“Who Should We Trust?”
Here is the first paragraph from the preface of the 9/11 Commission Staff Report on Terrorist Travel:
“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.”
Here is a paragraph under the title “Immigration Benefits” found on page 98:
“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.”
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.
I have compiled a list of the six ways in which the visa process can be helpful to law enforcement and bolster our nation’s efforts to prevent the entry of aliens whose presence on our country may prove harmful to our nation and our citizens. Under the Visa Waiver Program, not one of these important benefits applies:
- 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.
- 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. There’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 four years before I became a special agent.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
The fact that our nation still has a Visa Waiver Program flies in the face of the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission which took issue with how visas were issued to the terrorists. If laxity in the visa issuing process enabled the terrorists to enter the United States, why would we permit citizens of 36 countries to enter our country in this day and age without first obtaining any visa at all?
Our government is apparently responding to the extreme pressure being brought to bear by the Chamber of Commerce and executives of the travel, hospitality and related industries under the auspices of a program known as the “Discover America Partnership.” That consortium has now been joined by the National Retailer Federation (NRF).
“Who Should We Trust?”
Michael W. Cutler, Senior Special Agent, INS (Ret.)
Senior Fellow, Californians for Population Stabilization
America’s borders and immigration laws are America’s first line of defense and her last line of defense against threats posed by international terrorists and transnational criminals and gang members.
America’s borders and immigration laws are essential to protect national security and public safety and address a host of other important challenges that are exacerbated by failures to secure America’s borders and effectively enforce the immigration laws. Nevertheless, so-called “sanctuary cities” such as Los Angeles, Chicago and New York continue to ignore immigration laws with impunity and without any reaction from the federal government even though under Title 8 USC § 1324, a section of law comprehended within the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), it is a felony to aid, abet, encourage or induce aliens to enter our country illegally or harbor and shield such illegal aliens to enable them remain in the United States illegally.
Title 8, United States Code, Section 1182 enumerates the categories of aliens to be excluded from the United States including terrorists and criminals and makes the purpose and importance of our immigration laws crystal clear.
On September 24, 2013, Fox News reported on pending legislation in California that would provide further impediments to the already tepid enforcement efforts of ICE to enforce the immigration laws::
Here is an excerpt from the report:
“The so-called Trust Act would bar police from cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers on a variety of cases. Proponents say the bill is narrowly focused and only applies to those illegal immigrants arrested for minor crimes.”
Under this law California’s law enforcement agencies would not honor detainers (holds) lodged by ICE asking that suspected illegal aliens in state custody be held for ICE so that they can be taken into custody to seek their deportation from the United States.
The obvious question is who are we to trust? Who are the politicians who wrote this legislative disaster willing to trust?
Aliens who evade the inspections process by entering the United States without inspection- in the parlance of immigration officers such entries are referred to as EWI- (Entry Without Inspection) are evading the critical inspections process established by our immigration laws as a means of preventing the entry of aliens whose presence would pose a threat to national security, public safety and the wellbeing of Americans across a spectrum of significant issues.
The lame assertion that the politicians who wrote this legislation don’t want illegal aliens who have not committed serious crimes in America to face deportation. Besides creating a huge incentive for illegal aliens to enter the United States and head to California, the reasoning behind the bill is fatally flawed.
During a war the goal of commandos, spies and soldiers is to get behind “enemy lines.” For members of international terrorist organizations such al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda affiliate responsible for the bloody four day attack on an upscale mall in Kenya that left dozens dead and dozens more injured, our borders represent the “enemy line” that they want to cross to attack.
Although the administration is attempted to downplay the “War on Terror.” the hard reality is that these terrorist organizations are very much at war with us.
The 9/11 Commission made it clear that among the goals of terrorists seeking to attack the United States is to successfully enter the United States and embed themselves in the United States thus enabling them to hide in plain sight. Terrorists go to great pains to not be detected by law enforcement in the United States so that they can go about their preparations to launch an attack. They are careful to not get arrested or attract attention. It is naïve and foolish to think that only aliens who have been convicted of committing serious crimes pose a threat to public safety.
“The 9/11 Commission Report” in analyzing threats to national security noted:
“Mayors in cities with large immigrant populations sometimes imposed limits on city employee cooperation with federal immigration agents. A large population lives outside the legal framework.
Fraudulent documents could be easily obtained. Congress kept the number of INS agents static in the face of the overwhelming problem.”
Finally, the 9/11 Commission Report discussed how visa fraud and immigration benefit fraud facilitated the entry of terrorists into the United States enabling them to hide in plain sight.
Earlier I asked the question, “Who should we trust?” What is immediately obvious is that Americans cannot trust the politicians in California who concocted the Trust Act!
It is not “Anti-Immigrant” to be Pro-American!