Sunday, April 23, 2006


That’s the title of Salena Zito’s latest column and the message that Congress needs to hear every day until they take shutting the border down seriously.

Americans sitting in the heartland may not be sweating over border issues but Webb County, Texas, Sheriff Rick Flores thinks they should be. “Any sheriff, whether they are in Dallas, Iowa or even Nebraska, would much prefer that we squash a threat at the border than force them to deal with it after it gets through us,” the sheriff told me in his office here. “Smugglers have a ready-made infrastructure in place…and they are just waiting to substitute terrorists and their cargoes for drugs if the price is right.”

Sheriff Flores’ point can’t be emphasized too often or too vociferously. All the laws on the books are useless if we don’t get this fundamental part right.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has taken the lead in funding border security, is impressed with the Texas Border Sheriffs Coalition, “first, by how they identified the scope and magnitude of the growing threat…then by how they delivered a coordinated strategy to address those risks and threats.”
It’s intel-led policing at its best. Talk of a terrorist pipeline is not paranoia. If criminals can smuggle drugs, gang members and illegals, what would stop them from importing members of al-Qaida or Hezbollah?

Let’s hope that Congress, the Senate especially, has heard from their constituents in sufficient numbers that they take enforcement more seriously. Forget about the Kennedy-McCain bill’s ‘guest worker’ provisions. Build the wall and increase the patrols and technology first. Then we can talk about normalization. Normalization conversations comes after we’re secured the border.

NOTE TO REPUBLICANS: Get this right and the elections will look alot better. I’d guarantee it. Ignoring the will of the people is the fastest way to become a minority party.

“How can we reasonably say that al-Qaida or Hezbollah has not passed through here?” The problem essentially is that terrorists get into the United States under the guise of being people looking for work,” former CIA Director James Woolsey told me. “For example, in the tri-border area”, where Brazil, Venezuela and Uruguay meet, “Hezbollah has been a major presence for years and many of its people speak Spanish and might seem merely to be people looking for work.”

Are you scared alert yet? If you haven’t, then you’re ignoring reality. This is a ticking time bomb of the worst kind. If we don’t get the border sealed off, the result will be a terrorist attack that might make 9/11 look tame in comparison.

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