Border Security to be Followed By Amnesty

The news article “Obama reverses stance on immigration” appears in today’s edition of the Washington Times and is of great importance. I certainly believe that the borders of the United States must be secured. [ Washington Times ]

After all, there are so many examples of what the failures of our nation to secure its borders have done to harm the United States and Mexico, as well.

Certainly our country must make border security a priority, but what concerns me is the title of the article. “Obama puts border enforcement first.”

What disturbs me is the obvious question that the title of the news article raises. “If border enforcement is first, what is second?”

Obviously, second is amnesty, aka “Comprehensive Immigration Reform!”

Before we contemplate the nightmare that Comprehensive Immigration Reform would represent, lets give some thought to the issue of border security.

President Calderon of Mexico blames his crisis created by the extremely violent Mexican Drug Cartels on the United States and the huge appetite all too many of our citizens have for the narcotics sold by the cartels in the United States which, in turn, causes billions of dollars of the proceeds of the drug trade to enrich the coffers of the cartels. The money has bought weapons, vehicles and other such equipment for the cartels and has also led to widespread corruption of politicians, police and military officials. This, in turn, has resulted in the deaths of thousands of citizens of Mexico each and every year and threatens to destabilize the government of Mexico.

Paradoxically, every time that our Congress has debated the construction of a fence on the Mexican border and take other measures to secure our border against illegal entry of aliens and smugglers and their poisonous cargo, the Mexican government howls about how wrong it would be to secure our border!

The point is that our nation is, indeed, addicted to narcotics. This must end. But there are two other addictions that the politicians on both sides of the border must own up to.

The United States has an addiction to the cheap and compliant labor that corporations and businesses crave. Traditionally our Republican politicians tended to go along with this goal to placate their wealthy campaign contributors. The Democratic Party was just as eager to placate various special interest groups such as the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and various pro-illegal alien groups that sought to swell the numbers of illegal aliens from Mexico because in those millions of illegal aliens, especially those from Mexico and other Latin American countries, they saw political leverage and money.

Another component of the desire for members of the Democratic Party to enable the flood of illegal aliens to cross our nation’s borders was the desire to curry favor with Latino voters and to also increase the population of major cities that tend to vote for Democratic Party candidates. This is a new way of engaging in gerrymandering by acquiring additional seats in the House of Representatives and hence, in the Electoral College when the census is conducted every decade.

As I have noted in previous commentaries, this is why, I believe, President Jimmy Carter ordered that immigration agents not seek to arrest illegal aliens when the census was being conducted towards the end of his administration.

Now that we have discussed the two addictions that the United States suffers from, we need to consider the addiction that Mexico suffers from. Mexico is addicted to the remittances sent back to Mexico by their citizens who work in the United States, many of them illegally present in the United States.

In fact, it is estimated that when you just consider the remittances, last year, totaling more than 20 billion dollars, that those remittances represent the second greatest source of income for the Mexican economy. (Second only to the sale of petroleum.) If you consider how much money is also moved from the United States to Mexico by covert means, it may well be that the money sent to Mexico from the United States by citizens of Mexico working in the United States illegally, is actually the number one source of revenue for that country.

This is why the Mexican government has actually published comic-book like brochures to explain to Mexicans how to evade the Border Patrol and enter the United States illegally. Subsequently the Mexican government resorted to producing and distributing video tapes with the same information for Mexican citizens who were enthusiastically encouraged to head for the United States.

Mexico’s government may well have an other concern in mind by urging their citizens to “Go north young man!”

The great majority of the Mexicans who make the arduous and dangerous trek north are young, able-bodied men. If there was an uprising in Mexico in reaction to the extreme poverty in which so many Mexican live, even though Mexico is one of the wealthiest nations in Latin America, it would be presumed that young, able-bodied men would be the ones to take up the cause.

By having an estimated ten percent of their population living in the United States, Mexico also exports the potential for insurrection and alleviates stresses on its hospitals and other such government funded institutions.

If you don’t believe that there is such a huge population of citizens of Mexico living in the United States, consider, if you will, that whenever there is a Presidential election in Mexico, the candidates for Mexico’s highest office campaign inside the United States!

Our politicians certainly know, full well, that the vast majority of Americans want our border with Mexico secured. Of course, this flies in the face of what all too many of those politicians want, so they engage in a sort of sleight-of-hand befitting an illusionist!

Our government has paid hundreds of millions of dollars for technology that is ineffective. This enables politicians to stand in front of their constituents and brag about how they voted for the installation of technology on the border, while making damned certain that the flow of illegal aliens continued, unabated, across our borders. Of course among those illegal aliens are criminals and terrorists and narcotics, but what is more important, protecting our nation and our citizens or garnering generous campaign contributions and votes?

When so many Americans fail to participate in the voting process and even more fail to contact their elected “representatives,” any special interest group that promises to deliver blocks of votes takes on even greater importance.

Several years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, our government spent more than 200 million dollars to install cameras on the border. As it turned out, many of the cameras were never installed and a significant number of those that were installed failed to work. According to testimony provided by T.J. Bonner, the president of the Border Patrol Council, the union that represents the nonsupervisory Border Patrol agents who stand watch on our nation’s borders, agents often turned off those cameras that did work because they knew that they had no chance to apprehend the illegal aliens who could be observed on the video monitors streaming with impunity across our borders.

I recall being interviewed on a radio or television program about those cameras. I was asked what my thoughts were. I told the interviewer that it was more important to invest money in physically securing the border and ending the “Catch and Release” program that made a virtual mockery of the efforts of the Border Patrol to apprehend illegal aliens. To make my point as clearly as I knew how, I asked the host of the program, “If you want to prevent having your house burglarized, would you put up cameras so that you could get an 8×10 glossy print of the burglar as he breaks into your house or would you put up gates and stronger locks on your door?”

Next we have heard about the “Virtual Fence.” I believe I might have been on Lou Dobbs’ show when I said, “A virtual fence will stop virtually no one!”

The next effort was given an absolutely military sounding name: SBI (Secure Border Initiative).

What a great sounding name that had! Millions of dollars later, that program is still a work in progress. Meanwhile, every day (and especially every night) the illegal aliens continue to run our nation’s borders!

So now, we are being told that the President who had originally opposed a fence on the border now wants a fence on the border. The reasoning seems to be that if he can create the illusion that the border is secure, he will be in a better position to push for “Comprehensive Immigration Reform.”

If you wonder why I refer to his stated efforts as being illusory here is my justification:

It has been estimated that some 40% of the illegal aliens currently present in the United States did not run our nation’s borders but rather entered the United States through ports of entry and the inspections process and then, in one way or another, violated the terms of their admission. They may have simply overstayed the amount of time for which they were admitted, they may have accepted unauthorized employment or failed to attend a school for which they were admitted (this applies to foreign students), or they may have committed a felony and were found guilty. The point is that a significant number of illegal aliens did not run our nation’s border.

If the President is determined to truly create an immigration system that has integrity, he needs to address this significant component of the illegal aliens population. I have never heard him or anyone in his administration address this serious problem. I have never heard him, or anyone in the administration such as Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano talk about reducing the number of countries that participate in the extremely dangerous Visa Waiver Program that President Bush increased from 27 countries to 35 countries shortly before he left office.

Three years ago, on May 11, 2006 I testified at a hearing called by the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Committee on International Relations; House of Representatives on the topic:


Hearing Transcript

That door is still wide open even as our nation is rapidly approaching the 8th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001!

Now we also need to ask a question that I do not believe that anyone in the administration wants to hear and certainly does not want to answer:

“What is being done to make certain that USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) is focused on a coherent effort to reduce rampant fraud in the immigration benefits program that this beleaguered agency administers?

The GAO has issued numerous reports on various aspects of immigration benefit fraud and other failings of the immigration system. You can see a list of these reports at GAO

Many of these issues remain unresolved. These issues must be resolved even before our government consider the issue of implementing “Comprehensive Immigration Reform.” Yet, virtually no one is raising these issues.

Comprehensive Immigration Reform would be anything but comprehensive! The focus is to simply provide unknown millions of illegal aliens with official identity documents, virtually overnight, even though there would be no reliable way of knowing their true identities. We would not, therefore be able to know when, where or how they entered the United States. This means that while it may sound reasonable to establish a date by which such illegal aliens have entered the United States to decide whether or not to provide them with lawful status, because most illegal aliens use multiple false identities, without the resources to conduct actual field investigations of each alien, there is no way a “security check” would even be worth the effort of running a name and a set of fingerprints through a computer database. False names would undoubtedly come up with “No Record.”

To think that claiming that the borders are secured (probably not) and then saying that a “security check” would weed out the bad guys is absolutely wrong!

This is the equivalent of an airline pilot simply walking around an airplane without physically checking all of the items on his preflight checklist and declaring the airplane airworthy.

Would you be willing to fly on that airplane? I sure as hell would not!

The lack of insight and competence that passes for “business as usual” leaves me absolutely underwhelmed!

Consider that Secretary of Homeland Security Napolitano has decided that the best way to go after the extremely violent Mexican drug cartels is to send agents to the border to stop money and guns from being smuggled into Mexico.

Please stop and consider how wacky this approach is.

The administration has stated that some 230 cities throughout the United States are now infested by members of this pernicious gang. (This does not address the many other criminal and narcotics trafficking gangs and organizations from many other countries and other parts of the world now operating in the United States ranging from the Colombian cartels, the Jamaican posses, the Asian gangs, the Russian mobs, etc., etc.)

If they are already here, inside the United States, how will sending agents to the border to check outbound traffic defeat those alien criminals who have already embedded themselves throughout the United States, killing members of their own communities and sending money back to the leaders of their respective criminal organizations in their home countries?

(If you came home and realized that burglars had broken into your home and were in the process of ransacking your bedrooms upstairs, would you secure your doors and declare things under control, or would you call for the police to confront and arrest the thugs who were in your bedrooms, and then, seek to secure your house after the bad guys were taken away?)

Naplitano’s plan could pass for something concocted by Inspector Clouseau or perhaps Maxwell Smart!

Where the security of our nation is concerned, we need more than a magic act and blue smoke!

With the lack of resources and an effective immigration system system that is utterly unable to deal with its current workload, a “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” program would amount to a suicide pact!

The safety of our nation begins at its borders but it does not end there. It is therefore essential that not only must our borders be secured, but that our immigration bureaucracy honor those who abide by the laws and seeks to weed out those who would commit fraud and those who would assist them.

An amnesty program aka Comprehensive Immigration Reform is one of the most dangerous programs our country could possibly implement.

We the People must not sit by passively and allow this madness to be foisted upon us and our nation. We the People must take our First Amendment rights seriously and make it our business to have our voices heard by those who purport to represent us!

Good citizenship does not end at the voting booth but it simply begins there. In order for our representative democracy to represent us, we need to communicate with our elected representatives to let them know in clear and unequivocal terms what we want.

I implore you to get involved!

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!

Michael Cutler
Michael Cutler, a former Senior INS Investigator, an expert witness in more than a dozen Congressional Hearings is a Fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies and an advisor to the '911 Families for a Secure America.' He writes about the nexus between immigration and national security.