Thoughts about the Eighth Anniversary of the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001

Hi Gang:

I have been approached by a number of organizations and asked to provide a concise perspective on the basic issue of national security on the eve of the 8th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

To put this in perspective, I would remind you that on December 7, 1941 our nation was attacked at Pearl Harbor. By the summer of 1945 the war was over. in just over three and a half years our nation built fleets of airplanes and ships that had never before existed. Our nation developed weapon systems that had never before existed and even nuclear weapons with brand new and unproven technology. Back then our nation had two mottos. Our nation’s official motto was then and is, of course today, “E Pluribus Unum” (“From Many, One”) Back then our nation also had an even shorter motto: “Can Do!”

Today that stirring two word phrase is seldom heard. I cannot remember the last time I heard one of our nation’s “leaders” stand before the microphones to discuss success. Mostly we hear little more than apologies and/or excuses. I have raised my children to believe that the opposite of success is an excuse!

Undoubtedly some of our nation’s security vulnerabilities have been addressed by our government, however, where immigration is concerned, virtually all that our government has done is to provide the illusion of addressing the critical issue of our nation’s porous borders and an immigration system that lacks even a modicum of integrity.

Today there are millions of illegal aliens living and working in our country. Estimates range between ten million to twenty million such illegal aliens. That is quite a range! On September 11, 2001 nineteen terrorists obliterated the lives of 3,000 innocent victims and to this day, more victims remain ill and are dying from illnesses attributable to the toxins they were exposed to on that horrible day nearly 8 years ago.

The identities of many of those millions of illegal aliens are unknown and unknowable. Yet there are politicians who are calling for providing these millions of illegal aliens with lawful immigration status and a pathway to United States citizenship even though our officials at USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) the government agency under the auspices of the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) are utterly unable to cope with the avalanche of applications that beleaguered agency processes each and every day. They would have no way of determining the true identities of the alien applicants who would undoubtedly flood that agency with many millions of applications for amnesty.

In fact, a few years ago, the GAO determined that the adjudicators at USCIS claimed to have “lost” 111,000 immigration files relating to aliens who had applied for a variety of immigration benefits including some 30,000 aliens who had applied for United States citizenship. Those adjudicators then proceeded to adjudicate all of those applications without the relating files! It is my suspicion that those files were never lost, but that some “leader” at USCIS decided that they could simply move the bureaucratic conveyor belt much more quickly if they did not have to take the time to retrieve and review immigration files. If there is anyone “out there” who cares to refute my hunch, I would be willing to listen to what they have to say.

We have heard much about the “Security Checks” that would be required to be conducted by USCIS in conjunction with any such massive amnesty program. This may sound okay but take a moment and understand exactly what this means.

When I was a senior special agent of the INS, I held a “Top Secret” clearance. This required that every five years I would undergo a rigorous background investigation. this is not the same as a background check. The terms “Investigation” and “Check” are very different.

In order to do a background or security investigation, investigators interview the applicant at length, generally over the course of several hours and then they head for the field (the street) where they knock on doors and interview many people. They may show the people they interview a photograph of the person they are investigating and ask if they know that person’s name. If it is determined that the person being investigated has been using multiple identities it then becomes essential to find out why that individual has been using multiple identities and the number of people being interviewed may suddenly increase as new investigative leads are developed. This process can take weeks.

The “Background Checks” that would be conducted in conjunction with any sweeping amnesty program would generally not require investigators to interview anyone. The “Background Check” would require nothing more than running the applicant alien’s fingerprints through a computer database to see if any fingerprints on file match. This would, hopefully, disclose if the alien had a criminal history. If the fingerprints came back as a “No Hit” meaning that there was not known criminal history associated with the fingerprints, the name provided by the alien would be run through a database to see if that name matches anyone who is on a terrorist watch list has a criminal history.

Illegal aliens tend to use false or stolen identities, a factor that contributes greatly to the fact that identity theft is the fastest growing white collar crime in our country today. Not only would it be impossible to know the true identities of these illegal aliens, it would be similarly impossible to know their backgrounds in their home countries or other countries. It would, in fact, be impossible to even be certain as to their true countries of origin. It would thus be impossible to know their potential affiliation with criminal or terrorist organization or their true intentions for coming to the United States.

It would not even be possible to know where or when they entered the United States. This is another area of great concern. We have been told that we should provide illegal aliens with amnesty if they have been living and working in our country for a specific number of years. How would our officials even begin to determine how long an illegal alien has lived in our country if he (she) has used multiple identities? As an INS agent I often found illegal aliens who were in possession of a number of false or stolen Social Security cards along with other identity documents. I have often jokingly said that you can often tell a “good guy” from a “bad guy” by a simple fact. A good guy gets up in the morning and goes through his ‘stuff’ to decide on what to wear that day. A bad guy goes through his ‘stuff’ to decide on who he wants to be that day!

Stop and think about what I have just described. Someone once said that a spy is someone who would not attract the attention of a waiter (or waitress) at a ‘greasy spoon’ diner. The same could be said of a terrorist. Their objective is to maintain a low profile as a means of embedding themselves. They know it is vital for them to not come to the attention of law enforcement. If a terrorist managed to enter our country and avoided being arrested, he (she) could then apply for amnesty, providing fingerprints that would come up “clean.” They would then be able to provide a false name and, because that name is fictitious, it would come back “clean” as well. USCIS would be compelled to then provide that individual with an official identity document within a day or two that could be immediately used to enable that person to apply for an official Social Security Number, an official driver’s license, library cards and other such forms of ID. They could open bank accounts, secure employment, obtain credit cards and even purchase property under an assumed identity that would have been substantiated by the {Comprehensive Immigration Reform” legislation that many members of Congress and the administration are once again attempting to jam down our throats!

I have often made the point that the only thing worse than no security is false security. Providing illegal aliens with official identity documents and lawful status in our country provides such individuals with a level of credibility that they are not entitled to. This is a classic example of “False Security!”

Furthermore, as we consider this situation I want to revisit an issue I have addressed on many previous occasions but believe it is important to discuss today. I am using the term “alien” to describe foreign nationals who are present in our country. The open borders advocates take issue with this term and I want to confront this use of language “head-on.”

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) is that all encompassing body of laws that address the entry and presence of aliens in our country. That body of law also addresses such issues as the naturalization process and the grounds under which aliens may be excluded or removed (deported) from the United States. These are the laws that are enforced by members of the United States Border Patrol, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Inspectors at ports of entry and Special Agents of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) throughout the United States. These are the laws that are administered by the adjudicators at USCIS and by Immigration Judges when they determine whether or not to order the removal or exclusion of foreign nationals who are in our country.

Section 101 of the INA contains the various definitions that are vital to all of the above noted legal actions. The term “Alien” is defined by the INA as simply being any person who is not a citizen or national of the United States. It is a concise definition that does not insult or dehumanize anyone who is so defined. Indeed, when a citizen of the United States enters any other country, that American citizen becomes an “alien” by virtue of entering into that other country. I do not know of any other country that has a problem with the term “alien” or “foreigner.”

The issue with the term “alien” is that it is clear and concise. Those who are eager to remove our nation’s borders understand that clarity is a problem for them and their cause. They are determined to create a smokescreen of obfuscation to prevent an honest discussion about the immigration issue. Most are motivated by the desire to acquire money and/or political power. Illegal aliens provide cheap and exploitable labor and drive down the wages of United States citizens and lawful immigrants. Massive immigration impacts demographics and political power in the United States. Massive immigration provides employment to thousands of immigration attorneys who, not unlike the attorneys who would race to accidents to sign up clients, are eager to see the nation’s borders and ports of entry to provide access to millions of potential clients to greatly fatten the wallets of these attorneys.

The 911 Commission made it clear that immigration-related issues provided the terrorists with access to our nation and with the ability for these terrorists to embed themselves in our country. I have come to refer to the process of “embedding” as “Hiding in plain sight.”

The 911 Commission noted the vulnerabilities in the visa issuing process and noted how the Visa Waiver Program created additional risks to national security. At the time that the 911 Commission conducted its inquiries, 27 countries participated in the Visa Waiver Program. Today, unbelievably, the number of Visa Waiver Countries has increased! Today, some 35 countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program!

I have attached an excerpt from the official government website listing the 35 countries and a link to that website below: