Illegal Immigration is National Security Issue
by Rowan Scarborough


The Obama Administration is scolding Arizona on its new illegal alien law, but critics say it is refusing to take the necessary steps—such as increase deportation—to stop the human flow over the U.S. Southwest border that is quickly becoming a national security crisis.

Protecting the 1,980-mile Mexico-U.S. line is not just a jobs issue, as some liberal pundits would have the country believe.

It threatens American security, as well-armed Mexican drug cartels spread their war from South of the border into Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California, and as international terrorists look for avenues to enter the country to kill Americans.

Yet, when local leaders ask for troops and more border agents, the White House responds with lectures on intolerance. And it gives a cold shoulder to government officials who want to export alien criminals.

"All along that border you have drug dealers coming across," Rep. Dan. Burton, Indiana Republican, told HUMAN EVENTS. "You've got illegal aliens coming across. There's been a killing in Arizona of [a rancher]. These guys have been seen inside the United States with AK-47s. What we need to do is have more border patrols. The administration cut a lot of money out of that fencing and the walls that were going to be built down there to protect certain areas.... That drug war in Mexico is already inside the United States."

President Obama needs to act immediately to plug the border by deploying National Guard ground troops to augment stretched border patrol officers, say some members of Congress.

"This is a serious national threat," Burton said. "Protecting that Southern border is just as important as any other part of the world as far as I'm concerned—and more important."

He said "there is no question in my mind" that terrorists "will use any avenue possible to get in. That is one of the easiest areas to get across right now. And we have been told there are potential terrorists who have offered $25,000 and more to get access to the United States through that border."

He said the Bush Administration and Congress approved money to build fencing and put more border patrol agents in the South. Today, he said, the Obama Administration "has not put enough border patrol agents down there."

Thus, he said, the Arizona legislature and governor were forced to act with their own new anti-illegal-alien law to cope with the nearly half-million of them now in the state driving up crime rates.

"This is a federal government issue," Burton said. "It shouldn't be left up to the states."

The White House is clearly eyeing the November elections, when the President needs a big turnout from Latino voters to stem what may be massive election losses. A big crackdown on illegals, goes the White House thinking, would keep Latino voters home.

To hear the administration spin, the problem is not that big a deal. Janet Napolitano says her Department of Homeland Security has begun a successful strategy to shore up the border.

"I believe we have the right strategy, the right partners and the necessary commitment to continue making unparalleled progress in creating a safe and secure southwest border, while facilitating legitimate trade and travel," she told a Senate panel last month. “There are now more than 20,000 border patrol agents, up from 10,000 in Bush's first term."

"Despite these successes, it is clear that our work to secure the border region is far from over," she said.

But while Napolitano talks of successes, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R.-Ala.) gets to the root of the problem. The Obama team is refusing to step up efforts to deport criminal aliens. Thus, the crisis in Arizona.

James Chaparro, who heads the government's detention and removal operations, said in a memo his agency is no where near its goal of deporting 400,000 criminals this year. But the White House, says Sessions, has no intention of doing the things necessary, such as more law enforcement sweeps, to capture and deport the criminals.

Napolitano has stated she is not in favor of sweeps of businesses who have large numbers of illegal aliens on the payroll, the senator said.

And Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican, points out that the pending 2011 Obama budget plans to cut border agents by 187.

Orson Swindle, a presidential campaign adviser to Sen. John McCain, told HUMAN EVENTS, "We have to secure our borders. It's a matter of national security."

McCain supported immigration "reform" during the Bush administration, but is now critical of the Obama administration for not securing his state's border with Mexico.

"Terrorists will always look for avenues of least resistance," said Swindle, a Marine Corps pilot in Vietnam who shared a POW jail cell with McCain. "It represents a major threat that demands immediate attention ... Those people who say we are doing the wrong thing in Arizona, have they offered any solution? Arizona is crying for relief."