The political class does everything it can to cover up any mention of the murder and mayhem resulting from the border invasion so that we won’t confront the problem head-on with the military at our border and full-bore interior enforcement of our immigration laws. Yet the same political elites will spare no resources in fighting other people’s wars and will fight against those who do not wish to permanently guard Kabul.
Security for Kabul but not for our own communities
Earlier this week, Republicans in the Senate led by Mitch McConnell successfully tacked on an amendment to a pro-Israel bill that expressed the sense of the Senate essentially rebuking the president for wanting to pull troops out of Syria and Afghanistan. The amendment stated that the Senate feels our country “faces continuing threats from terrorist groups operating in Syria and Afghanistan and that the precipitous withdrawal of United States forces from either country could put at risk hard-won gains and United States national security.”
Hard-won gains in Afghanistan? Are you kidding me?
As for Syria, our operation in Syria essentially cleared out the Sunni insurgency for Assad and Iran, which enabled Iran to build a corridor directly threatening Israel. So much for tacking this amendment to a pro-Israel bill!
Why is the Republican Senate not expressing its sense of the continued threats of the gangs and cartels operating within our own country, based south of our own border? Why does it not demand that we have more troops at our own border as the New Mexico governor pulls out the National Guard from the worst hot spots in the New Mexico bootheel?
It’s amazing that a party that typically votes with its leader in the White House chose this, of all issues, for its stand against the president. Cruz, Kennedy, Lee, and Paul were the only senators willing to question the priority of rebuilding Kabul for two decades in middle of a 1,300-year tribal war. That goal of social work in the Middle East is so strong with most Republicans, it even trumps party unity.
Earlier this week, Ted Cruz, one of the four senators to oppose this amendment, effectively laid out the true hawkish position on foreign policy in a seminal speech before the American Enterprise Institute. He rejected the false choice between interventionists and isolationists, noting that we always need to assess what is actually in our national interest. And nowhere is this more evident than with our own homeland security. When will the so-called hawks finally understand that the Mexican cartels and the transnational gangs are all external threats we either let into our country or allow to operate freely on our border and that they need much more attention than Kabul?
The grave lessons of the MS-13 subway attack in New York
Just look at the glaring example of the MS-13 subway attack in New York on Sunday. It’s the sort of brazen cartel hit you see regularly in the very countries from which migrants are flooding. We now know that Ramiro Gutierrez, the man who shot a rival gang member in broad daylight in a city subway, was here illegally and had nine prior arrests, including four felonies, yet he was released on bail every time and was never turned over to ICE. NYPD did everything it could to cover up the fact that he was an illegal alien gang member, which makes this an external and avoidable attack, not just some act of domestic violence.
There are a number of important lessons from this attack:
Turning America into Mexico (which is more violent than Afghanistan): The style of violence we have seen for so long south of our border is now in our communities, thanks to our open borders letting in this sort of violence that could easily be kept out. Lest you take solace in the notion that this is only gang-on-gang violence, just take a look at Mexico’s problem, and you will see that it spills over into innocent people getting hurt, and that is already happening in our cities.
The ultimate threat of sanctuary cities: This is not only a border problem, but a collapse of our laws internally. Given that the violence is no longer just at our border, but in all our communities, because most of the illegal immigrants are moving to the East Coast, enforcing our laws on the interior is just as much as a national security concern as border security, which in itself should be a greater priority than Kabul. Yet McConnell, to this day, has refused to tackle sanctuary cities or even force Democrats to take a tough vote on criminal aliens. Not only should this “animal,” as Trump would rightfully call him, never have been in our country, we had at least nine opportunities to get rid of him after he came here illegally. But thanks to sanctuaries violating foundational powers of the federal government to guard against external threats, he was able to commit murder.
This is a theme that is all too common. Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies, who has studied interior immigration enforcement for decades, lamented that this is another example of a violent criminal alien “repeatedly recycled through New York’s criminal justice system and repeatedly sent back on the streets when he could have been sent home if the cops had been permitted to work with ICE.” Vaughan notes how deporting these people at the first sign of criminality “is the best tool we have to fight gangs like MS-13 that have many members who are here illegally.” “Broader enforcement will help keep them from replenishing their ranks like they have been since 2012, within the influx of minors and families from Central America.”
I spoke with Tony Mottola, a retired sergeant detective with the NYPD, about the subway attack, and he was horrified by the lack of coordination with between local law enforcement and the feds on foreign national criminals. “Federal, state, and local law enforcement need to be more transparent with each other and the American people in regard to transnational gangs and the Mexican cartel activities in the U.S.,” said the veteran officer, who served as NYPD’s Intelligence Bureau’s domestic liaison to all law enforcement agencies on terrorism, gangs, and criminal activity within the U.S. “For these agencies to be successful in fighting crime inflicted by gangs like MS-13, we as a nation have to acknowledge more has to be done beyond arresting and putting these gang members in jail. The Mexican cartels have become a global threat that [has] found ways to circumvent the current U.S. border security. As these gangs continue to flourish, they will become even more violent, jeopardizing the public’s safety.”
McConnell seems to have no motivation to deal with the foreign threats on our own soil and states that harbor them by violating laws duly passed by Congress. “Congress needs to join the fight against these thugs, too, by adjusting our laws to keep these knuckleheads from getting green cards and other benefits,” warns Vaughan. Indeed, many of the new MS-13 recruits are among those who came in recently from Central America who are designated as unaccompanied alien children, resettled as refugees, and eventually eligible for green cards, making it harder to deport them.
Many crimes of illegal aliens go undocumented: This case is a vivid illustration of how the amount of crime committed by illegal aliens is even more than the numbers Trump cited in his State of the Union address. We now know that the NYPD, pursuant to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s order, doesn’t even track the immigration status of those who are arrested for internal purposes, much less turn over illegal immigrants to ICE. Remember, most illegal aliens live in sanctuary jurisdictions like New York City where the cops will not turn over those arrested for assault, DUIs, or drug trafficking to ICE. For that matter, ICE recently caught illegal aliens who were arrested by the NYPD for sexual assaults on minors and were evidently let out of the system without informing the feds. Can you imagine the true level of crime from aliens in this country who were never apprehended by ICE, thanks to other major sanctuary cities?
Why is that not a national security threat, especially when so many of these two million known criminal aliens are tied to the most brutal cartels who are terrorists in all but name only?
The looming question for Republicans like McConnell is: What will it take for them to treat our homeland security with the same degree of seriousness that they accord to the “security situation” in Kabul?
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.