The Biden administration’s open-borders policy that Latin American leaders say has encouraged a deluge of illegal migrants making their way to the U.S. has Barack Obama’s DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson worried.
Johnson told Fox News he is particularly concerned that Hamas or other Iranian-linked terrorist groups could or have used the open border to infiltrate people into the U.S.
“There are a lot of people entering our southern border right now,” Johnson said. “Thousands and thousands. It’s a hemispheric move north bigger than anything we’ve ever seen. And the challenge for [U.S. Customs and Border Protection, or CBP], for our DHS, the FBI, is to try to keep up.”
Johnson continued, “Unfortunately, as you know, the system is broken, it’s horribly backlogged, and there’s a whole lot of people entering this country who we cannot identify.”
Hizballah’s Influence on the Rise in Mexico
Fox News reporter Griff Jenkins noted on X Friday that the Border Patrol had apprehended two Lebanese nationals in Eagle Pass, Texas, an area of high illegal migrant flow. Hizballah is based in Lebanon.
Hizballah has a documented relationship with the Mexican cartels that could easily be used to smuggle sleeper agents into the U.S. as it is used to smuggle drugs. Such agents likely would only be activated in the event of a war with Iran, because Hizballah is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.
The Los Zetas cartel has a particularly close relationship with Hizballah. The IRGC plotted with Los Zetas to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. at Washington, D.C.’s upscale Café Milano in 2011. This illustrates how Iran could potentially use the Mexican cartels to do its bidding. It stands as a reminder of what Iran could do in the future.
Chinese Migration on the Rise
The U.S. Border Patrol has apprehended an increasing number of Chinese nationals along the U.S.-Mexican border. That has some concern that China is sneaking sleeper agents and saboteurs into the U.S.
Muckracker.com founder Anthony Rubin told Fox News last spring that an increasing number of Chinese are flying to South America and smuggling themselves through Central America and into the U.S.
“This would be for people who can’t fly into the U.S. directly. So what they do is they get on a flight, and they fly into some South American country. Then from there, they would go to Colombia, they would go across the jungle, pop out in Panama, and then they would head up to the United States. But this is going to be for people that can’t fly into the U.S. directly. … You’d rather just fly into the U.S. and overstay your visa. This is for people that don’t have that access for whatever reason,” Rubin said.
The trendline has seen an increase in the number of people entering across the southern border who are from places other than Latin America.
“President Joe Biden’s administration has repeatedly faced scrutiny from both sides of the aisle over its handling of the southern border, with Democrats most recently condemning DHS plans to move forward with additional border wall construction. According to CBP figures, as of August, more than 2.2 million migrants have had encounters with authorities along the U.S.-Mexico in the 2023 fiscal year, an increase from 2.1 million a year ago,” Newsweek columnist Kaitlan Lewis wrote. “There has also been a rise in recent years in the number of people apprehended on the FBI’s terrorist watchlist, with border patrol agents apprehending 151 migrants along the southern border in the fiscal year 2023 who match the FBI’s screening system, according to the CBP. In fiscal year 2022, 98 people on the watchlist were apprehended after entering from Mexico.”
John Rossomando is a defense and counterterrorism analyst and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, The National Interest, National Review Online, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award for his reporting.