Now Available for Pre-Order, February 2, 2021 release date

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The forthcoming book by journalist-turned-intelligence analyst Todd Bensman, AMERICA’S COVERT BORDER WAR, is now available for pre-order on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. This 13-year work of journalism reveals, for the first time, secret (ongoing) border security operations that America built after 9/11 to prevent terrorist infiltration mainly over the southern border with Mexico. …


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In a January 12, 2021 speech at the border wall in Alamo, Texas, President Donald Trump stated that terrorist travelers in numbers “far greater than anybody would understand” have reached the U.S. southern border.

Here is the totality of the president’s statement that day at the wall, from Minute 18:24 to 19:11:

“We also have, and … we have them all the time; we have terrorists from the Middle East coming through our country through the southern border. That was before what you see right here [gesturing toward the border wall]. Because it was easier to come into our country through the southern border than it was through airports or any other means. So they’d land in South America and they’d work their way up and they’d come into our country. And these are not people coming from the countries you’d expect. These are people from some very seriously dangerous places in the Middle East. And the numbers are far greater than anybody would understand, really far greater. …


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By Todd Bensman as published January 14, 2020 by the Center for Immigration Studies

As the January 15 departure date draws nigh for the latest U.S.-bound Honduran caravan, the chances that its economic migrants reach the American border in time for President Joe Biden to be in office have fallen to the vicinity of zero.

With Trump still in office and pandemic-containment border closures still in place, the governments of Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico have moved quickly to coordinate what promises to become the second forceful breakup of a caravan since the presidential election. Guatemala, for instance, proclaimed a “State of Prevention” and moved militarized police to its borders with Honduras Tuesday to block several hundred of the caravan’s advance elements. …


Migrants speak of reaching ‘paradise’, but their test of Biden may be premature

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By Todd Bensman as originally published January 11, 2021 by the Center for Immigration Studies

Yet another migrant caravan is forming in Honduras, the latest driven by hope that an incoming Joe Biden presidency will open gates closed by the outgoing Trump administration.

According to fresh media reports, this caravan hopes to leave San Pedro Sula, Honduras, on January 15, which in the unlikely event it can get past Guatemala and Mexican pandemic-related border closures, seems timed to reach the U.S. southern border by Biden’s January 20 inauguration. …


Will this mass-entry incursion tactic test President Biden’s promises of a kinder, gentler immigration agenda?

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Cubans blow past Mexican immigration in a dash for the U.S. side of the Paso del Norte international bridge to El Paso, Texas December 29.

By Todd Bensman as published January 4, 2021 by the Center for Immigration Studies

AUSTIN, Texas — Almost lost in the distractions of the holiday weekend, up to 400 mostly Cuban migrants the night of December 29 forced their way past Mexican immigration and over payment turnstiles on the Paso del Norte Bridge from Ciudad Juarez with a desire to force their way into downtown El Paso, according to news reporting.

US Customs and Border Protection Mobile Field Force officers met them in riot gear and used concrete blocks tipped by concertina wire to block the onslaught mid-bridge as many chanted “Biden, Biden!” Many demanded they be let in to live in the United States while they pursue asylum claims, instead of in Mexico as required under various policies of President Donald Trump. …


Migrants from terror countries and around the world are bottled up in Latin America, waiting for the green light…

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Extra-continental migrants from Sri Lanka, India, and Pakistan moving through Costa Rica, December 2018. Photo by Todd Bensman

By Todd Bensman as originally published December 17, 2020 by the Center for Immigration Studies

It bears remembering that next year’s now-broadly predicted surge of illegal immigration to the U.S. Southwest Border — much the result of the Biden campaign’s months of messaging that the incoming president will clear all obstacles and penalty for it — will include not only Spanish-speakers.

Aspiring migrants who in past years have shown up from more than 150 countries also have heard the Biden-Harris clarion calls of welcome. They are building up behind a dam of Latin America coronavirus border closures and of President Trump’s deterrence policies, waiting for the moment when it is all removed sometime during 2021. …


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Author Todd Bensman with the January 2020 migrant caravan in Tecun Uman, Guatemala. Mexican National Guard seized almost everyone the next morning and deported them

Editor’s Note: Shortly after this article published, Honduran federal police broke up this caravan.

By Todd Bensman as originally published December 12, 2020 by the Center for Immigration Studies

The latest “migrant caravan” in Honduras has set off for the American border facing coronavirus border closures and Trump-era obstacles that dashed apart at least five earlier ones, the most recent in September.

But this caravan — and especially any that follow — warrants close observation since it is a potential harbinger of whether a new caravan crisis develops on the southern border after the White House transitions to Joe Biden next month. The new caravan forms after even The Washington Post added its voice to Center for Immigration Studies predictions that, with the coming Biden administration’s promised undoing of Trump’s deterrence-based illegal immigration policies, “the elements of a new crisis are gathering.” …


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Guatemala highlands scene, January 2020. Photo by Todd Bensman

by Todd Bensman Special to IPT News
December 4, 2020

The small Central American nation of Guatemala does not usually pop first in literature and intelligence about Lebanese Hizballah’s operations deep in the heart of South America. So any surprise would be expected when the government of Guatemala in October, very far from that action, suddenly designated the Iranian-backed Shiite Muslim paramilitary group, and all of its branches, as a terrorist organization.

Guatemala’s designation follows one by Honduras in January and three other Latin America nations — Argentina, Paraguay, and Colombia — in 2019. The designations theoretically subject Hizballah and anyone caught supporting it to surveillance, asset seizures, arrest, and prosecution in coordination with the American intelligence and law enforcement agencies. …


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By Todd Bensman, Author of the forthcoming book “America’s Covert Border War, The Untold Story of the Nation’s Battle to Prevent Jihadist Infiltration

A December 2 Washington Post story about President-elect Joe Biden’s pledge to immediately do away with the travel restrictions on 13 countries — the inaccurately named but popularly known “Muslim Travel Ban” — perpetuated an unsupported Democratic partisan assertion that should not go unchallenged.

The thrice-revised travel restrictions list enacted by President Donald Trump shortly after taking office currently restricts travel from the 13 countries, including diplomatically recalcitrant nations like Myanmar, Venezuela, and North Korea as well as Muslim-majority nations where terrorist groups operate like Syria, Yemen, Chad, Sudan, Libya, Iran, and Somalia. …


The Inter-American Dialogue’s daily Latin America Advisor recently asked a range of immigration experts, including me, to comment on Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei’s government request that the United States grant Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, to hundreds of thousands of Guatemalan migrants currently subject to deportation. The argument is that Hurricanes Eta and Iota have wrought too much destruction in Guatemala into which deportees would be sent. My answer follows:

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By Todd Bensman as published December 1, 2020 by the Inter-American Dialogue’s daily Latin America Advisor

TPS is one of the most unnecessary American immigration policies on the books.

It has allowed some 400,000 foreign nationals subject to deportation to stay, ostensibly for a finite time, after their homelands suffered natural catastrophes or warfare. But almost none ever actually return. …

About

Todd Bensman

Todd Bensman is Senior National Security Fellow for the Center for Immigration Studies, a 9-year counterterrorism intelligence manager, and 23-year journalist

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