by WorldTribune Staff, May 3, 2019
More than 10,000 illegal immigrants from countries that the United States has designated as state sponsors of terrorism have been ordered removed or have pending final orders of removal, but are still currently living in the U.S., Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) records show.
Included are illegals from Iran, Syria, Sudan and North Korea, according to the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), which obtained the records via the Freedom of Information Act. All four of those countries have been designated as state sponsors of terrorism by the U.S. State Department.
More than 6,000 of the illegals on ICE’s National Docket are from Iran, which adds up to 61 percent of the removal orders of illegals from terror states. Iran is followed by Syria with 20 percent, Sudan with 18 percent, and North Korea with less than one percent.
The United States has classified Iran as the foremost state sponsor of terrorism, alleging that Iran provides “a range of support, including financial, training, weapons, and equipment to [terrorist] groups around the world – particularly Hizbullah.” The Trump administration has focused on Iran’s activities, including recently officially designating that nation’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
U.S. Intelligence officials and security experts recently testified in Congress about the existence of Iranian terrorist “sleeper cells” operating within the United States. According to Congressman Peter King, New York Republican and member of the House Homeland Security Committee, there is mounting evidence that Iran poses a “direct threat to the homeland.“
Thomas Homan, former acting director of ICE, recently commented on the issue, stating, “My biggest concern isn’t how many terrorists have been arrested entering the country illegally, but how many got through? How many did Border Patrol not catch? That’s what Americans should be thinking about.”
IRLI noted that “State and local law enforcement agencies used to be a force multiplier for ICE when they ran a person’s name through the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and learned that the person was wanted on an administrative warrant for removal from the United States, but sanctuary laws prevent law enforcement agencies from detaining and even contacting ICE.”
Although sanctuary laws have prevented the apprehension of illegal aliens with removal orders, ICE was still able to remove on average about 44 per year who were known or suspected terrorists in fiscal years 2017 and 2018.
“It’s simply unacceptable that we have more than 10,000 illegals here from terrorist states that are sworn enemies of America. We saw on 9/11 the damage that only 19 sleeper cell terrorists could cause. This is just the latest example of the disaster of sanctuary laws, which force ICE agents to operate with one hand tied behind their backs while making our communities inherently more dangerous.” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI.
During the Obama administration, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) admitted that dozens of Syrian nationals suspected of having terrorist ties slipped into the U.S.
DHS claimed that federal agents missed “possible derogatory information” about the immigrants due to “a lapse in vetting.”
Judicial Watch noted that “Among those who slipped through the cracks is a man who failed a polygraph test after applying to work at a U.S. military installation and another who communicated with an Islamic State leader. Regardless, President Obama let thousands of Syrians settle in the U.S. even as his own intelligence and immigration officials warned that individuals with ties to terrorist groups used the program to infiltrate the country and that there was no way to properly screen refugees.”
Along the U.S.-Mexico border, federal agents routinely encounter individuals from terrorist nations and DHS considers them one of the top threats to the United States. The government classifies them as Special Interest Aliens (SIA) and they are flowing north via Latin America in huge numbers thanks to established Transitional Criminal Organizations (TCO) that facilitate travel along drug and migrant smuggling routes.
A congressional investigation earlier this year found that tens of thousands of SIAs — from the Middle East, Asia and Africa — entered Panama and Colombia in the past few years. Nearly all the SIA migrants were headed to the United States and most came from Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Bangladesh and India. Encounters with the special interest individuals resulted in the seizure of tens of thousands of fraudulent documents — including passports and visas — that facilitated travel from their countries of origin through the Americas, according to a January report by the House Homeland Security Committee.
The famously porous Mexican border is an easy pathway into the U.S. for many SIAs. In Laredo, Texas alone authorities report a 300 percent increase in immigrants from Bangladesh, a south Asian Islamic country well known as a recruiting ground for terrorist groups such as ISIS and Al Qaida Indian Subcontinent (AQIS).
According to Mexican media reports, hundreds of illegal immigrants from Africa, India, Bangladesh and other non-Central American nations are currently in Mexico awaiting asylum in the U.S.
Most are holed up in Tapachula, which is in the southeast Mexican state of Chiapas bordering Guatemala. One group featured recently in a Mexican newspaper article took nine months to reach Chiapas. They went from Angola to Brazil where they spent four months before traveling to Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica then Nicaragua. Once they reached Honduras, the African illegal aliens took three days to purchase a photo identification and bus ticket to Guatemala, where they say it was easy passage to Mexico.
Another group featured in the same story came from Cameroon, home of the extremist groups Boko Haram and the Islamic State West Africa (ISWA). The illegal aliens say they flew from Cameroon to Ecuador before traveling through Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala and finally Mexico.
All of the Africans plan to continue into the United States where they expect to “achieve refuge,” according to the news report.
According to the Mexican media reports, tens of thousands of Central Americans and Cubans, around 800 migrants from Congo, Cameroon, Guinea, Pakistan, Syria, Nepal and Pakistan, among others, await U.S. asylum in Mexico.
A separate Latin American news report estimates that more than 1,000 migrants from those nations are currently in Mexico with the goal of gaining asylum in the U.S.