A flamethrowing American conservative activist raised eyebrows in the U.S. on Monday by releasing a video of himself crossing the Rio Grande River from Mexico into Texas, dressed as the late al-Qaeda terror mastermind Osama bin Laden.
Guerrilla documentarian James O’Keefe’s footage comes at a time when Americans are engaged in a national debate about border security. Tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors from Central America have entered the U.S. illegally in recent months, drawn by a confusing White House policy that appears to offer amnesty for those who make it safely.
In Monday’s video release, O’Keefe focuses on the implications for national security: He illegally crosses into Mexico twice and returns – first in street clothes and again in army fatigues, wearing an Osama bin Laden Halloween mask.
O’Keefe talked to a Texas sheriff who conceded that illegal immigrants can enter the U.S. by moving a metal fencepost and walking around a few strands of barbed wire
The official White House website includes a claim that ‘today border security is stronger than it has ever been.’
But O’Keefe told MailOnline that his stunt proves the federal government’s policy is lax and needs a dramatic overhaul.
‘We proved that border security is national security. The fence is not complete. The border is not secure. In fact, the video shows the border fence is a joke.’
‘The primary responsibility of the commander-in-chief is to protect the homeland,’ said O’Keefe. ‘With a single trip to the border, we proved that President Obama and Congress have failed miserably and are misleading America.’
A U.S. Customs and Border Patrol official told MailOnline that his agency’s forces are stretched to the breaking point.
‘We can’t be everywhere at once,’ the official said Monday. ‘This is typical of what you’ll find in Texas.’
‘The guys who are on the front lines aren’t even on the front lines anymore. They’re dozens of miles inside the U.S. How can we catch the bad guys if we never see them until they’re standing on American soil?’
But this week his attention was focused on Mexico, saying in his six-minute film that ‘this border is not secure. No one is on watch.’
If bin Laden can cross into the U.S., he says, ‘anybody can cross. … Do you feel safe?’
In a 2011 speech at the border, President Obama claimed that his policies had ‘strengthened border security beyond what many thought possible.’
‘The fence is now basically complete,’ the president claimed.
But Hudspeth County, Texas Sheriff Arvin West showed O’Keefe how his county’s 98-mile stretch of border territory includes a secured fence that stops abruptly, as though construction crews ran out of materials one day and walked off the job.
‘That’s the dead end of it right there,’ West says, pointing to a crude barbed-wire fence that continues on to mark the border.
‘If you think four strands of barbed wire is securing the border,’ he explains, ‘then I guess it’s secure.’