Conservatives Warn Border Crisis Leaves U.S. Open to Terror Threat
Law enforcement and national security officials are sounding the alarm on increased terror threats to America, but conservatives are warning that the nation’s open southern border is its greatest vulnerability. FBI Director Christopher Wray and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testified Tuesday before congressional committees on Homeland Security, noting that terrorism threats to the U.S. have been escalated to a “whole other level” due to the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.
Speaking to U.S. senators, Wray said, “The reality is that the terrorism threat has been elevated throughout 2023, but the ongoing war in the Middle East has raised the threat of an attack against Americans in the United States to a whole other level.”
He warned that the actions of Palestine-based terrorist organization Hamas may inspire other terrorist groups — including those already within the U.S. — on a scale “the likes of which we haven’t seen since ISIS launched its so-called caliphate several years ago.” Wray further noted, “We also cannot and do not discount the possibility that Hamas or another foreign terrorist organization may exploit the current conflict to conduct attacks here on our own soil.”
Conservatives are warning that Biden’s open southern border leaves the U.S. especially vulnerable to the threat of terrorism. Speaking to Family Research Council President Tony Perkins on Tuesday’s episode of “Washington Watch,” Senator Rick Scott (R-Fla.) pointed to Hamas’s attack on Israel early last month and asked, “Could that happen here? I don’t want it to happen here.” He continued, “I don’t care whether you’re Republican or Democrat, you should love your family. So 70,000 people die in a fentanyl overdose a year because there’s an open border. I mean, why don’t the Democrats want to solve this?”
Referring to a record-breaking number of illegal border crossings, Scott noted, “You look at how many people have come from Iran, in Iraq, in Syria, in Afghanistan, completely unvetted that are around our country.”
According to data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, fiscal year 2023 saw nearly two and a half million encounters with illegal immigrants at the southern border, the second year in a row to see over two million illegal border crossings. Breitbart News reported that since the beginning of October, nearly 100 Syrian and 50 Iranian migrants have been apprehended at the southern border. Since October 2022, at least 149 illegal immigrants have been encountered or apprehended who were listed on the Federal Terrorist Watchlist.
Yet, Scott pointed out, “When we ask for information from places like the FBI or Homeland Security or Health and Human Services, they give us … either they don’t respond or they have redacted information or they don’t answer the question. … They had to acknowledge today that … we have significant risk.” He added, “We have significant risk of terrorist attacks in this country, not just from lone wolves, but from an organized effort by Iran and Hezbollah and Hamas, all these groups.”
Scott isn’t alone. Since Hamas attacked Israel, conservatives have been warning that the open southern border poses a threat to American security. Notably, former President Donald Trump said on Truth Social, “The same people that raided Israel are pouring into our once beautiful USA, through our TOTALLY OPEN SOUTHERN BORDER, at Record Numbers. Are they planning an attack within our Country?”
Florida governor and Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis asked, “Do you think our enemies, knowing that we have an open border, are not taking advantage of that? … There’s going to be a terrorist attack in this country that we’re going to be able to trace back to the southern border.” He also said that securing the southern border would “ensure we are in a position to better protect Americans here at home from these real threats.”
Conservatives have also warned against importing Palestinian refugees, citing potential terrorist threats. For example, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said, “The U.S. is the most generous nation in the world, but we are in no position to accept additional refugees, especially from a region with as high a risk of terrorism, given our nation’s inability to secure our own border or vet those who are already here.”
S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.