Madam Speaker, there are still terrorists plotting to attack this Nation of ours. Just last week the FBI arrested a terrorist in Dallas, Texas. He drove up to the 60-story Fountain Place glass office building in downtown Dallas. He thought he had made a car bomb and had it all rigged up to blow up the building with the people inside. Media reports say that this Jordanian that was in the United States was illegally in this country.
Law enforcement was on the job, however. The FBI had undercover agents posing as members of an al Qaeda sleeper cell, and they secretly supplied the terrorist with a dud bomb. But he didn't know that. The terrorist parked his dud bomb car in the parking garage, walked a few blocks away, dialed the cell phone number he thought would set the explosion off. It didn't work, and he was immediately arrested. That's good news for the people that were in that 60-story building in Dallas, Texas.
Over the past 2 weeks, terrorists have been arrested in Dallas, Illinois, New York, and Denver. The threats to the United States from jihadists have not stopped.
One way people who want to harm us get here is simply crossing our porous borders, especially the southern border. Now Border Patrol reports that nearly 1,300 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border is not under effective control. The Department of Justice admits that vast stretches of the border are just easily breached. The Government Accountability Office says that three terrorists have been caught at the border; 530 aliens from terrorist countries were stopped at Border Patrol checkpoints just last year. And that's at a checkpoint. What about the hundreds who get through our borders between the checkpoints?
Our government's response to all of this is to decrease the number of Border Patrol agents at our southern border. Beginning in 3 days, they're pulling hundreds of agents off the Southern border. Does this make sense to anyone?
Each year the Border Patrol sets a goal for ``border miles under effective control.'' ``Effective control'' means, in their jargon, when the Border Patrol detects somebody crossing, they expect to catch them.
Homeland Security says the Border Patrol's goal last year was to have only 815 miles of the 8,600 miles of border under ``effective control.'' That's on both the southern and the northern border. Next year the goal is exactly the same: 815 miles under ``effective control.'' That means Homeland Security is not planning to secure one additional mile of either border next year, not one. And, of course, that's good news to people who want to cross illegally into the United States and do us harm.
The southern border is nearly 2,000 miles long. Yet less than 700 miles are what Homeland Security calls secured. Over 1,200 miles are not effectively under control, they say. And their media border guy, Lloyd Easterling, said the Border Patrol could protect the Mexican border with fewer agents. He may be the only person in America that feels that way. He said local police and sheriffs departments were on the job, and they are. But they're overworked, and they're overwhelmed with crime crossing into the United States. They don't have nearly enough officers, and they don't have the money to hire more personnel.
It's the job of the Federal Government to protect our borders. I've been down to the Texas-Mexico border numerous times, and it's no longer a friendly, safe place to be. There are parts of the South Texas border that are so remote that people just walk across every day. We do not know who these people are. We don't know their intentions. And we don't know what they're bringing over into the United States. Not everyone coming into the United States illegally is looking for work.
Instead of decreasing the number of Border Patrol agents, it needs to be increased, and we need to send the National Guard to the border as well. We should also move our military training exercises and operations to the southern border.
Border security is a national security issue, and it's the number one duty of government: national security.
The American people are asking, Why don't we expect and make the government secure our borders? That is a good question. This question has been asked for years, but yet we still have the same results: porous borders. The greatest Nation on Earth secures the borders of other nations but refuses to secure our own border, and the question is why.
And that's just the way it is.
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