Saturday, July 08, 2006


Border Incidents Will Increase, I Betcha!

Watch the border: it’s about time for some “incidents” between “suspected terrorists” and US Customs. Maybe a shoot-out without casualties, but something the FBI can announce was a serious threat to our national security...

There’ll be more and more “threats” as the elections get closer and closer. About the only way the Republicans can maintain control—without utter vote fraud—in November, is to utterly terrorize the voters. Hordes of terrorists waiting to steal across the US-Mexico border; gun battles right and left along The Line; innocent tourists kidnapped and held for ransom by Spanish-speaking members of al-Qaeda! Our south-western states over-run with murderous illegal immigrants!

Of course another “plot” to blow up something here in the States won’t hurt, either. Even a bomb in, say, Ottawa or somewhere... At least I don’t think the administration is willing to go that far—although, if it’s occurred to me, it’s probably occurred to someone who’s even more devious and amoral than I am. Like, say, Karl Rove... Hell, compared to him, I’m a choir-boy.

GOP Hearing Alleges Risks Of Terrorism Along Border
Democrats Say Event Is Bid To Score Political Points
By Sylvia Moreno
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, July 8, 2006; A03

LAREDO, Tex., July 7 -- House Republicans brought their get-tough immigration proposal on Friday to the city dubbed the nation's "Gateway to Mexico" to make their case for tightening the border as a way to prevent terrorist incursions.

"It's elementary that to defend ourselves against our determined and resourceful enemies, our border must be secure," said Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), chairman of the House International Relations subcommittee on terrorism. "Border vulnerabilities are opportunities for terrorists."

Some House Democrats denounced the hearing as political grandstanding that would accomplish little, and some local officials said that closing the border would be detrimental to the legal flow of commerce and individuals.

"We face some very serious problems," but lawmakers should "not start scaring people just to get headlines," said Laredo Mayor Raul Salinas, a former FBI agent and U.S. Capitol Police officer.

"We must make our border safe, but not close it to trade and community," said Salinas, whose city is a transit point for hundreds of thousands of northbound trucks hauling imported goods. "We need to build bridges, bridges of friendship and not walls. This nation can be safe without closing or slowing down our borders."

The field hearing, the third this week, focused on a House-passed bill that would require tighter border controls and 700 miles of border fencing. It also calls for tougher deportation standards and stringent enforcement of rules governing employers who hire undocumented workers, and would provide funding for local law enforcement agencies along the border. Another Republican-sponsored hearing was held in San Diego on Wednesday.

The Senate's immigration bill was discussed at a hearing in Philadelphia on Wednesday. It includes provisions similar to the House bill, but also outlines a method for an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants to become U.S. citizens and calls for a temporary- or guest-worker program that would provide legal U.S. residency status for as long as six years.

Because the field hearings were proposed by Republicans last month after the Senate passed its version of an immigration bill, Democrats called the event here political theater.

"They say they are holding hearings on immigration; I call this the big mockery," said Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.), who contended that the subcommittee has no jurisdiction over immigration legislation. Lee attended the hearing, although neither she nor other Democrats who were present are subcommittee members.

"Instead of a traveling circus of field hearings that may make good politics but do little to advance sound policy, I believe Congress needs to get back to work in Washington to reach a compromise agreement on comprehensive border security and immigration reform legislation," said Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-Tex.).

But Royce, along with other Republicans, raised the specter of well-funded terrorist organizations using Mexican drug rings and human-smuggling rings to penetrate the southern border of the United States. Royce said the United States must gain "operational control" of the border as part of any overhaul of the country's immigration laws.

"Immigration reform must be national security reform," he said.

Reynaldo Garza, acting Border Patrol chief of the Laredo sector, which includes 170 miles along the Rio Grande, was among those invited to testify. He said that local agents had apprehended illegal immigrants from almost 70 countries last year, and that he is concerned about the potential link between terrorists and smuggling cartels.

"Terrorists and violent criminals may exploit smuggling routes used by migrants to enter the United States illegally and do us harm," said Garza.

He said additional agents and high-technology tools such as unmanned aerial vehicles and remote surveillance cameras are critical to border security. "Reducing illegal entries across our borders is now, more than ever, a matter of national security," Garza said.

Sheriff Rick Flores of Webb County, which includes Laredo, and Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez Jr. of adjacent Zapata County said their deputies had answered calls about what they believed to be border infiltrations by "high-risk," heavily armed individuals who appeared not to be Mexican and who did not speak Spanish. A Sudanese currency bill was found along the fence line of a South Texas ranch during one of their investigations, Flores said.

"Homeland security rests in large part on border security," Flores said. "This concern, especially post-9/11, had placed an added responsibility on us as a nation to secure our borders."

Pressed by Democrats to say whether the House-passed provision to deport millions of illegal immigrants would help local authorities guard against terrorism or prevent a terrorist attack, Flores said, "I can tell you no. I've already said Mexicans are not terrorists."

Additional Republican-led field hearings on immigration are scheduled for later this month and for mid-August.
© 2006 The Washington Post Company

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