Border Crossings Prompt US Concern Following Attack In United Kingdom
By Mike Blair
Following the July 7 bombings of the subway and bus system in London, a former U.S. federal immigration official, on condition of anonymity, candidly discussed with AFP increasing concerns about the thousands of illegal aliens from countries other than Mexico who have crossed into the United States, exploiting our relatively unguarded borders with Mexico and Canada.
A retired Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) agent told AFP that when these aliens, known by border control as “OTMs” (other than Mexicans), are picked up they are simply issued “notices to appear” by officers, which indicate a date when they are to appear in court to determine their status and face potential deportation. The illegal aliens are then released into the general population, while awaiting a hearing date.
However, the retired INS officer said that approximately 85 percent of the OTMs never show up for their hearings and simply leave the country on their own or, and more likely, melt into the country’s populace.
This has prompted front-line Border Patrol officers—handicapped by lack of manpower and aging equipment and overwhelmed by the massive numbers of illegals coming into the country—to call
the notifications, “notices to disappear.”
No one knows better than the Border Patrol officers working the borders that they face an impossible task with very little support on a national level from Congress or the Bush administration.
The greatest concern is that large numbers of the OTMs could actually be terrorists slipping into the country. “No one knows who these people are and they are released into society to do whatever they want,” the retired
INS officer said.
“American citizens are in grave danger until we are able to seal our borders from these intruders.”
Widespread reports that Israel and the United States are planning military operations targeting Iran’s developing nuclear capabilities, have prompted some to speculate about the possibility that Iranian agents may be crossing
into the United States over the Mexican and Canadian border to strike back against the United States in the event of an attack on their country.
Recently, border control agents broke up a smuggling ring that was involved in attempting to sneak some 20 Iranian nationals, with unknown backgrounds, into the United States through Arizona.
A concern of many anti-terrorism experts is that there are a growing number of terrorist cells in Canada, which has virtually an open-door policy for illegals. They are released into Canadian society without background checks or even identification papers, many to subsequently slip into the United States across the virtually unguarded Canadian border
with this country.
One source told AFP that there are currently an estimated 72,000 undocumented aliens in the city of Toronto, Ontario, alone.
In the mostly French-speaking province of Quebec, where Canada’s largest city, Montreal, is located, the illegal situation is said to be “out of control,” with Montreal being a major point of entry into Canada by aliens.
(Issue #30, July 25, 2005)