Texas Governor Rick Perry is worried about ISIS. Specifically, he’s worried about ISIS infiltrating the United States through our porous border with Mexico.
“I think it’s a very real possibility that they may have already” come through Mexico, he said at the Heritage Foundation on Thursday. “The cartels, as vicious and brutal as they are, might be the least of our worries. What other bad actors are coming here, or for that matter, have arrived already? Where did they come from? What did they bring with them?”
But you’re not really a terrorist organziation in the eyes of the United States until someone worries about you coming up from the south. It’s not just ISIS. It’s Hezbollah. (Former Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen: “We are being invaded by criminals who have formed alliances with mid-eastern terrorists who use violence in the most evil of ways to intimidate, control and protect their drug-human smuggling multi-billion dollar business.”) It’s Al Qaeda too. (Rep. Louie Gohmert: “We know Al Qaeda has camps over with the drug cartels on the other side of the Mexican border. We know that people are now being trained to come in and act like Hispanic when they’re radical Islamists.”) As the National Review has put it, our southern border is “our welcome mat for terrorists.”
Nevertheless, reports of suspected or confirmed terrorists coming in from the south are relatively rare. The State Department says it knows of no Hezbollah or Al Qaeda cells in the Western Hemisphere. American officials were quick to dismiss that specific threat from ISIS, too. “I’ve seen no indication that they are coming across the border with Mexico,” a Pentagon spokesman said on CNN. While Perry is at it, he might want to keep a closer eye on Canada though.