I guess you could refer to my commentary today as a “Tale of two news reports.” Both of these news reports appeared on their respective websites on Tuesday, April 19th.
The first of the news articles that I am providing to you appeared on the CNN website while the second report was written by a Fox News reporter and, appropriately, appeared on the Fox News website. While the two reports may not appear to immediately relate to one another, I believe that they are intrinsically intertwined as you will quickly see.
For some time there are have been assertions by Janet Napolitano that the borders are secure- indeed, according to her, they are more secure than ever!
Meanwhile we know that by her own statements, that more than 230 cities in the United States have been infested by members of the extremely violent Mexican drug cartels that have taken to killing so many thousands of citizens in Mexico that scarcely a day goes by that news reports out of Mexico don’t report on the discovery of large numbers of dead bodies being discovered in mass graves or some other location. The murders involve ordinary Mexicans, law enforcement officials of all levels, members of the political establishment, judges, journalists and other drug traffickers. The point is that the violence is pervasive and it is clear that absolutely no one in Mexico is safe.
The obvious question is, “If our borders are so secure, how did more than 230 cities across our nation become infested by alien engaged in the drug trade?”
Recently two special agents of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) who were on official assignment in Mexico were ambushed and Special Agent Jaime Zapata was killed and his partner was seriously wounded. Clearly those who fired upon federal agents of the United States knew that they were shooting American law enforcement officers. In December of last year, an on duty, uniformed Border Patrol Agent, Brian Terry, who is believed to have been shot by smugglers moving narcotics into the United States.
Yet Napolitano continues to insist that the border is secure!
The hard-hitting Fox News report certainly challenges Napolitano’s assertions that our borders really are secure. There are many reasons to be concerned about the issue of border security. Most illegal aliens who evade the inspections process in order to enter our country in violation of our laws run that border- evading the Border Patrol and thereby surreptitiously enter our country and in the process, leave no record of their entry into our country. This is particularly significant for a few reasons.
First of all, as I often do, I will provide you with a link to the section of law contained in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) that addresses the various categories of aliens whose presence is supposed to be prevented by the CBP (Customs and Border Protection) Inspectors:
Here is a link to Title 8 of the United States Code, Section 212- these are the grounds under which an alien would be ineligible to be lawfully admitted into the United States:
INA: ACT 212 – GENERAL CLASSES OF ALIENS INELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE VISAS AND INELIGIBLE FOR ADMISSION; WAIVERS OF INADMISSIBILLITY
When you consider that grounds under which an alien is supposed to be excluded from the United States, you quickly realize that the inspections process is not simply a formality but represents and effort to insure national security and community safety.
Next I want you to understand that when an alien is not inspected by CBP there is no record of that alien entering our country. This means that there is no way to know when an illegal alien actually entered our country or know anything about the identity of that alien because he (she) may not have any identity document on his possession at the time of entry. This further means that if such an illegal alien is arrested by law enforcement officers on the city, state or even federal level, running that individual’s fingerprints will not reflect that the person arrested was admitted as an alien into the United States. This makes it relatively easy for a criminal alien to falsely claim to be a United States citizen. Without adequate resources, law enforcement agencies may well not discover that a convicted criminal is not a United States citizen and thus such a criminal may not come to the attention of ICE.
In my 30 years with the former INS, I can tell you that false claims to United States citizenship were very common. Today, it is my understanding that many of the criminal aliens who are placed into removal (deportation) proceedings are identified as being aliens when their fingerprints reflect that they are aliens. This creates a huge “hole” in the system which results in aliens evading the agents of ICE and remain in the United States after they complete their jail sentences after they are convicted for committing felonies.
The porous border that all too often acts as little more than a speed bump to so many illegal aliens, enable aliens whose presence in our county represents a threat to our well being, on so many levels to enter our country. This is especially worrisome given the ongoing “War on Terror,” War on Crime” and “War on “Drugs!”
Please consider just how dangerous conditions are in Mexico today.
On Monday, April 18th, the Washington Times published and posted an Associated Press news report with the following headline- that reported on how Mexican are now attempting to cope with a level of violence that is impossible to comprehend: Drug war killings in Mexico grisly beyond words Slang terms created as a way to deal with reality.
Here is a link to that news report in its entirety:
Here is an excerpt from this news report that makes it clear that there is a war raging in the country that shares more than 2,000 miles of border with the United States:
“….But sensitive to the human cost of the drug war – more than 34,000 people killed in the first four years of the offensive – officials go to pains to emphasize that the violence originates with cartel gunmen, not the police and soldiers fighting them.
In April, the government officially changed the name of its public database of drug war deaths from “Homicides Presumably Related to Organized Crime” to “Death Presumably Related to Criminal Rivalries.”
The media also are beginning to watch their language. A voluntary agreement signed in late March by Mexico’s most powerful broadcasters and many newspapers says news stories should “avoid using the terminology used by criminals.”
The accord did not give any specific list of words to avoid.
Prominent newspapers such as Reforma and La Jornada chose not to sign the agreement, and some media figures such as columnist and author Guadalupe Loaeza say they won’t be bound by what she calls “self-censorship.”
“It is absurd, it’s a puritanical measure,” said Mr. Loaeza. The world of drug cartels and drug violence “is our reality, and it has to be written about.”
It is it would certainly seem that the Mexican government is attempting to acclimate their citizens to the extreme violence that has become so pervasive and make it almost appear to be nothing unusual.
(This is a bit reminiscent of the way that, in our country, there has been a concerted effort to strike the legal term “Alien” from the vernacular when discussing the issue of immigration!)
The U.S./Mexican border is all that separates our country from the violence and lunacy that now passes for “business as usual” in Mexico. The border is supposed to act as a dam, keeping flood waters out. However that “dam” leaks like the proverbial sieve and the result is that there are now hundreds of thousands of transnational gang members in the United States plying their “trades” in cities across our nation from coast to coast and border to border!
My fear, and this is a fear many of my former colleagues share is that if we do not secure our borders and create an immigration system that has real integrity, then just as New Orleans was hammered by the flood waters of Hurricane Katrina, our cities and towns from coast to coast and border to border will experience the level of violence that has become commonplace in Mexico as our nation is flooded by criminals and terrorists from all over the world!
Yet we are told that the border is now secure! The problem is that no one really believes Napolitano so she needs to come up with a way of convincing the citizens of our nation that the border really is secure.
Her problem- and a problem shared by all who are pushing, yet again, for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, is to come up with some empirical evidence as to the level of security to be found at the border. The question is, how do you demonstrate that the border is secure?
Apparently the answer is to show that fewer illegal aliens are entering our country. You have to presume that if fewer illegal aliens are attempting to run our borders, then the Border Patrol will be making fewer arrests. Therein lies the challenge- to get the arrest numbers to decline. And now we come to the Fox News report about how the Border Patrol is being ordered to not arrest illegal aliens but simply chase them away!
Never forget the famous saying, “Figures don’t lie by liars can figure!”
This is a dangerous tactic because they had to realize that some angered Border Patrol agents would complain about such insane orders- yet, it would appear that the administration is apparently desperate enough to create the illusion of a secure border that they have pressured the Border Patrol to stop making so many arrests!
I cannot prove it, but I believe that the Bush administration was also eager to get the arrest numbers down along the Mexican border and that their way of accomplishing this was to prosecute Border Patrol Agents Ramos and Compean in an effort to intimidate our valiant Border Patrol agents and make them less likely to do their jobs. Perhaps even with the intimidation factor the administration decided that more needed to be done to get those arrest statistics down!
By now you are probably wondering why the administration would be so desperate to create the illusion that the border is secure. I think that the CNN news report I have provided to you will help explain what is behind the “numbers game” that the DHS is playing. The CNN news article reported on how President Obama conducted a meeting yesterday with supporters of Comprehensive Immigration Reform insisting that the immigration system is broken and the solution is to place illegal aliens on a pathway to United States citizenship.
Consider this quote from the article:
Obama told the gathering that he remains committed to seeking a comprehensive approach “that both strengthens security at our borders while restoring accountability to the broken immigration system,” according to a White House statement.
The president’s statement represents a variation on the theme we heard the last time Comprehensive Immigration Reform was being debated- we need to first secure the border and then we can have Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Therefore it is essential to try to convince the citizens of our nation that the borders are now secure- a point often made by Janet Napolitano and Senator Chuck Schumer, the Chairman of the Senate Immigration Subcommittee. Others have also linked a secure border with Comprehensive Immigration Reform. However, the problem is that the border is not secure- in fact, I am convinced that every time that Napolitano and the other “usual suspects” claim that the border is secure that their noses start growing just like Pinocchio’s!
Next we need to consider whether or not the issue of border security really is the determining factor about whether or not Comprehensive Immigration Reform should be enacted.
To my thinking, if you consider the issue of determining if our nation is ready for the enactment of Comprehensive Immigration Reform the way that a pilot pre-flights an airplane before hurtling down the runway to take to the sky- you realize that a diligent pilot has a list of important items on his “Pre-Flight Checklist.”
When I was a younger I took flying lessons and managed to log about 20 hours of solo time, although I never got my license- it was the common problem of not enough time and/or not enough money! However, I do recall that it took about 15 minutes to thoroughly preflight a single engine light airplane. Airliners can take much, much longer!
How would you feel if your boarded an airliner and was told that the captain decided that to save time he simply went out onto the runway and kicked a couple of the tires and, determining that they were inflated declared the airplane safe to fly? A proper preflight inspection should include everything from the free movement of control surfaces, the condition of the engine(s). the electrical systems, the radios and navigation equipment and a long list of other such factors. But in the hypothetical case of the pilot who simply kicked a couple of tires and declared the airliner to be airworthy- I think just about everyone on board the airplane- if they knew about the slipshod “preflight” conducted by the captain, would head for the exits as quickly as possible!
Immigration is a system, not unlike an airplane. Certainly our border must be made secure if our country is to be protected. However, you need only consider the abysmal state of affairs at USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) to realize that the way that applications for various immigration benefits are adjudicated including the conferring of lawful immigrant status and even United States citizenship, is carried out by that beleaguered agency, you quickly come to the conclusion that there is virtually no integrity to the system. Yet USCIS would be the agency that would be put in charge of administering Comprehensive Immigration Reform.
The preflighting of an airplane is literally a matter of life and death. The way that our nation fails to secure our nation’s borders and provides lawful immigration status to aliens even when these aliens lie about their true identities is also a matter of life and death! Citizenship provides the “keys to the kingdom” for those aliens who succeed in naturalizing. Furthermore- you may not know this, but when an alien is naturalized, that alien may take any name he or she wants on the day he is sworn in as a new citizen. When that alien applies for a United States passport that alien’s U.S. passport only displays the name under which the alien was naturalized! This means that through the lawful naturalization process, an alien can put himself into his own “witness protection program!” Think of the national security implications that this has!
The last time that an effort was made to get Comprehensive Immigration Reform rammed through the legislative process, it was determined that at least 100,000 applications for legalization would have to be processed each and every workday! This would have to be done in addition to the “normal” workload! Each year USCIS processes more than 6 million applications. Time and again GAO (General Accountability Office) and OIG (Office of Inspector General) reports indicate that USCIS is already overwhelmed with its current workload. Often the leaders at USCIS talk about how their number one priority is to clear up the backlog of applications. Here is something you may not know, or may not have given thought to.
The adjudications officers at USCIS- the bureaucrats who make the decisions as to whether or not to confer an immigration benefit upon aliens who seek to change immigration status, extend their period of time in the United States, be granted lawful immigrant status or naturalize and become a United States citizen, are rewarded for productivity. As you know, there is an inverse relationship between accuracy and productivity. The faster you work, the more that the quality of the work you do suffers.
This is a point that reminds me of the episode of I Love Lucy when Lucy and her sidekick, Ethel got jobs at a candy factory where they were supposed to wrap morsels of candy as they were delivered to them on a conveyor belt.
Initially all went smoothly when the belt began to pick up speed and soon the bonbons were hurtling at them at warp speed! This made for one of the most hilarious episodes in the annals of television comedy- Lucy and Ethel frantically try to keep up with the candy and in order to keep up they try eating the candy and stuffing the morsels down their clothing but to no avail!
For those who are too young to have seen this episode, or if you want to relive that classic bit of television history, here is a video of Lucy and Ethel at the bonbon factory:
Where applications of immigration benefits are concerned, however, the hapless adjudications officers at USCIS can not eat the applications nor can they stuff them down their clothing! These adjudications officers quickly find out that the easiest and quickest way of disposing of applications for immigration benefits and even for United States citizenship is to simply approve the applications.
It only take a minute or two if an adjudications officer approves an application but it can take an hour or more to deny an application and prepare the report and other paperwork. If the goal is to dispose of the maximum number of applications per day, then it becomes readily apparent that the only way to be rewarded for productivity is to approve as many applications as possible!
Incredibly, in that article CNN lamented the failure of the DREAM Act to pass in the last Congressional session and painted an extremely misleading image about the requirements an alien would have to meet in order to be eligible to participate in the DREAM Act. They conveniently omitted the fact that aliens who had not yet attained their 30 birthday would be eligible to seek lawful status. This is not an inconsequential point. By including illegal aliens who are approaching middle age, millions of illegal aliens would qualify and because many of them might well have been out of school for more than a decade it would extremely easy to make a false claim as to their identities and when they actually entered the United States. There would be no easy way to determine whether or not they had actually attended school in the United States. Additionally, we also wind up with the same problems that Comprehensive Immigration Reform have- that it would be easy for criminals and terrorists to create fictitious aliases for themselves. This is why I have come to refer to Comprehensive Immigration Reform as being the “Terrorist Assistance and Facilitation Act!”
On July 27, 2006 I was invited to provide testimony at a hearing conducted by the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims on the topic:
“whether The Attempted Implementation of The Reid-Kennedy Immigration Bill Will Result in An Administrative and National Security Nightmare”
Here is the link to the transcript of that hearing:
Here is a segment of my testimony at that hearing:
The outrage is that while the citizens of this nation have all but lost their expectations of privacy and freedom in the name of national security, the President and a number of other “leaders” are all but declaring that running our nation’s borders and evading the inspections process that is supposed to safeguard our nation and our citizens, an others who live and work within our nation’s borders should be a prerequisite for naturalization!
The effective enforcement and administration of our nation’s immigration laws are, arguably, among the most important of all missions that are supposed to be carried out by our federal government.
Nothing less than the security of our nation and safety of our citizens hang in the balance!
A country without secure borders can no more stand than can a house without walls!
I f 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 in writing this and other commentaries 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.
If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, 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!”
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 resolve this year to get involved!
I believe our nation 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 or members of other transnational gangs or members of al-Qaeda!
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!