Well, there are many, many reasons why we might worry about who is crossing into our country, or seeing refuge here. And with good reason, I might add.
But this piece by Sharyl Attkisson is extraordinary in that it reveals those who are charged with protecting our borders are ALSO being kept in the dark:
Updates: In other news: reports say 8 Syrians caught crossing U.S. from Mexican border Monday; 5 Syrians with stolen Greek passports caught in Honduras; DC Metro issues BOLO (Be On The Lookout) for bearded men behaving suspiciously on metro last weekend. No public indication any of those apprehended were connected to terrorist groups.
Agents with the U.S. Border Patrol are expressing frustration and anger after a group of men from Pakistan and Afghanistan was reportedly caught crossing the Mexican border into the U.S. this week. The agents say the incident was kept secret from them until they pressed their managers for information.
The group of citizens from the Mideast was reportedly captured after sneaking into Arizona on Monday, three days after the Paris attacks and four days after a double suicide bombing in Beirut, Lebanon. The terrorist group ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks in both cities.
The Border Patrol would not confirm the incident officially, and declined to provide information or comment when asked about it today. Several agents working in Arizona say they were not originally briefed on the arrests but heard about it from other agents. They say the case was not presented to them in their regular intelligence briefing, and that they only received bare bones information today when they pressed their managers.
“It’s the kind of stuff you need to know,” says one agent, who asked not to be identified. He said agents were upset that the information was being kept secret from them by their own agency.
Um, YES – it IS something that these agents need to know. Why this critical information was withheld from them is mind-boggling.
But wait, there is more:
[…] “We received your request. We will contact you back once we have information for you,” wrote the Tucson Sector Border Patrol Public Affairs Office in an email.
When asked if agents were on heightened alert in light of the terrorist attacks in Beirut and Paris, one said, “Oh yeah. I know it’s coming.”
Frustration levels inside the Border Patrol have reached a peak, say some agents, with concerns that they are often effectively kept from doing the job they were trained to do: stop illegal traffic from crossing the border.
“We have people from all over the world coming to the Mexican border and claiming asylum. Since they’re not from Mexico, we can’t send them back over,” says one agent, speaking of performing his job on a daily basis. The agent spoke about his routine experience apprehending illegal immigrants.
“Since they have no criminal record in the United States, they are let into the country, and given a date to appear in court, usually months or years out. After they sign the paperwork, they’re free to go, and disappear. Because they have no criminal records, ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] can’t go looking for them since they are not ‘priorities.’ Even if ICE encounters them later on, ICE still can’t arrest them if their criminal record isn’t serious.”
“We see a lot of Somali’s, which…has a large Muslim population. In Nigeria, there is a huge contingent of Boko Haram, which is just a ruthless as ISIS. They have been slaughtering schools full of children and priests for years now. The truth is, anyone can get into this country and stay. It’s not possible that we don’t have any ISIS sympathizers here. It’s just too easy for them to get here.” […] (Click here to read the rest.)
And that is why people worry about who is crossing our borders, who is seeking refuge, and who is seeking asylum. Because we just don’t know that much about them, cannot find OUT much about them, and going solely on whether they have a record in the USA or not is hardly sufficient intel.
And let’s face it – we just don’t trust this Administration to do the job, not with all of the Executive Orders Obama has signed on illegal aliens and immigration, or because of how petulant, condescending, arrogant, and snide he has been about those who oppose his amnesty/refugee policies as he demonstrated just the other day in the Philippines.
That attitude was summed up beautifully by Branco at Legal Insurrection:
Yep, that’s about the size of it! That is how our President rolls, attacking his political opponents rather than the radical Islamist terrorists who just assassinated over a 100 people in Paris while injuring 3 times that many, who just blew a plane out of the sky killing everyone on board, and launching an attack in Beirut. Those horrible REPUBLICANS – they are the real problem.
There are legitimate reasons to worry about just who is coming into our country and why. But people of good faith and conscience can disagree on whether to admit them or not. But the ability to do so without causing offense is an act of charity that is not always practiced. To that end, Mollie Hemingway, Senior Editor at The Federalist, has an excellent piece with three “hot-to’s” on discussing this (and other) issues. I commend this piece to you in its entirety, but it can be summed up with this statement:
[…] Forgive One Another
In any case, rather than fight about refugees that few of us will ever meet or care for apart from contributing to transfer payment programs, let’s actually take this time to care for one another. Right now, in every community, there are people who are suffering. Maybe they’re suffering from addiction or bad decisions. Maybe they’re just simply struggling to make ends meet because they’ve been abandoned by others. Maybe they just want to hear a kind word. Maybe you’re the person in need. Let’s take the time to show love to one another. Even those who have been mean to us on Facebook.
And whether you’ve been accused of trying to destroy America or not caring about orphans, forgive one another. As St. Paul wrote, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” I’m not recommending it be U.S. policy, but give it a try! (Click here to read the rest.)
And there you have it. While this doesn’t negate the very real concerns we may have, we can at least discuss it with decorum and compassion.
That’s what I think. How about you? This is an Open Thread.