A Representative Speaks About The Border And The Shutdown

On Saturday, The Alpha News, posted a column by U.S. Representative Jack Bergman.

Representative Bergman wrote:

For those of us who call the Upper Peninsula and northern Michigan home, the discussion around border security is often different than what we see on the nightly news. The challenges for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Agents and other federal, state and local law enforcement in the Soo vary greatly from those of their southern border counterparts. The commonality is we share the same goal: the safety and security of our citizens.

As the national debate rages on, we must remember that our nation is a welcoming nation and built by immigrants. I know firsthand — my grandparents immigrated from Sweden to the Upper Peninsula to start a new life.

Though, equally as true as the aforementioned: We are a nation of borders, as well as law and order. But our immigration system is broken — and to argue otherwise would be dishonest. From an ineffective visa system to porous borders, decades of disinterest, lazy legislation, and bureaucratic opposition have encouraged bad actors to take advantage of our current system. It’s not fair to put the needs of our citizens or of those who come here legally below those who enter illegally.

President Donald Trump is right to call this a crisis, and we have a unique opportunity right now to address these issues head on. Fixing our immigration system starts first and foremost with secure borders. Without that, everything else falls apart. While most are hoping to enter our country for a good reason, we can’t turn a blind eye to the facts. Over the past two years, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has arrested close to 300,000 criminal illegal immigrants in our country — 3,900 on murder charges, 27,000 on sex-related charges, 99,000 on assault-related charges, and over 160,000 on criminal traffic charges, such as driving under the influence.

Congress has the constitutional duty and obligation to provide for the safety and security of our citizens, and it’s time we put aside partisan games and secure our borders. U.S. Customs and Border Patrol have identified the need for 234 miles of physical barrier (read: wall) on our southern border.

Yet, Nancy Pelosi and many other “leaders” have radically dismissed the notion of walls being a necessary part of securing a border.

This is not campaign rhetoric or pandering for votes. This is a crisis of our own making. We are in the longest — and most avoidable — government shutdown in U.S. history. Those most vital to protecting our borders, coasts, and ports have now missed at least one paycheck, with little to no progress being made in Washington.

It’s time to end this shutdown, secure our borders, and get our government open and working for the people.

Come to the table Democrats.

U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman, R-Watersmeet, represents Michigan’s 1st Congressional District, covering the northern Lower Peninsula and all of the Upper Peninsula.

Well spoken, sir.

 

 

Is There A Problem?

President Trump made a very generous offer to the Democrats in the House of Representatives today regarding border security on our southern border. Unfortunately it is a pretty safe bet that they will turn down the offer. So exactly what is at stake?

On January 7th Christopher Holton posted an article at The Center For Security Policy about the security threat on our southern border. It is a rather detailed article, and I suggest that you follow the link above and read the entire article.

Here are some of the highlights:

For instance in May 2001, former Mexican National security adviser and ambassador to the United Nations, Adolfo Aguilar Zinser, reported, that ‘Islamic terrorist groups are using Mexico as a refuge.’

There is no way to estimate how many jihadists may already have crossed into the U.S. from Mexico. But the time to play politics with the border issue is long past. The shallow sloganeering and race-baiting that have dominated the national debate about border controls should be recognized as what they are: hindrances to sane and sensible national defense measures.

…Mexicans trying to enter the U.S. illegally are often simply processed at the border and sent back. But Mexico won’t allow us to send citizens from other countries back through Mexico, and under U.S. law, they’re entitled to a formal deportation hearing. The immigration service lacks beds to hold them, so the vast majority of OTMs are released from custody and asked to voluntarily return for their court date.

For instance, in 2005 alone, there were estimated to be 71,000 such OTM fugitives.

…The intrepid Todd Bensman of the excellent Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) has provided the highlights of that report’s findings:

• The recent migrant caravans originating in Central America have included “several SIAs (Special Interest Aliens), and potentially” known or suspected terrorists traveling toward the U.S. border.

• The U.S. Department of Homeland Security continues to prioritize the SIA threat as one of the top threats to the homeland because of the consistently “large number” of individuals from special interest countries that travel to the Western Hemisphere using illicit pathways.

• Written ISIS materials and publications have encouraged ISIS followers to cross the U.S. Southwest Border.

• DHS Border Patrol Agents “routinely” encounter SIAs at the border using routes controlled by transnational criminal organizations.

• Statistics on the number of known or suspected terrorists on routes to the border are often classified, but the threat posed by “the existence of illicit pathways into the United States” highlights that “border security is national security” as terrorist groups seek to exploit vulnerabilities among neighboring countries to fund, support, and commit attacks against the homeland.

• The report lists five open-source, unclassified cases representing the types of individuals and threats associated with illicit routes to the homeland. (CIS recently compiled and published a list of 15.) A number of heavily redacted cases are included in which biometric enrollment information uncovered suspected terrorists in 2013, 2015, and 2018.

• The frequency of international flights from special interest regions into Latin America and the Caribbean continues to increase due to economic and governance challenges in those countries that create an attractive environment for illicit SIA travel to the U.S. border.

• ICE Homeland Security Investigations is deeply enmeshed in investigations and operations throughout Central America to counter human smuggling organizations that move SIAs in Panama, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Brazil.

• The United States-Canada border “is also susceptible to exploitation by SIAs.”

It’s time for the politicians in Washington to stop fooling around and secure the border. The next terrorist attack in America will be on their hands.

Things Haven’t Changed, But You Wouldn’t Know It If You Watch The Mainstream Media

This article is based on two articles, one from Breitbart posted today and one from The San Diego Union-Tribune, dated November 25, 2013. If you watch the mainstream media, recently you heard how inhumane it was to use tear gas on people trying to break through the southern border of America. No one mentioned that this was not the first time this approach was used, or that tear gas was probably the most harmless approach available to the border agents that were faced with people charging the border.

Breitbart reported today:

Five years almost to the day before President Donald Trump’s border officers blocked migrants with tear gas, authorities under President Barack Obama used identical tactics along the same stretch of border near the San Ysidro Port of Entry, according to 2013 press accounts.

From The San Diego Union-Tribune in 2013:

A group of about 100 people trying to illegally cross the border Sunday near the San Ysidro port of entry threw rocks and bottles at U.S. Border Patrol agents, who responded by using pepper spray and other means to force the crowd back into Mexico, federal officials said.

The incident has raised concerns among advocates on both sides of the immigration debate, as well as Border Patrol representatives.

…As the crowd kept advancing and throwing rocks and bottles, she said, more agents came to the scene and used other “intermediate use-of-force devices” to push back the group. The agents also contacted Mexican law enforcement.

Tijuana’s top police officer, Public Safety Secretary J. Alberto Capella, said “There is no information that we can provide.” He referred questions to the U.S. Border Patrol.

The spokesman for Tijuana police, Rafael Morales, said the agency’s officers did not intervene and had no knowledge of the incident.

Caston said several agents were struck in the arms and legs with rocks, and that one agent was hit in the head with a filled water bottle.

“While attacks on Border Patrol agents are not uncommon, the agents showed great restraint when faced with the dangers of this unusually large group, and fortunately no one was serious injured,” said Paul Beeson, San Diego sector chief for the Border Patrol.

The agency did not specify the time of Sunday’s incident.

This type of rush on the border has not been seen since the late 1980s and early ’90s, when groups of border-crossers would run into the U.S. while agents tried to apprehend as many people as possible. The practice mostly disappeared after Operation Gatekeeper began in 1994 and brought with it tall fences, walls and more agents.

How did the press treat President Obama during this incident versus how the press is treating President Trump during the recent incident? Double standard anyone?

This Won’t Help Me Sleep Nights

Breitbart.com reported yesterday that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has confirmed that eight Syrian illegal aliens were taken into custody as they attempted to enter America in the Laredo Sector.

The article reports:

Agent Garza further stated that in matters as sensitive as Syrians crossing the border from Mexico, it would be highly unlikely that federal agencies would publicize it or inform a broad group of law enforcement. He did say that Local 2455 is taking the reports seriously and that they “will be issuing an officer safety bulletin advising Border Patrol agents to exercise extra precautions as they patrol the border.”

Breitbart Texas can confirm that a Syrian did attempt to enter the U.S. illegally through Texas in late September. The Syrian was caught using a passport that belonged to someone else and U.S. authorities decided against prosecuting anyone involved due to “circumstances.”

The obvious question here is, “If eight were caught, how many got through?”