Response to ‘American Citizen From Maryland and 5 Iranians Indicted’

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I have attached a copy of a press release that was issued yesterday, June 8th, by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) along with the beginning of a news report that appears in todays edition of the Washington Post. You can read the Washington Post article in its entirety by clicking on the link I provided.

Both news reports discuss how a naturalized citizen of the United States who had been born in Iran, allegedly conspired with 5 citizens of Iran with a scheme to provide technology to their native country of Iran that subsequently enabled Iran to launch a spy satellite. Only the naturalized citizen has thus far been arrested. He was identified as being Nader Modanlo and is identified as being the principle owner, chairman and president and Final Analysis, Incorporated (FAI) a Maryland based company that became bankrupt.

While neither the ICE press release nor the Washington Post article delve into how Mr. Modanlo managed to apparently legally immigrate to the United States, the Washington Post article does note that:

“Nader Modanlo, 49, a U.S. citizen who once told The Washington Post he came to the United States to study science and engineering,…”

The news article provided additional information about Modanlo stating:

“A 1999 Washington Post article identified Modanlo as a former NASA scientist who said he came to the United States from Iran to study at George Washington University. From 1979 to 1987, he said, he earned several degrees.”

While I hate to engage in speculation- it would appear that either Mr. Modanlo came to the United States along with his family or may have initially entered the United States as a student and armed with his education he received in the United States, went on to acquire United States citizenship and then allegedly repaid our nation by betraying it!

I would love to know if he had committed immigration fraud along the way or if it had been his intention, early on, to engage in espionage in the United States. It should be noted that it was about the time of his arrival in the United States that the United States embassy at Tehran was overrun by Iranian “students” who took some 30 Americans hostage at our embassy.

Indeed, it was during the seizure of the Embassy of the United States that INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) special agents were tasked with attempting to locate Iranians in the United States who might have been involved in activities that were harmful to our nation. I recall those efforts quite vividly- I was one of those INS special agents, back then, who was tasked with conducting those investigations.

What is remarkable and disturbing to me is that Nader Modanlo is described in both the Washington Post headline as well as the headline of the ICE press release as simply being a United States citizen. The headline of the Washington Post described him as a “Maryland businessman” while the headline of the ICE press release described him as being an “American citizen from Maryland.”

It is amazing, to me, that the Washington Post article actually provided more information about his immigration history than did the ICE press release!

Wouldn’t you think that the enforcement agency that has unique authority to enforce the immigration laws would have more than a passing interest in the fact that the key player of this case had acquired his United States citizenship through the naturalization process?

Is it not reasonable to presume that if Modanlo had not been naturalized he might not have been in the position to form his own company that ultimately enabled him to carry out the crimes he allegedly committed?

Also worth noting is the fact that the other 5 defendants have not, as yet, been apprehended and nothing was noted in either article about their respective immigration status.

The enforcement and administration of the immigration laws may be nearly an afterthought to our government officials- however, the important point to remember is that there is an exceedingly strong possibility that the crimes that these guys are charged with could not have been carried out had they not been able to enter the United States!

It is also worth noting that this case does not involve a “sting” where no harm is done to our country. This case involves the successful launch of a spy satellite by a nation that is rapidly moving towards the development of nuclear weapons and threatens the survival of our nation’s closest ally in the Middle East, Israel.

I will concede that it is entirely possible that even with every reasonable effort that Mr. Modanlo might have succeeded in becoming a naturalized citizen. The problem is that I have absolutely no faith in the way that USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) conducts its operations.

On May 11, 2010, the Senate Judiciary Committee conducted an oversight hearing into the way that USCIS carries out its vital missions. Senator Jeff Sessions, the Ranking Republican of the Senate Judiciary Committee quoted me at that hearing and then provided me with a rare opportunity to provide him with a statement about my concerns about how that agency does its job so that he could include it in the official record of that oversight hearing. You can read my commentary about that hearing and review my statement by clicking on the link below:

http://michaelcutler.net/2010/05/18/statement-i-provided-for-inclusion-into-record-of-may-11th-senate-judiciary-committee-oversight-hearing-into-uscis/

You will note that the link will take you to my website where I posted that commentary and my statement. (I would urge you to check out other items I have posted on my website)

I have made this point innumerable times but I think it is important to once again simply state that immigration law violations are not victimless crimes!

All too often we have seen instances where terrorists, spies and hard core criminals easily gamed the immigration bureaucracy in order to enter our country and then embed themselves in our country. Yet the President and member of his administration as well as members of both the House of Representatives and the United States Senate seem all too eager to ignore the nexus between immigration law enforcement and national security.

As I have also noted on ever so many occasions- this is the number one reason I am adamantly opposed to the implementation of “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” because there would be absolutely no way of knowing the true identities, backgrounds, affiliations or intentions of millions or, most likely, tens of millions of illegal aliens who would eagerly seek to participate in this massive amnesty program.

As the news of the ongoing prosecution of Modanlo and his 5 co-conspirators is reported in the media, I will be curious to know how the other defendants managed to enter the United States. I am also curious to know if they either committed visa fraud or immigration benefit fraud.

I hope our law enforcement authorities have an easier time of find these individuals than they have had in attempting to locate some 300 illegal aliens who were smuggled into the United States and then went “missing!”

I wish our agents “good hunting” and safety as they seek to round up these suspects.

If reading this makes it difficult for you to sleep now- perhaps you could do something worthwhile- perhaps you might spend a couple of your sleepless hours writing letters to your elected representatives this evening and remind them that Election Day is just months away!

We the People can add to the consternation of these 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 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. We need to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”

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!

See: Md. Businessman Arrested; Among Six Charged in Iranian Satellite Scheme, By Maria Glod

Also See: American citizen from Maryland and 5 Iranians indicted in conspiracy to illegally provide satellite technology to Iran