The next time the illegal immigration advocates start whining about the poor Mexican workers coming into the United States to "do jobs we won't do" and to "make a better life for their families," please inform them that the porous border between lawless Mexico and the U.S. is also letting in drugs at a scale almost beyond description and that Atlanta is a major distribution hub for the hombres.
I talked to Justin Farmer, the able young anchor at WSB-TV in Atlanta, about the situation there. Farmer, along with Brad Stone, the station's executive specials producer and cameraman Oscar Carrillo, returned recently from their second trip to the Arizona- Mexico border to see first-hand what is happening there.
What they saw, and reported, is chilling.
As bad as the drug issue is, the Mexican drug trade is secondary to the threat to our national security. The Mexican drug lords are smuggling terrorists here, too.
When Farmer and crew visited a federal detention center near Tucson, he requested a list of current detainees, including their nation of origin. The list contained the usual suspects from Mexico and surrounding areas. But, there were also some 30 or so names on the list from such places as Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Sudan and Pakistan.
"I was stunned," he says.
What are so many bad guys doing in a detention center in Tucson? And just how many of them have we missed that are already in the U.S. and plotting the next 9/11?
Digging deeper, Farmer found documents filed in federal court in San Antonio that shows a federal indictment against a known terrorist suspect for allegedly smuggling hundreds of people into the U.S from Brazil through Mexico, including Somalis from the terrorist group Al Shabob, which has participated in terrorist attacks and suicide bombings worldwide. It is thought that at least 300 of those Somalis may still be running loose in the U.S.
Exporting terrorists is a lucrative business for the Mexican drug trade, Farmer says. Terrorists come into Mexico with plenty of money and you can use the same routes whether you are smuggling in cocaine, a chicken plucker or a cuckoo from the Middle East.
Texas Republican Rep. Mike McCaul told him, "The minute another Sept. 11 happens and we find out that they came across the Mexico-U.S. border — unfortunately that may be what it takes to get people's attention to the issue."
Of course, the federal government seems unwilling to do anything about the situation except lick the boots of the illegal immigration crowd.
The Homeland Security Department listed among its goals in a recent Government Accounting Office report to "detect and apprehend 30 percent of the major illegal activity and criminals at ports of entry." Let's see - that means the other 70 percent can expect to walk right in. Terrific.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano also told CNN in an interview that, "crossing the border is not a crime per se. It is civil."
Excuse me, but even Sheila the Family Wonderdog knows that Title 1325 of the U.S. code says clearly that those who enter the country illegally are committing a crime punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine.
Our government winks at illegal immigrants because they are sources of cheap labor and may even vote one day if the spirit ever moves them to apply for citizenship. But as they pour across our borders, so do people with the intention of doing us great harm.
Farmer has done a terrific reporting job on an issue that is not getting enough debate in the country. We have a major security problem on our borders. Incidentally, since his reports the federal government has become even less willing to discuss what is being done to keep us safe from the bad guys coming in from Mexico.
This much I do know. The feds couldn't catch Olympic Park bomber Eric Rudolph. It took a rookie policeman in North Carolina who spotted Rudolph in a garbage dump seven years later. Why do we think they can stop a group of terrorists from coming into our country disguised as illegal immigrants?
Write this down: Nothing will be done - nothing - to solve the problem of illegal immigration until we experience another terrorist attack on the scale of 9/11. If this doesn't scare the hell out of you, then continue to stick your head firmly in the sand - until some terrorist blows it off.
Dick Yarbrough is a North Georgia resident whose column appears Saturdays and on gainesvilletimes.com. You can reach him at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139.