|1.2 million... In one year...|
All this is in a report released by Texas House Representative Michael McCaul, A Line in the Sand: Confronting the Threat at the Southwest Border (via Counterterrorism Blog). FYI, it's a .pdf file so take note...
Some of the basic stats outlined in the 40 page report are as follows...
During 2005, Border Patrol apprehended approximately 1.2 million illegal aliens; of those 165,000 were from countries other than Mexico. Of the non-Mexican aliens, approximately 650 were from special interest countries. Special interest countries are those “designated by the intelligence community as countries that could export individuals that could bring harm to our country in the way of terrorism.”
A significant portion of illegal activity at the border relates to illegal drug smuggling. Below is a summary of FY 2005 Federal drug seizures, which shows a total of 1,129,275 pounds of cocaine and 6,866,465 million pounds of Marijuana.
Law enforcement officials estimate that at best only 20% of illegal drugs are seized and only 30% of illegal immigrants are caught.
But as the Aaron Mannes at Counterterrorism blog points out, some of the most disturbing data in the report is in regards to Venezuela's role in helping the 165,000 "other" illegals...
A particularly interesting note was the report's discussion of Venezuela's current policy of freely issuing identity documents. Thousands of cedulas (the Venezuelan equivalent of social security cards) have reportedly been issued to non-Venezuelans - including Cubans, Columbians, Middle Easterners, and Pakistanis. Combined with Hugo's belligerent rhetoric and close relationship with Iran this is extremely worrisome.
This issue has been discussed in intel circles for some time. FARC's foreign minister was living openly in Caracas and had even voted in Venezuela's election.
In fairness, even for Hugo, directly supporting terror attacks against the U.S. may be a bit much (although maybe not). This is more likely crime plus. That is - corruption and criminal activity - permitted by Hugo's regime as a revenue source with the added bonus of causing trouble for the United States.
Whatever Hugo's motives, you can't discount his increased belligerence and how chummy he's been lately with the psycho "death to the Great Satan" crowd. With the friends he keeps and the crap he keeps saying, I don't think we can afford to continue to shrug him off as a South American tin hat dictator. If he's going to give legal Venezuelan documents to anybody, of any race, creed, or country - anybody with a pulse for that matter - we need to stand up and take notice. More than take notice, we need to start to take action. And finishing a wall across the entire length of the southern border would be a great start.
Labels: border, Chavez, Mexico, security, Venezuela