Posted 07/08/2014 06:33 PM ET
Immigration: The general in charge of U.S. Southern Command says America‘s porous southern border poses as much a threat as any foreign power, with gangs and terrorist groups hiding among the tidal wave of illegals.
If Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly, commander of the U.S. Southern Command, keeps warning about the crisis at our southern border, he may soon join the long list of generals and admirals sacked by this administration as it decimates the military.
“In comparison to other global threats, the near collapse of societies in the hemisphere with the associated drug and (undocumented immigrant) flow are frequently viewed to be of low importance,” Kelly told Defense One, a website focused on national security issues. “Many argue these threats are not existential and do not challenge our national security. I disagree.”
Kelly, responsible for the Caribbean and all lands south of Mexico, has sounded the alarm that this isn’t just a humanitarian crisis of unaccompanied children.
“Clearly, criminal networks can move just about anything on these smuggling pipelines,” he testified in February to the House Armed Services Committee. “Terrorist organizations could seek to leverage those same smuggling routes to move operatives with intent to cause grave harm to our citizens or even quite easily bring weapons of mass destruction into the United States.”
Among these threats is Iran’s terrorist sock puppet, Hezbollah, below the radar these days as a long-sought Islamic caliphate possibly takes root in parts of Syria and Iraq. Before 9/11, Hezbollah was responsible for more American deaths than any other terrorist group.
“Supporters and sympathizers of Lebanese Hezbollah are involved in both licit and illicit activities in the region,” Kelly testified. “Members, supporters and adherents of Islamic extremist groups are present in Latin America. Islamic extremists visit the region to proselytize, recruit, establish business venues to generate funds, and expand their radical networks.”
Then there are violent transnational gangs like Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, which specializes in extortion and human trafficking and has criminal franchises throughout the U.S. “The FBI has warned that MS-13 has a significant presence in California, North Carolina, New York and northern Virginia, and is expanding into new areas of the United States, including Indian reservations in South Dakota,” Kelly has told Congress.
Roger Noriega, who is an American Enterprise Institute fellow and former assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs during the George W. Bush administration, last month underscored Kelly’s warning about MS-13 in the Washington Free Beacon.
“There’s going to be a time when MS-13 fires an RPG into an Alexandria (Va.) police car, and (Americans) are going to say, ‘What the hell happened?'” Noriega said.
This is more than a humanitarian crisis of unaccompanied children using the U.S. as an international emergency room, Kelly warns.
Drugs like cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines, he tells Defense One, “are produced in Latin America and smuggled into the U.S. along an incredibly efficient network along which anything — hundreds of tons of drugs, people, terrorists, potentially weapons of mass destruction or children — can travel, so long as they can pay the fare.”
And American citizens, wondering what we have a National Guard and Border Patrol for, will pay the price for the drugs, crime and potential terrorist activity made possible by President Obama’s border policies.
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