Suspected terrorists and criminals have infiltrated the immigrant “caravans” traveling to the U.S. border from Mexico, raising new concerns that the crisis has national security dangers, according to a new House report.
The investigative report from the House Homeland Security Committee cited Mexico’s findings with the caravans. “Recently, Mexico has stepped up its efforts to combat the migrant caravans coming in from Honduras, which has included several SIAs, and potentially KSTs travelling towards the U.S. border,” said the report in a reference to “special interest aliens” and “known or suspected terrorists.”
It also said that ISIS has been encouraging members to cross the border and that U.S. Border Control officers have “routinely” encountered suspected terrorist and criminal gang members.
The report, done by committee Republicans, was released right before the Democrats took power in the chamber.
The Center for Immigration Studiespulled out these highlights:
- The recent migrant caravans originating in Central America have included “several SIAs, 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 United States-Canada border “is also susceptible to exploitation by SIAs.”
It also looked at the cost of immigration and said that an average of 51,379 illegal immigrants are held each day at $200 each, totaling over $10 million a day.
The report, part of a task force investigation, said:
The practice of repatriating migrants back to their home countries should be viewed through the lenses of countering a potential terrorist attack, securing the border, and strengthening our national security. When migrants are repatriated from third countries, we not only lower the threat and the volume, but also save taxpayer dollars by not having to spend money on detention and other measures when migrants reach and cross our borders. According to ICE, on average it costs $133.99 a day to maintain one adult detention bed. However, immigration groups have put that number at closer to $200 per day. The average stay for an illegal immigrant in an ICE facility is estimated at around 44 days, indicating that the low end of the price tag for the taxpayers is around $5,895 per detainee, and can cost up to $8,800 by some estimates.55 Furthermore, DHS has projected that there will be an average of 51,379 individuals held in detention centers each day in FY 2018, costing the taxpayers millions of dollars by even the most conservative estimates. Repatriating individuals back to their home is a common sense policy that will strengthen our security while saving the taxpayers millions of dollars than can be used more effectively.
Source: Washington Examiner; House Homeland Security Committee.