December 14 2005, 1:10 PM
The Denver Post reports that Rep. Tom Tancredo, on his never-ending mission to keep foreign nationals from our shores, claimed that federal terrorism agents arrested 51 foreign nationals who entered the country illegally on terror-related charges .
Saying the data show the porousness of the nation's borders, Tancredo, R-Littleton, issued a press release titled: "51 Terrorism Suspects Crossed Border Illegally / Joint Terrorism Taskforces Report 51 Persons Arrested on Terrorism-Related Charges in Last Year."When challenged on his allegation, he released his "supporting data."
In fact, none of the 51 people arrested from September 2004 through September 2005 were charged with terrorism offenses, according to officials from two divisions of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as well as the document released by Tancredo. Many were arrested on immigration violations. The suspects were investigated by federal terrorism officials because they came from "countries of interest," such as Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria, the FBI said. "I'm unaware of any instances at this time of individuals that have been charged with terrorism-related offenses (among) individuals who have been smuggled across the border," said FBI spokesman Bill Carter.When a politician's agenda gets in the way of the facts, it's time to stop listening.