“Comprehensive Immigration Reform Ignores Commonsense and the 9/11 Commission’s Findings”

Hi Gang:
The news media have been buzzing the past couple of weeks about how Congress may seek to enact legislation that would provide unknown millions of illegal aliens with employment authorization and address other components of Comprehensive Immigration Reform.  The debate seems to focus on whether or not illegal aliens should be entitled to a “Pathway to United States citizenship” or “only” lawful status.
My commentary addresses the duplicitous nature of such legislative actions that would undermine America’s struggling workers and their families and provide the additional “side-effect” of undermining public safety and national security.
on June 13, 2013 I was interviewed by Neil Cavuto at Fox News on the topic:

In his historic speech before the 3rd Army on May 31, 1944, General George S. Patton said, on the strategy of holding a position:

We’re not holding anything, we’ll let the Hun do that. We are advancing constantly, and we’re not interested in holding onto anything except the enemy.”

Pushing back against Comprehensive Immigration Reform is the same as holding position. The time has come for us to advance by demanding that our borders be made truly secure and our immigration laws be effectively administered and enforced.

Comprehensive Immigration Reform violates all of the findings and recommendations of the 9/11 Commission but no one is willing to even consider how the lack of real border security and the lack of real integrity to the various components of the immigration system imperil national security and public safety.
Immigration is not a single issue but a singular issue that impacts nearly every challenge and threat confronting the United States today!  Simply stated, the immigration laws were enacted to save lives and protect the jobs of American workers.
It is not “Anti-Immigrant” to be “Pro-American!”

Our armed forces are charged with securing America’s borders externally while the DHS is supposed to secure those same borders from within.  The failures of the DHS to live up to its half of the equation are undermining the efforts, valor and incredible sacrifices of Americas men and women who serve in our military!

If our government’s failures to protect American jobs by securing our nation’s borders and effectively enforcing our immigration laws 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!

-michael cutler- 

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Comprehensive Immigration Reform Ignores Commonsense and the 9/11 Commission’s Findings”

Michael W. Cutler, Senior Special Agent, INS (Ret.)

The administration and members of Congress have made it appear that they believe that the inspections process by which aliens seeking to be admitted into the United States are scrutinized no more than a pesky formality.

In fact, recently, members of the leadership in the House of Representatives have spoken about being willing to provide illegal aliens with lawful status and the new Secretary for Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, has stated that illegal aliens have “earned” the “right” to become citizens of the United States as reported by CNS News.com in its January 24, 2014 article:

Homeland Security Secretary: Illegals Have ‘Earned Right to be Citizens’

How does violating a law equate with earning that which was acquired by violating the very law that pertains to the crime that was committed? Is a car thief “entitled” to be granted the registration to the car he steals? Should burglars be provided with the key to the front door of the house he broke into?

Furthermore, if providing aliens who evade the inspections process with the highest honor a foreign national (alien) can be afforded, citizenship, then there is no reason why the United States should continue to have borders or inspect aliens seeking entry.

Think of about how many people are employed by CBP (Customs and Border Protection) at ports of entry to inspect those who seek to enter the United States. Consider how many such inspectors not only work at land border ports along America’s northern and southern borders, but the inspectors who work at every seaport and international airport. Give thought to the money spent to operate the inspections facilities across our nation.

Would any rational person be content if passengers and crew members of airline flights arriving from countries across the planet were not inspected but permitted to simply head for the line of taxi cabs without having them questioned to determine their identities, backgrounds or other such pertinent data and to attempt to prevent those whose presence would pose a threat to public safety or national security?

Conversely, why should any alien bother entering the United States legally?

Even “just” providing illegal aliens with identity documents in conjunction with providing them with employment authorization would irrevocably undermine national security. Consider what the 9/11 Commission Staff Report on Terrorist Travel noted 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.

In considering the true importance of the inspections process, as a starting point it would be worthwhile to consider the description of the importance of the immigration inspections process, provided on the official website of a division of DHS, Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The document is attached to the bottom of this commentary. Here is the first paragraph of the document- a particularly critical sentence is highlighted:

Individuals seeking entry into the United States are inspected at Ports of Entry (POEs) by CBP officers who determine their admissibility. The inspection process includes all work performed in connection with the entry of aliens and United States citizens into the United States, including preinspection performed by the Immigration Inspectors outside the United States. “An officer is responsible for determining the nationality and identity of each applicant for admission and for preventing the entry of ineligible aliens, including criminals, terrorists, and drug traffickers, among others. U.S. citizens are automatically admitted upon verification of citizenship; aliens are questioned and their documents are examined to determine admissibility based on the requirements of the U.S. immigration law.”

The primary reason for the inspections process is to prevent the entry of criminals, terrorists and drug traffickers into the United States as well as those aliens who are likely to illegally take jobs Americans need. There are other categories of aliens who are to be excluded from the United States. The all-inclusive list of the grounds for exclusion can be found in the provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) in Title 8 United States Code § 1182 : (Inadmissible Aliens) which enumerates various categories of aliens who are to be prevented from entering the United States. It includes aliens who are fugitives from justice, aliens who are convicted felons, spies, terrorists, war criminals, human rights violators and others whose presence would undermine national security and/or public safety.

This section of law also addresses the issue of protecting the jobs, wages and working conditions of the American worker. Here is the relevant portion of this section of law:

(5) Labor certification and qualifications for certain immigrants

(A) Labor certification

(i) In general Any alien who seeks to enter the United States for the purpose of performing skilled or unskilled labor is inadmissible, unless the Secretary of Labor has determined and certified to the Secretary of State and the Attorney General that –

(I) there are not sufficient workers who are able, willing, qualified (or equally qualified in the case of an alien described in clause (ii)) and available at the time of application for a visa and admission to the United States and at the place where the alien is to perform such skilled or unskilled labor, and

(II) the employment of such alien will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of workers in the United States similarly employed.

The 9/11 Commission Report addressed the importance of the immigration inspections process conducted at ports of entry noting:

Inspectors at the ports of entry were not asked to focus on terrorists. Inspectors told us they were not even aware that when they checked the names of incoming passengers against the automated watchlist, they were checking in part for terrorists. In general, border inspectors also did not have the informa-tion they needed to make fact-based determinations of admissibility.The INS initiated but failed to bring to completion two efforts that would have provided inspectors with information relevant to counterterrorism—a proposed system to track foreign student visa compliance and a program to establish a way of tracking travelers’ entry to and exit from the United States.45

The 9/11 Commission Staff Report on Terrorist Travel begins with the following preface:

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.

On June 20, 2013 the Huffington Post ran a report:

“USIS Under Investigation Over Edward Snowden Background Check”

(For the sake of clarity- USIS is a private company and not related to USCIS, an agency under the aegis of the DHS.)

It is worth considering a statement by Senator Claire McCaskill, contained in that report:

“We are limited in what we can say about this investigation because it is an ongoing criminal matter,” McCaskill said. “But it is a reminder that background investigations can have real consequences for our national security.”

Yet Ms McCaskill and members of Congress who have demanded to know how the system that provided clearances to these two individuals have yet to say a word about how USCIS provides identity documents to illegal aliens whose true identities, actual dates of entry into the United States, backgrounds and affiliations are unknown and unknowable.

In fact, McCaskill is an ardent supporter of Comprehensive Immigration Reform. How in the world can she talk about the true importance of proper background checks from a perspective of national security while being a staunch advocate for a program that would provide official identity documents to unknown millions of aliens who evaded the inspections process, to surreptitiously enter the United States, for reasons only known to them? Can she not hear her own words?

Indeed, there is no shortage of members of the Administration beginning with President Obama and the Secretary of DHS- and agency I have come to refer to as the Department of Homeland Surrender, who are willing to ignore the true importance of America’s borders and immigration laws and the inspections process and blithely ignore the undeniable fact that aliens who enter the United States by evading the inspections process likely do so because the know that they belong to one of more classes of aliens who are statutorily ineligible to enter the United States.

If running our borders and evading the inspections process is not a big deal, why is it a felony to smuggle aliens into the United States?

Consider that under 8 USC § 1324 – Bringing in and harboring certain aliens, a section of law that is 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 remain in our country illegally.

Here is an excerpt from that section of law:

Title 8, U.S.C. § 1324(a) defines several distinct offenses related to aliens. Subsection 1324(a)(1)(i)-(v) prohibits alien smuggling, domestic transportation of unauthorized aliens, concealing or harboring unauthorized aliens, encouraging or inducing unauthorized aliens to enter the United States, and engaging in a conspiracy or aiding and abetting any of the preceding acts. Subsection 1324(a)(2) prohibits bringing or attempting to bring unauthorized aliens to the United States in any manner whatsoever, even at a designated port of entry. Subsection 1324(a)(3).

Harboring — Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(iii) makes it an offense for any person who — knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals harbors, shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place, including any building or any means of transportation.

Encouraging/Inducing — Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv) makes it an offense for any person who — encourages or induces an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law.

Conspiracy/Aiding or Abetting — Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(v) expressly makes it an offense to engage in a conspiracy to commit or aid or abet the commission of the foregoing offenses.

Politicians who push Comprehensive Immigration Reform as a political strategy are not only deceiving themselves but the constituents they were elected to represent. Consider the section of the INA quoted above- the impact of promises to provide unknown illegal aliens with lawful status, whether or not it includes a pathway to United States citizenship, provides a huge incentive for desperate aspiring illegal aliens from around the world to head for the United States.

A private person who promises to provide illegal aliens with a job in the United States, risks arrest and prosecution for “encouraging and inducing” yet politicians blithely do this very same thing every day of the week without fear of prosecution. Sanctuary cities are similarly guilty of “harboring and shielding,” yet politicians who proclaim that their towns, cities and even states are “sanctuaries” do so with utter impunity. They violate the law and their oaths of office and betray their constituents.

America’s first line of defense and its last line of defense are its borders and immigration laws. A country without secure borders can no more stand than can a house without walls. Election Day is the “Great Equalizer” for Americans who understand the magnitude of this betrayal by those they elected.

Where political jobs are concerned, the voters giveth and the voters can taketh away!


Immigration Inspection Program

Individuals seeking entry into the United States are inspected at Ports of Entry (POEs) by CBP officers who determine their admissibility. The inspection process includes all work performed in connection with the entry of aliens and United States citizens into the United States, including preinspection performed by the Immigration Inspectors outside the United States. “An officer is responsible for determining the nationality and identity of each applicant for admission and for preventing the entry of ineligible aliens, including criminals, terrorists, and drug traffickers, among others. U.S. citizens are automatically admitted upon verification of citizenship; aliens are questioned and their documents are examined to determine admissibility based on the requirements of the U.S. immigration law.”

Under the authority granted by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended, a CBP officer may question, under oath, any person coming into the United States to determine his or her admissibility. In addition, an inspector has authority to search without warrant the person and effects of any person seeking admission, when there is reason to believe that grounds of exclusion exist which would be disclosed by such search.

The INA is based on the law of presumption: an applicant for admission is presumed to be an alien until he or she shows evidence of citizenship; an alien is presumed to be an immigrant until he or she proves that he or she fits into one of the nonimmigrant classifications.

The mission of the inspections program is to control and guard the boundaries and borders of the United States against the illegal entry of aliens. In a way that:

Functions as the initial component of a comprehensive, immigration enforcement system;

Prevents the entry of terrorists, drug traffickers, criminals, and other persons who may subvert the national interest;

Deters illegal immigration through the detection of fraudulent documents and entry schemes;

Initiates prosecutions against individuals who attempt or aid and abet illegal entry;

Cooperates with international, Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to achieve mutual objectives;

Contributes to the development and implementation of foreign policy related to the entry of persons;

Facilitates the entry of persons engaged in commerce, tourism, and/or other lawful pursuits;

Respects the rights and dignity of individuals;

Examines individuals and their related documents in a professional manner;

Assists the transportation industry to meet its requirements;

Responds to private sector interests, in conformance with immigration law;

Continues to employ innovative methods to improve the efficiency and cost effectiveness of the inspections process.

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