“I fear the consequences of the open border that we can have another attack,” Pataki, who was governor during the 2001 terror attacks, said on WABC radio Monday morning.
He noted the federal border control statistics show more than 2 million migrants crossed the border this year — and not all of the illegal crossers have noble intentions.
“They’re not all coming for work. We know there are terrorists. We know there are people on the watch lists. We know there are people who’ve been smuggled across with one goal — to attack America,” Pataki said on the “Bernie & Sid in the Morning” show.
He blamed President Biden for the lax border, saying the president is “failing massively on the national security issue.”
Pataki linked the border crisis to potential terrorism while discussing the upcoming 21st anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that toppled the World Trade Center towers, killing nearly 3,000 people.
The Biden White House had no immediate response to Pataki’s terror comments.
The last New York Republican governor, Pataki said GOP gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin has a shot at winning the statehouse this year by hammering Democratic incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul and Democrats for worsening crime and declining quality of life, including an increase in mentally ill homeless on the streets.
“This state is headed in the wrong direction. This weekend, five people were shot in Albany. Albany is a small city. Crime is out of control across the state,” Pataki said.
Pataki defeated three-term Democratic incumbent Mario Cuomo in 1994, focusing on New York’s crime, especially a debate over bringing back the death penalty, and economic woes and tagging his opponent as “too liberal for too long.”
“It’s a horrible situation. It’s so bad that it gives a Republican a chance to win the governorship,” he said of New York’s current state.
He said he has spoken to Zeldin, a Long Island congressman, about the campaign.
Pataki urged Zeldin to stick with a “clear message” that includes slamming Hochul and the Democrats over their controversial cashless bail law and vowing to replace it; standing by the police; overhauling the parole board to stop the release of violent felons before serving their maximum sentence; and going after prosecutors like Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg who don’t enforce the law.
He advised Zeldin not to get discouraged by lack of press coverage in the dog days of summer.
“Be out on the streets every day,” Pataki said. “You just have to keep doing it over and over and over again and eventually break through.”