Monday, 31 January 2011

Radical Imam Illegally Crosses U.S. Border

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Although much of the American debate over illegal immigration centers of the flood of Mexicans who are violating federal law to seek residency within the United States, the invasion pouring over the southern border is not limited to Mexicans — or other citizens of Central and South American countries. In the lingo of the U.S. Border Patrol, OTMs (“Other Than Mexicans”) make up a significant portion of those individuals who are smuggled across the U.S.-Mexico border, and now a radical Muslim cleric has been found among their ranks. According to press reports, Said Jaziri was smuggled across the border near San Diego for the modest cost of $5,000.

Said Jaziri gained notoriety when he was among those Muslim imams who called for the death of Kurt Westergaard, the Danish cartoonist who had the audacity to subject Muhammed and Islam to the same satire which cartoonists regularly unleash on virtually any available subject. Furthermore, Jaziri was an outspoken supporter of Sharia law, and he called on the Canadian government to build a $20 million mosque in Montreal. In the end, Jaziri’s views were so extreme that Canadian authorities finally deported him to his native Tunisia on the ground of his having presented falsehoods to Canadian immigration authorities and having lied about having a criminal record in France. In fact, in early December of last year, Jaziri was the subject of a sympathetic story from CBC News, when, in the aftermath of the Wikileaks revelations, there was concern Jaziri might suffer torture at the hands of the Tunisian government.

According to a story from the Daily Mail, Jaziri’s effort to sneak into the United States came to a sudden end when border guards found him hiding in the trunk of a Mexican BMW:

U.S. border guards got a surprise when they searched a Mexican BMW and found a hardline Muslim cleric — banned from France and Canada — curled up in the boot. ...

Jaziri had allegedly paid a Tijuana-based smuggling cartel $5,000 to take him across the border near Tecate, saying he wanted to be taken to a "safe place anywhere in the U.S." According to the court documents, a Mexican guide led Jaziri and a Mexican immigrant over the border fence near Tecate.

They then trekked across the rugged terrain under cover of darkness to a spot popular for drivers who pick up immigrants for smuggling runs into San Diego. He allegedly told officials he had flown from Africa to Europe, then to Central America and Chetumal, Mexico, on the Mexico-Belize border, where he took a bus to Tijuana.

In other words, Jaziri had successfully entered the United States, having circumvented detection at the border. He was caught only because one of the routine sweeps inside the border just happened to find him.

The recent pleas from Arizona sheriffs for the federal government to complete work on the border fence seem to have fallen, once again, on deaf ears in the White House and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). While American citizens regularly are subjected to increasingly absurd measures every time they try to travel by air or rail, the border remains virtually wide open. If the report from the Daily Mail is accurate, the regular measures which Mexican cartels use every day for smuggling illegal aliens into the United States almost succeeded in releasing into American society a man who would seem, from his record, like the very model of the sort of individual the DHS was ostensibly established to keep out.

Once again, the American people are burdened with invasive security measures which do little, if anything, to protect our freedom, while cartels smuggle thousands of illegals across the border with impunity. If nothing else, the case of Said Jaziri may serve to highlight the most important step the federal government could take to fulfill its charge to defend against all enemies “foreign and domestic”: Seal the border from invasion.

Photo: A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer is seen from Mexico's side of the San Ysidro port of entry across from Tijuana, Mexico: AP Images

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