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Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano should be grateful that the last two weeks of news have been dominated by stories of activist attacks on the Chick-fil-A franchise, the Olympics, Mitt Romney’s trip abroad, and a stalled economy. It allowed one of the more outrageous statements ever made by the woman tasked with maintaining a substantial portion of America’s national security to go largely unnoticed. Yet what she said was chilling: at a July 25 hearing of the House Homeland Security Committee, Napolitano admitted that suspected terrorists enter the U.S. from Mexico “from time to time.”
Rep. Ron Barber (D-AZ) asked the revealing question. “As you know, Madam Secretary, there have been anecdotal reports about material evidence of the presence of terrorists along our southern border. My question is, is there any credible evidence that these reports are accurate and that terrorists are, in fact, crossing our southern border with the intent to do harm to the American people?”
“With respect, there have been…from time to time, and we are constantly working against different and evolving threats involving various terrorist groups and various ways they may seek to enter the country,” she answered.
To put it bluntly, Napolitano is lying. A thoroughly alarming 2010 Judicial Watch Report revealed the U.S Border Patrol “has captured thousands of people who have been classified as OTM (Other Than Mexican) along the 2,000-mile southern border and many are 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.” The report further noted that the “Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) revealed that 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.”
Napolitano remains willfully oblivious: “What I can tell you, however, is that that southern border–the U.S.-Mexico border–is heavily, heavily staffed at record amounts of manpower, materiel, infrastructure and the like, and we are constantly making sure we’re doing all we can to make that border as safe as possible,” she contended.
The key word here is “border.” Two weeks before her congressional appearance, the Obama administration announced it was closing nine Border Patrol stations across four states. The six affected stations in Texas are located in Lubbock, Amarillo, Dallas, San Angelo, Abilene and San Antonio. The other three are in Billings, Montana, Twin Falls, Idaho, and Riverside, California. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) claims it is closing the stations in order to reassign agents to high-priority areas closer to the border. “These deactivations are consistent with the strategic goal of securing America’s borders, and our objective of increasing and sustaining the certainty of arrest of those trying to enter our country illegally,” said CBP spokesman Bill Brooks in a statement. “By redeploying and reallocating resources at or near the border, CBP will maximize the effectiveness of its enforcement mandate and align our investments with our mission.”
The agents on the ground weren’t buying it. “It could impact us tremendously since we’ve only got two agents up here now for 26 counties,” Potter County, TX Sheriff Brian Thomas told FoxNews.com. “I can’t hold a carload of people out there on I-40 for eight hours while somebody comes from El Paso. I mean, that’s just crazy,” he added. The targeted station in Amarillo, TX is right in the middle of the Interstate-40 corridor, which is a major pathway for illegals. Robert Green, the Border Patrol’s resident agent in charge in Amarillo, echoed that concern. “As a former deputy I found myself on the other end of the radio hoping to contact USBP to assist me with a vehicle full of undocumented foreign nationals on the side of the road.”
A letter sent by several members of Congress to Border Patrol Chief Michael Fisher asked him to reconsider the plan, further noting that the Amarillo and Lubbock stations alone accounted for 638 apprehensions of illegal immigrants just this year. Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) voiced his own concerns as well. “The Department of Homeland Security hasn’t demonstrated that sending additional resources to the border will be a more efficient use of resources than maintaining a presence further north,” he said. “I’d like to see numbers that reassure me that this strategy change won’t ultimately result in fewer arrests.”
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