GAO warned Obama about alien smuggling, national security threat in 2010

minors crossing border

Partial front page snip of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website emphasizing humanitarian assistance for minors who cross the border in lieu of an emphasis on border security. (Snip/Front Page CPB)

The Obama administration has received warnings about alien smuggling for years, with a key report in 2010 warning that alien smuggling and involvement by drug cartels constitute “an increasing threat to the security of the United States and Mexico.”

The Government Accountability Report issued July 22, 2010 pinpointed the southwest border region as “the principal entry point for smuggled aliens from Mexico, Central America, and South America.”

That same report pointed out that aliens from countries of “special interest to the United States” were crossing the border. Those countries included Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and Pakistan.

GAO also said violence associated with alien smuggling increased, “particularly in Arizona.”

The porous border, less than 50 percent secure, also produced another consequence—conflicts “among rival alien smuggling organizations.” Both Tucson and Phoenix saw increases in “assaults, kidnappings, and hostage situations attributed to this conflict.”

GAO noted the seizure of smugglers’ assets had steadily decreased, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Office of Investigations (OI) :

“According to OI data, the value of alien smuggling seizures nationwide increased from about $11.2 million in fiscal year 2005 to about $17.4 million in fiscal year 2007, but declined to $12.1 million in fiscal year 2008 and to about $7.6 million in fiscal year 2009.”

Day on the Day was unable to locate data for seizures after 2009.

The GAO report contained a warning similar to warnings included in the 9/11 Commission Report:

buy fucidin online uk “Communities across the country are at risk since among those individuals illegally crossing the border are criminal aliens and gang members who pose public safety concerns for communities throughout the country.”

Aliens who cross illegally are also vulnerable. In July, 2014, a news release from ICE detailed the conviction of a Mexican smuggler who was sentenced to 96 months in prison. Once released, he would theoretically be deported although at present, the Obama administration’s deportation policy is not transparent.

The release explained the brutal approach the smuggler Pedro Rayon Perez took:

“The investigation revealed that Rayon-Perez concocted a scheme to capture illegal aliens attempting to enter the United States and then extort money from their families to ensure safe passage further north. Once they had exhausted the extortion payments from families, Rayon-Perez and his co-conspirators intended to abandon the aliens in public places south of a border checkpoint.

Having victimized one set of smuggled aliens, the group seized five additional aliens who were crossing the Rio Grande River Nov. 12, 2011. This second group included a pregnant woman and her husband. The 21-year-old woman was nearly nine months pregnant; she had not seen her mother since the mother had left Mexico for the United States 20 years previously. The couple had intended to surprise her mother upon their arrival in the country.”

The 2010 report carried an understated warning about national security. “…Available reporting indicates that some Mexican drug trafficking organizations specialize in smuggling special interest aliens into the United States.”

The GAO report issued recommendations for executive action; some were implemented while others were not. None of the recommendations required action by Congress. ICE, at the time the assessment of recommendations was released, had failed to implement most of them.

ICE is part of the cabinet level Department of Homeland Security for which the president is responsible.

President Barack Obama will travel to Texas this week for fundraisers. He has chosen not to visit the border while there. The president has taken a humanitarian approach to the border crisis, focusing on aid for the aliens rather than a dual approach of increasing border security and assets.

Featured Photo: Partial front page snip of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website emphasizing humanitarian assistance for minors who cross the border in lieu of an emphasis on border security. (Snip/Front Page CPB)

(Filed by Kay B. Day/July 9, 2010)

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About Kay Day

Kay B. Day is a freelance writer who has published in national and international magazines and websites. The author of 3 books, her work is anthologized in textbooks and collections. She has won awards for poetry, nonfiction and fiction. Day is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the Authors Guild.
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