"Obama Promises (Threatens?) to Take Executive Action on Immigration"

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On November 6, 2014 Progressives For Immigration Reform (PFIR) posted my commentary for their website’s blog:


“Obama Promises (Threatens?) to Take Executive Action on Immigration”

November 6, 2014 | Michael Cutler

In my piece I noted that the day after Election Day President Obama conducted a news conference during which he barely acknowledged that the Democratic Party got trounced in both houses of the United States Congress and even in many gubernatorial elections around the United Staes.
Prior to Election Day he said that although he was not on the ballot his policies would be.  After Election Day when asked at that news conference about what the implications of the elections were he said that he did not read the political tea leaves but would leave that up to the pundits.
What was extremely disturbing is that he said that he would take executive action to address immigration and that Congress could get him to cancel his executive actions by passing Comprehensive Immigration Reform.  He is clearly seeking to “strong-arm” Congress into submission.  This is hardly consistent with what is required by the Constitution of the United States.  As I have noted repeatedly, Comprehensive Immigration Reform would undermine national security, public safety and public health and have a devastating impact on the U.S. economy and unemployment.
Failures to secure our borders to prevent the entry of terrorists flies in the face of the findings and recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.  Furthermore, it must be understood that our nation has 50 “border states”- any state that has an international airport or access to the tens of thousands of miles of meandering coastline or lies along the northern as well as the southern borders of the United States are all “border states.”
Failures to combat fraud in the visa process and in adjudication of applications for immigration benefits also violate the findings and recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.
What is incomprehensible is that not one politician who expresses concerns about the threat of terrorism will even make a passing reference to the 9/11 Commission Report or to the companion document, the The 9/11 Commission Staff Report on Terrorist Travel.
Although the 9/11 Commission Report  and The 9/11 Commission Staff Report on Terrorist Travel discussed the issue of visas and immigration benefits in conjunction with terrorist attacks- and not just the attacks of 9/11 but other activities by some 94 terrorists identified as operating in the United States in the decade preceding the attacks of September 11, 2001, these vulnerabilities were known long before the attacks of 9/11.

The United States was attacked twice in 1993 by international terrorists from the Middle East who had easily gamed the visa process and immigration benefits program. This was more than 20 years ago. The continuing failures to address these vulnerabilities left America wide open to the terrorist attacks that would follow on September 11, 2001.

It was known that visa fraud and immigration benefit fraud were among the vulnerabilities that made the 9/11 attacks possible. In fact, on May 20, 1997, more than four years before the attacks of 9/11, the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims conducted a hearing that was predicated on the two attacks of 1993 at the CIA in January and the first World Trade bombing one month later, on the topic:


I participated as a witness at that hearing. It was my first appearance before a Congressional hearing but would hardly my last.

The 9/11 Commission Staff Report on Terrorist Travel detailed numerous examples of instances where terrorists not only made use of visa and immigration benefit fraud to enter the United States but to also embed themselves in the United States. 

The preface of this report begins with this paragraph:

“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.”

Page 47 of this report noted:

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.”

It is significant to note that the Seasonal Agricultural Program, also known as the Special Agricultural Program (SAW) were major components of the 1986 Amnesty and that New York’s then Congressman Chuck Schumer was one of that program’s major architects even though there were absolutely no farms in his congressional district when he concocted it.  Schumer went on to lead the “Gang of Eight” in concocting S 744 “Comprehensive Immigration Reform last year.

This paragraph is found on page 98 of the report, under the title “Immigration Benefits:”

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.”

It is hardly “anti-immigrant” to favor securing the borders of the United States against the entry of illegal aliens and contraband.  It is hardly “anti-immigrant” to support the effective enforcement of our immigration laws.  When aliens are “lawfully admitted for permanent residence” (the terminology used to describe the lawful entry of immigrants into the United States) the laws being referred to are those same immigration laws.  Our immigration laws not only provide for the exclusion and removal (deportation) of aliens whose presence would undermine national security, public safety, public health and, in general, the well-being of America and Americans but also provide for the admission of more than one million lawful immigrants each and every year.  Our immigration laws make absolutely no distinction about race, religion or ethnicity.  Our immigration law also provide for the entry of tens of millions of nonimmigrant foreign visitors as tourists, students, temporary workers, journalists, exchange visitors, etc., and also provide for the granting of political asylum to aliens who express a “credible fear” of persecution should they be returned to their home countries.  Our immigration laws also enable more than one-half million lawful immigrants to acquire United States citizenship via the naturalization process.

The importance of our borders and our immigration laws cannot be overemphasized.  In the war on terror and transnational gangs, they are our first line of defense and our last line of defense against international terrorists and transnational criminals.  They are equally important to American workers who are facing unfair competition from foreign workers, aided and abetted by the administration and advocates for “Sanctuary Cities” and Comprehensive Immigration Reform.  

The starting point for any conversation or legislation concerning immigration must be the findings and recommendations of the 9/11 Commission which determined that a lack of border security, including the visa process. and fraud in the immigration benefits program enabled terrorists to enter and embed themselves in the United States, as they went about their deadly preparations.

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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