Terrorists May Be Smuggling Chemical Weapons Across Border: John Bolton

Terrorists May Be Smuggling Chemical Weapons Across Border: John Bolton

John Bolton, former national security adviser for ex-President Donald Trump, warned of serious threats to U.S. national security amid the influx of migrants at the southern border in an interview with Newsweek.

Immigration has emerged as a core issue ahead of the 2024 presidential election and President Joe Biden has faced mounting scrutiny over his administration’s handling of the southern border amid the spike in migrants crossing illegally.

In December, roughly 300,000 migrants—nearly 10,000 per day—entered the United States through Mexico, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data. Federal border agents encountered about 2.5 million migrants in total last year, surpassing the previous record high from 2022. Many lawmakers have urged Biden to wield executive authority but he instead has called on Congress to pass a bipartisan border security bill.

Bolton, former United Nations ambassador who served as national security adviser from 2018 to 2019 during Trump’s presidency, expressed his biggest worries about the U.S.-Mexico border during a phone interview with Newsweek on Wednesday.

“I’m very worried that the border is so open,” Bolton said. “We know already criminal drug cartels have been exploiting the weaknesses in our border protection. I’m worried terrorists may come across the border. Since it’s safer than going through airports and customs stations, you could have espionage agents from foreign governments.”

Bolton told Newsweek that he fears the current handling of the border is making it too easy for people to sneak into the country and possibly smuggle in chemical and biological weapons. Bolton also discussed the increasing number of Chinese nationals encountered at the border in recent months. In December, there were more than 5,000 encounters with Chinese national migrants at the border, according to CBP.

“There are a lot of Chinese illegal immigrants now coming across the border and many of them may be seeking a better economic future, that’s what they say, but mixed in among them could well be Chinese agents,” Bolton said. “And that could be true for a wide variety of countries. So I think people who might be smuggling in biological or chemical weapons, all these are possibilities, and it goes to the point that if people feel anybody can get in if they just have enough patience, then they’re going to feel less secure and the country will be more at risk.”

Bolton added that his concern is not the number of migrants crossing the border but rather who might be among those entering the country illegally.

“I think the threat is not the volume of illegal immigration,” he said. “It’s the national security threat to me, it’s who else may be coming in. I do think from the perspective of U.S. immigration policy, we should have more legal immigration. But the difference is, we decide who the immigrants are. They don’t decide for themselves, and I think that’s an important principle of sovereignty, and it’s not hostile to immigrants at all. It’s simply saying, we’re going to decide rather than leaving it to chance.”

While Bolton—who has become a vocal critic of Trump—said neither the presumptive GOP presidential nominee nor Democratic rival Biden are fit for another term in the White House, he praised Trump’s border policies.

“I think the most important factor in preventing illegal immigration is to establish deterrence, which Trump did,” Bolton said. “People in Central America or South America, I think, are very rational. If they believe that they have to walk across Central America, walk across Mexico to get to the border and they don’t get in, pretty soon that word gets back to their cities and towns and villages where they came from and people are not going to walk from wherever they started from when they all have to turn around and walk back.”

He took aim at Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas during the interview for the uptick in migrant crossings.

“I think Trump had largely established deterrence by the end of his first term in office, but when Biden came in, he and Mayorkas made repeated statements about how they were going to change Trump’s immigration policies and reverse what he had done at the border,” Bolton said. “And I think that translated into people believing that they could now come across. Again, being rational. They said, ‘Okay, maybe it’s worth walking across Mexico.’ You can change their mindset. If it’s clear that it would be futile to try and come in and it’s not that you’re saying they can never come in. It’s saying fill out the application form and get in line with everybody else.”

Source » newsweek.com