Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Border security must be viewed with an eye on terrorists

Border security is national security. The latest confirmation of what should be an obvious statement came last week from Uganda. What does the East African nation have to do with America's porous borders? Terrorists struck in the capital Kampala as fans watched the World Cup championship. Suicide bombers set off lethal charges at a mass viewing party and a crowded restaurant. Seventy-six people were killed. The group claiming responsibility for the deadly attacks is al-Shabab, an Islamist group not well-known in the United States, but one that is waging an insurgency against the Somali government. “Whatever makes them cry, makes us happy,” Sheik Yusuf Sheik Issa, an al-Shabab commander in Mogadishu, told the Associated Press. “May Allah's anger be upon those who are against us.” As I discussed recently, the Department of Homeland Security in May warned Texas law enforcement officials of the potential illegal entry from Mexico of Mohamed Ali, a suspected member of al-Shabab. A Homeland Security intelligence assessment produced before the Uganda bombings and obtained by the Associated Press warned, “We cannot exclude the possibility that U.S. persons aligned with al-Shabab in the Horn of Africa may return to the U.S., possibly to carry out acts of violence.” Let's acknowledge that the overwhelming number of unauthorized immigrants entering the United States are simply seeking better lives and economic opportunity. Let's also acknowledge that in most cases, they are compelled to break the law because of irrationally restrictive U.S. immigration policies. Those are arguments in favor of reforming immigration. They are not reasons to ignore the federal government's responsibility to secure the border. And they are certainly not reasons to legally challenge states that act to remedy the federal government's delinquency. In most cases, unauthorized immigrants come here to cut American lawns, make American beds and pick American crops. But some of them want to come here to cut American throats. And there's no way to turn a blind eye to the former without also enabling the latter...more

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