This year’s surge of Central American migrants across the southern border has put border security back at the forefront of national politics.
But with the number of migrant crossings on the decline, and the US stepping up its offensive against the so-called Islamic State – or ISIS – conservatives in Texas are now worried about terrorists crossing the border.
Some are now shifting the conversation to again call for tighter border security.
If you want to know how exactly ISIS went from being a far-off terrorist group plaguing Iraq and Syria just a month ago to allegedly an impending threat on the Texas border this month, you can basically trace a straight line from a recent New York Times article back to a report from the conservative website Judicial Watch in late August.
That’s where most of the recent fears about ISIS on the border stem from. The website claimed “high-level” law enforcement officials were warning of an “imminent” attack on the border.
Politically, the timing couldn’t have been better for those calling for tougher measures on the border. National Guard troops deployed by Governor Rick Perry had just started arriving in South Texas , a sign that conservative leaders were finally taking action to deal with illegal immigration, and Perry had that same week told reporters it was a “very real possibility” that ISIS had already hopped over the river.
“Certainly, there is great concern that the border between the United States and Mexico is unsecure, and we don’t know who’s using that,” Perry said at a Heritage Foundation event in Washington.
Despite that warning, the governor was quick to note there was “no clear evidence of that.” And that’s what homeland security officials say, too.