On Friday, the Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reported that there are more than 10,000 illegal immigrants in the United States who came from countries the U.S. designates as state sponsors of terrorism. These illegals have been ordered removed or have pending final orders of removal, but currently live in America.
“My biggest concern isn’t how many terrorists have been arrested entering the country illegally, but how many got through?” Thomas Homan, a former acting director of ICE, said in a statement for the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI). “How many did Border Patrol not catch? That’s what Americans should be thinking about.”
ICE provided records in response to an IRLA Freedom of Information Act request showing that there are 10,340 illegal immigrants from terror states. According to the State Department, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), Iran, Sudan, and Syria are all state sponsors of terrorism.
According to ICE records, there are 2,812 illegal immigrants from Iran who have been ordered removed, and 3,519 who have orders of removal pending, for a grand total of 6,331 illegals from Iran. There are three illegals from North Korea with finalized orders of removal and 18 whose removal orders are pending, for a total of 21. There are 941 illegals from Sudan with finalized removal orders and 919 with pending removal orders, for a total of 1,860. There are 647 illegals with finalized removal orders from Syria and 1,481 with removal orders still pending, for a total of 2,128.
State and local law enforcement agencies once coordinated with ICE to remove people on the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) list who were wanted on an administrative warrant for removal from the U.S., but sanctuary laws prevent such coordination. ICE has still removed an average of about 44 known or suspected terrorists per year in fiscal years 2017 and 2018, IRLI reported.
“It’s bad enough that America is deluged with illegal aliens from failed states around the world,” Dale L. Wilcox, IRLI’s executive director and general counsel, said in a statement. “It’s simply unacceptable that we also have more than 10,000 aliens here from terrorist states that are sworn enemies of America.”
“We saw on 9/11 the damage that only 19 sleeper cell terrorists could cause. This is just the latest example of the disaster of sanctuary laws, which force ICE agents to operate with one hand tied behind their backs while making our communities inherently more dangerous,” Wilcox concluded.
Illegal immigrants from these countries may or may not be terrorists. After all, many flee Iran, North Korea, and Syria to escape warfare and oppressive regimes. Even so, the large number of illegals from these countries should concern Americans.
America’s immigration laws need reform, but the current laws should still be enforced, especially for illegals from terror-supporting states.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.