Marine Corps General John Kelly is responsible for the Caribbean Sea island nations, as well as all lands south of Mexico in his role as SOUTHCOM commander. He has been adamant that Obama’s “open borders” policies are far more dangerous than has been reported. In fact, he thinks the southern border, unsecured, could lead to the end of the U.S. as we know it.
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Not only does the General believe an open southern border is a national security matter, but he has testified before Congress that illegal immigration allows further trafficking of drugs, guns, and humans. This influx threatens our culture and is well more than a humanitarian crisis.
Of course, recent budget cuts have had a negative impact on General Kelly’s ability to do his own job. He claims his operations have been “handcuffed” and therefore aided those trafficking in various illegal activities. The cancellation of more than 200 activities due to recent cuts has led to an estimated 74% of “actionable illicit trafficking events” to go unanswered. Is the General complicit in the illegal activity? Of course not, he simply does not have the resources to engage these criminals properly.
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He claims terrorists could avail themselves of unguarded trafficking pipelines to bring weapons and personnel across the border to actually threaten the U.S.
“Supporters and sympathizers of Lebanese Hezbollah are involved in both licit and illicit activities in the region,” Kelly told Congress. “Members, supporters, and adherents of Islamic extremist groups are present in Latin America. Islamic extremists visit the region to proselytize, recruit, establish business venues to generate funds, and expand their radical networks. Some Muslim communities in the Caribbean and South America are exhibiting increasingly extremist ideology and activities, mostly as a result from ideologues’ activities and external influence from the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. Mr. Chairman, we take all these activities seriously.”
Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua account for the bulk of the trafficking intercepted by Kelly’s post. The General claims they are among the most criminal in the world. Each of these countries has high murder and crime rates.
“Chairman, gone are the days of the ‘cocaine cowboys,’” Kelly testified. “Instead, we and our partners are confronted with cocaine corporations that have franchises all over the world, including 1,200 American cities, as well as criminal enterprises like the violent transnational gang Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, that specialize in extortion and human trafficking.”
“The FBI has warned that MS-13 has a significant presence in California, North Carolina, New York, and northern Virginia, and is expanding into new areas of the United States, including Indian reservations in South Dakota,” he concluded.
Of course, the General was testifying before Congress to justify his command and to thwart further budget cuts. His job in that moment was to fight to retain as many positions as possible. It is, however, his job to protect citizens of the U.S. from threats that may wish to use a porous border to inflict harm. One could argue he should be afforded whatever budget and personnel necessary to accomplish that end.
H/T: Conservative Tribune