GOP's Lankford on target: Terrorist operatives sneaking in as 'immigrants'

GOP's Lankford on target: Terrorist operatives sneaking in as 'immigrants'

GOP's Lankford on target: Terrorist operatives sneaking in as 'immigrants'

With an estimated million "gotaways" or more having crossed into the United States from Mexico, warnings are going out about terrorists among them who could be plotting the next attack on the northern side of the border.

Speaking Monday on Fox News, Senator James Lankford (R-Oklahoma) warned that several states in Mexico are currently designated by the U.S. State Department as "Level 4" travel areas, due to crime and kidnapping.

"… The State Department declares those are no-travel zones for Americans because they're so violent and they're so out of control," Lankford described. "My push for years has been if we don't deal with what's happening on the immigration side, that violence is going to trickle over."

He added that the Border Patrol has informed him they are experiencing more and more armed individuals either coming into the U.S. or escorting people across the border.

"[Border Patrol is] very concerned about armed violence spilling over from the south side of the border to the north," said the GOP lawmaker. "In addition … we're getting more and more non-Spanish speakers who are coming in from all over the world."

Texas trying to defuse the danger

American Family News spoke with Todd Bensman, senior national security fellow with the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), who confirms Lankford's warning, saying "the mass migration continues" – and there's danger hidden inside.

With nearly 100 people on the terrorism watchlist being apprehended in just the previous seven months, Bensman predicts "it's going to be a banner year." That doesn't surprise him, but he admits he's very concerned.

According to a recent report, at least 1.5 million illegal immigrants have crossed the southern border while President Joe Biden has been in office. Those who have not been caught – the "gotaways" – include terrorists, Bensman points out.

Bensman, Todd (CIS) Bensman

"Every Islamic-majority nation in the world is represented by terrorist operatives at the border. Some are apprehended, others are not," he says, predicting that "the number of terrorists crossing the border will continue to increase for the next two years" – which he attributes to the lax effort of the Biden administration to curb the influx of migrants into the country.

This, the senior national security fellow warns, could one day result in a terror attack on U.S. soil. "Brace for an attack," he advises. "Odds are that some of the gotaways are planning something nefarious, [so] let's hope they're caught before they do it."

Bensman has been pleased by Texas Governor Greg Abbott's use of the National Guard, pointing to "[the new Texas Tactical Border Force which] stands guard at the riverbank, at the water's edge, with razor wire between them and immigrants coming up the bank."

The CIS fellow defends the measure. "I've seen it work and it has had an impact on the immigrants' decisions about whether they were going to cross or not." And if guardsmen are going to continue to be used in this manner, he says, "it's a good thing."

But Bensman acknowledges several other border sectors are far less defensible at this time – which he points out is "going to require a lot more human beings guarding the border."

Meeting the need

That said, needed support may be on the way. For example, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin recently announced that he is deploying 100 national Guard troops to the Texas border. Before that, Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida revealed he would be sending more than 1,100 soldiers and law enforcement officers.

According to Bensman, using the Border Patrol in conjunction with the National Guard is important for the Texas strategy to stop the flow of migrants into the United States.

"Rather than giving them some sort of administrative role [in immigration], the additional personnel need to keep filling holes in the border and be ready to rapidly deploy when [a gap] opens up somewhere and needs to be shut down," he adds.

Without stopping the influx of people, says Bensman, the country is on the verge of losing the war against mass migration.

Editor's Note: Todd Bensman is author of "Overrun: How Joe Biden Unleashed the Greatest Border Crisis in American History."