JUNE 26, 2013
The U.S. proposal to secure the southern border has caused outrage in Mexico, with one renowned Mexican academic claiming in Spanish-language media that deploying more federal agents to the region is tantamount to an increase in “human rights violations.”
Under the immigration reform bill floating around in the U.S. Senate the number of Border Patrol agents will double along the southern border and the amount of drones guarding from above will triple. The measure will also provide funding to complete 700 miles of fencing in the area and around-the-clock surveillance flights by drones.
This has ignited fury in Mexico where officials flooded Spanish-language media to express outrage this week and now some of it is getting picked up by news outlets north of the border. Mexico’s former foreign minister, Jorge Castañeda, says doubling the number of agents along the border is an “unfriendly act” and a “very negative reform for Mexico and the United States.”
Some have taken it further, asserting in a mainstream American newspaper story that the surge plan is an affront to Mexico that should be forcefully opposed by President Enrique Peña Nieto. One Mexican congressman (Fernando Belaunzaran) said “we are ‘friends and neighbors,’ as is repeated ad nauseam, but the U.S. is about to militarize the border with Mexico as if we were at war.”
A respected Mexican columnist and academic, Lorenzo Meyer, took to the airwaves suggesting that Mexico retaliate by booting U.S. intelligence and defense officials in the country collaborating in the never-ending battle against drug cartels. The same highly regarded Mexican figurehead also suggested Mexico could strike back by rejecting more American retirees. The head of a Mexico-based organization called Aztlan Binational Migrants Movement, said an increase in Border Patrol agents will put lives at risk because migrants will be forced to find more dangerous and remote crossings.
The fact remains, however, that the southern border has long been dangerously porous and it’s not just humble migrants seeking work and a better life that exploit this national security weakness. A number of reports have surfaced over the years documenting how serious criminal elements, including drug cartels and Middle Eastern terrorists, regularly use the Southwest border to enter the United States.
A few years ago an investigative committee of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) disclosed that the Mexican border region is infested with violent crimes carried out by organized syndicates that smuggle drugs, humans, weapons and money across the U.S.-Mexico border on a daily basis. Even more alarming, the assessment revealed that a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigation found that members of Hezbollah and other deadly Middle Eastern terrorist groups have entered the U.S. through the Mexican border.
As if this weren’t reason enough to secure the border, other probes have revealed similar problems. In 2007 Texas’s top Homeland Security official, Steve McCraw, confirmed that terrorists with ties to Hezbollah, Hamas and al-Qaida had been arrested crossing into the state through Mexico. That news came on the heels of a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) report that laid out how Islamic terrorists and violent Mexican drug gangs have teamed up to successfully penetrate the U.S. as well as finance terror networks in the Middle East.
The problem has only worsened over the years, according to the government’s own assessments. In 2010 DHS warned Texas law enforcement agencies that a renowned Al Qaeda terrorist was planning to sneak into the U.S. through Mexico. In the alert DHS warn Houston authorities to be on the lookout for a member of a Somalia-based Al Qaeda group called Al Shabab who was planning to cross the Mexican border.
That same year a veteran federal agent accused the government of covering up the growing threat created by Middle Eastern terrorists entering the country through the porous Mexican border. The agent, who spent 30 years in the federal immigration system, revealed that the U.S. Border Patrol had captured thousands of people classified as OTM (Other Than Mexican) along the 2,000-mile southern border and many were from terrorist nations like Yemen, Iran, Sudan, Somalia and Afghanistan. The feds call them SIAs (Special Interest Aliens) and the government doesn’t want Americans to know about them. .
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