“Todd Bensman has a complex background in Journalism and Homeland Security. He is currently Senior Fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies. He has written for Townhall.com, The Federalist, and the Daily Wire. He is the Author of America’s Covert Border War. He joined me on Rant World today to talk about the Biden Border Crisis.”
Sam Widener: Many people in opposition of having a border wall or stronger border security in general will say it’s racist and xenophobic. Given your experience and expertise, what is your argument against these claims and why you are for stronger border security?
Bensman: The ideas behind borders, anywhere in the world, any country – laterally across the world now and also vertically through history – has been to enforce borders. It’s just a thing that countries do. It’s expected by the people who live within the borders and always has been. And I don’t think the United States should be any different. I believe that the best experts about the border wall are the US Border Patrol and the agents who work for US Border Patrol, in the shadow of the wall and on the border 40 hours a week. When I talk to the agents about the wall, and how it helps them – and I’ve written quite a bit about what they tell me – is that the wall really changes their jobs in real time and in real life. That’s because it slows, if not halts, almost all of the activity that would ordinarily be going through. So when you don’t have a wall, you have to be there all the time and even when you’re there all the time you can’t see everything. So people, drugs and movement and activity is happening at all times. But when the wall’s there, it’s much more episodic. It definitely slows illegal immigration and drug trafficking and all the other ills that happen back and forth – weapons smuggling and sex trafficking and the southern crossing of money for money-laundering purposes, and ammunition smuggling and all of those kinds of things. The wall just messes it all up. If you believe the Border Patrol agents that I talk to, who are disparate from all different parts of the border; they don’t know each other, all say the same things over time. As far as the racism charge about the border wall, I don’t think any serious person regards that as something that is reasonable or makes any sense. So I just dismiss that out of hand.
Widener: What do you say to those who deny there’s a border crisis?
Bensman: Well, you know… for those people who don’t believe there’s a border crisis, there’s a disconnect internally for them in their analysis of historical trends. You have to look at the statistical data, which show anyone who looks at the numbers that they are as high as they’ve been in about 25 years. And the men and women who work in the apparatus of border control and management all tell you that they are swamped and overwhelmed and can’t do their normal jobs. So that would constitute a border crisis for a lot of people. A lot of reasonable people would look at the numbers – almost 190,000 contacts with illegal immigrants in a single month compared to a year earlier when there might have been 20 or 30,000, much more manageable. And so, I again defer to primary sources, which are the people down there and the data. Which shows that things are really out of whack at the border. You can call it whatever you want. I call it – and the people who work down there – call it a crisis.
Widener: When the Trump administration was in office, the number of apprehensions started going down. But when the Biden administration came in, those numbers went up. So what do you think is the importance of Vice President Harris and President Biden visiting the border to see the crisis that they essentially caused?
Bensman: I’ve spent a lot of time in Mexico and in Central America with immigrants and have for the last year and a half, all during the campaigns. The immigrants would tell me over and over again that they were coming because either a Democrat was expected to be elected to the White House and open the border or, once Biden was nominated, that he would do it particularly. So they started coming just on that hope and grounds alone. They told me. I’ve got all kinds of videotaped interviews and quotations from migrants for at least a year straight about how they were expecting a Democrat to get in, then, and that they were going to come because of it. So that’s one thing.
The importance of the president or the vice president going to the border is to acknowledge that there is a problem down there and to let the American people know they know it and that they are going to do something to address it. I think that’s typically why a president or a senior executive would go visit the border, or anything. If there’s a school shooting or some kind of a national disaster of import or significance, a president or vice president will go there. To signify their care and worry about it. And I think the border is no different than anything like that, a school shooting or terror attack or something of that order… to just go down and show that it matters. By not going, that’s a political statement too. Which is that, ‘this is not a big deal. There is nothing happening here… we don’t agree that this is something needs to be addressed.’
Sam Widener: You are the author of a book called America’s Covert Border War. So mind explaining about your book to the listeners.
Bensman: Yes, thanks for asking about that. America’s Covert Border War is all about probably the single most taboo subject and aspect of the border security issue because it’s about jihadists and Islamic terrorists coming over the border. That has long been denied by the regular media and by former homeland security people or people who claim to be homeland security experts. You might remember a year or two ago when Donald Trump said there were Middle Easterners coming in and around the caravans. He was shouted down for months and called a liar. You’re just simply not allowed to talk about that. It’s considered kind of crazy. But the book systematically documents terrorists who have come across. And more importantly, a series of counterterrorism programs that the Department of Homeland Security has deployed at the border and south of the border throughout Latin America to deal solely with this problem that supposedly doesn’t exist. You’ve actually got 20 years of DHS secret programs that have been operating for the purpose of keeping the country safe from that particular kind of infiltration. There are intercontinental smuggling routes that bring people in, three or four thousand a year – from the Middle East and South Asia and in North Africa. And not all of them are going to be terrorists. A lot of them are just people who have no identification and just show up at the border to claim asylum. But the problem is we don’t know who they are. And every once in a while, at least several times a year, we do catch people who are already on the US terrorism watch list or No Fly list. And we discover others who are not on any list but are associated with terrorist organizations. And the book just outlines all of that. The programs and the jihadists who have come across.