The United States has the most advanced technology in the world by far. And after the tragic aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. intensified its border security, including the most advanced surveillance in the world, especially along the line between the U.S. and Mexico. With thousands now crossing the U.S.southern border illegally each day, is the nation risking another 9/11-like event?
Why, after 9/11, are thousands per day crossing the U.S. southern border illegally? What’s funny is no one in the U.S. seems to know what to do? Each month thousands of Chinese Nationals and a myriad of different country’s residents are not only trying but getting into the U.S. this way.
In the wake of 9/11, how could any prudent leader overlook the ever-present threat of terrorism? While the latest surveillance and emergency preparedness technologies are advanced, they’re ineffective without proper enforcement. This article delves into the complexities of illegal immigration in relation to the persistent threat of terrorism.
The Morning of 9/11 Terrorist Attack: A Timeline and Reflection
Between 7:59 a.m. and 8:42 a.m., four commercial flights departed from various locations. Two took off from Boston’s airport, another from Washington D.C., and the final one from Newark, New Jersey.
All these planes, departing around the same time, were bound for California. Shortly after take-off, each was hijacked by al-Qaeda terrorists.The hijackers then steered one of the planes into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
Where were you on that tragic morning? I found myself in a 5:30 a.m. meeting in Las Vegas, NV. As I exited, my eyes were drawn to a TV set above the bar in the building. It repeatedly broadcasted the harrowing footage of planes crashing into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City.
The room was filled with a stunned silence. We all stood, exchanging shocked glances, unable to engage in any productive activity for the rest of the day. That day, 2,977 individuals perished, and thousands were injured at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
The tragedy’s aftermath continues to unfold. Over 10,000 World Trade Center first responders and others present that day have since been diagnosed with cancer. Over 2,000 deaths have been linked to 9/11-related illnesses.
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What Caused the 9/11 Terrorist Attack in the United States?
Why are we taking off our shoes and half of our clothing and being scanned and x-rayed with the latest technology in U.S. airports?
Why would we not send 10,000 soldiers to our southern border to stop the illegal crossing of our borders?
For every American old enough to remember on September 11, 2001, the harrowing images of that day remain etched in our memories. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the events and factors leading up to the attack:
- The Unforgettable Horror: The sight of the Twin Towers collapsing successively is an image hard to erase. Streets were shrouded in thick smoke that rose menacingly into the sky. Panic-stricken people with soot covered faces ran for their lives, their screams echoing the nation’s collective terror. The ensuing fear and confusion permeated every corner of the country, a sentiment that lingers to this day.
- The Deep-Rooted Trauma: The mere thought of another 9/11 is unfathomable for many Americans. For countless individuals, healing remains an elusive goal. Unknown to many at the time, the seeds of this attack had been sown over a decade earlier.
- A Series of Precursors: The 9/11 attack wasn’t an isolated event but the culmination of several preceding incidents. Key among these were the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the assassination of Egypt’s president. Many Islamists were convinced of U.S. complicity in these events, fueling their determination to retaliate.
- Bin Laden’s Central Role: Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, rallied Islamic fighters under his banner. He galvanized these combatants by emphasizing the U.S. military in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War, which they perceived as a desecration of the holy cities of Medina and Mecca. For these radicals, this was an ample justification for their vendetta against the U.S.
- U.S. Anticipation and Response: The threat posed by Bin Laden was not lost on the U.S. Even before 9/11, concerted efforts were made by political leaders, law enforcement, intelligence agencies, military officials, and diplomats to thwart the looming terrorist threat. Unfortunately, these endeavors proved futile.
- The Execution of the Attack: Bin Laden’s operatives hijacked civilian airliners, with the pilots revealing themselves as suicide bombers. The threat infiltrated from the borders. Security lapses allowed these terrorists to smuggle weapons onboard, which they then used to execute their catastrophic plan.
- Post-Attack Repercussions: The tragedy underscored the vulnerabilities of a porous border. In the attack’s wake, a significant 72% of Americans believed that stringent immigration laws and bolstered border controls could avert similar future tragedies.
The Changes Made to the United States Border Controls after 9/11
On the U.S. Customs and Border Security website, it says that their “top priority is to keep terrorists and their weapons from entering the U.S. while welcoming all legitimate travelers and commerce.”U.S. Customs and Border Security website Border Security
The aftermath of 9/11 marked a significant shift in the operations and technologies within American borders. Enhanced counter-terrorism measures were introduced, aiming to surpass the efficacy of existing drug and immigration controls and achieve a 100% deterrence rate against terrorism.
The U.S. Border patrols use a myriad of technologies along its border, from Canine programs and laboratories and scientific services to electronic sensors placed at many locations along the border. These technologically advanced sensors can detect people, animals, or vehicles crossing our borders. From infrared satellites and night vision to video cameras and other technology are all used to detect illegal entries.
However, the effectiveness of these technological efforts has been called into question. The unchecked influx of multi-ton drug shipments and the tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants crossing the southern borders raise concerns. If such vast quantities of drugs and undocumented migrants can pass through, how can we ensure that terrorists with malicious intent are deterred?
Border strategists say their tasks have become increasingly intricate and demanding, especially given the nation’s reliance on pre-existing drug and immigration enforcement infrastructure. The heightened expectations placed on border control officials are understandable. Following 9/11, border control initiatives saw significant budgetary boosts. In 2003, border security funding increased by $2 billion.
Beyond financial enhancements, structural transformations were also implemented. Multiple agencies underwent consolidation, coming together under the singular Department of Homeland Security. This restructuring underscored the nation’s renewed emphasis on law enforcement’s pivotal role in safeguarding national security.
The discourse around immigration also took center stage in political arenas, a notable shift from prior border control narratives. Interestingly, “Up to 60% of Border Patrol agent’s time was diverted to care for the humanitarian needs of the illegal aliens apprehended.”U.S. Customs and Border Security Migration Factors
So over 50% of the U.S. border patrol isn’t looking out for bad guys; they are essentially nurses and caretakers.
This disparity underscores the resounding belief that America’s defense against terrorism hinges on stringent border controls but is not doing the job they are hired or budgeted for by the U.S. government.
Immigration and Terrorism: Is It a Constructed Connection?
In September, U.S. immigration agents recorded over 200,000 immigrants crossing the southern border illegally. This figure marks the highest level of illegal immigration in 2023. This translates to approximately 10,000 illegal immigrants daily, besides the legal crossings.
Such numbers are staggering, leading many to question their implications. A pressing concern is whether this surge in immigration might foreshadow a terrorist event akin to 9/11 or if there’s no tangible link between illegal immigration and terrorism.
Firstly, there’s a perception that undocumented immigrants increase the risk of terrorism. This belief stems from the idea that they might introduce individuals with terroristic intent. An analysis of around 400 global jihadists active in North America and Europe from 1993 to 2004 suggests that while many immigrants aren’t terrorists, a significant proportion of terrorists are immigrants.
While migrants can sometimes inadvertently facilitate the spread of terrorism, it’s crucial to differentiate. Generally, it is thought that immigration reduces the risk of terrorism. However, not only does that not cover all scenarios, but the risk amplifies when migrants originate from nations known for terrorist activities. For instance, accepting refugees from countries like Syria or Afghanistan in the past heightened the host nation’s vulnerability to terrorist acts. What about China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea?
If the entire world is in a state of attrition in the face of military buildups, as we see in foreign countries today like China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea. Obviously preparing for World War III, it is completely naïve to think that one of these countries would not use the avenue of illegal immigration to introduce chemical, biological, nuclear, explosive, and cyber attacks weapons against our citizens.
If the United states cannot even stop illegal drugs from entering our country, how can we stop all the other threats?
Undocumented immigrants present a distinct challenge. Unauthorized migration offers an ideal pathway for potential terrorists seeking to evade detection. Those with criminal backgrounds or affiliations with terrorist organizations have powerful incentives to remain undocumented, exploiting any available means to enter a country illicitly.
The U.S.–Mexico Border Poses Terrorism Risks, But There Are Homegrown Threats Looming Large
Many arguments underscore the potential terrorist threats from illegal immigrants entering the United States. Concurrently, the Biden administration has implemented a catch-and-release policy for these immigrants.
“The Border Patrol released 76 percent of the 1.3 million illegal border crossers it apprehended during the audit period. The release conditions depend primarily on voluntary compliance.” from the catch and release program.The Hill – Biden’s ‘catch and release’ system for illegal border crossers is a failure
Recent footage from CBS and NBC news outlets depicted over 40,000 individuals illegally crossing the southern border just two weeks ago, underscoring the escalating nature of the issue. Even if just one out of the thousands crossing daily is a terrorist, the threat remains significant.
It’s perplexing that while the U.S. can allocate billions in aid to Ukraine and Israel, deploy aircraft carriers to Israel and the South China Sea, managing the influx of illegal immigrants at the southern border remains a challenge.
Adding to the concerns, a video circulating on Instagram allegedly showcased Chinese migrants crossing the US-Mexico border.
Reuters reported that from October 2022 to March 2023, over 6,500 such individuals were apprehended. By July, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection recorded this number swelling to over 17,600, marking an all-time high.Migrants find tips on Chinese version of TikTok for long trek to U.S.-Mexico border | Reuters
The Hard Reality: Why Are These 9/11 Concerns Not Dominating Major News Outlets and Social Media
Every argument emphasizing the potential dangers posed by illegal immigrants is valid, especially when considering the haunting memories of 9/11. The United States, historically celebrated as the land of opportunity, will always attract individuals seeking a better life.
Contemporary acts of terrorism are often either inspired or directed by terrorist organizations, such as ISIS. Notably, several attacks in Orlando, New York, and San Bernardino between 2015 and 2017 were perpetrated by legal U.S. immigrants or U.S. citizens. The real threat, it often seems, comes from homegrown terrorists.
The self-proclaimed Islamic State deduced that it’s more effective to inspire individuals who have grown up in the U.S. than to send operatives into the country. The Orlando nightclub attack exemplifies the potential devastation a lone jihadist can cause, overshadowing the perceived threat of many terrorists entering the U.S. via the southern border as illegal immigrants.
As the Orlando nightclub attack exemplifies, if you are gay Jewish, or Christian, you better think about Islamic terrorism in the United States because they are coming for you.
Why Doesn’t One of Our Past Presidents Say Something About the Border Crisis?
- Jimmy Carter
- George Bush Senior
- Bill Clinton
- George W. Bush
- Barack Obama
The unimaginable surge in illegal border crossings underscores a pressing national security concern. While the U.S. remains a beacon of opportunity, attracting millions of individuals, the emphasis on external threats might overshadow the more immediate danger of homegrown terrorism.
This is especially true since millions of illegal immigrants are already here in the U.S. in the last few years, especially with the federal government’s Alternatives to Detention and the catch and release programs.
But it is all terrorism, and we have to be vigilant and smart. We have to leave codependency at the door and take responsibility for the safety of our children, families, and friends.
To act as if there is nothing we can do is a lie and irresponsible. You should aloso leave your political agenda at the door with the codependency as well when it comes to protecting our country. No one is going to take care of you and your family except you.
As history and data suggest, most recent terror acts were perpetrated by legal residents or citizens. Preparedness must balance border security while also addressing internal radicalization to truly safeguard the nation from potential threats.
- CBS News: Record Number of Venezuelan Migrants Crossed U.S.-Mexico Border in September, Internal Data Show
- CBS News: Unlawful Crossings Along Southern Border Reach Yearly High as U.S. Struggles to Contain Mass Migration
- U.S. Border Patrol Technology
- Border Security
- Council on Foreign Relations: The Southern Border Poses Terrorism Risks. Homegrown Threats Still Loom Larger
- Department of Justice: Department of Justice Requests $30.2 Billion to Prevent and Combat Terrorism, Continue the Fight Against Drugs, Ensure Civil Rights
- Mount Sinai: “Deaths From 9/11 Diseases Will Soon Outnumber Those Lost on That Fateful Day” -Nancy Cutler
- NBC News: Illegal Border Crossings Are on the Rise: 7,500 Migrants Were Stopped on Sunday Alone
- NIH: Undocumented Immigration and Terrorism: Is There a Connection?
- Reuters: Migrants Find Tips on Chinese Version of TikTok for Long Trek to U.S.-Mexico Border
- START.umd.edu: Profiles of Individual Radicalization in the United States (PIRUS)
- The Hill: Biden’s ‘Catch and Release’ System for Illegal Border Crossers Is a Failure
- The Ohio State University: 9/11: Causes and Lingering Consequences
- The Wall Street Journal: 9/11 Timeline: How the Day Unfolded
- University of California San Diego: A Tale of Two Borders: The U.S.-Mexico and U.S.- Canada Lines After 9-11
- Yahoo: Alleged Chinese Migrants Seen Crossing US-Mexico Border in Instagram Video
- 2023 Report on the Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China (CMPR)