Timing is everything. Congress is currently in the midst of debating the construction of a "border wall" or “border barrier” to protect the dangerous U.S./Mexican border as the clock ticks down to another possible partial shutdown of our government if an agreement cannot be reached.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, January 29, 2019 the Senate Intelligence Committee conducted a hearing on Worldwide Threats that was predicated on a just-released paper, "World-Wide Threat Assessment," that was issued by Daniel Coats, the Director of the Office of National Intelligence, which oversees the U.S. intelligence community.
As we will see, elements of that report addressed issues that have a clear nexus to border security and immigration law enforcement.
However, the leaders of the Democratic Party have thus far made it clear that they will oppose any and all efforts to construct a barrier to block the uninspected entry of aliens and cargo into the United States while simultaneously claiming that they don't oppose border security -- even as some Democrats call for disbanding Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
While the Democratic Party leaders claim that a wall or barrier on the southern border is a waste of money and find all sorts of other absurd excuses to oppose it, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi outrageously and infamously claiming that any such structure would be “immoral,” the leaders of the U.S. Border Patrol as well as the leaders of the Border Patrol Council, the union that represents our valiant Border Patrol agents, have publicly and repeatedly stated that a wall or barrier is essential to help them to secure our nation’s borders.
Clearly the Democrats have no interest in actually securing our borders or in the enforcement of our immigration laws.
Now we come to that hearing conducted by the Senate Intelligence Committee and the report that served as the predication for that hearing.
Inasmuch as the report contains material furnished by all of the elements of the U.S. Intelligence Community, the leaders of these agencies were witnesses at the hearing.
This is the Witness List:
Director Daniel Coats
Office of the Director of National Intelligence
Director Christopher Wray
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Director Gina Haspel
Central Intelligence Agency
Director General Robert Ashley
Defense Intelligence Agency
Director General Paul Nakasone
National Security Agency
Director Robert Cardillo
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
Several areas of concern about national security vulnerabilities addressed in the report have a clear and unmistakable nexus to immigration, border security and related issues.
Page 4 of the report included this paragraph:
Migration is likely to continue to fuel social and interstate tensions globally, while drugs and transnational organized crime take a toll on US public health and safety. Political turbulence is rising in many regions as governance erodes and states confront growing public health and environmental threats.
Page 10 included the following excerpt:
Sunni Violent Extremists
Global jihadists in dozens of groups and countries threaten local and regional US interests, despite having experienced some significant setbacks in recent years, and some of these groups will remain intent on striking the US homeland. Prominent jihadist ideologues and media platforms continue to call for and justify efforts to attack the US homeland.
Page 18 of the report focuses on Transnational Criminal Organizations and provided vital information about drug trafficking and human trafficking.
Here is an excerpt of the material provided in this chapter of the report:
TRANSNATIONAL ORGANIZED CRIME
Global transnational criminal organizations and networks will threaten US interests and allies by trafficking drugs, exerting malign influence in weak states, threatening critical infrastructure, orchestrating human trafficking, and undermining legitimate economic activity.
The foreign drug threat will pose continued risks to US public health and safety and will present a range of threats to US national security interests in the coming year. Violent Mexican traffickers, such as members of the Sinaloa Cartel and New Generation Jalisco Cartel, remain key to the movement of illicit drugs to the United States, including heroin, methamphetamine, fentanyl, and cannabis from Mexico, as well as cocaine from Colombia. Chinese synthetic drug suppliers dominate US-bound movements of so- called designer drugs, including synthetic marijuana, and probably ship the majority of US fentanyl, when adjusted for purity.
Approximately 70,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2017, a record high and a 10-percent increase from 2016, although the rate of growth probably slowed in early 2018, based on Centers for Disease Control (CDC) data.
Increased drug fatalities are largely a consequence of surging production of the synthetic opioid fentanyl; in 2017, more than 28,000 Americans died from synthetic opioids other than methadone, including illicitly manufactured fentanyl. The CDC reports synthetic opioid- related deaths rose 846 percent between 2010 and 2017, while DHS reports that US seizures of the drug increased 313 percent from 2016 to 2017.
Other Organized Crime Activities
Transnational criminal organizations and their affiliates are likely to expand their influence over some weak states, collaborate with US adversaries, and possibly threaten critical infrastructure.
Mexican criminals use bribery, intimidation, and violence to protect their drug trafficking, kidnapping-for-ransom, fuel-theft, gunrunning, extortion, and alien-smuggling enterprises.
Gangs based in Central America, such as MS-13, continue to direct some criminal activities beyond the region, including in the United States.
Transnational organized crime almost certainly will continue to inflict human suffering, deplete natural resources, degrade fragile ecosystems, drive migration, and drain income from the productive—and taxable—economy.
Human trafficking generates an estimated $150 billion annually for illicit actors and governments that engage in forced labor, according to the UN’s International Labor Organization.
This is not the first report or the first hearing to provide clear evidence that the porous U.S./Mexico border creates national security, public safety, and public health vulnerabilities for Americans.
I have written a number of articles about this issue; one of my recent articles took on the bogus claim that technology is better than a wall: "Why Trump’s Wall Is A Must" - And why a “virtual fence” will stop no one.
My May 11, 2018 article, "Congressional Hearing: Iranian Sleeper Cells Threaten U.S.," was predicated on a hearing conducted by the House Homeland Security Committee.
A failure to stop the flow of illegal alien workers also undermines the U.S. economy, and costs American and lawful immigrant workers jobs and suppresses their wages. That fundamental fact was the basis for my commentary, "OPEN BORDERS FACILITATE AMERICA’S RACE TO THE BOTTOM" - “Cheap labor” is anything but cheap.
As I have noted ever so many times in my articles and in my Congressional testimony, simply securing the problematic border against the illegal (uninspected) entry of aliens won’t end the immigration crisis but would close one of the major holes in what I have come to refer to as the Immigration Colander. I have come to conceptualize the wall on the U.S./Mexican border as the equivalent of a wing on an airplane. Without a wing the airplane will not fly, but the wing by itself would go nowhere.
The immigration system has never had a meaningful program to enforce the immigration laws from within the interior of the United States. The need to enforce the immigration laws from within the interior of the United States is commonsense and was noted as an important issue by the 9/11 Commission. The dirty secret is that our political leaders understand just how important interior enforcement is but have intentionally never provided the resources to enforce those laws from within the interior. Consider that, in the wake of the terror attacks of 9/11 President George W. Bush created the Department of Homeland Security (DHS ) and in so doing, broke the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) into multiple components that then blended immigration with other agencies such as Customs.
However, while the leadership of neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have been willing to take the necessary measures to finally save the immigration crisis through effective but fair law enforcement, unhinged members of the Democratic Party are now calling for dismantling ICE altogether. They are calling for immigration anarchy even as yet another hearing, involving the leaders of the U.S. intelligence community, are clear about the nexus between threats confronting America and border security and immigration law enforcement.
Meanwhile cities and states that are controlled by the Democrats have created “Sanctuary Cities” and “Sanctuary States” that shield illegal aliens from detection from ICE including criminals, members of transnational gangs and drug trafficking organizations. These jurisdictions also shield international fugitives and terrorists and, in shielding aliens who were smuggled into the United States, protect the human traffickers who smuggled them here.
If these politicians were really concerned about the plight of trafficked aliens, they could cooperate with ICE and make certain that ICE provides these aliens with visas that are available for aliens who cooperate with investigations into human trafficking and major crimes.
As we have seen with the trial of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, New York City -- the American city with the largest, best-trained and -equipped police department in the United States -- became the hub for the Mexican Sinaloa Drug Cartel that purportedly moved hundreds of tons of drugs including heroin, cocaine, meth, fentanyl, and marijuana into the U.S. across the Mexican border.
The only rational reason that NYC would have been selected as the hub, given the nature and reputation of the NYPD is the fact that NYC is a “Sanctuary City.” This was the focus of my article, "NEW YORK CITY: HUB FOR THE DEADLY DRUG TRADE" - “Sanctuary” policies attract foreign drug traffickers, fugitives and terrorists.
For far too long America has been bleeding red (blood) and green (money). Truly secure borders wold represent a giant step on the road to resolving the immigration crisis. Failure to secure the border costs innocent lives, each and every day.