A new report by the House Homeland Security Committee found that suspected terrorists have infiltrated the so-called migrant caravans, as the Trump administration has been warning.
The executive summary for the report titled, “Stopping Terrorist Travel Through Illicit Pathways to the Homeland” explains that due to increased security measures at the United States ports of entry since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks “that those who wish to bring harm to America have to explore non-traditional ways of entering our country.”
According to the report, Mexico has discovered several Special Interest Aliens and known or suspected terrorists traveling toward the U.S. border in caravans but “lacks the infrastructure and capacity to repatriate SIAs of national security concern especially outside the hemisphere.”
The overall findings were compiled over a six-month period by the Homeland Security Committee based on briefings, meetings, and site visits by its members and staff to Brazil, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Columbia, Mexico, and Panama.
The Center for Immigration Studies highlighted some other findings including the discovery of ISIS materials and other publications encouraging followers to cross into the U.S. from the southwest border.
Further, DHS border patrol agents “routinely” encounter SIAs at border crossings.
According to Fox News, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen reportedly told Democrat leaders at the White House last week that border patrol officials apprehended about 3,000 people with terrorist ties and 17,000 criminals seeking to cross into the U.S. in 2018.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded, “I reject your facts” regarding Nielsen’s presentation.
“These aren’t my facts,” Nielsen shot back. “These are the facts.”
President Donald Trump included the criminal record statistic in a tweet over the weekend, writing, “We are working hard at the Border, but we need a WALL!”
“In 2018, 1.7 million pounds of narcotics seized, 17,000 adults arrested with criminal records, and 6000 gang members, including MS-13, apprehended. A big Human Trafficking problem.”
We are working hard at the Border, but we need a WALL! In 2018, 1.7 million pounds of narcotics seized, 17,000 adults arrested with criminal records, and 6000 gang members, including MS-13, apprehended. A big Human Trafficking problem.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2019
Trump is slated to address the nation about the need for increased security measures at the border, including over 200 miles of new barrier fencing.
I am pleased to inform you that I will Address the Nation on the Humanitarian and National Security crisis on our Southern Border. Tuesday night at 9:00 P.M. Eastern.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 7, 2019
Trump told reporters at the White House he may declare a national emergency in order to get funding to build a border wall.
“We can call a national emergency because of the security of our country… I haven’t done it, I may do it,” he said.
JUST IN: Pres. Trump says he’s considered declaring a national emergency to circumvent congressional approval to allocate funds for border wall: “We can call a national emergency because of the security of our country… I haven’t done it, I may do it.” https://t.co/PtgasyLauD pic.twitter.com/dixTagGM4s
— ABC News (@ABC) January 4, 2019
“We can call a national emergency and build it very quickly,” Trump added. “But if we can do it through a negotiated process, we are giving that a shot.”
USA Today reported that presidents have broad powers to make such declarations.
“Congress can terminate a declared emergency, but it requires a joint resolution – a high hurdle,” the news outlet noted. “House Democrats, now in power, would have to convince Senate Republicans…to join them in blocking Trump’s move. Then they would have to get a signature from the president, the same person who declared the emergency in the first place, or override his veto.”
The other means those opposed to the border barrier would likely take is to seek an injunction stopping construction, probably in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which has shown the greatest willingness to oppose the president’s policies, particularly on issues related to immigration.
The Trump administration would then almost certainly have to engage in a lengthy court battle all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where it may or may not get a favorable ruling.
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