As usual, my most recent commentary for the CAPS (Californians for Population Stabilization) website, a copy of which is attached below, is the predication for my comments today. Today the focus will be on a concept known as the “Broken Windows” approach to law enforcement.
The idea is that crime breeds crime. When people enter an area where laws are largely ignored, they tend to assume the attitude that “anything goes!” This is the reason that first impressions are so important. If you are walking along in a neighborhood where graffiti can be found on buildings and the streets are strewn with trash you would likely not look for a trash receptacle to deposit a wrapper from a stick of chewing gum but might well feel that it would not matter if you simply tossed that wrapper onto the street- what difference could it matter?
Our nation’s lack of secure borders and reluctance or downright unwillingness to enforce our immigration laws provide millions of foreign nationals with an extremely dangerous first impression of our nation and how seriously we take our own laws. Currently, the President of the United States, the ultimate leader of our nation, has also become the leader of the political choir that routinely sings the praises of providing aliens who evade the inspections process with the highest honor and privilege a nation can bestow upon foreigners- citizenship! When the governors of Arizona and Alabama signed bills into law that essentially parallel the federal immigration laws, their actions were met with lawsuits filed by the United States Department of Justice, yet when other political leaders openly declared that they would not even ask suspects who were arrested for committing serious crimes about their immigration status and the federal government took no action- the message is clear and unmistakeable- our immigration laws are unimportant and anyone who wants to come to the United States need not bother with the “formality” of seeking to enter the United States via a long established lawful process!
Meanwhile, the 9/11 Commission Report makes it abundantly clear that if our immigration system had real integrity, most of the terrorists would likely not have been able to enter the United States and/or embed themselves in our country as they went about their deadly preparations.
Most countries on the face of this planet take their borders seriously. Throughout history wars have been fought over where borders were drawn. To this very day many countries enforce their borders with their military rather than their law enforcement officers because they see those borders as directly relating
to national security. Furthermore, borders do not only exist along land borders but also exist wherever their is a seaport or international airport. This is why immigration laws must be enforced from within the interior of a nation. Simply stated, the immigration laws of the United States are designed to save American lives and American jobs and thereby preserve the Middle Class. The Middle Class, it should be noted, is the heart and soul of the United States and the fact that anyone could aspire to move from poverty into the Middle Class and beyond by acquiring a higher education or a needed skill or trade and working diligently was what created the “American Dream.”
The American Dream has been all but extinguished as more and more Americans lose their homes to foreclosure and Americans who possess the skills and/or education in high tech fields are finding that they have been cast aside by foreign workers who will work for substandard wages and under substandard working conditions. The cost of a college education continues to rise about as quickly as job opportunities for the highly educated are diminished or eliminated altogether by outsourcing of jobs of the importation of cheap labor. Meanwhile many journalists and political leaders insist that the “moderate” position on immigration includes a “pathway to United States citizenship for unknown millions of illegal aliens and a “DREAM Act” that would provide in-state tuition for illegal aliens and a pathway to lawful status for illegal aliens who were under 35 years of age but who could claim to have entered the United States prior to their 15th birthday! It is a well established fact that immigration fraud permeates the immigration benefits program and in fact, just about 5 years ago, USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) claimed to have “lost” some 111,000 immigration files relating to applications for various immigration benefits, including the files of some 30,000 aliens who had applied for United States citizenship!
On Novermber 29, 2006 the Washington Post ran an article about that fiasco entitled:
“Citizenship Agency Lost 111,000 Files”
You can read the article at:
This made a complete and utter mocker of the entire immigration benefits program yet no one was fired or, to my knowledge, even disciplined! This was just seen as another one of those screw-ups that are all but inevitable!
USCIS processes between six million and seven million applications each and every year and there are fewer than 700 investigators assigned to USCIS to attempt to maintain integrity to the agency that is, for all intents and purposes, the locksmith of the United States. (Lawful immigrant status and especially United States citizenship are often referred to as the “Keys to the kingdom.”)
ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) has about 7,000 Special Agents and at least half of them are assigned to working cases that deal with customs laws and not immigration laws. Meanwhile the TSA that searches prospective airline passengers at airline terminals across our nation has more than 60,000 employees who search those passengers!
Wow! Need I say more?
The concept of the “Broken Windows” approach to law enforcement was first postulated in an Atlantic magazine article entitled, “Broken Windows: The police and neighborhood safety” written by two renowned academics, George L. Kelling and James Q. Wilson.
This approach called for aggressively going after the “small crimes” to discourage more significant crimes. When Rudy Giuliani took office as Mayor of the City of New York he brought in Bill Bratton to head up the NYPD. Bratton subscribed to the broken windows concept as did Mayor Giuliani. As a result, the members of the NYPD were ordered to go after the graffiti “artists,” the “squeegee men” who would approach cars stuck in traffic and aggressively solicit money from the hapless motorists who were intimidated by these panhandlers and also seek to arrest subway turnstile jumpers.
In 2008 an article was published that reported on the findings of a Dutch experiment that appear to have substantiated the validity of the broken windows concept where law enforcement is concerned.
Under Giuliani’s administration, the New York City crime rate plummeted as did the murder rate. Many factors undoubtedly came into play but there are those who attribute a substantial drop in the crime rate on the broken-windows approach aggressively pursued by the NYPD. The point is that Giuliani came to regard this approach to law enforcement to make perfect sense. However, where immigration is concerned, Giuliani refused to accept the fact that by not enforcing immigration laws and, in fact, advocating for providing illegal aliens with “lawful status” that a dangerous message was being sent to millions of illegal aliens and aspiring illegal aliens all over the world; that in the United States you cannot only break our laws and expect to get away with violating our borders and our laws, but that you will also be richly rewarded. Giuliani was apparently more concerned with those who would jump the NYC Transit Authority turnstiles, to save a $1.25 fare, than he was with illegal aliens who jumped our borders!
When the President of the United States and high ranking members of his administration as well as leaders in Congress, on both sides of the political aisle, advocate for providing illegal aliens with pathways to United States citizenship, people around the world understandably take encouragement that our nation’s borders are the “finish line” and all that they need to do is cross that line, no matter how they do so, and they will be entitled to the “Keys to the Kingdom!”
This perception is reinforced and further amplified by the fact that a number of state governors and city mayors have turned their jurisdictions into “sanctuaries” for unknown millions of illegal aliens whose true identities, countries of citizenship, backgrounds, potential affiliation with criminal or terrorist organizations is unknown and unknowable. This “invitation” encourages still more illegal aliens to violate our nation’s borders and immigration laws and impacts virtually every challenge and threat our nation and our citizens face ranging from national security and criminal justice and community safety to the economy, unemployment rates, the environment, healthcare, community safety and education.
The 9/11 Commission Report and the 9/11 Commission Staff Report on Terrorist Travel did an in-depth analysis of how the terrorists who attacked our nation on September 11, 2001 were able to enter the United States and embed themselves in our country as they prepared to launch the worst terrorist attack ever carried out on our soil.
The first paragraph from the preface of that report states that:
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.
And a paragraph under the title “Immigration Benefits” found on page 98 says that:
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 absolutely impossible to comprehend how, given all of these facts, there is even a debate about whether or not our borders should be secured and our immigration laws be enforced in such a way as to deprive terrorists the opportunity to enter our country and embed themselves in our country.
It is similarly impossible to comprehend why there is any controversy to be found in enforcing immigration laws to make certain that Americans are provided with jobs at a time of record levels of unemployment.
When will our government fix our nation’s windows?