“We’ve got to understand which part [of immigration law] is doing well.”

Eric Yuan, a legal immigrant from China, is the CEO of the conference call provider company called Zoom.  The 50-year-old man appeared recently on Fox Business.  One topic that came up is immigration.

Yuan mentioned that the CEO of Microsoft is also an immigrant to America, Satya Narayana Nadella, who hails from India.

“We’ve got to embrace those talents,” Yuan said. “For those who wanted to come [here] and to work for the high-tech community, I think we should embrace more talents, to drive innovation.”

An absolute truth that just about everyone who cares about the betterment of America can agree on.

Yuan applied for his Visa several times over a 2-year period and was rejected until his 9th try.  He went straight to the Silicon Valley and got to work (literally) building a life for himself in America.

This is a story of the American Dream, albeit an extreme one since the billionaire CEO has 1,500 employees working underneath him.  Thousands of stories like Yuan’s exists in America, the country built on immigration.

I’m with Yuan on embracing the talents and good qualities of legal immigrants.  However, it’s important to remember that not all immigrants have the same dreams and desires.  Not all of them want to work hard and build a life for themselves and their families like Yuan has done.  Many do, but not all.

For example.  Less than 6 months ago, ISIS terrorists were stopped in Nicaragua, on their way into our country.

Let me expand on that:  Less than 6 months ago, 4 known ISIS terrorists, 3 of whom were on the Unites States Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) watch list, migrated from Egypt and Iraq (2 from each country), to Costa Rica, and up into Nicaragua, on their way further north.

The four entered Nicaragua at an unauthorized (or, illegal) point in the southwest border between the country and Costa Rica, called La Guasimada in the Cardenas municipality.  Their self-proclaimed destination was the US.

Nicaragua is the least cooperative country in Central America as far as allowing US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) presence in their region.  Surrounding countries like Panama, Costa Rica, and Honduras, however, are much more willing. 

Those countries have developed “Controlled Flow,” which is a way to register and obtain information from the migrants passing through.  With equipment provided and paid for by the United States, law enforcement in those regions “registers” immigrants.

When they register, they provide fingerprints, biometric eye scans, and facial recognition photographs.  This information is shared with the US DHS and used in counterterrorism measures.  The problem with Controlled Flow, however, is the “catch and release” aspect:  Essentially, officials just want the bad guys out of their countries.

Which is fair.  Because so do we.

There have been too many incidents like the above mentioned ISIS apprehensions to list in a short article.  Terrorists from countries like Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Somalia, Pakistan, Syria, Afghanistan, to name a few, have been apprehended in the lower Central American countries, with assistance from US intelligence, and deported.  Which, obviously, stops terrorists from coming into the United States and attacking our people.

Men like these are hardly the “women and children seeking asylum” that the left insists are the only people to attempt to come into our country.

Senior National Security Fellow Todd Bensman was recently sent on investigation to Panama and Costa Rica to assess terrorist presence among Middle East migrants through Latin America.

Bensman reported that prior to his visit, Ibrahim Qoordheen of Somalia was arrested as a terrorist operative in connection with al Shabaab.  He was on his way to the U.S. southern border.

After talking to a Costa Rican official, Bensman said:

“The American public was never told that Qoordheen and other suspected terrorists were pulled off U.S.-bound migrant routes in distant Costa Rica and Panama because such information is usually classified or not disclosable, in line with standard practice to protect ongoing investigations and operations.”

Further, he said:

“American, Panamanian, and Costa Rican law enforcement and intelligence officials are engaged in actual programs here to hunt, investigate, and deport real terrorist suspects who are, in fact, discovered among the thousands of migrants from the Middle East, Horn of Africa, and South Asia funneling through this section of Latin America.”

While officials in Panama, Costa Rica, and the like do work closely with the US to apprehend suspected terrorists, the controlled flow policy also assures that these countries can push people north as quickly as possible. 

When migrants register through their program, they’re awarded benefits for doing so, such as bus rides to the next country to the north.  All the way until they get to the United States border.  And if they don’t register, local residents assist with smuggling them north for payment.

From Bensman’s report:

“Panama is like a bridge or a passway to another country,” said Juan Carlos Arrango.

He’s of the ruling coalition Panamanian Popular Party.

‘Wherever they come from, by boat, plane, or walking through the Darien jungle, they’re very vocal in saying, “We don’t want to stay in Panama. We want to pass through, to the north.” So, Arrango said, the government is happy to see to that.’

Meanwhile, last January, President Trump’s administration implemented a Return to Mexico, or Migration Protection Protocols, policy.  Under this policy, immigrants attempting to cross into the United States from Mexico will have to wait inside of Mexico during their US immigration proceedings.

Of course, people are up in arms because everyone won’t be automatically ushered in to our country with open arms while they use up our resources and are provided free housing, food, and healthcare, before we even know who they are or why they’re here.

The ACLU has expressed how unhappy it is about the policy.  Deputy director of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, Judy Rabinovitz, stated:

“The amount of suffering that this policy has caused is just terrifying.  The people who have been returned include families with young kids and returned to conditions that are not only incredibly dangerous in terms of the cartels that prey on them.” 

The ACLU is suing the Trump administration over the policy.

Here’s a thought: You’re so insistent that the only people being returned to Mexico are good families that just want a better life.  So, instead of berating the United States President for insisting legal citizens and those legally seeking citizenship be made priority, you turn to the presidents of the immigrants’ own countries for not fixing living conditions there. 

How about you focus on how Mexican President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, refuses to crack down on the cartels in his country who are victimizing innocent people, murdering their police, raping their women. 

He wants to give cartel members “Abrazos, no balazos,” which translates to “hugs, not bullets.”  Sure, hug them.  That will stop their bullets from striking your citizens.

America’s Return to Mexico policy has caused literal protest among Mexican migrants, but those aren’t directed towards the US.  Mexicans who are waiting in Tijuana to be allowed to cross into the US are speaking out, demanding that their government do more to assist people fleeing violence in Mexico. 

Even the very people being turned away at our borders are blaming their own government for the violence occurring in their homeland.  If they can see this as the real problem, why can’t we?

Of course the concerns about porous borders come as a former Secret Service, CIA agent issues a warning to police: “Prepare for Iran sleeper cells to strike rural America.”

In the wake of growing tensions in the Middle East, the United States has made a deliberate strike against the most prolific state sponsor of terrorism.

The killing of Iran’s Quds Force General, Qassem Soleimani, has sparked much debate across the aisle of whether or not this action is an act of war by President Trump.

Regardless of where you stand, the act of terrorism has increased for months before the US response. The question is, is America ready for attacks in the homeland?

As a country, we have been blinded by the possibility of a concentrated attack on US soil and many Americans, including our politicians, have forgotten the grim reality of 9/11 and not given our adversaries the respect they deserve.

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Border threat: Four suspected terrorists caught trying to sneak into America

We have allowed our guard to be lowered with debates of human rights for open borders, disregarding threats on social media and handcuffing the hands of our law enforcement officers to protect and serve.

Art Del Cueto, the Vice President of the National Border Patrol Union and President of the Arizona Border Patrol Union, touched on it this week:

“We need to take securing our nation’s borders very serious. With the huge rise in individuals claiming asylum, we truthfully don’t know enough about those individuals past, much less their true intentions. Drug cartels are the ones that control our southern borders and they do not care about human lives, it’s all about the money,” he said.

Del Cueto rightfully pointed out that the border opens us up to terrorists walking right into America.

“They would have no problem making deals with terrorist organizations to ensure safe passage into our country,” he pointed out.

Furthermore, intelligence has shown that Iran has embedded terrorist sleeper cells within the US and was proven correct with the prosecution and conviction of Hezbollah operative Ali Kourani and Samer el-Debek in New York City.

The new debate is not a matter of if an attack will happen, it’s a matter of when and where.

The act of terrorism is instilling fear within your enemy with the goal of creating mass chaos amongst the people in order to gain leverage and weaken the will to fight back. As the administration ramps up our overseas presence to stand against this terrorist state, we need to do the same here at home.

Targets are chosen through a calculated criteria with the ultimate goal of creating as much physical and emotional destruction as possible to gain the biggest headline.

Conventional target cities like NYC, LA and DC are always on the radar, but with constant threats to those locations, have become harder to execute a successful campaign. Softer targets in the country seem more ideal for a successful operation.

First responders in smaller cities need to be prepared with the reality that they are on the radar with locations such as malls, educational institutions, and event centers being prime targets with the substantial amount of people congregating.

Due diligence of preparation needs to extend from Wall Street to Main Street; for the Iranian terrorist regime, nothing is off the table.

We must take it upon ourselves as Americans to become harder targets. We must throw out the conventional fear of being socially and politically correct with identifying unusual activities and reporting it to the local authorities.

We need to secure our border to reduce the amount of possible terrorists from entering. We need to understand that our government has failed us in protecting our homeland and force our politicians to secure our borders.

We need to stand together to fight this enemy and understand that this war is not about political motives or social-economical righteousness.

This war is deep rooted in cultural religious views between radical Islam and the western world, with the United States being the largest adversary against their movement. Peace is always the goal in every society, but peace cannot be accomplished by turning a blind eye to the threat and hoping it will go away.

Peace comes from facing our adversaries and standing strong together, undivided. 

Editor note: Anthony Sabio is a 25 year veteran of public service in the U.S. Marine Corp Special Operations, US Secret Service and the Central Intelligence Agency, is a highly recognized consultant in intelligence and security policy. 

After spending a decade as a CIA officer with multiple tours in conflict zones directing and performing counterterrorism, counterinsurgency and counterintelligence operations, he left government service to share his expertise and technical advice to security organizations and media.

Mr. Sabio is an acclaimed guest speaker at multiple security events and performs as a content adviser on world-wide security issues.

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