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Disaster is Certain if We Don't Close the Border

By Jerry C. Cirino
June 21, 2024
On The Record

"It’s frightening, and we’re headed for another 9/11."

That’s not Donald Trump speaking – that’s a Democrat.  New York City Councilman Robert Holden.

And it’s not just New York at risk. 

The next devastating terrorist attack could happen anywhere.  

Even Ohio.

Because, thanks to President Biden’s broken border, Ohio is now a border state. 

That porous border has made the danger greater than ever.

We simply don’t know how many terrorists have crossed the Southern Border in the last three-and-a-half years, or what weapons they may have brought with them.

All we know is Joe Biden virtually put out the welcome mat for ISIS, Al Qaeda, and Hamas – because there is no one stopping them. 

And any terrorist could have entered our unguarded border since 2021.

They could have brought anything from a suitcase nuke to vials of smallpox or the Ebola virus.

The potential for widespread devastation is enormous.

We have been sounding the alarm loud and long here in the heartland, but the state media is just ignoring us – and the danger.

I held a Border INsecurity Forum in Northeast Ohio with law enforcement officers, prosecutors, local officials, and Attorney General Dave Yost in March. 

We discussed the drug and human trafficking networks established by the cartels and other criminals in our communities. 

We invited the media to attend. There was zero coverage.

Since the forum, fewer than three months ago, nightmarish stories about illegal immigrant crimes have broken out across the nation. 

These stories broke in just the last few days:

     •  An illegal immigrant from Ecuador has been charged with the violent rape of a 13-year-old-girl in a park in a New York City park.

     •  An illegal immigrant from El Salvador found in Oklahoma was arrested for the brutal rape and murder of a mother of five on a Maryland hiking trail.

     •  Two illegal immigrants from Venezuela were charged with killing a 12-year-old Houston girl by strangling her and dumping her body in a creek. Both suspects were previously caught by Border Patrol agents but released. 

     •  A semi driver charged with causing a massive deadly wreck in Colorado that closed a highway in both directions for more than 12 hours has been deported to Mexico 16 times since 2002.

The illegal immigrant crime wave sweeping the nation can and will impact Ohio.
In fact, it already has.

Just days after our border forum, an illegal immigrant was arrested near Cincinnati for aggravated murder and several other charges. He previously had been deported at least eight times and arrested a dozen times. 

According to the Butler County Sherriff who made the arrest, his county has seen “1,000 illegal aliens facing state charges in their jail since July 2021.”

That is the year Biden dropped President Trump’s policies and swung the border gate wide open.

These stories are truly unacceptable and unimaginable. They also underscore that we are all on the frontlines of the Southern Border – and the worst may be yet to come. 

Making that fact apparent is the shocking news that eight suspects from Tajikistan who crossed the Southern Border with vetting were recently arrested due to suspected ties to ISIS.  

These individuals were in our communities and threatening our national security.

These individuals had vetting. 

Imagine who else is here without vetting.

Last December broke a record with nearly 250,000 illegal immigrant encounters at the Southern Border, now the highest monthly total on record. 

The floodgates are open and we are deluged. We do not know who is here, why, or what they brought with them.

Much worse is likely coming soon. National security experts are sounding the alarm bells as our risk level for terrorist attacks climbs to ever new heights.

FBI Director Christopher Wray has noted that there is “no doubt” criminals have entered through our Southern Border, and one network in particular has ISIS ties. 

He noted in a Congressional hearing the potential for a “coordinated attack” on American soil potentially similar to the one at a Russian concert hall earlier this year.  

It is truly a matter of when, not if.

Former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell has also warned about the growing terrorist threat stemming from the open Southern Border. He stated that our lawmakers must “rise to the challenge to protect the U.S. Homeland.”

Our federal government can and should fix this problem. They are the only people who can secure our border. Yet the man who enforces our laws refuses to do so. 

Instead, he grandstands with executive orders that accomplish nothing. 

Biden recently signed an executive order that would shut down the border when migrant numbers hit a certain threshold.

Somehow, the President believes that 2,500 illegal immigrants crossing our border daily is acceptable. 

That’s almost one million a year.

But even that would be a huge improvement.

CNN reported that illegal border crossings averaged 8,000 a day by the end of last year.

That’s almost three million a year.

CNN estimated that if Biden would have signed this executive order at the start of his presidency it would have been triggered in January of 2021.

Biden’s Hail Mary pass is way too little and way too late.

Just last week, Border Patrol caught 4,000 illegal immigrants at the Southern Border.

Border agents are still releasing some of these illegal immigrants into our country. Some are sent into Mexico but others are being allowed on American soil. 

This fact is wildly concerning, especially with the latest story that the Sinaloa cartel is working with foreign nationals to launder drug money out of Southern California.

Human smugglers are not stopping or even slowing down. They are telling their clients that their operations will remain the same. 

A Border Patrol union representative noted that smugglers simply “shift their strategies” when a new policy comes out, signifying that the President’s attempt will not make a difference.

So much for executive action. 

But, why this sudden pivot from Biden?

Political polling. 

Democrat consultant Douglas Schoen notes that Americans are unhappy with Biden’s border problem, and immigration is a top issue among voters. He cites a few startling numbers on this, including from RealClearPolitics, which has Biden sitting at a 60% disapproval rating from Americans on immigration. 

Of course, the president has similarly horrible numbers on how he has handled the economy (57.8% disapprove), foreign policy (59.5% disapprove), and inflation (61% disapprove). 

Desperation does not make for strong public policy. This is apparent in this attempt by Biden to at least LOOK like he is doing something as the clock ticks closer to November.

In the meantime in Ohio, we are watching heart-wrenching stories unfold here and in communities as equally far from the Southern Border as New York City and Maryland.

I pray no more of these breaking news headlines greet us when we turn on the television. In Ohio, we can arm law enforcement with the tools they need to make arrests. But only the federal government can repair the floodgates before it is too late.

So long as our chief executive does not execute the law or craft policies that work, I fear the worst.

Jerry Cirino represents Ohio Senate District 18