The news report I have attached below appears on the CNN website and is significant for a couple of reasons. Clearly the FBI and other law enforcement agencies are pursuing additional possible coconspirators. The ability of federal law enforcement officials to identify this threat against our nation is encouraging and the men and women of our law enforcement agencies should certainly be commended for their diligence, but the issue that I believe that this news report also makes clear is the nexus between immigration and terrorism.
Consider this quote from the news article:
“An acquaintance of the two men, Ahmad Wais Afzali, of Queens, New York, was also arrested. Afzali is a legal permanent resident from Afghanistan, as is Najibullah Zazi. Mohammed Wali Zazi is a naturalized U.S. citizen.”
The point is that if these individuals had not been able to enter the United States they would not have been in the position to carry out terrorist attacks. This is not to say that our nation should not allow foreign nationals to enter our country, that would be patently absurd, it is just that our officials need to be careful in making the critical decisions where the entry of aliens into our country is concerned. Our government must also be cautious about granting resident alien status and United States citizenship to aliens to make certain that those to whom the “keys to the kingdom” are granted are, in fact, entitled to being granted resident alien status and United States citizenship.
The 9/11 Commission identified visa fraud and immigration benefit fraud as a method of entry and also as a means of embedding for a number of terrorists who had been identified as operating in our country in the decade before the attacks of September 11, 2001. While the politicians and many others have been focused on our nation’s porous borders, especially the southern border, virtually no attention has been paid to the issue of immigration fraud.
I certainly agree that our borders must be secured against illegal entry and have made that point at a number of venues, the immigration crisis confronting our country involves much more than seeking to construct a fence on our border that is supposed to separate our country from Mexico.
To provide you with one of my infamous analogies; when we park our cars in garages in which the attendant of the garage parks our cars for us, there are often signs that are posted cautioning the patrons of the garage to only leave the car key and not our house keys with the attendant. This is done because some time ago the discovery was made that some larcenous garage attendants were making copies of the house keys that were left with the attendant. They were able to find out the address of the house that the key would open through the license plate on the car and their cohorts would then go to potential victims’ homes with a key to the front door. They could simply enter those houses without having to break in. They had provided themselves with that key to the front door and made ample use of it to the horror of their victims.
Once that vulnerability was discovered as rational human beings, we found an easy way to prevent that sort of crime.
Where immigration is concerned, a green card and especially United States citizenship represents the key to America’s front door.
Thus far the scant information that has been made available about the ongoing investigation about these terrorists has not provided any information about whether or not immigration fraud was a factor in the ability of the three men who have thus far been arrested to enter the United States but I certainly hope that the FBI will consider that aspect of this investigation to see if immigration fraud was committed in conjunction with their alleged terrorist objectives.
Incidentally, if it can be proven that an individual committed immigration fraud in conjunction with terrorism, the penalty for that act of fraud, in an of itself, is a maximum of 25 years in prison. Certainly this is evidence of how serious this threat is, the problem is that there are precious few resources allocated to weeding out the fraud in the immigration benefits program and that deplorable situation has not been addressed more than 8 years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001!
Indeed, the administration and man polticians are calling for a massive amnesty program under the auspices of what they refer to as “Comprehensive Immigration Reform.”
Under such a program millions of illegal aliens would be provided with official identity documents and ultimately put on the pathway to United States citizenship even though they have no way of proving who they are. There would be no reliable way of knowing when, where or how they entered the United States or even what country they are citizens of.
USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) as the agency that adjudicates applications for a variety of immigration benefits including the conferring of resident alien status and United States citizenship should be thought of as the locksmith for our country- handing out the keys to the front door. There have been numerous GAO (General Accountability Office) and OIG (Office of Inspector General) reports indicating that immigration fraud is pervasive within that critical system.
If that beleaguered agency is unable to effectively deal with fraud now, what would happen if many millions of additional applications would be thrust upon the employees of that agency?
In the past USCIS resorted to outrageous methods to deal with clearing the backlog of applications for benefits. You can read the sordid details of how USCIS claimed to have “lost” 111,000 immigration files relating to applications for various immigration benefits including some 30,000 files relating to aliens who applied to naturalize. That agency then went ahead and processed all of those applications without the critical immigration files!
Here is the link to the Washington Times article that was published in November of 2006:
It is my contention that the files were never lost, but that they were simply never requested in order to enable the adjudicators to process more applications without having to wait for the files and “waste” their time reviewing files that might have shown that the applicants were not qualified to receive the benefits that they applied for. The easiest way to process an application is to simply approve it and move on to the next application.
Of course as more aliens succeed in gaming the immigration the more they encourage their friends to similarly game the system, further dumping more applications into an overflowing system making integrity more elusive in a vicious cycle.
You can check out a few of the GAO reports on the issue of immigration fraud at this link [click here].
Contrary to what the politicians and others who are determined to eradicate our nation’s borders claim, the need to secure our nation’s borders and create an immigration system that has real integrity is not an example of xenophobia or bigotry, it is simply a rational means of protecting our nation and our citizens (of all ethnicities, races and religions) against the threats posed by terrorists, drug trafficking organizations and transnational criminals.
Our nation must not only secure its borders against the illegal entry of illegal aliens, but must create an immigration system that has meaningful integrity if our nation is to effectively address the many challenges confronting our country and our citizens.
In less than two years each and every member of the House of Representatives is up for reelection. In less than two years 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!
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! You need to politely but pointedly, demand to know what they are doing to protect our nation. You need to ask them how they are protecting you and your families. You can also forward this commentary to them.
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!