Earlier today I was sent an e-mail from one of the folks on my distribution list for my commentaries and my notices of upcoming appearances.
She enumerated a number of issues relating to the national security issues not being addressed by the current administration and at the end of her e-mail asked (rhetorically):
“When is Obama going to give them the key to the kingdom?”
I thought you might find my response to her e-mail to be of interest….
I really hate to tell you this, but our government has provided and apparently will continue to provide terrorists and transnational gang members and assorted thugs the keys to our kingdom and in massive numbers!
This has been going on for decades! Both political parties bear responsibility!
Every alien who is permitted to enter our country on a “temporary” visa or under the auspices of the insane “Visa Waiver Program” has been provided with a key to the front door much the way that a hotel guest is provided with a key card that is valid for a certain period of time.
After your allotted time as a guest at a hotel expires, the key you were given by the front desk will no longer work. If you fail to remove your belongings by a mutually agreed upon time on the final day of your stay in the hotel, the management will enter what had been your room and remove your belongings. If management at the hotel determines you damaged any of the furnishings of the hotel or stole anything, legal action will, most likely, be taken to recoup the damages.
Aliens, on the other hand, who fail to depart the United States within the previously agreed upon time period have virtually nothing to fear! The actual number of aliens who violate the terms of their admission into the United States is unknown. The government, notorious for underestimating such numbers of deportable (removable) aliens estimate that there are roughly five million such “visa violators.” Violations of terms of admission by nonimmigrant aliens take a number of forms. Some temporary visitors simply remain in the United States beyond the date they were authorized to remain in the United States. Others seek employment for which they are not authorized while other aliens who were provided with temporary work visas fail to report for work or quit and fail to leave the United States. Foreign students may fail to attend the schools for which they were issued visas to attend. Still other aliens commit crimes and are convicted for violating various laws.
It is estimated that there are fewer than 300 special agents of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) seeking to locate those estimated 5 million visa violators!
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 process is clearly fatally flawed but what bewilders me even more is that our nation continually expands the extremely dangerous Visa Waiver Program to the point where the citizens of Greece just became eligible to enter our country without first applying for and receiving a visa! Greece is the 36th such country on that list!
You can review the State Department’s website for information about this wrong headed and, indeed, treacherous Visa Waiver Program at:
Some time ago I compiled a list of the 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.
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.
Under the insane Visa Waiver Program, none of the above-noted benefits to national security apply!
Other aliens are provided with a permanent key to the front door, these are the lawfully admitted immigrants.
The “Gold Key” to the front door is United States citizenship.
As United States citizens, these aliens have all of the rights and privileges that native-born United States citizens have with one exception- they cannot hold the positions of President or Vice President of the United States. However, they are legally eligible to hold any other elected or military position in our country. The governor of California, the state with the greatest number of residents is a naturalized citizen.
If you review my website and check out how many commentaries I have written about visa fraud and/or immigration benefit fraud, you know that this topic has been of tremendous concern to me ever since I began working for the former INS in 1971!
You may also be interested to know that when I first testified before a Congressional hearing, back on May 20,1997 I did so for the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims. The topic of that hearing was:
“Oversight hearing regarding visa fraud and immigration benefits application fraud”
Here is the link to the transcript of that hearing in its entirety:
The predication for that hearing were the two terrorist attacks conducted inside the United States in 1993. This hearing was, in large measure called because the Terrorists who participated in two terrorist attacks in 1993- first at the CIA in January of that year and then at the World Trade Center the following month, were all foreign nationals (aliens) who had gamed the visa and/or the immigration benefits programs in order to enter the United States and embed themselves in our country in order to be able to carry out those attacks.
Ask the current crop of politicians who favor Comprehensive Immigration Reform and the ever expanding Visa Waiver Program if they give a damn about the citizens they were elected to represent!
Ask the current crop of politicians who will be all but begging for your vote come November if they believe that the State Department has been effectively managing the program by which visas are issued when you consider how many aliens how violate our immigration laws were able to acquire visas as they made preparations to enter our country even though they were apparently intent on remaining in our country long after their authorized period of admission expired? While you are at it, perhaps you should ask them what plans they have to address this lunacy.
Clearly the way that visas are issued does little to prevent the entry of aliens into our country who easily game the visa process in order to enter our country and violate our laws- even in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. (Remember, each and every one of the 19 terrorists who attacked our nation on that horrific day had succeeded in obtaining a visa and getting through the inspections process.)
I hate to be repetitive, but I think it is worth remembering how our nation’s leaders voiced outrage in March of 2002 that two of the dead terrorists, could have been sent letters of approval from the former INS precisely 6 months after those attacks authorizing them to extend their stay in the United States and change immigration status so that they could attend flight schools! The House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims convened a hearing into that fiasco on March 19, 2002. I was invited to appear before that hearing and I gladly accepted that invitation offered to me by the then Ranking Democrat on the Subcommittee, Sheila Jackson Lee.
Here is the link to the C-SPAN video of the Congressional hearing conducted by the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims, at which I testified on March 19, 2002 as you watch this video I want you to consider how much has not changed in the more than 8 years since the attacks of September 11, 2001:
Topic for the hearing:
“INS’S MARCH 2002 NOTIFICATION OF APPROVAL OF CHANGE OF STATUS FOR PILOT TRAINING FOR TERRORIST HIJACKERS MOHAMMED ATTA AND MARWAN AL-SHEHHI”
Here is the link to the transcript of the hearing in its entirety
The video runs about 2 hours and 30 minutes. I would urge you to watch it and, as you watch the hearing, I want you to ask yourself a simple question, “What has really changed?”
What has changed is that the citizens of our nation, in the name of national security have found their expectations of privacy and freedom have been continually eroding even as our nation’s leaders expand the Visa Waiver Program and fail to secure our borders, fail to address the widespread ineptitude and incompetence in the processes by which applications for visas and immigration benefits are adjudicated.
Of additional great concern is the fact that the immigration laws remain all but unenforced, encouraging still more illegal aliens to run our nation’s borders or game the visa program and, once they succeed in entering our country, they find it a simple matter to embed themselves in communities across our nation from border to border and coast to coast.
When the state of Arizona recently enacted its new immigration law, SB 1070 the United States Department of Justice responded more quickly then I believe we have seen in years- they responded by filing a lawsuit seeking to block Arizona from implementing that new law that largely parallels the federal statutes and just a few days ago, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent a report to the United Nations, undermining our nation’s sovereignty, and claiming that the United States government was seeking to improve “Human Rights” inside the United States by attempting to make certain that the officials of Arizona do not enforce immigration laws!
Meanwhile, in the name of “National Security” the citizens of our nation are experiencing a continual reduction in our expectations of privacy and freedom!
At the same time the administration is also reportedly reviewing thousands of immigration cases involving aliens whose removal from the United States was being sought. According to published reports, the government will seek to end efforts to deport (remove) illegal aliens from the United States even if they have criminal convictions- provided that in the opinion of the administration the crimes for which they were convicted are “minor!”
I would love to know what crimes are on that list!
Finally, the administration and “leaders” in the House of Representatives and the United States Senate are proceeding with plans to implement “Comprehensive Immigration Reform.” I have come to refer to this legislative detritus as the “Terrorist Assistance and Facilitation Act!”
Under Comprehensive Immigration Reform, tens of millions of illegal aliens whose true identities, nationalities, backgrounds and potential affiliation with criminal or terrorist organizations would be unknown and unknowable. Because most illegal aliens use multiple false identities, it would be difficult to determine how long these illegal aliens have even been present in the United States (that is what the term “undocumented” means!)
Yet Secretary of DHS, the Department of Homeland Surrender, Senator Chuck Schumer, chairman of the Senate Immigration Subcommittee and all of the other “usual suspects” insist that even with the nearly daily news reports of ever escalating violence in Mexico that our borders have never been more secure and so it is time for the ultimate betrayal- the implementation of Comprehensive Immigration Reform!
Going back to the question that prompted my commentary today- the federal government’s locksmiths are clearly working overtime- cranking out shiny new keys for millions of folks from all over our planet, who may or may not leave when they are supposed or may or may not plan to follow our laws and hence, may or may not prove to be a threat to the security of our nation and the safety of our citizens!
It is time for the politicians in Washington to live up to their oaths of office as well!
They must take to heart the statements made by the union leaders who represent the employes of Immigration and Custom Enforcement and do whatever is necessary to address these massive deficiencies as quickly and effectively as possible. The security of our nation and the safety of our citizens must, without equivocation take priority over any political goals or agenda.
It is unacceptable that the citizens of this nation be alienated 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!
We the People can add to the consternation of those 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 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 what I had to say, 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!”
In just two months, each and every member of the House of Representatives is up for reelection. 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!