Republicans or Democrats must at least agree on one factor: We need the best possible border security. Once we get that, we need to figure out what’s the best way to get it. We also need to look at the facts, and the evidence, to see what’s working, and what isn’t.
The argument that works with the American people will be protecting the border first. In doing so, we have to consider what our greatest threat is, which is terrorism.
USA Today wrote: “White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Friday that Customs and Border Protection officials caught nearly 4,000 known or suspected terrorists ‘that came across our southern border.’ She repeated that claim on talk shows throughout the weekend, and Vice-President Mike Pence used the same data point during an appearance on ‘Good Morning America’ on Tuesday.”
“But in the State Department’s summary of global terrorism threats published in September, analysts concluded that there was ‘no credible evidence indicating that international terrorist groups … sent operatives via Mexico into the United States,’ ” the USA Today report added.
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In fact, CNBC found when they analyzed the CBP data, that less than 1 percent of those suspected of being connected to terrorism actually crossed the border from Mexico. Of those 41 individuals, 35 were U.S. citizens, and six were not American citizens.
On Fox News, Kellyanne Conway admitted the mistake made by the administration. “That was an unfortunate misstatement …everybody makes mistakes, all of us.”
But what about immigration? Isn’t it out of control? Evidence from The Washington Post shows that illegal immigration is the lowest level it’s been since 2000, and that was when Bill Clinton was U.S. president. It went up during the Bush administration, according to the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, which found out that the spike in immigration was due to perceptions that George W. Bush would support amnesty. However, illegal immigration has been declining since the late 2000s.
Do you know who said immigration was at its lowest level in 17 years? It was Donald Trump, back on April 21, 2017, in an interview.
Has it stayed low, or increased since 2017? Well, on Dec. 11, Trump tweeted “Our Southern Border is now Secure and will remain that way.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham also called the border wall just “a metaphor” a few days ago. I’ll agree with him on that statement. Let’s end the shutdown and spend money on catching the 99 percent of terrorists trying to enter our airports and seaports, as illegal immigration continues to decline on our southern border.
John A. Tures is a professor of political science at LaGrange College in LaGrange, Georgia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His Twitter account is JohnTures2.