The extremely worrisome news report that is the predication for my commentary makes it clear that the immigration crisis that confronts our nation today has a direct nexus to national security.
The point is that there are hundreds of thousands of alien criminals in the United States who are linked to transnational gangs. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations has made it crystal clear that the concerns that have been articulated repeatedly about how transnational gangs are working cooperatively with international terrorist organizations are justified.
Consider this excerpt from the news report in which I bolded key words:
It noted with concern “the close connection between terrorism and transnational organized crime, including trafficking of illicit drugs, money-laundering, illegal arms trafficking, and illegal movement of nuclear, chemical, biological and other potentially deadly materials.”
Urging all to ensure zero-tolerance towards terrorism, it called for urgent action to prevent and combat the scourge by preventing those who finance, plan, facilitate or commit terrorist acts from using their respective territories and bringing them to justice.
Member States were also urged to prevent the movement of terrorists, including the supply of weapons, through effective border controls, to ensure that funds for charitable purposes are not diverted to terrorist purposes, to implement comprehensive strategies to address conditions that lead to the spread of terrorism including radicalization and recruitment, and to take appropriate steps to prevent and counter incitement to commit terrorist acts.
If transnational gangs are able to smuggle illegal aliens, they can and do smuggle criminals and terrorists- if they smuggle narcotics they can smuggle weapons and nuclear, chemical or biological materials.
Apparently this is the concern and findings of the United Nations!
Additionally, terrorism, not unlike organized crime is all too often funded by criminal activities. The sale of narcotics and other related crimes funds the cartels and also funds terrorist organizations. I have been involved in investigations of individuals linked to Middle Eastern terrorist organizations that committed coupon fraud where members or sympathizers of terrorist organizations who owned or operated small grocery stores or “bodegas” submitted coupons to various corporations for redemption but where those store keepers did not actually sell the products relating to those coupons. In some instances, the operators of these bodegas ultimately decided to set fire to those stores in order to secure insurance money that was then sent to fill the coffers of the terrorist organizations in the Middle East. In some instances, people who lived in apartments above those stores were critically injured or killed.
Yet Janet Napolitano and members of the administration take every opportunity to declare our borders to be safe!
How safe is safe when the threats to our nation’s survival and security are as severe as they now are?
Think about the stringent measures that have been implemented at airports to keep terrorists and weapons off of airliners- think how many billions of dollars have been spent and how our expectations of privacy and freedom have been whittled away, all in the name of “national security” even as on a daily basis unknown thousands or perhaps tens of thousands of illegal aliens run our nation’s borders or manage to enter the United States by gaming the visa process or under the auspices of the wrong-headed and extremely dangerous Visa Waiver Program and them via the inspections process and then, in one way or another, violate the terms of their admission into the United States as did the terrorists of the 9/11 attacks and in many other instances.
While we are on the topic of how terrorists have gamed the process by which visas are provided to students from foreign countries that enable them to enter the United States, we should also consider how often aliens engage in marriage fraud whereby they marry a United States citizen or resident alien in order to secure an Alien Registration Card (Green Card) that signifies that they have been granted lawful immigrant status and have been placed on the pathway to United States citizenship. We should consider how many aliens have gamed the visa programs that provide temporary visas for foreign workers, who, contrary to the intention of the law, do indeed replace American and resident alien workers by accepting much lower wages and virtually no benefit packages. In fact, many times such “temporary workers” don’t even meet the qualifications to do the jobs they claim they will do and take on totally different jobs secure in the knowledge that ICE will have no interest in looking for them because of an abject lack of resources to conduct field investigations!
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:
On May 11, 2006 I testified before the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Committee on International Relations on the topic:
“VISA OVERSTAYS: CAN WE BAR THE TERRORIST DOOR?”
You can read the transcript of that hearing at:
Here is a link to a CNN report that was titled, “Tracking Down Visa Violators:”
Casey Wian and his producer, Sara Weisfeldt interviewed me for this report and I appear briefly on screen.
On May 10, 2010 I was interviewed by Daniel Gonzalez, a reporter with the Arizona Republic for an news report titled, “U.S. not cracking down on immigrants with expired visas.” Here is the link to the news report in which I was quoted:
In July of this year I wrote a commentary that was predicated on the outrageous news report that appeared in the Chicago Tribune on July 18, 2011 that reported on how some 58,000 Iraqi refugees who had been admitted into the United States had apparently not been adequately screened and had to be re-screened, presuming of course, that they could be found!
Here is a link to that Chicago Times report:
Here is an excerpt from that commentary I wrote that began by citing another infuriating news report that appeared in the Washington Times drawing a clear nexus between visa violators and vulnerabilities to terrorist attacks:
Visas reviewed to find those who overstayed Aim is to find any would-be terrorists Here is the link to this news report:
Here is a link to the commentary I wrote about this report:
Let us now consider the July 18th Chicago Tribune news report concerning the concerns about the possibility that terrorists may be among the 58,000 Iraqi refugees who were admitted into the United States. Once again it would seem that the immigration system whose primary goal should be to prevent terrorists and criminals from entering our country has failed!
Here is a link to Title 8, United States Code, Section 212, the section of the Immigration and Nationality Act that enumerates the various categories of aliens who are statutorily ineligible to enter the United States:
The headline to the is certainly ominous but I want to start out by providing you with the first few sentences of that report here:
In a far-reaching inquiry, authorities are rescreening more than 58,000 Iraqi refugees living in the United States amid concerns that lapses in immigration security may have allowed former insurgents and potential terrorists to enter the country, U.S. officials said.
The investigation was given added urgency after U.S. intelligence agencies warned that Al Qaeda leaders in Iraq and Yemen hadtried to target the U.S. refugee stream, or exploit other immigration loopholes, in an attempt to infiltrate the country with operatives.
The rescreening began late last year after the FBI learned that an Iraqi man in Kentucky had participated in roadside bomb attacks in Iraq before he was granted U.S. political asylum in 2009. He and another Iraqi refugee were arrested in an FBI sting in May on charges of trying to send explosives and missiles to Iraq for use against Americans.
So far, immigration authorities have given the FBI about 300 names of Iraqi refugees for further investigation. The FBI won’t say whether any have been arrested or pose a potential threat.
Give that first sentence some real thought- there were “lapses in immigration security” in a system that enabled citizens of a “Special Interest Country” that is to say a country identified with the sponsorship of terrorism to enter our country? Are the “Keystone Kops” in charge of the national security of the United States?
Please do not misunderstand what I am saying- I am extremely sympathetic to the plight of individuals whose lives are threatened because of religion, ethnicity, etc. My grandmother perished in the Holocaust. I was named for her. Had my own mother not been allowed to lawfully immigrate to the United States she would likely not have survived the Holocaust and I would never have been born nor, consequently, would my own children have been born. HOWEVER, given the extreme threat of terrorism, would it not occur to the “leaders” of USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services that they really better know who they are permitting to enter our country *before* they admit them into the United States?
By permitting potential terrorists into our country they not only endanger our nation in obvious ways, they also imperil the very refugees that were admitted into the United States to protect them!
Consider this additional sentence from the news report:
In the Kentucky case, the FBI learned in November from a confidential informant that Waad Ramadan Alwan had constructed improvised roadside bombs in Iraq before he was granted U.S. asylum in April 2009.*
I could understand if perhaps information was developed after this guy was admitted into the United States, but when information about an individual was involved in the construction of a bomb, that information, you would think, would be immediately transmitted to any agency of the United States government that is involved in permitting aliens to enter the United States. This would certainly include CBP, USCIS and ICE as well as the Department of State!
Yet seven years after the attacks of 9/11 the FBI apparently had information about a terrorist who was engaged in constructing bombs used to kill our soldiers and others and that information was not provided to other government agencies!
On November 3, 2011 the Office of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri issued a press release that was entitled:
LOCAL MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO PROVIDING MATERIAL SUPPORT TO TERRORIST ORGANIZATION
What was astonishing is that the “Local man” was actually a citizen of Somalia who had immigrated to the United States from Somalia!
Here is the link to the press release:
It is unacceptable that our own government is unwilling to accurately and honestly depict a Somali immigrant as being an immigrant but rather chose to describe him by the nondescript term: “Local man!”
However, just one year earlier a local news report about the same individual clearly identifying him and a cohort in their efforts to raise funds for terrorist attacks in Africa as being immigrants from Somalia!
Here is a link to that news report:
Here is an excerpt from that news report:
A man who immigrated to St. Louis from Somalia and worked as a driver for Express Airport Cab has been charged with funding a terrorist organization in his native country.
According to a federal indictment handed down last week, Mohamud Abdi Yusuf collected money in St. Louis that was secretly funneled to al-Shabaab, the Islamic militant group that’s seeking to takeover the east African nation. In February of 2008 the U.S. State Department added al-Shabaab to its list of foreign terrorist organizations.
The indictment states that Yusuf and his associates first plotted to raise money for al-Shabaab in January 2008 and knew it had been declared a terrorist outfit when they began sending funds to the group in June of 2008. Yusuf allegedly funneled the payments to an intermediary in Kenya and Somalia by the name of Duwayne Mohamed Diriye.
Stop and consider how many news reports, GAO reports and OIG reports have made it clear that there is not a single component of the immigration system that has a shred of meaningful integrity!
Time and again we have been told that the terrorists only have to be right one time in order to succeed while our government needs to get it right 100% of the time in order to protect us! Every time an illegal alien is smuggled into the United States or games the visa process, takes advantage of the Visa Waiver Program and then manages to hide in plain sight or embed himself (herself) the potential exists that the alien in question is involved in terrorism or transnational crime.
The open borders advocates would claim that this statement vilifies “immigrants.” There are two responses- first of all, the difference between an immigrant and an illegal alien is equivalent to the difference between a houseguest and a burglar. Second- every American regardless of age, gender, race or ethnicity is scrutinized before they are permitted to get on board an airliner. Why then should not aliens seeking to enter our country, especially in this perilous era not be subjected to serious scrutiny?
The bottom line is that the stakes could not be higher!
It is time we were given true national security and not the illusion of national security!
I fear that as we saw in 1993 and again in 2001, at some point in the future, terrorists will have once again gamed this “system” that has even less integrity than the southern border of this country and do grave harm to our nation and our citizens.
Clearly the Secretary General of the United Nations understands the extreme importance of border security- if only the leaders of the United States would be willing to understand this and act accordingly and with haste! Time is not on our side!
It is time for our nation’s leaders, on all levels, to come to terms with the fundamental fact that the basis of our immigration laws is to protect our nation and our citizens from aliens whose presence has the potential to have a serious adverse impact. Ignoring those laws exposes our nation and our citizens to a variety of serious threats and challenges!
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.
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 get involved!
I believe our nation’s 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 our government’s failures to secure our nation’s borders and effectively enforce our immigration laws 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!