One of the problems with the Obama administration is that their is very little communication between departments. For example when the decision was made to read the underwear bomber his Miranda rights, it was made by Eric Holder alone with no input from the Department of Homeland Security, The National Intelligence Council or the Defense Department.
What’s even worse is that the is little communication within each department, especially within the Department of Homeland Security.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told senators it is a national security concern that people from countries with ties to terrorism could ‘potentially’ gain entry into the United States by crossing the country’s southern border.
But according to the Department of Homeland Security’s own reports, thousands of people from 14 “special interest” countries already have come into the United States illegally, including some across the U.S.-Mexico border. (The State Department designates some nations as “special interest” counties because of their links to terrorism.)
This is not the first time Napolitano has been caught not knowing what her own department was doing, last year the DHS released a report called Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.” A footnote in the report said
that while there is no specific information that domestic right-wing terrorists are planning acts of violence, such acts could come from unnamed “rightwing extremists” concerned about illegal immigration, abortion, increasing federal power and restrictions on firearms — and singled out returning war veterans as susceptible to recruitment.
Napolitano’s made her “special interest” comment in testimony before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Thursday. It was in response to a question by John McCain about the ongoing violence in Mexico and the possibility of that violence spilling over into the United States.
“So, if the drug cartels succeeded, then it would be a matter of time before the violence would spill over onto our side of the border,” McCain said. “Not to mention the free, basically free, access they would have to bring drugs, as well as humans, into our country.”
“We haven’t seen spillover violence in that sense yet,” Napolitano said. “It is a risk. The ability to traffic in drugs cause their own damage to lives in the United States
“Our ability to curtail that would be affected,” she said. “On the human trafficking side, it’s not solely illegal immigrants coming to work, but the ability of people from countries of special interest to immigrate into Central America and be ferried up to the border and over into the United States is also a concern.”
McCain responded: “Countries of special interest – people could come up through our southern border?”
“Potentially, yes,” Napolitano said.
The State Department lists four special interest countries as sponsors of terror – Cuba, Sudan, Syria and Iran. The other 10 countries of interest are: Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen.
Isn’t this a good reason to strengthen our Immigration Laws? Or Enforce the laws about Illegal immigrants?
According to the DHS’s 2008 Yearbook of Immigration Studies, from the Office of Immigration Statistics, a total of 791,568 people where detained by federal law enforcement agencies in fiscal year 2008 – 5,506 of those people were from those 14 “special interest” countries.
The report states that those individuals were detained “at the borders of the United States, in the interior of the country and at designated sites outside of the United States.” It does not disclose those details for each individual, however.
The specific numbers of individuals by country are labeled in the yearbook at the chapter, “Deportable Aliens Located by Region and Country of Nationality: Fiscal Year 2008.”
Afghanistan – 29
Algeria – 41
Cuba – 3,896
Iran – 98
Iraq – 118
Lebanon – 188
Liberia – 98
Libya – 11
Nigeria – 299
Pakistan – 494
Saudi Arabia – 71
Somalia – 66
Sudan – 46
Syria – 71
Yemen — 78
In accordance with federal law, any individual arrested by U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) are then turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which is responsible for detention and deportation.
Aside from the number of individuals and their country of origin, the DHS does not release any further information about the individuals, including whether they were found to have links with terrorist groups. CNSNews.com is seeking further information about illegal aliens in U.S. custody from 2007 to 2009 from the 14 countries of special interest, through the Freedom of Information Act.
According to an August 2009 report on checkpoints and border security by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), 530 illegal aliens from countries of special interest were “encountered” at CBP checkpoints in fiscal year 2008.
The report states:
“Checkpoints also help screen for individuals who may have ties to terrorism. CBP reported that in fiscal year 2008, there were three individuals encountered by the Border Patrol at southwest border checkpoints who were identified as persons linked to terrorism.
“In addition, the Border Patrol reported that in fiscal year 2008 checkpoints
encountered 530 aliens from special interest countries, which are countries the Department of State has determined to represent a potential terrorist threat to the United States.
“While people from these countries may not have any ties to illegal or terrorist activities, Border Patrol agents detain aliens from special interest countries if they are in the United States illegally and Border Patrol agents report these encounters to the local
Sector Intelligence Agent, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Joint Terrorism Task Force, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Investigations, and the CBP National Targeting Center.
“For example, according to a Border Patrol official in the El Paso sector, a checkpoint stopped a vehicle and questioned its three Iranian occupants, determining that one of those occupants was in the United States illegally. The individual was detained and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further questioning.”
Just to summarize, Napolitano doesn’t know that people from terrorist states are sneaking into the country through the southern border. And of course she has been tying the hands of people like Sheriff Joe Arpaio who has been fighting Illegal immigration. Isn’t it time for President Obama to fire Janet Napolitano and replace her with someone who can read DHS reports.