Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed that we have to build the wall on the Mexican border because terrorists are streaming through. One has to wonder, then, why there aren’t more terrorist acts by foreigners on American soil. And why even the Department of Homeland Security won’t back up his claim.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday cited the recent apprehension of ten suspected terrorists to bolster his case for building a wall along the southern border, implying that a porous border with Mexico is leaving the country vulnerable to national security threats.
But the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees security and law enforcement at U.S. borders and ports of entry, was unable to provide data to directly substantiate that claim.Instead, DHS would only say that it apprehended, on average, ten “known or suspect[ed] terrorists” per day who attempted to enter the country “by air, sea, or land” from October 2017 through September 2018.
But allow me to make an obvious point. If his argument is that terrorists seek out weaknesses in our border security to get into the country, why isn’t he calling for a wall on the Canadian border? If that’s what terrorists are doing, shutting down the Mexican border would obviously make them go through Canada instead, which is actually far easier to do. But no one in the anti-immigrant camp ever calls for a Canadian border wall. Why? Because Canadians are seen as almost universally white (which isn’t true, actually; Canada is a remarkably diverse country).
This is a dishonest pretext. There’s no evidence to back it up, but it’s offered as an excuse, a thin veneer of respectability because they can’t say what they really mean, which is “OMG, keep those dark-skinned people away from me!” It’s a cover for their bigotry and xenophobia and that’s all it is.