Immigration is Not a Single Issue But a Singular Issue

Immigration is not a single issue but a singular issue. While many journalists, politicians and others discuss immigration as though it was a single, relatively unimportant issue, the great majority of our fellow Americans certainly understand just how important the immigration issue. Far from being an isolated issue that is primarily the concern of extreme political conservatives as it has been portrayed for a number of years, the various components of the immigration issue, including border security, are intrinsically involved in just about every challenge and threat that confronts our nation today.

Stop and give this a bit of thought. How can our nation defend itself and our citizens from international terrorists and transnational criminals including members of the extremely violent Mexican drug cartels, gangs such as MS-13 and other such gangs and criminal organizations from the four corners of our planet with millions of illegal aliens living in cities, towns and communities in every state from coast to coast and border to border? How can our nation defend itself and its citizens from the threats posed by the terrorists and drug trafficking organizations when our borders serve as little more than speed bumps to smugglers and those who would enter our country with all sorts of contraband including narcotics and potentially weapons of mass destruction?

While record numbers of American workers are unemployed or underemployed and are losing their already tenuous grip on their thin slice of the “American Dream” millions of foreign workers are entering our nation and taking millions of jobs. Not all of those jobs are at the bottom rung of the economic ladder, either! Thousands of “temporary” foreign workers with H-1B visas and similar nonimmigrant work visas are working in high-tech jobs while American computer programmers, engineers, scientists and technicians are losing their jobs to these foreign interlopers who have been admitted into the United States at the behest of corporations who have, through the use of effectively applied pressure, convinced the administration and members of Congress to permit these foreign workers to take those jobs so desperately needed by our highly qualified fellow Americans!

For years, the open borders advocates have been very good at the use of language to obfuscate the truth. They have all but stricken the term “Alien” from our vernacular, insisting that this totally innocuous term is comparable to the “N” word- an effort that began with the Carter administration in the late 1970’s when INS employees were threatened with disciplinary action if they used the term “Illegal Alien” to describe aliens who were illegally present in the United States. Back then I was an INS Special Agent and I still recall the anger and frustration my colleagues and I felt when we were given those insane orders by our superiors in the New York District Office where I spent my entire career.

I became so enraged that I began referring to illegal aliens as being “Pre-Citizens!” Many of my colleagues borrowed my terminology and I was quite gratified when months later I answered a phone call from a Border Patrol agent who asked if I could provide information contained in a file relating to a “Pre-Citizen” he had just arrested, attempting to run the border!

As you may know, the term alien is a legal term that is defined simply as being any person who is not a citizen or national of the United States. I defy anyone to explain how that definition is a slur or denigrates anyone. The problem that this term is that it provides clarity. Those who oppose the enforcement of our immigration laws know that the law is against them, the facts are against them, commonsense is against them and even morality is against them. Their only recourse is to resort to Orwellian use of language and twisting the facts to confuse the issue. An additional tactic is to engage in name calling, accusing anyone who wants are nation’s borders to be secured with being racist and xenophobic. The fact that our immigration laws are completely and utterly blind as to race, religion and ethnicity is of no matter to them- they simply make accusations and in this era of two minute sound bites on supposed television news reports, our citizens are quick to seize on a ten word phrase or accusation.

One of the ways that the immigration issue has been all but ignored has been the result of the constant repetition of the claim that immigration is simply a concern to the Tea Party and the right wing of the Republican Party. In other words, only very narrow “fringe” group are concerned about immigration! This is an example of “marginalizing” their opponents.

This has two consequences.

First of all politicians and journalists have become convinced that not enough people are really concerned about this issue and so it not worthy of dealing with it.

Second, many of our fellow Americans lack a spine! This is sad but true! They don’t want people to think badly of them and so between the perception that immigration is about racism and that only a handful of extremists are really concerned about it, they decide to steer clear of the entire issue. This is the precise opposite of the “bandwagon” approach to convince people to join a movement or even buy a product! Think about the commercials where the announcer talks about how many people use a particular product.

Unfortunately, for the creature that is supposedly atop the intellectual food chain- many of our fellow humans are easily herded, not unlike a flock of sheep or grazing cattle!

The immigration crisis did not start last week, last year or even ten years ago- it has been decades in the making!

Politicians from both sides of the political aisle have created this nightmare.

Americans across the entire political spectrum have been hammered by the betrayal of our elected “representatives.”

It is time for all Americans to come together and make their voices heard by their elected representatives. This is starting to happen but time is of the essence!

Contrary to the false claims of the immigration anarchists- it is not compassionate to entice vulnerable, desperate people from Third World countries to violate our borders and our laws to be exploited- often horrifically!

It is not compassionate to deprive hard working Americans of all races, all religions and all ethnicities of their fair share of the American Dream by having them fired from their jobs so that foreign workers can replace them at lower wages!

It is insane for our citizens to find their expectations of freedom and privacy to be whittled away continually, in the name of “National Security” while the Visa Waiver Program continues to expand and millions of illegal aliens who evaded the inspections process that is supposed to protect our nation and our citizens from the presence of aliens who pose a threat to our well being are being promised a “Pathway to United States citizenship!” Furthermore their covert entry into our country means that there is no record of their being here!

As you listen to the GOP candidates debate the issues, are you convinced that they really care about this crisis? Most have spoken about the need to secure the border but then most would, in fact, provide lawful status, to those millions of illegal aliens! Remember that our nation has a northern border as well as a southern border. Also remember that every day aliens enter the United States along our nation’s 95,000 miles of coastal region and international airports scattered across our nation. Any state that has a seaport or an international airport is a border state!

Furthermore, there is virtually no integrity to the process by which aliens are granted lawful immigrant status and even United States citizenship. A number of terrorists who have been arrested in the United States had been granted resident alien status and even United States citizenship.

It is not mean-spirited to want to have our nation’s borders secured and our immigration laws enforced. We live in a particularly perilous era where the safety and security of our nation and our fellow Americans are threatened by the threat of additional terrorist attacks and the infestation of ever more American cities by the various violent transnational gangs. Failure to secure our nation’s borders and the effective enforcement of our immigration laws may well have catastrophic consequences!

To borrow a phrase from Gene Kranz, the NASA Flight Director who achieved so many successes including the safe return of the Apollo 11 astronauts after their spacecraft suffered a massive explosion en route to the moon, “Failure is not an option!”

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 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!

I hope you will be listening! (Please tell your friends and neighbors!)

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Immigration Is Not About Left or Right But Right or Wrong

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.