My commentary today is predicated on an extremely worrisome news report that appeared in the Chicago Tribune on July 18, 2011.
This report comes on the heels of another news report that appeared last week in the Washington Times on July 13, 2011.
That headline to that news report blared:
Visas reviewed to find those who overstayed
Aim is to find any would-be terrorists
Here is the link to this news report:
Here is a link to the commentary I wrote about this report:
Let us now consider the July 18th Chicago Tribune news report concerning the concerns about the possibility that terrorists may be among the 58,000 Iraqi refugees who were admitted into the United States. Once again it would seem that the immigration system whose primary goal should be to prevent terrorists and criminals from entering our country has failed!
Here is a link to Title 8, United States Code, Section 212, the section of the Immigration and Nationality Act that enumerates the various categories of aliens who are statutorily ineligible to enter the United States:
The headline to the is certainly ominous but I want to start out by providing you with the first few sentences of that report here:
In a far-reaching inquiry, authorities are rescreening more than 58,000 Iraqi refugees living in the United States amid concerns that lapses in immigration security may have allowed former insurgents and potential terrorists to enter the country, U.S. officials said.
The investigation was given added urgency after U.S. intelligence agencies warned that Al Qaeda leaders in Iraq and Yemen hadtried to target the U.S. refugee stream, or exploit other immigration loopholes, in an attempt to infiltrate the country with operatives.
The rescreening began late last year after the FBI learned that an Iraqi man in Kentucky had participated in roadside bomb attacks in Iraq before he was granted U.S. political asylum in 2009. He and another Iraqi refugee were arrested in an FBI sting in May on charges of trying to send explosives and missiles to Iraq for use against Americans.
So far, immigration authorities have given the FBI about 300 names of Iraqi refugees for further investigation. The FBI won’t say whether any have been arrested or pose a potential threat.
Give that first sentence some real thought- there were “lapses in immigration security” in a system that enabled citizens of a “Special Interest Country” that is to say a country identified with the sponsorship of terrorism to enter our country? Are the “Keystone Kops” in charge of the national security of the United States?
Please do not misunderstand what I am saying- I am extremely sympathetic to the plight of individuals whose lives are threatened because of religion, ethnicity, etc. My grandmother perished in the Holocaust. I was named for her. Had my own mother not been allowed to lawfully immigrate to the United States she would likely not have survived the Holocaust and I would never have been born nor, consequently, would my own children have been born. HOWEVER, given the extreme threat of terrorism, would it not occur to the “leaders” of USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services that they really better know who they are permitting to enter our country before they admit them into the United States?
By permitting potential terrorists into our country they not only endanger our nation in obvious ways, they also imperil the very refugees that were admitted into the United States to protect them!
Consider this additional sentence from the news report:
In the Kentucky case, the FBI learned in November from a confidential informant that Waad Ramadan Alwan had constructed improvised roadside bombs in Iraq before he was granted U.S. asylum in April 2009.
I could understand if perhaps information was developed after this guy was admitted into the United States, but when information about an individual was involved in the construction of a bomb, that information, you would think, would be immediately transmitted to any agency of the United States government that is involved in permitting aliens to enter the United States. This would certainly include CBP, USCIS and ICE as well as the Department of State!
Yet seven years after the attacks of 9/11 the FBI apparently had information about a terrorist who was engaged in constructing bombs used to kill our soldiers and others and that information was not provided to other government agencies!
Of course, you would think that USCIS and the other agencies would have sought the best intelligence about those they were seeking to relocate to the United States before they admitted them into the United States. The obvious question is, “Did they even reach out to any other agency or did they simply want to move the paperwork and the aliens as quickly as possible because, from everything I have been hearing from sources inside the government, speed not accuracy is what is demanded of the employees of these beleaguered agencies!
Aliens, especially those engaged in crime and terrorism, gaming the immigration system in general and the political asylum system in particular is not a new problem for our nation. There have been a string of terrorists in the past who have succeeded in easily gaming the very same political asylum system. My dad taught me that there were no mistakes in life, only lessons if we learn from what goes wrong. However, to him and to me, to make the same mistakes repeatedly is unacceptable. There is a well known adage, “Fool me once, shame on you- fool me twice, shame on me!”
The failures of our nation to create an immigration system that possesses real integrity were, in fact, important elements of the two terrorist attacks that were carried out inside our nation in 1993. To briefly remind you of these two attacks, in January 1993 a citizen of Pakistan by the name of Amil Kansi stood outside CIA Headquarters in Virginia with an AK-47. He opened fire on random cars being driven by CIA officers and other employees reporting for work that winter morning. When the smoke cleared, two CIA officers were dead and three others were wounded. Kansi fled from the murder scene and from the United States. He was subsequently hunted down by our officials, brought back to the United States to stand trial, was found guilty and subsequently executed. Justice may have been served but the two officials he murdered remained dead and the injured still suffered from those injuries.
Kansi had been granted political asylum even though he lied on his application for political asylum. Clearly he saw in America’s kindness, weakness.
On May 20, 1997 the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims conducted a hearing on the issue of:
“Visa Fraud and Immigration Benefits Application Fraud”
Here is a link to the transcript of that hearing:
I was invited to testify at that hearing by the then chairman of that Congressional Subcommittee, Lamar Smith, who now chairs the House Judiciary Committee
That hearing was predicated on Kansi and on the terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center on February 26, 1993 which nearly toppled one of the majestic 110 story tall towers sideways. That attack killed six innocent victims, injured hundreds, if not thousands, and inflicted an estimated one half billion dollars in damage to that complex of buildings that would ultimately come to be obliterated on September 11, 2001
Kansi and the terrorists of the first attack at the World Trade Center were not the only one to successfully game the immigration system for a wide variety of reasons and others who similarly gamed the system also had crimes including murder and terrorism on their minds and used their fraudulently acquired lawful immigration status as a means of hiding in plain sight.
In March of this year, I wrote an extensive commentary about how Kansi and other individuals had gamed the immigration system and their efforts to defraud the immigration system were successful and only came to light when they were investigated for other crimes after they were granted political asylum and given lawful status in our country.
Here is the link to that commentary as it appears on my website:
Included in my commentary was information about Ahmed Muhammed Dhakane. a citizen of Somalia, filed an application for political asylum which involved the omission of critical, material facts and other efforts to defraud the immigration benefit program by lying on his application for political asylum. These facts came to light when the federal government’s DOJ pre-sentencing memorandum concerning this individual was disclosed by a reporter at PJM. Here is the link to that 20 page document that lays out, in detail, how this major terrorist player operated:
According to information contained in the pre-sentencing report, he was subsequently determined to have been providing material assistance to two terrorist organizations, Al-Shabbab and al-Barakat by laundering large sums of money from 1997 until 2002 including transactions involving the movement of more than $100,000 at a time. He was made the director of the operation that moved money into the coffers of a terrorist organization and also had smuggled aliens from East Africa into Brazil where he ran a hotel that functioned as a “safe house” and that he bribed Brazilian law enforcement to ensure that they would not be deported from Brazil and secured bogus passports and other identity documents for these individuals whom he ultimately smuggled into the United States. illegal aliens into the United States. His pre-sentencing memorandum also indicated that he had further assisted these terrorists by coaching them so that they could successfully file applications for political asylum once they came to the United States by running our nation’s southern border. (This is the border that Janet Napolitano continues to tell us has never been more secure!)
The pre-sentencing document provides additional details involving acts of extreme violence and cruelty he committed and other important facts that you should take the time to read in the report. I would also ask that you check out how many aliases he employed in order to conceal himself.
The other individual I noted in that earlier report was a citizen of Eritrea by the name of Samuel Abrahaley Fessahazion. He easily gamed the political asylum process and who ran our nation’s southern border on March 20, 2008 at McAllen, Texas and applied for political asylum on September 30, 2008, claiming that from 2007 until 2008 he traveled through Africa fleeing persecution in Eritrea. On November 13, 2008 he was granted political asylum. In under six weeks our government rushed to provide this guy with lawful status under the aegis of the political asylum program that is supposed to protect vulnerable aliens. Obviously no one conducted a meaningful investigation- because as it turned out, at the time he alleged he was on the run from those who would kill him in Eritrea, he was in reality, smuggling East African aliens into the United States!
All of these facts and more came to light in a news release that was issued by ICE on March 10th of this year. Here is the link to that news release:
What is astounding about the news release is that all of the facts I have provided you above were noted in the news release, the focus on the news release was how ICE was able to arrest this 23 year old alien smuggler but while it was noted that he had successfully gamed the political asylum bureaucracy, there was no mention of any efforts to prosecute him for lying on his application for political asylum or even to strip him of the protections that he was afforded under the political asylum program!
You should also bear in mind that USCIS is the very same agency that adjudicates more than 6 million applications for various immigration benefits including the conferring of lawful immigrant status and United States citizenship upon aliens. This is the same agency that would implement any massive amnesty program that the administration and such “leaders” in Congress as Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and others are so eager to see enacted! There are many reasons why Comprehensive Immigration Reform and the DREAM Act are wrong headed. But first things first, USCIS is one screwed up and inept agency that threatens the lives of our citizens and the security of our nation and this is the agency that would be put in charge of administering these disastrous programs.
It is time to give USCIS and the other component agencies of DHS (Department of Homeland Surrender) a more accurate name- “The Gang That Can’t Shoot Straight!”
The final question that needs to be asked (and answered) is how many agents are now trying to find the possible terrorists that we admitted into the United States through the ineptitude of our government? With unknown millions- indeed, tens of millions of illegal aliens in our country, it is not at all difficult for criminals or terrorists to easily hide in plain sight.
You have to wonder how Janet Napolitano will attempt to “spin” this fiasco!
I am, yet again, forced to ask, where is the concern about “National Security?”
Even more importantly- what will our government really do to address these huge vulnerabilities before we are attacked again?
A country without secure borders can no more stand than can a house without walls!