While xenophobic politicians and political operatives continue to mischaracterize the US-Mexico border as a terrorist magnet the real danger to the US homeland is within its own borders far from the US-Mexico region. Immigrants have always been the scapegoats for politicians who are intent on politicking instead of governing. Normally this is not a problem, as politicians are known for their self-serving politicking at the expense of rational public policy. However, the dangers of terrorism are magnified by distracting the country’s public discussion away from where the real danger lies towards an area that has been proven repeatedly to be not as dangerous as portrayed.
Yesterday, the White House confirmed what many of us have been trying to point about the real dangers of jihadist terrorists. The US government confirmed that at least 100 US citizens have attempted to fight for ISIS. The danger to the US lies not on their attempt to fight alongside ISIS, but rather in their radicalization that would likely lead to terrorism in the US mainland.
The Republicans and other conservative groups continue to try to demonize the border as an open invitation to ISIS terrorists while conveniently ignoring the fact that ISIS terrorists are unlikely to use the US-Mexico border. This is because they either have valid visas to enter the US, are citizens of the US who can enter whenever they like or don’t even require a visa because they are a citizen of a visa-waiver country.
As a matter of fact, yesterday the National Counterterrorism Center acknowledged that some of the radicalized US citizens who have fought for ISIS might have already returned to the US. This is where the real danger lies. Radicalized US citizens not only are capable of carrying out terrorists activities on behalf of ISIS but they are also in a position to create a beachhead for future ISIS terrorists.
As much as Rick Perry’s cohorts try to pander for the voters’ attention by demonizing the US-Mexico border the question US residents should be asking themselves is what about the dangers being perpetuated by their actions?
Shouldn’t politicians, like Rick Perry, be held accountable for misdirecting an important public discussion away from the real danger just to allow Perry some votes he so desperately wants? If ISIS is in fact in the US because US citizens have become radicalized and they act on behalf of ISIS, shouldn’t xenophobic politicians who continue to demonize the border be held accountable for their part in increasing the danger to the country?
The danger has been demonstrated and it is not on the US-Mexico border but within the country itself. Politicians, like right-wing zealots and Rick Perry, need accept the facts and focus on the solutions in order to protect the country they purport to call home.