Terrorist Infiltration Threat at the Southwest Border

The National Security Gap in America's Immigration Enforcement Debate

Washington, D.C 20006, District of Columbia, UNITED STATES

Washington, D.C., Aug. 13, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A new report by the Center for Immigration Studies examines the potential terrorist threat posed by the smuggling of special interest aliens (SIAs) – people coming from a country identified as having possible or established links to terrorism. SIA smuggling networks, which provide routes from the Middle East, South Asia, and North and West Africa, provide terrorists the capability of reaching and entering the U.S. across the Southwest border.

Since SIA immigration traffic is the only kind with a distinct and recognized terrorism threat, its apparent sidelining from the national debate is particularly puzzling. During the last year of the Obama administration, the threat prompted a memo, obtained by the Center and published here for the first time, with orders demanding the "immediate attention" of the nation's most senior immigration and border security leaders to produce an action plan to target "Cross-border Movement of Special Interest Aliens."

The Trump administration has placed little emphasis on this threat, with discussion mostly limited to Spanish-speaking entrants, as opposed to those who speak Arabic, Pashtun, and Urdu.

View the entire report at: https://www.cis.org/Report/Terrorist-Infiltration-Threat-Southwest-Border

Todd Bensman, the Center's senior national security fellow and author of the report, said:

No serious consideration should be given to disbanding ICE without a complete understanding of the important and unheralded counterterrorism work these men and women are doing all over the globe, sight unseen. Nor any longer should national discussion about illegal immigration policy bypass the fact that hundreds, if not thousands, of migrants from the Middle East and other nations where terrorist organizations are active are also among Spanish-speaking migrants. Homeland security professionals who make a living at this have long recognized that this small traffic represents a significant terrorism threat, and those interested in the debate should acknowledge this issue too.

Contact:Marguerite Telford, Director of CommunicationsCenter for Immigration Studiesmrt@cis.org202-466-8185


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