More Proof the Border Is a National Security Issue


June 2, 2022

By Brian Lonergan

Those who argue for an America without borders have become akin to your teenage children lecturing their parents on how the world works. They brim with passion and confidence, augmented by like-minded peers and social media that affirm their beliefs. Only years later, after experiencing the harsh world for themselves, are they gobsmacked with the reality that much of what they believed turned out to be wrong.

At least some young people have such an epiphany. The anti-borders lobby, by contrast, learns nothing and digs deeper into their positions no matter how much reality proves them wrong.

We had a powerful reality lesson recently when an Iraqi national, Shihab Ahmed Shihab Shihab, 52, was arrested in Ohio and charged with aiding and abetting a plot to murder former President George W. Bush with the help of Islamic State (ISIS) operatives that he planned to smuggle across the United States-Mexico border.

Justice Department prosecutors said Shihab came to the U.S. 2020 on a B-1/B-2 visitor visa. To avoid deportation for overstaying his visa, which made him an illegal alien, he had a pending application for asylum.

This flies directly in the face of the rhetoric we have heard for decades from the pro-illegal immigration camp. By their narrative, those who pass through our border illegally are peaceful, destitute peasants who possess greater work ethic than most Americans. They are fleeing the poverty and crime that has been thrust upon them by yanqui imperialism. To regulate the border or restrict passage is evidence of American xenophobia and an act of cruelty against those seeking deserved asylum.

While many of those entering our country illegally may indeed be hard-working and seeking a better life, there is growing evidence that a subgroup of illegal entrants has sinister plans for us. Border Patrol agents apprehended 11 Iranian nationals found illegally entering the U.S. from Mexico in February of last year. Panama reportedly stopped 52 people en route to the United States who are on terrorist watch lists and associated with al-Qaeda.

If our leaders do not start treating the border as a national security issue, they may have to explain to the American people one day how their lax border enforcement resulted in another catastrophic attack on our nation.

This is not just the acts of individuals, but in some cases foreign governments that underwrite terrorism. Iran’s primary terror client, Hezbollah, has a growing presence to our south. Navy Admiral Craig Faller, commander of the U.S. Southern Command, warned Congress in 2019 that “Iran has deepened its anti-U.S. Spanish language media coverage and has exported its state support for terrorism into our hemisphere.”

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also confirmed that Hezbollah maintains “active cells” in Venezuela. Iran is clearly taking advantage of the political chaos in Venezuela to establish a terror operation within striking distance of the United States.

In a 2013 congressional subcommittee hearing on Iran with national security experts, Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) concluded by saying, “Iran’s perpetual defiance of the U.S. and international sanctions, coupled with its propensity for sponsoring international terrorism worldwide, constitutes a recipe for instability and a threat to the security of the U.S. homeland.”

In a well-run America, those from terror states who do find their way here would be fearful of apprehension and deportation. Not so with our government’s current immigration posture.

An investigation by the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) found that over 10,000 illegal aliens from countries the United States has designated as state sponsors of terrorism have been ordered removed or have pending final orders of removal, but are currently living in America. Many of those aliens are living under the protection of sanctuary laws that have become fashionable in many blue-state cities and counties.  

It does not take a veteran CIA analyst to connect the dots in this case. America is increasingly perceived around the world as weak and vulnerable. Middle Eastern state sponsors of terrorism are setting up shop in Latin American countries. To the extent Border Patrol agents are still allowed to do their jobs, they are apprehending foreign nationals from far-flung terrorist states. What could go wrong here?

In developing its strategy to attack the United States on 9/11, al-Qaeda identified weaknesses in our air travel security protocols and exploited them. In 2022, America’s enemies are targeting our porous border as the most effective way to get its agents into the country.

While the border may be an issue on many other fronts, it is first and foremost a national security issue. If our leaders do not start treating it as such, they may have to explain to the American people one day how their lax border enforcement resulted in another catastrophic attack on our nation.

Brian Lonergan is director of communications at the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.   

Also published at: Brian Lonergan, More Proof the Border Is a National Security Issue, American Greatness, June 2, 2022.

Get Connected

Sign up for our email newsletter to stay up to date with immigration reform in the United States.

Attorneys United for a Secure America (AUSA) is a non-partisan affiliation of talented attorneys dedicated to pursuing cases that serve the national interest when it comes to immigration law.

If you are interested in joining the network, visit the AUSA website.