For years, experts have been expressing their fears about terrorists sneaking across our border with Mexico. In 2012, the House Homeland Security Committee published a report noting that terrorists will inevitably exploit our porous southern border. In its January 2017 Public Safety Threat Overview the Texas Department of Public Safety raised the very same concerns.
However, open-borders advocates deride the notion that terrorists might exploit the ever-present chaos on the southern border as foolish. They claim that since – to date – there have been no terrorist attacks carried out in the U.S. by illegal entrants who crossed the southern border, the threat is low. But data recently released by the Department of Homeland Security indicates that Islamic terror groups may have finally become aware of just how porous our southern border really is.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced that the Laredo Border Patrol Sector is, for the second year running, the number one crossing point for Bangladeshi nationals attempting to enter the U.S. Illegally. Since the start of fiscal year 2018, the Laredo Sector has apprehended approximately 171 Bangladesh citizens. And KGNS, Texas, reports that CBP arrested nearly 180 Bangladeshis in the Laredo Sector during fiscal year 2017. Laredo seems to be emerging as the epicenter of a new smuggling route that brings South Asian and Afghan migrants to the United States via Latin America.
Aside from the obvious fact that Bangladesh is a long way from Mexico – sandwiched between Bhutan and India – why is this noteworthy? There are two reasons:
- The Islamic State (ISIS), Al-Qaeda Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), and a number of other extremely violent terrorist groups, are active and recruiting members in Bangladesh. Therefore, there is a strong possibility that among the Bangladeshis attempting to cross the border illegally, some could have ties to terror groups.
- If individuals from Bangladesh are making it to Latin American and sneaking into the United States over the border with Mexico, then other individuals from countries with significant terrorism problems are likely doing the same thing.
As FAIR has repeatedly noted, we are living in an age where national security and immigration are intimately and inextricably intertwined. After losing most of its physical territory, ISIS is looking to regroup and continue its operations. Al-Qaeda is hoping to regain its position as the world’s pre-eminent jihadist terror organization. And the fastest route to either of those goals is a dramatic, large-scale terror attack in the United States, which is much easier to plan and carry out once a terrorist is inside the U.S.
It’s time for America to get serious about hardening our porous southern border against exploitation by terrorists. We need to build President Trump’s border wall. And we need to build it quickly, before our border begins to look like Europe’s, awash in Middle Eastern “refugees” who are impossible to thoroughly vet.