The U.S. is bringing in 100,000 Muslims every year through legal channels such as the United Nations refugee program and various visa programs, but new reports indicate a pipeline has been established through the southern border with the help of the federal agency whose job it is to protect the homeland.
They are coming from Somalia and other African nations, according to a Homeland Security official who was caught recently transporting a busload of Africans to a detention center near Victorville, California.
Somalia is the home base of al-Shabab, a designated foreign terrorist organization that slaughtered 147 Christians at a university in Kenya just last month. It executed another 67 at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2013, and has put out warnings that it will target malls in Canada and the U.S. Dozens of Somali refugees in the U.S. have been arrested, charged and convicted of providing support to overseas terrorist organizations over the past few years.
Libya is also awash in Islamist terror following the death of Moammar Gadhafi in 2011. ISIS beheaded 21 Coptic Christians on a Libyan beach in February.
So when Anita Fuentes of OpenYourEyesPeople.com posted a video of a U.S. Department of Homeland Security bus pulling into a Shell station in Victorville, on the night of May 7, admitting he had a busload of Somalis and other Africans who had crossed the southern border, it raised more than a few eyebrows among those concerned with illegal immigration and national security.
A man who appeared to be a Customs and Border Patrol agent was filmed at the gas station at 10:30 p.m. When questioned by Fuentes, he informed her that his large touring bus was full of Somalis and other Africans being transported to a nearby detention center.
The tour bus had the U.S. Homeland Security logo, and the agent appeared calm and professional.
The windows to the bus were covered. When asked if he was transporting illegal immigrants, the driver said, “No, we ended up taking some people to a detention facility. Somalis and all the Africans.”
“A detention center over here?” Fuentes asks.
“Yeah,” he said.
Victorville is about 161 miles from the Mexican border.
“Is that because they’re crossing the border?” Fuentes asked.
“Well they’re coming in asking for asylum,” he said.
“That’s what it is, that special key word huh? That’s a password now?” Fuentes said.
“That’s what the password is now,” he responds.
The flow of information stopped when Fuentes asked about the presence of ISIS near the border, a story which the watchdog agency Judicial Watch reported last month.
“ISIS being at the border?” she asks.
“I’m not going to talk to you when you’re recording me, ma’am,” the agent says. “Any information you want ma’am, go ahead and look it up online.”
A small part of a larger story
More than 100,000 Somalis have been brought to the United States legally since 1991 through the U.N. refugee resettlement program. Close to half of them have been resettled in Minnesota, with the rest dispersed throughout Ohio, Maine, California, Texas, Idaho, Tennessee, Colorado, Georgia and several other states.
The Somali community in Minnesota has had well-documented problems assimilating, running up a troubling record of crime and radicalization. Scores of Somalis have been arrested and charged with providing material support to overseas terrorist organizations such as al-Shabab, al-Qaida and ISIS.
Others have left the country to fight for al-Shabab and ISIS, including six from Minnesota last month who were arrested after making repeated attempts to leave the country to join ISIS. That prompted the U.S. attorney for Minnesota, Andrew Luger, to admit in a April 20 press conference that “we have a terror recruitment problem in Minnesota.”
At least two Somalis in Columbus, Ohio, have also been arrested on terrorism charges.
While most of the Somalis have been brought into the U.S. by the U.S. State Department in cooperation with the United Nations, exactly how many Somalis may be entering the country illegally and applying for asylum is difficult to ascertain.
According to official DHS data, 688 Somalis entered the U.S. as asylum seekers between 2004 and 2013.
Asylum seekers from other African countries with radical Muslim populations are also showing up at the border. According to DHS data, 139 Libyans crossed into the U.S. between 2011 and 2013, while only 20 had made the risky trek between 2004 and 2010 when dictator Moammar Gadhafi was in power.
The number of Eritreans and Ethiopians showing up at the U.S. border and seeking asylum is also growing: 1,495 came from Eritrea between 2004 and 2013, and 5,863 came from Ethiopia.
The Washington Times, among other publications, has published stories about the harrowing journeys some Somalis have been willing to endure to get to the U.S. They make their way across the Horn of Africa, cross the Atlantic by stowing away in cargo ships before landing at a port in Brazil or Argentina. From there they travel by land through Central America and Mexico to arrive at the U.S. border. Until last year, at least some of them were deported. Now, word is spreading that U.S. border policy has changed so more are showing up with the one word they know of English – “asylum.”