The ABC News report I have attached below was forwarded to me by one of many people I have met either in person or through the internet. It appeared on the ABC News website 3 days ago and should be of tremendous concern to our citizens and our nation’s “leaders.”
There are three ways in which a person may fail to do his (her) job. There is nonfeasance which means not doing the job at all; there is misfeasance which means doing the job ineptly and then there is malfeasance which implies that the person who is failing to do his job is doing so in a way that is criminal in nature. The alarming ABC News report makes it clear that all three categories are involved in a critically important component of national security.
I am however, concerned that there are only a relative few “bad apples” who are giving many thousands of brave and hard working employees of CBP a bad name. It is also important to understand that in one example furnished in the article below, the apparently corrupt law enforcement officer was not a federal officer but was a local law enforcement official.
For the sake of clarity I think it is important to know that where the border is concerned, there are two types of officials. There are the inspectors who decide on whether or not to admit an alien seeking admission into the United States. These inspectors also search people and conveyances for contraband. (I began my career as an Immigration Inspector at John F. Kennedy International Airport.)
The second group of employees of CBP are the members of the United States Border Patrol. Their job is to seek to identify and arrest aliens who circumvent the inspections process as ports of entry.
What is particularly disturbing about the lack of integrity to our nation’s borders is that the current administration and the previous administration refused to accept the premise that an unsecured border might enable the entry of terrorists into our country. Consider if you will, how many times President Bush, Vice President Cheney and the key members of that administration spoke about the “War on Terror.”
To this very day, Dick Cheney touts efforts by the administration of George W. Bush to protect our nation from terrorists.
Meanwhile the Bush administration refused to secure our nation’s borders and the fence is still a work in progress, more than 8 years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Let me make it clear that the construction of a fence would not represent an all encompassing solution to securing our nation’s borders against the unlawful entry of millions of illegal aliens and criminals and, no doubt, terrorists among them. Interestingly our military officials requested that Border Patrol agents be sent to Iraq to help secure the Iraqi border against the entry of terrorists and insurgents!
A secure fence would simply represent one component of many that are desperately needed to help to protect our nation against the illegal entry of aliens.
The current administration is also not really willing to focus the necessary resources to secure our nation’s borders against unlawful entry of illegal aliens and take the other necessary steps to create an immigration system that has meaningful integrity. In fact, the administration and members of Congress are, even as we speak, concocting plans to enact a sweeping amnesty program under the aegis of “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” that would require United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the overburdened and inept agency responsible for adjudicating the applications filed by aliens for a variety of immigration benefits including the securing of resident alien status and United States citizenship to administer this national security nightmare.
What is truly insane is that members of both houses of Congress who should be aware of this disastrous situation are apparently not aware of just how disastrous the situation is on our nation’s borders. In fact, no less a “leader” in the United States Senate, Charles Schumer, recently declared that the borders were adequately secured to justify the implementation of “Comprehensive Immigration Reform.”
Senator Schumer should know better for a bunch of reasons but let us consider some of them.
He is the chairman of the Senate Immigration Subcommittee! Don’t you think that as the chairman of the senate subcommittee that has oversight responsibility over the various components of the immigration system that he would know the abysmal and highly dangerous situation to be found at our nation’s borders?
What is also noteworthy is that Senator Schumer is one of two senators that are supposed to represent the State of New York, the state that was most heavily impacted by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001!
Should Schumer not be expected to realize that Comprehensive Immigration Reform would be administered by USCIS an agency that has been the focus of a large number of GAO and OIG reports that point to huge failings of that agency to deal with its current workload including the claimed “loss” of 111,000 immigration files relating to aliens who filed applications for a variety of benefits including 30,000 aliens who had filed to acquire United States citizenship through the naturalization process? (As I have noted in many previous commentaries, USCIS then went ahead and adjudicated those 111,000 applications including those for naturalization without providing the adjudicators with the relevant files! This leads me to believe that the files were never lost but were never requested. Requesting and reviewing files requires the expenditure of time and when an agency is determined to eliminate backlogs it is far easier- and quicker- to simply approve the applications to keep the bureaucratic conveyor belt moving!)
In case you think that I am misquoting Senator Schumer, here is a link to a CBS News report dated May 20, 2009 in which he made that astounding assertion about the security of our nation’s borders:
You have to wonder what “safe enough” means to Mr. Schumer!
It is also important to realize that it was Chuck Schumer who helped author the agriculture worker provisions of the disastrous amnesty of 1987 when he was a member of the House of Representatives. In fact, back then, he was the Congressman who “represented” my Congressional District. I met with him 1n 1986 in an effort to convince him that his proposed legislation would create so much fraud that told him that if my son who was barely more than one year old at the time of our meeting, decided to become an INS special agent when he grew up, fraud in Schumer ill-conceived legislation would require the attention of my son and the agents who would be hired in 20 years!
That prediction was not that far-fetched- fraud ran rampantly through that program and even enabled at least one of the terrorists who participated in the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 to embed himself in our country prior to that attack.
What is also important to understand is that when the Border Patrol fails to interdict an illegal alien who either evades the Border Patrol or succeeds in bribing a corrupt employee of CBP (Customs and Border Protection) official the task is supposed to fall to the special agents of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to seek to locate and apprehend illegal aliens and aliens (and United States citizens who might conspire to assist aliens by harboring them or fraudulently filing applications on their behalf with USCIS).
The problem is one of a lack of resources and the political will to enforce the immigration laws by the current administration. Consider, if you will, that under current policies that have been established by DHS (the Department of Homeland Security) when illegal aliens are encountered in the workplace, only the employer is to be gone after by ICE special agents who become aware of such a situation but the illegal aliens are generally given a “pass!”
The CBS News article noted that the President wants a “virtual fence.” I have appeared on many television and radio programs and asked about the fence on the border. I have also been asked about the “virtual fence.” I don’t want to appear glib, but I have often noted that- “A virtual fence would stop virtually no one!” The chronic lack of Border Patrol agents means that even when the “virtual fence” transmits an alert that people are running the border, if there are no agents who can respond to the alert, then those illegal aliens enter our country. Period!
An alien who circumvents the inspections process is not the equivalent of a motorist who fails to pay a toll before crossing a bridge or driving on a toll road. An alien who avoids the inspections process is enters our country without leaving behind any “footprints.” There is no way to know what an alien would run our borders. He (she) might simply be seeking a job or the intentions may be far more sinister. An illegal alien might be a fugitive from justice in his own or some other country, wanted for his involvement in a heinous crime. He might be coming to the United States to work as a part of a violent gang or drug trafficking organization. Such an alien might be a terrorist.
The news report notes that in the last two years there have been more than three thousand aliens who were apprehended attempting to run our nation’s borders who were not from Latin American but from China and many other countries including those countries that are identified as being state sponsors of terrorism. Those countries are known as “Special Interest” countries.
I am glad that our Border Patrol agents interdicted those would would-be illegal aliens but what about the ones that got away? How many evaded the patrol? Where were they from? Where were they headed? Where are they now and what are they doing? These are important questions that have no answers.
This past summer I made several appearances around the United States to speak at a variety of venues on issues relating to immigration and especially the nexus between immigration and national security. One of the points I have made is that if a concerned citizen approached the head of DEA and complained that his neighborhood was infested by drug dealers, the person would, no doubt, be asked to furnish specific information so that DEA could take action or at the very least, refer the information to local police.
If a concerned citizen approached the director of BATF (the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) and complained about armed gang members committing crimes in a community, the director of BATF would ask that person for actionable information that could be acted on by BATF agents or that could be passed along to local police.
However, if a concerned citizen approached Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the all-encompassing agency under which all of the various components of immigration law enforcement are located, and told her that there were many illegal aliens living in his community, rather than act as would the other officials I noted would be expected to respond, based on statements she has previously made, Ms Napolitano might well consider such a concerned citizen to be an “extremist!”
We have often heard the politicians speak about how it would be good for our nation to simply allow those aliens who want to work in our country to do so, thereby enabling law enforcement to deal with the criminals and terrorists.
As the case involving Najibullah Zazi unfolds, you need to realize that he was working in the United States. He worked a coffee vending cart in lower Manhattan just blocks from what is now referred to as “Ground Zero.” Most recently he worked as a driver who drove an airport limo-van. Both jobs provided him with opportunities to have contact with many people during the course of his work day. It would be simple for him, in either job, to pass information to his cohorts without enabling a surveillance team to easily know that a contact had been made.
His job as the driver of the airport van would provide him with the additional benefit of mobility and establishing him as a “fixture” at an airport where his regular presence would not attract attention and would, in fact, come to be expected by other drivers, airport personnel and even airport police officers!
It is not unusual for a terrorist to have a job, in fact, this is virtually the case each and every time a terror suspect is arrested. Working in the United States provides money and it also provides the terrorist with the appearance of “normalcy.” The 9/11 Commission refers to the creation of the illusion of normalcy as an “embedding” tactic.
Here is something else to consider; I cannot tell you how many times I have heard politicians repeat a variation of a mantra that those who favor Comprehensive Immigration Reform repeat, “Terrorism is not about immigration!”
Can you think of a dumber statement?
The immigration laws were promulgated with the intention of keeping aliens out of our country whose presence in our country would be harmful to our citizens and our nation. Categories of aliens who are excludible include convicted felons, those who smuggle aliens, those who traffic in narcotics, those who are war criminals, those who are engaged in terrorism and those who support terrorism. Additional categories include aliens who would take the jobs of Americans and aliens who are unable to support themselves.
There are several other categories of aliens who are supposed to be kept out of the United States including aliens who have been previously deported and failed to receive lawful authority to reenter the United States following that deportation.
The point is that those immigration laws are designed to keep out those who should not be here. Virtually every other country on the face of the earth has similar laws.
Yet Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the person who is third in line to the succession of the Presidency has stated that it is “Un-American” to arrest illegal aliens!
Wow! That leaves my head spinning!
I fear that if our nation cannot muster the resolve to secure its borders against the illegal entry of aliens and if our nation cannot muster the resolve to enforce the immigration laws from within the interior of the United States, that one day our luck will run out and our nation will be attacked again!
If, God forbid, the unthinkable happens, I can assure you that the victims of such an attack would be not unlike the victims of the attacks of September 11, 2001. People of all races and religions and ethnicities. The need to secure our borders against unlawful entry is not about bigotry but about survival- survival of our nation and survival of our citizens.
In less than two years each and every member of the House of Representatives is up for reelection. In less than two years more than one third of the members of the United States Senate will have to face their constituents. They need to be reminded that they work for us, We the People!
However, the practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.
The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!
The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to the politicians.
I implore you to get involved!
If this situation concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation! You need to politely but pointedly, demand to know what they are doing to protect our nation. You need to ask them how they are protecting you and your families. You can also forward this commentary to them.
All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!
We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance
This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue!
You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!
Democracy is not a spectator sport!
Lead, follow or get out of the way!