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Most people learn from their mistakes but not Mr. Schumer.
Fraud permeated the entire amnesty program. The SAW program was rife with fraud and, in fact, it is worth remembering that one of the participants in terrorist plots within the United States was granted lawful status under this flawed program.
The 9/11 Commission Staff Report on Terrorist Travel contained numerous examples of instances where terrorists who engaged in terrorist attacks made use of visa fraud and immigration benefit fraud to not only enter the United States but embed themselves in the United States.
To cite an example, page 47 of the above-noted report contained the following paragraph:
Once terrorists had entered the United States, their next challenge was to find a way to remain here. Their primary method was immigration fraud. For example, Yousef and Ajaj concocted bogus political asylum stories when they arrived in the United States. Mahmoud Abouhalima, involved in both the World Trade Center and landmarks plots, received temporary residence under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers (SAW) program, after falsely claiming that he picked beans in Florida. Mohammed Salameh, who rented the truck used in the bombing, overstayed his tourist visa. He then applied for permanent residency under the agricultural workers program, but was rejected. Eyad Mahmoud Ismail, who drove the van containing the bomb, took English-language classes at Wichita State University in Kansas on a student visa; after he dropped out, he remained in the United States out of status.
On July 27, 2006 I testified before the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims on the topic:
A video of a portion of my testimony before that hearing provides crystal clarity about my grave concerns about the nexus between any such amnesty program and national security.
I testified on the nexus between immigration and terrorism when I was called to testify before a hearing that was conducted before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the House Committee on International Relations on May 11, 2006 on the topic
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has lost track of 111,000 files in 14 of the agency’s busiest district offices and processed as many as 30,000 citizenship applications last year without the necessary files, congressional investigators reported yesterday.
The Government Accountability Office, Congress’s audit arm, conducted the review at the request of Sens. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) after U.S. authorities granted citizenship in 2002 to a man without checking his primary file. The file, which was lost, indicated ties to the militant Islamic group Hezbollah.
“It only takes one missing file of somebody with links to a terrorist organization to become an American citizen,” said Grassley, who is chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. “We can’t afford to be handing out citizenship with blinders on.”
The first paragraph from the preface of that report states that:
It is perhaps obvious to state that terrorists cannot plan and carry out attacks in the United States if they are unable to enter the country. Yet prior to September 11, while there were efforts to enhance border security, no agency of the U.S. government thought of border security as a tool in the counterterrorism arsenal. Indeed, even after 19 hijackers demonstrated the relative ease of obtaining a U.S. visa and gaining admission into the United States, border security still is not considered a cornerstone of national security policy. We believe, for reasons we discuss in the following pages, that it must be made one.
And a paragraph under the title “Immigration Benefits” found on page 98 says that:
Terrorists in the 1990s, as well as the September 11 hijackers, needed to find a way to stay in or embed themselves in the United States if their operational plans were to come to fruition. As already discussed, this could be accomplished legally by marrying an American citizen, achieving temporary worker status, or applying for asylum after entering. In many cases, the act of filing for an immigration benefit sufficed to permit the alien to remain in the country until the petition was adjudicated. Terrorists were free to conduct surveillance, coordinate operations, obtain and receive funding, go to school and learn English, make contacts in the United States, acquire necessary materials, and execute an attack.
It is absolutely impossible to comprehend how, given all of these facts, there is even a debate about whether or not our borders should be secured and our immigration laws be enforced in such a way as to deprive terrorists the opportunity to enter our country and embed themselves in our country.
As you will see in my response to each of Schumer’s “planks” each and everyone of his proposals are to be polite about it- deceptive and disingenuous.
Schumer’s Immigration Platform is Built on Planks Made of Balsa Wood
On Sunday, November 11, 2012, New York’s Senator Chuck Schumer appeared on NBC News’ Face the Nation and was asked about immigration. Here is, in part, how Schumer responded to that question as reported in an article posted by Capital New York:
Schumer said his compromise with Graham would have four main planks: closing the border; creating a “non-forgeable document” that would allow employers to tell which immigrants are legal, with stiff penalties for hiring illegals; letting in legal immigrants we need; and a path to citizenship “that’s fair, that says you have to learn English, that you have to go to the back of the line, you gotta have a job, and you can’t commit crimes.”
Let’s take a hard look at Schumer’s “planks” and see what they really mean:
1 – “Closing the border”
Although it is often claimed that there are four Border States, in point of fact, America has 50 Border States. Any state that has a seaport or international airport must be considered “border states” just as are states that lie along America’s northern and southern borders. It is believed that there are at least 5 million illegal aliens in the United States that did not run our borders but entered the United States through ports of entry and then violated the terms of their admission. This is how many terrorists including the 19 that attacked the United States on 9/11 entered the United States.
2- “Creating a non-forgeable document”
Certainly any identity document should be tamper and forgery resistant. However, what name do you put on a document that is supposed to identify an alien who is “undocumented” meaning that he (she) has no authentic documentation to attest to his true identity? When dealing with millions of such aliens there would be absolutely no way to conduct field investigations or even face to face interviews! (In fact, this is how the Obama administration is dealing with the thousands of applications for its current “DREAMER” program is being done- thereby creating a national security nightmare!)
3 – “Letting in immigrants that we need”
On April 30, 2009 the U.S. Senate’s Subcommittee on Immigration, conducted a hearing on the topic: “Comprehensive Immigration Reform in 2009, Can We Do It and How?” Alan Greenspan stated:
“…The second bonus (in accelerating the influx of skilled immigrant workers) would address the increasing concentration of income in this country. Greatly
expanding our quotas for the highly skilled would lower wage premiums of skilled over lesser skilled. Skill shortages in America exist because we are shielding our skilled labor force from world competition. Quotas have been substituted for the wage pricing mechanism. In the process, we have created privileged elite whose incomes are being supported at non-competitively high levels by immigration quotas on skilled professionals. Eliminating such restrictions would reduce at least some of our income inequality.”
The apparent goal is to create unfair competition for American workers, both at the bottom rung of the economic ladder as well as the middle class. Greenspan made it clear- importing more workers could eliminate income inequality based on skills!
4- “A path to citizenship that is fair”
The United States already admits more than 1.1 million lawful immigrants each and every year. These immigrants are immediately placed on the pathway to United States citizenship on the day they acquire lawful immigrant status. The law currently addresses the English language requirement and the issue of not having a record of criminal convictions. For whom would a massive legalization program be fair?
America’s immigration laws were enacted to save lives and protect the jobs of American and lawful immigrant workers. Incredibly Schumer and his allies in Congress and the White house couldn’t care less about truly achieving these commonsense goals.
I certainly would not want to find myself standing on Schumer’s mythical platform, over the moat that Obama said those concerned about border security wanted built and stocked with alligators!