mexico border. These include the California border region, Arizona, New Mexico, West Texas and South Texas.
The latest reports, released in March and April of 2009, use candid language in portraying the U.S.-Mexican frontier as wide open to drug smuggling and even vulnerable to penetration by potential terrorists.
The California-Mexico border, the NDIC said, was easily breached on both foot and in vehicles.
The vast border area presents innumerable remote crossing points that traffickers exploit to smuggle illicit drugs, primarily marijuana, into the country from Mexico, said the NDIC. These areas are easily breached by traffickers on foot, in private vehicles, or in all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) as they smuggle drugs between POEs [ports of entry], particularly the mountainous areas in eastern San Diego County and the desert and sand dune areas in Imperial County.
Arizonas border was judged to be open not only to drug smugglers but also aliens with extensive criminal records and from special interest countries, which are defined as countries that could export individuals who could bring harm to the United States through terrorism.
Some criminal organizations smuggle aliens and gang members into the United States, said NDICs report on Arizona. These particular individuals typically have extensive criminal records and pose a threat, not only to the Arizona HIDTA [High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area] region but also to communities throughout the United States. Alien smuggling organizations reportedly also smuggle aliens from countries other than Mexico, including special-interest countries.
Special-interest countries are those designated by the intelligence community as countries that could export individuals who could bring harm to the United States through terrorism, said the NDIC report.
She speaks of the people getting into this country BUT she doesn't do anything about it. In fact she relaxes the laws on illegal entry into this country. We have more than 5000 people from special countries. We have millions I would classify as terrorists that come from our southern borders. With all the falsified papers and documents,you don't really know who these people are. They broke the laws getting in and they keep breaking laws while here. And on top of all that they collect social benefits that are really not entitled to them. Again falsified papers. AND McCAIN is or would be just as BAD! He wants to give them amnesty. Seems our enemies to this country today are right there in Washington!
Incompetano is a good fit with Obummer's other assorted criminals and imbeciles.
If they got in the country, it would be completely “unexpected”.
The fact that the borders aren't militarized in a time of war is unreal.
She’s saying the system works?
Also the issue that caused me to lose most all respect for W and Rove, their reckless pandering to Latinos while ignoring all the negatives, and undercutting any effort to make the southern border more secure until their seventh or eighth year in office.
Many politicians on both sides have been reckless and irresponsible on this issue in hopes of securing some political advantage.
We shouldn’t worry about foreign terrorists,
it’s those domestic right wingers (Christians, Patriots, ex-military guys, etc) that we REALLY need to watch.
excuse me but did she use the word terrorism? I thought they were man making disasterers.
Apparently she believes is she STATES that this is or could be a problem, then she has performed the job she has paid for.
“See this blowtorch? I am using it as a tool to burn your hands off.”
Uhhh..yeah, OK..! Good thing you let me know, cuz for a short time there I was concerned...
Things have transformed from, “Is Janet able to perform this job” to, “Is there any person WORSE for Janet’s job than Janet..?”
But we NEED open borders because there are all these jobs lying around that Americans just refuse to do.
illegal immigration, welfare state, massive taxation, foreign wars without end, socialized health care, war on drugs without end, war on poverty without end, government services
“Guns and butter” all seem to have big government as a common factor.
Indeed. As I'm ex-military, Christian, conservative, believe the federal government has long since sprinted past the boundaries of the 10th Amendment and against abortion I'm a bit surprised they haven't swooped down on me already.
“The fact that the borders aren’t militarized in a time of war is unreal. “
Oh it is quite real.
Thank you Jorge
Thank you McCain
Thank you Obama
One time a radio show host hired a Mariachi band and an elephant, and succeeded in crossing the border from Mexico into the US.
Janet is pretty amazing —first she worked for years, transforming Arizona into an infiltration/invasion expressway, all they while battling the one sheriff there who did understand his job.
THEN, ascending to her lofty new federal perch she coolly, detachedly informs us that the terrorists may already be here —and washes her hands of the matter
MUST BE FIRED. SHOULD HAVE BEEN FIRED A YEAR AGO.
I believe the progressive rule of thumb is, if it's muslims perpetrating an attack on Americans it's a man made disaster...if it's conservatives, Christians, veterans and the like who are being peaceful it is potential terrorists. It's all predicated upon who you might offend.
If the government were really serious about protecting Americans, it would realize it can’t stop every malicious act that someone may want to commit.
Then it would repeal every unconstitutional gun law on the books. (That would be every one of them. The second amendment says “shall not be infringed.”) Then they would recommend everyone go buy whatever weapons they could afford and be armed at all times.
The Japanese didn’t consider invading the US because they knew the civilian population was well armed.
It’s too bad that these days the biggest threat to our peace and prosperity is our federal government.
“Its too bad that these days the biggest threat to our peace and prosperity is our federal government.”
By FAR the biggest threat!
“So, if the drug cartels succeeded, then it would be a matter of time before the violence would spill over onto our side of the border, McCain said. Not to mention the free, basically free, access they would have to bring drugs, as well as humans, into our country.”
PLEASE Arizona! Get rid of this clueless idiot! Phoenix is the #2 kidnapping capitol of the world, because of Mexico and because of fools like McCain.
Where was he YEARS ago when even Rumsfeld tried to warn us!
Pushing amnesty, that’s where!
DOBBS: Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is warning of the threat of terrorists entering this country through the same routes as those used by illegal aliens. Secretary Rumsfeld, traveling in South America, warned that enemies look for weaknesses and take advantage of them.
DONALD RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: The risk is that some of these human-smuggling routes into our country from this hemisphere could be used just as easily for terrorists.
DOBBS: And three million illegal aliens are estimated to be entering this country this year.
Secretary Rumsfeld also said the United States has to be, as he put it, smarter and quicker in securing our borders. The federal governments failure to secure those borders is leading individual states to take action. Arizonas Proposition 200, which limits state benefits for illegals, passed overwhelmingly two weeks ago. Now at least half a dozen other states are considering similar measures.