The Hamas attack reminds us of our own border vulnerabilities

Published 11:06 am Tuesday, October 31, 2023

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The unprecedented Hamas terrorist attack on Israel on October 7 shocked our nation. The heartbreaking images that emerged from that event will be seared into the minds of Americans forever. But while the horror seems far away to many Americans, we are not immune to a similar attack on our own soil. Rather than embrace Biden’s strategy of throwing money at the problem, we need to secure the U.S. southern border by changing course and implementing common-sense solutions; namely, ending “catch and release,” reinstituting “Remain in Mexico,” and building the wall. Most urgently, we need to ensure that terrorists are not infiltrating our country through the southern border.
In his $106 billion foreign aid package, which includes over $61.4 billion for Ukraine and billions of dollars of alleged humanitarian aid to Gaza and the West Bank, Biden is requesting $14 billion for the southern border. At least $1.4 billion would finance the housing and provision of services for illegal immigrants by state and local governments. In other words, Biden wants to bail out blue states who welcomed illegal immigration with open arms until they had to deal with the consequences. If Biden were living in reality, he would understand that the only remedy to the border crisis is to fundamentally change his policies. That means building and completing the entire wall, not just the mere 20 miles of wall Biden has reluctantly resumed construction on. Biden also wants to use border funding to make illegal immigration legal. This translates to cash assistance for refugees, which will only exacerbate the crisis. In addition, Biden is seeking the “expansion of lawful pathways” to allow more “eligible refugees and migrants” to come to the U.S. With 8 million illegal aliens entering the country and counting since he has taken office, the president wants to open the door to even more.
Biden has made clear from the beginning that he values illegal immigration over protecting the safety and security of American citizens. While he has covertly flown migrants into communities across the country in the dead of night for free, he has refused to subsidize flights for Americans trying to flee a war zone in Israel.
Illegal immigration also poses a much more dangerous threat to the homeland: terrorism. Border Patrol’s San Diego Field Office intelligence unit is already warning agents that they may encounter members of Iran’s terrorist proxies such as Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah at the southern border. In fiscal year 2023, Customs and Border Protection reported 169 terrorist encounters at the southwest border between ports of entry – more than the last six fiscal years combined. One can only imagine how many escaped into the United States.
The work to protect the homeland does not stop at securing the southern border. We must also work to ensure that those here on visas who support foreign terrorist organizations are held accountable. The sympathy for Hamas among people across the country, particularly foreign nationals, is extremely disturbing and may pose a national security risk. That is why I am calling on President Biden to revoke the visas of foreign nationals who support Hamas or other Foreign Terrorist Organizations. Foreign nationals who call for genocide against the Jewish people and the destruction of the Jewish state have no place in our country and should be expelled.
We must secure our country before it is too late. Israel – which arguably has the most prestigious intelligence apparatus in the world – did not see the October 7 invasion coming. Yet we’ve had three years to see what’s coming, and the administration has done nothing to stop it. We also have to examine the threat posed by foreign nationals in our country who may seek to do the Jewish community harm. To ensure the U.S. does not experience an atrocity akin to what took place in Israel, the Biden administration must reverse their disastrous immigration policies and take seriously the threat posed by anti-Israel extremists already here.
(Marsha Blackburn represents Tennessee in the U.S. Senate)

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