Yikes: Border Patrol captures Saudi "potential terrorist" crossing Yuma sector

Seventeen years ago, the 9/11 Commission cited the morass on our borders — both north and south — as a national security concern. Both Canada and the US tightened some border controls on that shared border, but the US-Mexico border has barely been addressed. So why should this surprise anyone, except that we actually caught this man and identified him?

The unidentified Saudi had on a uniform from a New York first-responder agency, for some reason. No one knows exactly how he got it, but the agency represented by this jacket insists that he had no business wearing it:

That points to a deliberate effort to use deception to avoid arrest, with some resources behind it. A poverty-stricken migrant would not have the resources to mock up a jacket like this, putting aside the odd choice for disguise. (Central Oneida County, New York? Why not a Maricopa County, Arizona uniform of some sort?) That kind of deception and resource use strongly suggests a motive of something other than personal economics or a desire for liberty.

Julio Rosas has reported from the Yuma sector for the last few days, and reminds us what a disaster it is at the moment:

The Yuma Sector has been one of the sectors along the U.S.-Mexico border that has seen a dramatic increase in illegal crossings during the historic crisis. The sector has seen a 584 percent increase in single adult encounters, a 242 percent increase in family unit encounters, and a 237 percent increase in unaccompanied children encounters during fiscal year 2021 compared to fiscal year 2020.

As a result of the high number of crossings, many agents are assigned to processing or transporting the large groups instead of patrolling. Townhall reported last week many times only two to three agents are assigned to patrol during the day and one to two agents are patrolling at night along large parts of the Yuma Sector.

This would be a disaster even if the issue was one of rational border control. In the post-9/11 era, it’s suicidal insanity. Let’s revisit the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation to Congress and the White House in 2004:

Recommendation: The U.S. government cannot meet its own obligations to the American people to prevent the entry of terrorists without a major effort to collaborate with other governments. We should do more to exchange terrorist information with trusted allies, and raise U.S. and global border security standards for travel and border crossing over the medium and long term through extensive international cooperation.

Immigration Law and Enforcement

Our borders and immigration system, including law enforcement, ought to send a message of welcome, tolerance, and justice to members of immigrant communities in the United States and in their countries of origin.We should reach out to immigrant communities. Good immigration services are one way of doing so that is valuable in every way—including intelligence.

It is elemental to border security to know who is coming into the country. Today more than 9 million people are in the United States outside the legal immigration system.We must also be able to monitor and respond to entrances between our ports of entry, working with Canada and Mexico as much as possible.

There is a growing role for state and local law enforcement agencies.They need more training and work with federal agencies so that they can cooperate more effectively with those federal authorities in identifying terrorist suspects.

All but one of the 9/11 hijackers acquired some form of U.S. identification document, some by fraud.Acquisition of these forms of identification would have assisted them in boarding commercial flights, renting cars, and other necessary activities.

For seventeen years, Congress has dodged this issue, thanks largely to a desire by Democrats to pander to open-borders activists. Joe Biden created the current border crisis by abruptly reversing policies which had actively disincentivized migration and canceling work on the border wall that would have made the Border Patrol a lot more efficient at securing the border. That failure stretches back almost two decades, however, with only a brief period of serious improvement under the Trump administration — and that only temporary while Congress continued its standoff over immigration.

In the meantime, give the Border Patrol kudos for catching this person of interest. Now let’s ask ourselves how many others might have gotten past them, thanks to the lack of resources provided by Congress and the crisis initiated by Biden. Maybe we got lucky the first time, but … I wouldn’t bet on it.