Why Doesn't Bush Pay More Attention To The Border?

Back in late May Hugh Hewitt linked to a 4-part series in the San Antonio Express News about jihadists coming across our borders. At the time I skipped it, figuring it for a catalog of border malfeasance --and where on radio or in blogdom was that not being covered? Thanks to Brett McS, then, for pointing me to this Hewitt interview with the reporter, which in turn sent me back to read the series. It's about Iraqi refugees and people from 42 other "countries of interest" who pay human smugglers to get them across our borders --with stops in Syria & Latin America as way-stations (Guatemala, Venezuela and many other South American countries have consulates in Damascus to handle the paperwork). Very sobering news:
Corrupt foreign officials and bureaucrats in Latin American consulates and in the Middle East have sold visas. Others hand them out without taking U.S. security concerns into account.

And --this from the radio show--50% of the 5700 "special interest aliens" intercepted at our borders last year came through Canada.
It’s about 50-50, 50% caught on the Northern border, and 50% caught on the Southern border. …One way that a lot of special interest migrants have entered the Northern border is through South America first. So they’ll arrive to South America, Latin America, Central America, and then fly over the United States, into Canada, and then take advantage of that border. But one thing, the most common thing I find is a Latin America connection. They love to come through Latin America, because the countries are corrupt, the borders are porous....

The good news is that Mexico is actually a good friend to us terrorism-wise (I stand corrected).

I think the conventional wisdom on the Mexican government is that you know, they’re for open borders, they want to keep the borders open, and they’re not a very cooperative partner. But what I found was quite the contrary. There is one group of migrants that they very, very steadfastly pursue with some success, and that is special interest migrants from the Middle East. They catch them…

when I asked [the Mexican ambassador] about special interest aliens, which is a bureaucratic term...He was very intimately familiar with that term, and everything about them, which tells you something right there. And he acknowledged that if one of these guys is a bad guy and gets through, there’s going to be a problem. They’re going to shut down that border, and there’s going to be a disruption in the $25 billion dollars worth of remittances that go back, and that is their primary national interest.

Plus, with Mexican cooperation, our FBI, CIA and immigration officers are interrogating people throughout Mexico, and Mexico has an excellent record of deporting guys we say are bad guys.

A question you hear people ask over and again is how Bush, who's been so good on terrorism, can be so lax about border security --so seemingly clueless about the possibility of terrorists entering through porous borders? The Bensman series shows in passing that's simply not the case --Bush has made great progress on border security and his government is intensely worried about terrorists entering. To wit:
there are surprisingly in depth joint counterterrorism programs between the Mexicans and the Americans that are extensive and very comprehensive all along that border for that purpose.
And the Bush beef-up of the border has caused what Hewitt calls "market interruption":

one of the things that I found is that the current border crackdown that we’ve seen, and this is without the wall. Just with what the Bush administration has done with the National Guard, and tripling the Border Patrol, et cetera, has had a profound effect already in distant places like Syria and Amman, where I interviewed many refugees are contemplating hiring smugglers to get out of there.

And what I’m hearing is you know, we don’t want to go to the U.S. because of the Bush crackdown.

Other security programs are hinted at but not revealed. The portrait that emerges is of a government striving like mad to thwart a steady stream of potential bad guys who have the help of pretty much all of South America except Mexico. Still comfortable with the view that Bush is a traitor and sell-out, clueless on immigration? What I conclude from the series is that I don't begin to understand all the fiery plates Bush is juggling to keep us all alive.

Update: Here's another piece I ignored in a snit. Another border state Governor (admittedly, another Bush --but the Conservative one) who thinks the immigration bill's a good idea.