This news article [click here] appeared in the August 12th edition of the Washington Times and was written by Stephan Dinan, one of the Washington Times reporters who has been covering the immigration issue for many years.
The article is of importance because I believe that it is important to make a few points that are generally not discussed where the issue of immigration and border security are concerned.
The bill that was sent to President Obama is referred to as a “Border-security measure.”
Certainly the idea of providing any additional personnel to attempt to stench the flood of illegal aliens into our country is welcomed by our citizens, especially those of our fellow American citizens who live along the Mexican border or in close proximity to the border. However, as is virtually the case in every effort that is touted as offering “border security” I believe that this is yet another example of providing the illusion of taking a meaningful step in the right direction while making certain that little, if anything will actually be accomplished.
The addition of 1,000 Border Patrol agents is better than nothing, but only slightly. The mention of the hiring of an additional 250 Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers likely relates to additional inspectors- although the news report does not specify exactly what the mission will be that these additional employees of CBP will do.
Next we have to consider the following segment that appears in the report:
Mr. Schumer said they’ve now taken care of the border-security concerns.
“In my many meetings with folks on the other side of the aisle to try and gain their support for comprehensive reform, I repeatedly heard them say that once we showed we were serious about passing border-security legislation, they would be able to begin working with us to fix all of the other aspects of our broken immigration system,” he said.
He and his allies want a bill that would grant a multi-step path to citizenship to most illegal immigrants, and that would also rewrite the rules on legal immigration.
Many lawmakers say Congress’ last effort in 2007 to pass a broad immigration bill failed because voters were not convinced the borders would be secured. Since then, “enforcement first” became a mantra of many Republicans.
This passage from the article is nothing short of alarming!
Senator Schumer has now declared that by adding an additional one thousand Border Patrol agents and an additional 250 CBP officers the border is now secure!
What unmitigated chutzpah!
The article goes on to say that it should be presumed that if the border is secure that we can now provide a pathway to United States citizenship to the unknown millions of illegal aliens who are present in the United States. Aliens whose true identities are unknown and unknowable.
We will have absolutely no way of knowing the names of these millions of aliens, no way of knowing their countries of citizenship. We will not, therefore, really know anything about their potential criminal histories in their home countries or their potential affiliation with criminal or terrorist organizations. We will have no way of knowing anything about their true intentions.
In 1986 our nation engaged in an ill-conceived amnesty that was supposed to bring some one million illegal aliens out of the shadows. By the time the bureaucratic dust settled some four million illegal aliens were provided with lawful status- and many of them had lied on their applications including a number of whom were involved with terrorism!
Next I want to ask you a serious question- Do you live in a “Border state?”
My answer to this question may surprise you, however, every citizen of our nation lives in a “Border State!”
I have not forgotten my geography lessons nor am I suggesting we rewrite America’s map. The point is that while it is obvious that any state that is situated along the land borders that are supposed to separate the United States from Mexico or from Canada are border states- any state that has a seaport or an international airport is also a “Border State!”
Here is the reason for this assertion- the government estimates that some 40% of the illegal aliens who are present in the United States did not run our nation’s borders but actually entered the United States via the inspections process and then either overstayed the period of time for which they were admitted or otherwise violated the terms of their admission by becoming gainfully employed without the requisite authorization while other aliens were convicted of committing crimes in the United States.
According to a recent report, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) has assigned all of 272 special agents to attempt to locate and apprehend the more than four million illegal aliens who violated the terms of their admission. I am convinced that the number of such visa violators is actually much higher but US VISIT the program that was strongly recommended by the 9/11 Commission as a matter of national security, to track the entry and departure of aliens in our country was never fully implemented event though more than one billion dollars has been spent on this vital program! So while any freight forwarder such as Fed-Ex or UPS can track a package along its route from sender to recipient in extreme detail, US VISIT is unable to accurately report on whether or not aliens who were admitted into our country have left the United States or are still present within the borders of our nation!
I was recently interviewed by Casey Wian of CNN about this issue. Here is the link to the video of that CNN news report:
Additionally, on May 10th of this year, the Arizona Republic ran a story that addressed the issue of the failures of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to effectively seek to locate and apprehend these illegal aliens. Daniel Gonzalez, the reporter who wrote that news report interviewed me for the story that was titled:
“U.S. not cracking down on immigrants with expired visas”
Here is the link to this news report:
On May 11, 2006 I testified before the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Committee on International Relations on the topic:
“VISA OVERSTAYS: CAN WE BAR THE TERRORIST DOOR?”
You can read the transcript of that hearing at:
The Visa Waiver Program that enables aliens from some 36 countries to seek to enter our country without applying for a visa further compromises national security and adds to the number of illegal aliens in our country yet this dangerous program is continually expanded with Greece having been recently added on March 10, 2010 even though that country is in a state of economic free-fall!
The obvious question that needs to be asked is “What is being done to address these aliens who manage to enter our country via the inspections process and then hide in plain sight?” I would urge you to remember that each and every one of the 19 terrorists who attacked our nation on September 11, 2001- nearly 9 years ago, all entered our country via the inspections process by committing visa fraud and then in one way or another, game the immigration system in order to hide in plain sight or, in the parlance of the 9/11 Commission- embed themselves in our country.
The Visa Waiver Program now applies to the citizens of 36 countries and enables these aliens to seek to enter the United States without first applying for and receiving a visa. In my judgement and the judgement of many others, the Visa Waiver Program represents a threat to national security but this dangerous program is being promoted by the executives of the hospitality and travel industries in the hope that by simplifying the process by which people can travel internationally, that more such travelers will enter our country and spend their money on the airline tickets, hotel bills and in other ways.
In line with this goal, the travel and hospitality industries have created a public relations campaign that they call “Discover America.” I like to point out that they need to remember that al-Qaeda has already discovered America!
I recently posted my “top six” list of the benefits an effectively managed visa program can provide for the United States. At the risk of being repetitious, I have decided to provid you with that list below, once again:
You can review the State Department Website for information about this wrong-headed, indeed extremely perilous program at:
Here is the list of the 6 benefits that the visa requirement provides to national security:
1. By requiring visas of aliens who seek to enter the United States, this process helps to screen potential passengers on airliners that are destined to the United States. Richard Reid, the so-called “Shoe Bomber” was able to board an airliner to come to the United States although he had no intentions of entering the United States, his apparent goal was to blow up the airliner and its many passengers somewhere over the depths of the Atlantic Ocean by detonating explosives he had concealed in his shoes. Because he is a subject of Great Britain, a country that participates in the Visa Waiver Program, Reid did not obtain a visa before he boarded that airliner.
2. The CBP inspectors are supposed to make a decision in one minute or less as to the admissibility of an alien seeking to enter the United States. The visa requirement helps them to do a more effective job. Their’s is a tough job I can certainly relate to, I began my career at the former INS as an immigration inspector at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and worked there for 4 years before I became a special agent.
3. The application for a nonimmigrant visa contains roughly 40 questions that could provide invaluable information to law enforcement officials should that alien become the target of a criminal or terrorist investigation. The information could provide intelligence as well as investigative leads. You can check out the application for a nonimmigrant (tourist) visa by clicking on this link:
4. If an alien applicant lies on the application for a visa that lie is called “visa fraud.” The maximum penalty for visa fraud starts out at 10 years in jail for those who commit this crime simply in order to come to the United States, ostensibly to seek unlawful employment or other such purpose. The penalty increases to 15 years in jail for those aliens who obtain a visa to commit a felony. For aliens who engage in visa fraud to traffic in narcotics or commit another narcotics-related crime, the maximum jail sentence that can be imposes rises to 20 years. Finally, when an alien can be proven to have engaged in visa fraud in furtherance of terrorism, the maximum penalty climbs to 25 years in prison. It is important to note that while it may be difficult to prove that an individual is a terrorist, it is usually relatively simple to prove that the alien has committed visa fraud when there is fraud involved in the visa application. Indeed, terror suspects are often charged with visa fraud.
5. The charge of visa fraud can also be extremely helpful to law enforcement authorities who want to take a bad guy off the street without tipping their hand to the other members of a criminal conspiracy or terrorism conspiracy that the individual arrested was being arrested for his involvement in terrorism or a criminal organization. You can arrest the alien who commits visa fraud for that violation of law and not for other charges that might make it clear that the investigation underway is targeting a criminal or terrorist organization.
6. Even when an alien applies for a visa and his application is denied, the application he filed remains available for law enforcement and intelligence personnel to review to seek to glean intelligence from that application.
Incidentally, you may be interested to know that just last week the administration announced that Greece would be added to the list of countries that participate in the dangerous Visa Waiver Program even as even more intrusive searches are being conducted at many airports across the United States. With the economic meltdown now hammering Greece, do you suppose that a number of citizens of that economically beleaguered nation might decide to attempt to enter the United States to seek jobs and money they can send home to assist their families? The visa process can also help to screen out those who are seeking entry into our country to obtain illegal employment. Apparently our “leaders” could care less about this possibility!
6 Under the Visa Waiver Program, none of these benefits to law enforcement or national security, apply.
Finally I want you to consider the abysmal state of affairs at USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) the agency that is responsible for adjudicating applications for all sorts of immigration benefits including the conferring of resident alien status and United States citizenship upon aliens.
There is virtually no integrity to the process by which applications for citizenship are processed by USCIS now- how about dedicating more resources to USCIS now and stop the nonsense of insisting on placing God knows how many illegal aliens on a “Pathway to United States Citizenship” that Comprehensive Immigration Reform would provide to aliens who never should have entered our country in the first place?
Smoke and mirrors may be useful to magicians who are trying to deceive their audience in order to entertain them. The time has come to understand that smoke and mirrors may keep the magician’s audience from seeing what is going on but it does not keep Americans from understanding how they are being betrayed by their “leaders.”
I will remind you that immigration benefit fraud was determined by the 911 Commission to be a tactic employed by terrorists to enter our country and then embed themselves in our country.
In July of 2006 I testified before the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims on the national security implications of the proposed legislation that was being considered by the United States Senate, S.2611 (Comprehensive Immigration Reform). Here is a link to a portion of the video of my testimony at that hearing:
Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 the GAO has issued a number of reports that were written following investigations into the issue of immigration fraud. Here is a link to nine such reports:
An additional GAO report worth reviewing was entitled:
“Immigration Benefits: Additional Controls and a Sanctions Strategy Could Enhance DHS’s Ability to Control Benefit Fraud”
Here is a link to a portion of that report: (The actual report is apparently no longer available online)
Here is the introduction to the material available online: (Please pay special attention to the highlighted first sentence of that report- for you convenience I have copied it immediately below:)
In 2002, GAO reported that immigration benefit fraud was pervasive and significant and the approach to controlling it was fragmented. Experts believe that individuals ineligible for these benefits, including terrorists and criminals, could use fraudulent means to enter or remain in the U.S.
Meanwhile, Chuck Schumer, the chairman of the Senate Immigration Subcommittee and, I would remind you, the senior senator from New York State, the state that suffered the most damage and by far, the highest casualty level on September 11, 2001 is now the one leading the charge for implementing a program that I have come to refer to as the “Terrorist Assistance and Facilitation Act!
Three years ago I wrote a commentary that was published as an Op-Ed piece in the Washington Times in which I had first suggested that Comprehensive Immigration Reform should be really entitled the “Terrorist Assistance and Facilitation Act of 2007”
You can read my Op-Ed that was entitled, “Immigration Bill a ‘No Go” at:
Today I would suggest that perhaps this legislation should be called the “Freddy Krueger Act!”
It is unacceptable that the citizens of this nation be betrayed by their own government especially where border security and the enforcement and administration of our nation’s immigration laws are concerned!
A country without secure borders can no more stand than can a house without walls!
November 2nd cannot come fast enough!
We the People, throughout this nation must seek opportunities to make it clear to our political “representatives” that we understand their game plan and won’t tolerate it!.
I believe our nation’s is greatly benefited by the rich diversity of our people which is why I could never imagine living anywhere except New York City, arguably the most diverse city in our nation if not, in fact, the world. However, my idea of diversity most certainly does not include members of MS-13, the Mexican drug cartels and members of al-Qaeda!
If reading this makes it difficult for you to sleep now- perhaps you could do something worthwhile- perhaps you might spend a couple of your sleepless hours writing letters to your elected representatives this evening and remind them that Election Day is just months away!
We the People can add to the consternation of these politicians who are failing to live up to their oaths of office by contacting them and making it abundantly clear that election day is coming and they should think of election day as their personal “Day of Reckoning!”
Our government must live up to its obligation of protecting its own citizens and, indeed, all who are present in our country from the criminals and terrorists who would threaten our lives and the survival of our nation and our way of life. In the end, the government is actually those who are elected to act as our “leaders.” Those who fail to truly lead and look out for those they are supposed to represent, need to be sent packing this coming Election Day!
If our country is to survive and if our children and their children are to get their share of the “American Dream” the citizens of this nation must take their citizenship seriously!
We the People must be the best citizens we can be, citizens who are worthy of the gallantry demonstrated by our valiant men and women in the military, law enforcement and firefighters, who routinely go in harm’s way in defense of this nation and our citizens.
My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings before more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.
The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.
Any politician who refuses to work to secure our borders and create an immigration system that has integrity is either corrupt or too dumb to keep his (her) job. Any politician, irrespective of party affiliation who favors Comprehensive Immigration Reform and the outrageous betrayal that this would represent given the national security implications that this program would have, should be shown the door at the next election!
If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same. We need to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”
Later this year, each and every member of the House of Representatives is up for reelection. Later this year 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!
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!