No Worries: Feds Find 30K Mexican Passport Holders With Middle Eastern Names in Fraud Investigation

Townhall Media/Julio Rosas

Federal law enforcement authorities have been tracking a disturbing recent trend that could be a significant security threat. The Department of Homeland Security believes that up to 30,000 individuals with Middle Eastern names are traveling on Mexican passports that they may have obtained fraudulently.


The 30,000 individuals are undergoing “additional investigation,” says DHS. The government is trying to determine if any of the 30,000 Mexican passport holders traveled to the United States and whether there were any patterns in their travel.

Given the porousness of our Southern border, even the usually quiescent DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas appears a little worried. He said that the United States risks losing its “first line of defense” because of the “unsustainable” amount of illegal immigration at the border.

Washington Free Beacon:

There are fears that terror groups such as al Qaeda could take advantage of the strained immigration system. Last April, for example, two Yemeni nationals on the terrorist watch list were apprehended at the southern border. Law enforcement officials appear concerned that bad actors could abuse the legal travel system to enter the country with passports obtained from Mexico, and enter the United States legally. Roughly 20 million Mexican citizens easily travel to the United States as tourists each year, according to the U.S. Travel Association.

“This investigation highlights that criminals often use legal travel to facilitate criminal activity,” the senior DHS official told the Free Beacon. “The nexus to Mexico should cause the public and lawmakers to reflect on how a porous border can be even more dangerous.”

Indeed, the bulk of the investigations is left to a little-known but vital piece of our first line of defense against attack. Since 2001, Custom and Border Protection’s National Targeting Center in Sterling, Va., has worked nonstop to catch travelers and detect cargo that threatens U.S. security.


The concerning passports were identified by the agency’s National Targeting Center, the memo states. The lesser known subagency, created shortly after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, “works quickly and quietly to identify people and products that pose potential threats to our Nation’s security, and to stop them from entering the United States,” according to a 2014 public memo.

The National Targeting Center also assists Immigration and Customs Enforcement with deporting money launderers and child predators, the senior DHS official said. The National Targeting Center regularly partners with other agencies on investigations involving terrorism or global criminal networks.

Obviously, not all 30,000 fraudulent passports are from terrorists. But a false passport is a necessity if the holder wants to engage in criminal activity. The ease with which criminals can cross the border to conduct their business should make breaking any fraud ring responsible for creating false identification a priority.


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