Officials with the Department of Homeland Security have admitted they expect another surge in illegal immigration this coming winter.
DHS is already building facilities for immigrant families in expectation that “the influx could grow again this winter,” reports the Los Angeles Times.
“We believe it is necessary to build more of that capability in the event we have another spike,” DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said at a Center for Strategic and International Studies meeting on Thursday.
The surge is expected to increase as the scorching Texas summer comes to an end, the DHS head says, even though overall immigration numbers have decreased to mid-2013 levels.
Seeking to allay concerns over terrorist and biological threats to the homeland, Secretary Johnson blamed “overheated rhetoric” for prompting fears that the Obama administration’s de facto open border policy is putting Americans in harm’s way.
“In the absence of facts, the American public is susceptible to claims that we have an open, ‘porous’ border, through which unaccompanied minors and members of terrorist organizations such as ISIL may pass,” Johnson said.
Labeling claims that ISIS fighters had been caught at the southern Texas border “categorically false,” Johnson asserted that the people apprehended at the border were actually Kurdish immigrants who had fought against ISIS in Iraq, but who reportedly “had no link to terrorism.”
The DHS Secretary’s comments follow concerns raised by vice president of the National Border Patrol Council local chapter 3307 Chris Cabrera, who told news outlets last week that he was worried for the safety of his fellow agents after immigrants from Liberia and other Ebola-stricken African nations were caught attempting to sneak into the U.S.
Yesterday, Marine Corps General John F. Kelly told the National Defense University in Washington that during his travels in Costa Rica he witnessed “a handful of Liberian men preparing to be smuggled into the U.S. as illegal immigrants,” according to the Washington Times.
Gen. Kelly speculated that, as the Ebola crisis grows more out of control, immigration from Ebola-stricken nations would increase, making this summer’s immigrant surge “look like a small problem.”
“If Ebola breaks out in Haiti or in Central America, I think it is literally ‘Katie bar the door’ in terms of the mass migration of Central Americans into the United States,” General Kelly said.
The general’s concerns were echoed by several medical experts this past summer, who also warned that the Obama administration’s lax immigration enforcement could potentially lead to people infected with Ebola coming into the United States.
“If risk is so low for the U.S., why is the CDC quietly setting up Ebola Quarantine Centers in 20 cities across the U.S.? Why did the Congressional Record report that Ebola bio kits have been deployed to National Guard units in all 50 states?” Dr. Elizabeth Lee Vliet questioned in early September, weeks before the first U.S. case of Ebola was diagnosed in Dallas.
Despite the feds’ attempts to calm the public over potential disease and terrorist threats crossing the open southern border, the fact that the DHS is actually admitting the surge will increase during the winter season will no doubt keep the American public guarded.