EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND FINDINGS The Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Homeland Security issues this interim report summarizing its findings regarding the criminal activity and violence taking place along the Southwest border of the United States between Texas and Mexico. The Texas-Mexico border region has been experiencing an alarming rise in the level of criminal cartel activity, including drug and human smuggling, which has placed significant additional burdens on Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies. This interim report will examine the roots of the criminal enterprise and its effects on the local populations, what steps are being taken or should be taken to counter the threat, and the significance of these issues for the overall homeland security of the United States. The United States border with Mexico extends nearly 2,000 miles along the southern borders of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. In most areas, the border is located in remote and sparsely populated areas of vast desert and rugged mountain terrain. While the Southwest border hosts robust legal commercial activity, the border also is the site of violent criminal enterprises. These enterprises are carried out by organized criminal syndicates and include the smuggling of drugs, humans, weapons, and cash across the U.S.-Mexico border. During 2005, Border Patrol apprehended approximately 1.2 million illegal aliens; of those 165,000 were from countries other than Mexico. Of the non-Mexican aliens, approximately 650 were from special interest countries. Special interest countries are those designated by the intelligence community as countries that could export individuals that could bring harm to our country in the way of terrorism. Law enforcement has stated that some individuals come across the border because they have been forced to leave their home countries due to their criminal activity. These dangerous criminals are fleeing the law in other countries and seeking refuge in the United States. In addition to the criminal activities and violence of the cartels on our Southwest border, there is an ever-present threat of terrorist infiltration over the Southwest border. Data indicates that there are hundreds of illegal aliens apprehended entering the United States each year who are from countries known to support and sponsor terrorism. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigations have revealed that aliens were smuggled from the Middle East to staging areas in Central and South America, before being smuggled illegally into the United States. Members of Hezbollah have already entered the United States across the Southwest border. U.S. military and intelligence officials believe that Venezuela is emerging as a potential hub of terrorism in the Western Hemisphere. The Venezuelan government is issuing identity documents that could subsequently be used to obtain a U.S. visa and enter the country. http://www.house.gov/sites/members/tx10_mccaul/pdf/Investigaions-Border-Report.pdf Neither the Clinton administration, nor the Bush administration, nor the Obama, administration, have done a thing to seal the South West Border. This is a bi-partisan charlie foxtrot, that must be corrected. Janet Napolitano, the current head of Homeland Security, states that "our borders are as safe as they've ever been." Since our borders have never been safe that is a true statement. Hundreds of Americans have lost their lives along the U.S. Mexican border. I wonder how many more lives will need to be lost before the pinheads that we've put in Washington, wake up?