"The New Sheriffs in Town"

Begin forwarded message:


From: Michael Cutler <MCutler007@aol.com>
Date: January 5, 2011 7:08:21 AM PST
To: Michael Cutler <Mcutler007@aol.com>
Subject: My Blog Post for Californians for Population Stabilization: “The New Sheriffs in Town”

Hi Gang:
As you probably know, I am involved with a number of organizations that are concerned about the immigration crisis that confronts our nation today and has greatly impacted ever so many aspects of our country.
One of the organizations with which I am affiliated is CAPS (Californians for Population Stabilization) where I am a senior fellow.
I am a regular contributor to that organization’s website and regularly post entries on the CAPS Blog.
I have provided you, below, with my most recent posting that focuses on the tidal change in leadership in the House of Representatives that will be taking place today and decided to share it with you.

-michael cutler- 


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http://www.caps-blog.org/articles/2011/01/04/the-new-sheriffs-in-town/


The New Sheriffs in Town

Congress
has re-opened for business but there are new folks at the helms of the
various committees and subcommittees.  I will focus on the House
Judiciary Committee and the House Subcommittee on Immigration for this
posting.

Immigration, as I have noted on ever so many occasions is not a
single issue but represents one of the most effective components of
nearly every challenge that confronts our nation today.

Failures to secure our nation’s borders and failures to create an
immigration system that has real integrity that seeks to eliminate fraud
from the immigration benefits program impacts everything from national
security, criminal justice and community safety to the economy, the
environment, healthcare education and a host of other important issues
that impact our nations and our citizens on a daily basis.

Representative Lamar Smith now leads the House Judiciary Committee
and has an established a track record of keeping the executive branch
accountable.  I first met Congressman Smith in the 1990?s, when he
chaired the House Immigration Subcommittee, when I was called to provide
testimony before a Congressional hearing. The hearing dealt with visa
fraud and immigration benefit application fraud.  The date of that
hearing was May 20, 1997 and was prompted by the terrorist attacks of
1993 that involved a shooting incident outside of CIA headquarters in
January 1993 by Amir Kansi, a citizen of Pakistan who was granted
political asylum even though he lied on his application.  He repaid our
nation’s kindness (and frankly, ineptitude) by opening fire on cars
being driven into the CIA parking lot that winter morning with an AK-47,
killing two CIA officers and wounding three others.  He fled from the
United States, was located, arrested and brought back to the United
States to stand trial for those murders and assaults, was found guilty
and executed for his crimes–but his victims remained dead.

On month later, in February 1993, an attack at the World Trade Center
involving the planting of a bomb in the basement of the World Trade
Center garage left six victims dead, hundreds injured and an estimated
500 million dollars in damages inflicted on the complex that nearly
caused one of the huge towers to topple sideways.

The terrorists involved in this attack had committed visa fraud and
immigration benefit fraud in order to enter our country and/or embed
themselves in our country.

Clearly Lamar Smith understood the immigration crisis that our nation
faced, but the Clinton administration did nothing to address the nexus
between immigration fraud and national security.

It is important to understand that it was also Lamar Smith who
continued to hammer at the impact that failures to secure our borders
and create an immigration bureaucracy that has real integrity when
George W. Bush was the President in the wake of the terrorist attacks of
September 11, 2001.  I was invited to testify before the House
Immigration Subcommittee numerous times after those attacks.  By then
John Hostettler had become the chairman of the subcommittee and Lamar
Smith remained on as a member of that subcommittee.  Both of these
leaders hammered away at the failures of the INS and its successor
agencies of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), CBP (Customs and
Border Protection) and USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration
Services) to live up to the obligation those agencies had to carry out
their missions with effectiveness and efficiency.

After leadership in the House of Representatives switched to the
Democratic Party as a result of the 2006 elections and John Hostettler
lost his bid for re-election, Representative Steve King of Iowa became
the ranking member of the Immigration Subcommittee and Lamar Smith
became the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee that oversees
the Immigration Subcommittee.

Now we come to the situation our nation finds itself today.  The War
on Terror is ongoing, violence in Mexico fueled by drug trade is
increasing, our nation’s economy still struggles and many Americans are
either unemployed or underemployed.  However, I am encouraged that the
House of Representatives will deal with its oversight responsibility in a
far different manner from what we have witnessed for the past four
years.

This is not a partisan statement on my part, simply a statement that
is borne of observing what has come to pass for “Business as usual.”  As
I have often noted, I am a registered Democrat and have been ever since
I cast my first vote more than four decades ago.  The problem is that
there have been few oversight hearings where immigration is concerned. 
Immigration is, as I noted, an extremely important issue and I still
cannot forget the image of a comic and satirist by the name of Stephen
Colbert testifying before the subcommittee that is supposed to oversee
the far-flung operations of the immigration related agencies that
operate under the aegis of DHS, The Department of Homeland Security.  I
am forced to ask, perhaps a bit rhetorically, if our government
understands that the enforcement and administration of our immigration
laws are an integral component of Homeland Security, why on earth have
there been an absolute dearth of oversight hearings to make certain that
these critical components of Homeland Security are carrying out their
missions effectively?

Our Congress has an incredibly important role in the governance of
our nation as laid out by the Constitution.  A role that has, in my view
been neglected and ignored while the failures of our nation to
effectively deal with failures in the immigration system have damaged
our nation, imperiled our lives and, in fact, caused the death of many
of our fellow citizens including members of the law enforcement
community with the killing of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry being the
most recent casualty of our nation’s failures.

Clearly violations of our borders and violations of our nation’s immigration laws are not victimless crimes.

I have testified before a number of hearings at which Representatives
Smith and King have been in attendance.  Their questions and their
comments have always impressed me in terms of how engaged and concerned
they are about these critically important issues.  I have met with them
privately and came away from those meeting even more impressed with
their depth of understanding and their depth of concern.

Those critically important hearings are supposed to shine the bright
light of truth on the various agencies that comprise our government. 
Those hearings are supposed to cause our leaders in the Executive Branch
to answer the hard questions when there are failures, and of course, it
is inevitable that there will be all sorts of failures because humans
are a flawed species with many failings.

You cannot solve problems until you identify those problems.  This is
a major reason for Congress to conduct oversight hearings–hearings that
incredibly have not been held nearly often enough to delve into the
failings of the immigration system.  This is what accountability is
supposed to be about, the “People’s House” as the House of
Representatives is often referred to, is
supposed to keep the federal government accountable to the citizens of our nation.

I am certainly looking forward to Lamar Smith and Steve King taking
up the reins of leadership in Congress–indeed the new sheriffs are in
town.

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