“On day one,” Donald J. Trump declared Wednesday night in Phoenix, “we will begin working on an impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful, southern border wall.”
The reasons for doing this go far beyond the usual concerns about Hispanic migrants crossing America’s southern “border.” It would behoove the Republican presidential nominee to expand his message to address U.S. officials call “Other Than Mexicans.”
Those other than Mexicans break into the United States from countries all around the world. These include such colorful locales as Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.
In fact, federal agents in 2014 apprehended 4,930 individuals who hailed from the four nations that Washington listed as “state sponsors of terrorism,” plus the 10 others that the Transportation Safety Administration calls “countries of interest.”
Foreigners who arrive legally from those places are subject to enhanced passenger screening. A total of 69,599 people from those 14 countries were arrested while trying to enter America illegally, from fiscal years 2005 through 2014, according to the 2014 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics, which the Department of Homeland Security published in August.
While these figures involve all of America’s frontiers, among the 486,651 illegal aliens caught entering the United States, 479,371 (or 98.5 percent) were nailed along the southern boundary. It likely is safe to assume that a similar proportion of illegal aliens from these worrisome nations also were captured waltzing in from Mexico.
Cuba, Iran, Sudan, and Syria were designated as “state sponsors of terrorism” in 2014, although Obama delisted Cuba on May 29, 2015. I calculate that, for these four nations, DHS reported alien apprehensions as follows:
- Cuba: 2,872 (in 2014); 44,356 (in 2005–14)
- Iran: 223 and 2,422
- Sudan: 132 and 1,590
- Syria: 61 and 960
DHS posted these data on apprehensions of nationals from the TSA’s 10 “countries of interest:”
- Afghanistan: 66 (2014); 723 (2005–14)
- Algeria: 42 and 459
- Iraq: 173 and 2,136
- Lebanon: 117 and 1,773
- Libya: 36 and 173
- Nigeria: 396 and 5,056
- Pakistan: 350 and 5,703
- Saudi Arabia: 226 and 1,357
- Somalia: 169 and 2,062
- Yemen: 67 and 829
“It is important to note that ‘apprehended’ does not mean they were removed,” says Ira Mehlman of the Federation for American Immigration Reform. “Many are released pending hearings for which they are unlikely to show up."
And, of course, these figures do not reflect those who successfully penetrated America undetected.
Even if one assumes that 99 percent of these people arrived solely for freedom and prosperity, the remaining 1 percent would represent 49 potential terrorists in 2014 alone.
That is more than double the 19 killers who conducted the September 11 attack. Those are enough pairs of radical Muslims for 24 Boston Marathon bombings. And 49 lone rats could execute more than four dozen Orlando-style mass shootings.
The left routinely twists legitimate concerns about perimeter security into cries of “Racism!” “Bigotry!” and “Xenophobia!” This demagoguery is far harder to perpetrate when one refers to people intruding from nations that have spawned San Bernardino gunwoman Tashfeen Malik, underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, and 15 of the 19 September 11 hijackers.
This lethal risk is far from theoretical. “Islamic terrorists are training in southern border towns near American cities and have joined forces with Mexican drug cartels to infiltrate the United States,” Judicial Watch reported on August 11. The conservative legal sentries cited an August 4 Justice Department announcement of its arrest of Erick Jamal Hendricks, 35, for providing material support to ISIS.
According to Justice, Hendricks, a convert to Islam, told a confidential witness that “there were several ‘brothers’ located in Texas and Mexico; that he was attempting to ‘get brothers to meet face to face;’ and that he wanted ‘to get brothers to train together.’”
Sealing the southern “border” is about much more than people who trespass on American soil, pressure public services, and engage in common crime — atop the positive things that many illegals contribute.
Thus, Donald J. Trump and his supporters should campaign on this life-and-death aspect of illegal immigration and border security.
Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor with National Review Online. He is also a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University. Read more reports from Deroy Murdock — Click Here Now.
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