The agency determines that white supremacists pose the most persistent and lethal domestic terrorism threat to the U.S. and the media ran with it, essentially ignoring other serious problems documented in detail by DHS in the first annual report. For instance, DHS writes that “Mexico-based cartels pose the greatest threat to the Homeland because of their ability to control territory—including along the U.S. Southwest Border—and co-opt parts of government, particularly at a state and local level.” They are considered Transitional (sic) Criminal Organizations (TCOs) by the government and will continue to undermine public health and safety in the U.S. and threaten the country’s national security interests, according to DHS. “They represent an acute and devastating threat to public health and safety in the Homeland and a significant threat to U.S. national security interests,” DHS writes. “Beyond their complicity in the 71,000 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. last year, TCOs destabilize partner nations, decrease citizen confidence in good governance, foment corruption, and destroy confidence in the international banking system.”
Another pertinent threat ignored in news coverage of the DHS assessment is the prediction of a mass illegal immigration crisis at the southern border in 2021. The agency anticipates a huge wave of migrants from both Central and South America as well as the Caribbean. This will be due to the lifting of COVID-19 border restrictions within Latin America which will facilitate transit and the devastating economic impact of the pandemic in the region. “DHS anticipates that the number of apprehensions at the border will significantly climb post-pandemic, with the potential for another surge as those who were previously prevented from seeking entry into the United States arrive at the border and as poor economic conditions around the world fuel migration,” the report states. “This high volume of illegal immigration, including unprecedented numbers of family units and unaccompanied alien children arrivals, stretch government resources, and create a humanitarian and border security crisis that cripples the immigration system.” The migrant surges could undermine the agency’s ability to effectively secure the border without adversely impacting other parts of the immigration system, DHS further writes.