U.S. President Donald Trump appears to be as challenged directionally as he is factually. The President continues to insist that the southern border of the United States is so porous that terrorists are streaming across by the thousands. In fact, not a single one has been caught on that border.
In pressuring Congress to fund his infamous wall, the President frequently cites a report from the Department of Homeland Security which claims that “The U.S. southern border remains vulnerable to potential terrorist transit...” but he neglects to complete the sentence, “although terrorist groups likely seek other means of entering the United States.”
The report goes on to state it found “no credible evidence indicating that international terrorist groups have established bases in Mexico, worked with the Mexican cartels, or sent operatives via Mexico to the United States.”
report notes than in the more than forty years from 1975-2017 not a single terrorist was found to have crossed into the United States from Mexico. During that same period of time, there were seven suspected terrorists caught in the U.S. who had crossed via the northern border from Canada. only attempted terrorist attacks on the United States by foreign terrorists were conducted by those crossing from Canada.
Given these statistics, if there is any validity to the security need for a wall to keep out terrorists, it would be better built on the northern border with Canada. But we know that is not going to happen because we generally look like and talk like Americans.
Trump's insistence on a physical wall separating Mexico and the United States seems more like a billion-dollar boondoggle to caress a xenophobic President's ego than any rational security measure.
Time to turn around Mr President. You're looking in the wrong direction for those terrorists.
Frank Likely is a retired Anglican minister who lives in Springhill.