JULY 06, 2007
On U.S. Independence day, when homeland security was supposedly heightened following the London and Glasgow terrorist attacks, a group of migrants easily made it to south Florida undetected by the federal agency in charge of keeping America’s coasts safe.
The 49 Cubans slipped by the U.S. Coast Guard in the night and were discovered strolling down a Miami Beach street before U.S. Customs and Border Protection took them into custody around three in the morning. This unsettling breach of national security could have easily been committed by terrorists planning a deadly attack.
A Customs and Border Protection spokesman had an interesting explanation for how the migrants made it to U.S. soil on the Fourth of July, saying “we don’t have a vessel, so we’re assuming it’s a smuggling event.” This statement probably gives citizens all the more reason to feel insecure about the country’s crucial yet largely neglected maritime security.
The Department of Homeland Security suffered a similarly embarrassing incident a few months ago when a large group of migrants slipped into the country during a huge drill involving hundreds of federal agents supposedly sharpening their border security skills off of the Florida coast.
With more than 300 government employees from 50 agencies covering the waters off of Miami, two boatloads of Cuban migrants just cruised by and made it to a South Florida beach. A Customs and Border Protection agent actually offered Judicial Watch an explanation; no boat was found and there is a strong possibility that the illegal aliens were dropped by vehicle and told to make it appear as if they had landed by boat.
Officials later confirmed, however, that those migrants were in fact from Cuba and, unless they came by aircraft, they had to use a boat since there is no road that connects the communist island to the United States.
These violations, during times of supposedly heightened homeland security, indicate that the government has work to in order to adequately protect the nation’s coasts. After a 2004 Congressional investigation revealed that maritime and port security was not efficient, the White House announced its new and improved multi agency National Strategy for Maritime Security yet the problems persist.
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