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April 13, 2006
Assumptions At ICE May Prove Hazardous To Our Health

The DHS agency in charge of immigration enforcement makes a strange assumption in a case that sounds like a big problem in the war on terror. After shutting down a conspiracy that smuggled dozens of people from India and Pakistan into the US, Immigration and Customs Enforcement says that none had any connection to terrorism. Read the AP's description of this smuggling ring and decide for yourselves:

U.S. and Canadian authorities announced Wednesday that they have broken up a human smuggling ring suspected of illegally shepherding dozens of Indian and Pakistani nationals into Washington state from British Columbia.

To date, a federal grand jury in Seattle has indicted 14 U.S. and Canadian men for their roles in the alleged scheme. Twelve had been arrested as of Wednesday.

Leigh Winchell, special agent in charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Seattle, said investigators on both sides of the border have worked closely for more than a year, apprehending roughly 50 people who had paid as much as $35,000 apiece to be smuggled into the United States.

Mr. Winchell said none of those smuggled or involved in the operation were suspected of terrorist activity.

If none of these illegal immigrants had terrorism in mind, then why pay $35K to get smuggled across the border? These are obviously not poor Mexican and Central American migrant workers looking for a better life, and $35,000 can hire a pretty good immigration attorney. Having that kind of cash indicates that either the potential immigrant is a skilled worker of some kind -- or somebody has fronted him or her with a large amount of cash. If the person has that kind of skills and resources on their own, why are they so desperate to escape from Canada that they would pay $35K to get muled across the 49th Parallel?

Most of all, why did all of these "dozens" of smuggled immigrants come from Pakistan and India, areas where radical Muslims are very active? And do we really know that ICE caught all of them?

It seems that the ICE has made a very large assumption that doesn't appear to fit the facts as reported. It sounds more like an agency that wants to placate us with false assurances of security. They did a good job in stopping this ring from allowing cash-rich Pakistanis and Indians from infiltrating their way into the US, but either they are hopelessly naive about the illegals' intent or there's more to this story than they want to tell us. Either way, it demonstrates yet again that we have to focus on border security immediately.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at April 13, 2006 5:40 AM

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