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Letter: Where In The World Is America?

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According to Customs and Border Protection (CPB) the total number of encounters with illegal immigrants on our southern border in FY 2020 was 458,088; in FY 2021 the number was 1.7 million; in FY 2022 the number was 2.3 million; and, in FY 2023 the number was 2.47 million ending September 30. Included in the FY 2023 numbers CBP reported are 169 people on the FBI’s terrorist watchlist.

Border Patrol Chief Jason Owens wrote in an X-post (formerly Twitter) on October 17 that more than 18,000 known “gotaways” evaded border patrol officials since October 1. A gotaway is an illegal immigrant who evaded capture and identification. Last month the House Committee on Homeland Security estimated nearly 1.6 million known gotaways have entered America since President Biden took office. In FY 2023 alone more than 20,000 Chinese nationals have been encountered along the Southwest border, an estimated 831% increase compared with FY 2022.

FY 2024 appears to be another record-breaking year for illegal immigrants and gotaways.

Early Saturday morning on October 7, Hamas forces moved from Gaza into Israel in a surprise attack on families and innocents. They quickly slaughtered more than 1,300 people and took hundreds more hostage back into Gaza. What does this have to do with our open-door immigration policies? What dangers do Americans face from millions of illegal immigrants who cannot be traced?

We have had a major crisis at the southern border since the first day Biden entered the White House. With all the illegal immigrants, drugs, and human trafficking growing each year at exponential rates, we are fighting a multifaceted war. Biden’s team thoroughly botched our withdrawal from Afghanistan within a few months of taking office. Russian President Putin activated his plan to invade and conquer Ukraine a few months later. Chinese President Xi has been taunting military operations with Taiwan. Iran and North Korea have continued if not increased their terrorist activities around the globe.

This is the timing Hamas has chosen to challenge America’s strongest ally Israel. Have you noticed the roles these nations play in the production of petroleum? Last year President Biden conducted the largest ever sale from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve of 180 million barrels lowering the reserve to its lowest level in 40 years. Was this just bad timing?

The good news is that with all these wars and rumors of wars, America’s military industrial complex is cranking up again. All the arms and weapons we’ve given to Ukraine has depleted our stockpiles. We’re sending tons of weapons and missiles to Israel. Where else might some nation or nations decide to take advantage of all the chaos going on around the world?

The crisis at our southern border has grown from a few mosquitos in our bedroom at night into swarms of blood suckers that distract us from other much bigger dangers outside the windows. How might President Biden and his administration finally begin to fight our enemies crossing the border? What is the plan for fighting terror cells hiding in plain sight in our midst?

The war in Ukraine is dragging on toward its second year. Will other European nations be drawn into this war? Will Hamas’ war with Israel attract Islamic allies? Will the war spread across the Middle East and into Africa? Where in the world is America?

Daniel L. Gardner is a columnist who lives in Starkville, MS. You may contact him at

(Thoughts? Submit a letter to the editor here.)

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