BATTLE AT THE BORDER: THE WAR FEW DISCUSS IN WASHINGTON
When veteran newsman Bob Schieffer questioned President George W. Bush and Senator John F. Kerry about immigration and border security during the third presidential debate last year, he was responding to an overwhelming number of e-mail from citizens demanding answers to this most pressing issue. In fact, according to Schieffer, he received more e-mail on this subject than anyother issue. Yet Americans got few answers during the heated debate. What many heard were abstractions about tightening border security with no mention of how either candidate would achieve it.
As Americans remember the horror of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington almost four years ago, the US borders are practically as porous as ever.
According to testimony given to the US House of Representatives Armed Services Committee by General Peter Pace, the Vice Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Hamas has joined Hezbullah and Al-Qaida in the Triple Frontier Zone in Latin America where the borders of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay converge. There the Islamic terror groups train recruits, gather intelligence on targets, launder money and sell drugs. There is evidence that these terrorists and narco-terrorists will soon migrate north into the United States. He cited terrorism reports indicating terrorist groups are active in Canada and Central-South America.
ATTACKS ON US SOVEREIGNTY
Border Patrol agents began to voice what many believed were legitimate concerns about "armed incursions" into the United States from Mexico-based assailants. They reported that heavily armed Mexican army units and federal police, called federales, had infiltrated US territory and fired upon them, in some cases because ? federal agents would later discover ? Mexican drug lords had put prices on the heads of American law-enforcement agents strung out along the border. Where was the outrage by our political leaders and the mainstream media over this blatant violation of our national sovereignty?
Many of our political leaders and most in the news media ignore these violent attacks on our national sovereignty while more and more Americans are saying, "This has got to stop!"
Some security experts had high hopes that President Bush would bring up the border security problem during his meeting with Mexican President Vincente Fox. It never happened. Quite the opposite occurred. The two leaders discussed ways of relaxing immigration restrictions including a de facto amnesty program.
Putting aside terrorism, the lack of border security contributes to crime. In Los Angeles, a look at outstanding arrest warrants for homicide reveals that over 90% are for illegal aliens. Examination of all LA felony arrest warrants (murder, rape, armed robbery, etc.) shows that 65% are for illegal aliens. The Manhattan Institute estimates that 350 killers managed to escape back into Mexico and the Mexican government refuses to extradite to the US to stand trial. In another study, a sample group of 55,000 criminal aliens committed 700,000 criminal acts.
And our northern border with Canada has many law-enforcement leaders even more concerned. Canadian security experts concede that there are several radical Islamist group active in their country. In fact, Hezbullah's largest headquarters is located not in the Middle East but in Toronto. One Canadian intelligence officer claims that his country's immigration policy is more lax than US policy and their politicos more liberal when it comes to refusing to restrict illegal aliens from entering Canada.
If these killers aren't afraid to target or kill cops, then who in America is really safe from terrorists, murderers, rapists and other offenders; and anyone wishing to address the problem is labeled a racist or xenophobe. Americans can probably count on one hand the number of congressional leaders who will even debate the issues of illegal immigration or border security. What sense does it make to inspect shipping containers in New York seaports while ignoring the vulnerabilities existing on our borders?
© 2005 Jim Kouri- All
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Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country.
He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores.