1) Reorient the mission of Border Patrol and the military: The 9/11 commission staff reporton terrorism and travel warned that “no agency of the U.S. government thought of border security as a tool in the counterterrorism arsenal” and that even in 2004, it was “not considered a cornerstone of national security policy.” Sadly, that is still true today. Whether it’s the potential threat of Islamic terror, cartel terrorism that plagues our cities with drugs, gangs, and violence, or the espionage threat from the increasing presence of Chinese migrants, our State Department, Defense Department, and Department of Homeland Security still do not view our border as relative to our national security. That must change.
At present, CBP treats the border like a domestic law enforcement issue. This is why cartels can cross our border with impunity. As I’ve reported before, Border Patrol agents will not grab armed smugglers who have crossed our border and are an inch across the border in a belligerent posture as agents appear on the scene. They do not retaliate when shot at with automatic fire. The military is even worse. It is hamstrung from doing anything, and the cartels, knowing this fact, cross right in front of our troops.
The time has come for the military to be used at our border the way we use it to defend other borders. Our Founders envisioned a military for our own border, not for Afghanistan. Not enforcing immigration law or dealing with detainees, but holding the line right at the perimeter and striking hostile actions, whether through smuggling, drone espionage, or armed conflict. There is no reason the cartels should be operating scouts in Arizona’s mountains as deep as 70 miles into our territory. If we can’t secure our own soil, we are on our way to becoming like Mexico.