The news article I have linked below appears in today’s edition of the Washington Times and is of interest because it underscores the basic fact that politically savvy politicians are apparently aware of just how unpopular a massive amnesty program, under the aegis of “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” is to the majority of the citizens of our nation.
Chuck Schumer, the senior senator from the State of New York and the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is, nevertheless, pushing forward and attempting to convince his colleagues in the United States Senate that Comprehensive Immigration Reform can be made to work. He claims that television figures such as Lou Dobbs and Bill O’Reily are in agreement with him on Comprehensive Immigration Reform. I certainly cannot speak for either of those gentlemen even though I have appeared on O’Reilly’s show a few times and on Lou’s program dozens of times.
My question for Mr. Schumer and those who favor Comprehensive Immigration Reform is, “What part of no don’t you get?”
The problem is not only one of philosophy but of pragmatism.
Philosophically I am also opposed to the granting of amnesty to millions of aliens who have never had the right to even be in our country, let alone work here and do other things that represented a violation of laws ranging from immigration laws that were promulgated to protect our nation and our citizens from foreign nationals whose presence in our country, in one way or another, would be harmful. Generally these illegal aliens also violate other laws in order to accomplish their goals, including crimes relating to the use of false identity documents- including identity theft.
Schumer is now touting the proposal of the creation of a new Social Security card which would include biometric components to make it a more secure document. Notwithstanding some of the complaints I have read about the use of biometrics in conjunction with such documents, I believe that the inclusion of biometrics on Social Security cards would be a good thing- making it that much more difficult for the bad guys to commit identity theft. However, in the case of millions of illegal aliens whose true identities are unknown, it makes absolutely no sense to provide these millions of individuals who have no way of authenticating their true identities with an official identity document that would bear any name that they would claim relates to them.
We know that bad guys use multiple false identities in order to conceal their true identities and to “cover their tracks” as they commit various crimes along the way. We know that the terrorists, such as the 19 who attacked our nation on September 11, 2001 used multiple false identities to achieve their horrific goals in slaughtering 3 thousand innocent victims and injuring so many more.
The problem is not just to create secure identity documents but to truly know what names to put on those documents!
The Real ID Act was intended to remove the bureaucratic foliage the bad guys conceal themselves in. By providing massive numbers of illegal aliens whose identities are unknown and unknowable, with official identity documents in names that may or may not truly relate to them, we would facilitate the process by which terrorists and criminals have traditionally embedded themselves in our country. This would be a wrong headed approach at any item, but is especially disturbing in this particularly dangerous era in which our nation and our citizens are in the crosshairs of terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda and Hezbollah and criminal organizations such as the sophisticated and extremely violent Mexican drug cartels. Yet this is precisely what Schumer’s plan would require our nation to do.
We have been told that each alien seeking to legalize himself under the provisions of Comprehensive Immigration Reform would undergo a security check. This sound wonderful, but, once again the proposal fails to take reality into account.
A security check would simply require that the fingerprints and the name an alien would provide on his application be run through a computer database to determine if his name is on any terrorist watch list or is otherwise known to law enforcement or intelligence agencies. It is also important to remember that most of the names on the government’s “No Fly” lists are often based on names only and that all too often there are no biometrics to further identify an individual on that “No Fly” list.
A terrorist or criminal who had never been fingerprinted in our country would pass the fingerprint component of the process. If the name he (she) provided was a false name, even if that person’s true name is on every terror watch list in the world, the false name would come up clean. Within 48 hours that alien would be granted a temporary identity document that could be immediately used in order to obtain a driver’s license, a super-duper secure Social Security card including a biometric identifier such as the one Mr. Schumer would have our government create, and other such official documents. These documents would provide terrorists and criminals with a number of immediate benefits. They could secure jobs, including jobs of national security significance, they could travel freely around our country in any way they would want including by boarding airliners and they could open bank accounts and own property- all under their newly assumed identities. These individuals would also be able to easily enter all sorts of government and corporate buildings- having secured for themselves a level of credibility that they are not entitled to- aided and abetted by Schumer’s programs!
If there is no way of truly identifying the millions of illegal aliens who would undoubtedly seize the opportunity to participate in Comprehensive Immigration Reform, then there is no way of knowing if the alien applying for inclusion in this wacky program entered the United States 5 years ago or 5 weeks ago. Further complicating the adjudication process for this ill-conceived program is the fact that many illegal aliens use multiple false identities. As an INS special agent, I often encountered illegal aliens who had as many as ten sets of false identity documents hidden in his apartment. I used to joke that the difference between a good guy and a bad guy was that the good guy gets up in the morning and goes through his stuff to figure out want he wants to wear that day, while the bad guy wakes up and goes through his stuff and decides on who he wants to be that day!
Proponents for Comprehensive Immigration Reform are quick to claim that the “System is broken.”
I could not agree more – the system is, indeed, broken. A succession of GAO and OIG reports have made it clear that immigration fraud is a huge problem at USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services). This agency has clearly proven itself to be incapable of dealing with its massive workload now, where each year the beleaguered adjudicators at that agency process more than 6 million applications. Comprehensive Immigration Reform would require that inept and incompetent agency to suddenly have to deal with a minimum of an additional one hundred thousand applications each and every day (This was a component of the last version of Comprehensive Immigration Reform of nearly 3 years ago.)
Here is a link to just a few of the GAO issued reports on various aspects of immigration benefit fraud and other failings of the immigration system.
It has been said that you only get one opportunity to make a first impression. For millions of people around the world, the first impression that they have of the United States is derived from the way that the United States secures its borders (barely) and adjudicates applications for visas and various immigration benefits including the conferring of resident alien status and United States citizenship upon aliens. By not aggressively seeking to uncover fraud and punish those who would defraud our government by gaming the immigration system, that first impression is a dangerous one- In the United States law violators cannot only expect to get away with violating our borders and our laws, in the United States our “leaders,” from the President on down to various senators (especially Schumer and company) and members of the House of Representatives (Pelosi and company) are fighting hard to reward those who commit those violations of law!
A final thought: when an alien runs our nation’s borders there is no entry of his (her) entry into our country. There is also no way of knowing if that alien is simply desperate for a job and paycheck- a violation of law, in and of itself, or if that alien is fleeing law enforcement authorities in another country for committing serious crimes. There is no way of knowing if the intentions of that illegal aliens are relatively innocuous of if that alien is seeking to enter our country to pursue criminal or terrorist goals. There is simply much not known about that illegal alien. Comprehensive Immigration Reform would not, as its proponents claims, bring millions of illegal aliens out of the shadows but rather provide them with the camouflage of new identities and lawful status to which they are not entitled!
I have often said that the difference between lawful immigrant and an illegal alien is comparable to the difference between a houseguest and a burglar. Providing illegal aliens whose very presence in our nation represents a violation of law and a potential threat to national security and the well being of our citizens and lawful immigrants makes about as much sense as providing a burglar with a key to the front door of the house he had broken into!
A country without secure borders can no more stand than can a house without walls!
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 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.
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 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.
Later this year, each and every member of the House of Representatives is up for reelection. Later this year 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!
Immigration effort lacks 2nd backer from GOP [Washington Times]