Here is yet another news report concerning the issue that none of the politicians who have been pushing for “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” are willing to even whisper – the utter and total lack of integrity to the programs managed by USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) the agency under the DHS that adjudicates all of the applications for various immigration benefits including the conferring of lawful immigrant status and even United States citizenship upon aliens.
USCIS would be the agency that in charge of administering “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” and has clearly established a record of ineptitude and incompetence as a matter of routine!
The news article below came from a good friend in Arizona, ironically, the state that has become the “poster child” for law suits filed by the United States Department of Justice for Arizona’s efforts to enforce immigration laws that the administration has no desire or interest in enforcing!
The report appeared on the Fox News website and is the predication for my commentary.
Those of you who are familiar with my background know that I held a number of positions at the former INS including that of “Examiner” in the unit that processed applications for residency based on marriage to a United States citizen or resident alien. I did that job for about one year before I became a Special Agent of the INS. Today the position of “Examiner” is now referred to as an “Adjudications Officer” and should be thought of as being the “Locksmith” to our country because a Green Card and especially a Naturalization Certificate represents the conferring of citizenship upon aliens making them legally indistinguishable from any other United States citizenship with the sole differentiation being that a naturalized citizen cannot aspire to be elected to the offices of President or Vice President of the United States.
As an INS Special Agent I also was assigned to the Frauds Unit of the Investigations Branch where my responsibility was to conduct field investigations into the bona fides of applications for immigration benefits including applications based on marriage to U.S. citizens and resident aliens to provide lawful resident alien status upon aliens – thereby placing them on the pathway to United States citizenship.
Of the 94 terrorists that the 9/11 Commission were able to identify as operating in the United States prior to the attacks of September 11, 2001 some 59 of them used immigration and visa fraud to enter the United States and/or embed themselves in the United States, thereby providing them with access to our country and the ability to pursue their nefarious goals.
Immigration fraud was noted in the 9/11 Commission Report as a factor in the attacks of 9/11, yet virtually nothing is done to make certain that the system has even a modicum of integrity.
In the case that was noted in the Fox News report, it is important to note that the FBI was involved in uncovering the fraud that Senator Harry Reid’s former aide was involved with. The fact that the FBI agents who were involved with the case were assigned to the JTTF (Joint Terrorism Task Force) cause me to speculate that Ms Diana Tejada’s “husband,” Lebanese citizen Bassam Mahmoud Tarhini was being looked at as a possible target of a terrorism investigation. This does not mean that he had any involvement in any terrorist plot nor does it mean that Ms Tejada had any involvement in terrorism – just that had JTTF not taken an interest in Mr. Tarhini, the likelihood is quite good that he would have gotten away with his efforts to secure lawful immigrant status based on a fraud marriage.
What frustrates me is that Ms Tejada got away with entering into a criminal conspiracy. She was no less guilty of her involvement in this case than was her “husband.”
The petition that Ms Tejada, aka Mrs Tarhini filed with USCIS is the I-130 petition. Above the line that required her signature is a crystal clear warning I have provided you below:
WARNING: USCIS investigates claimed relationships and verifies the validity of documents. USCIS seeks criminal prosecutions when family relationships are falsified to obtain visas.
PENALTIES: By law, you may be imprisoned for not more than five years or fined $250,000, or both, for entering into a marriage contract for the purpose of evading any provision of the immigration laws. In addition, you may be fined up to $10,000 and imprisoned for up to five years, or both, for knowingly and willfully falsifying or concealing a material fact or using any false document in submitting this petition.
YOUR CERTIFICATION: I certify, under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America, that the foregoing is true and correct. Furthermore, I authorize the release of any information from my records that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services needs to determine eligiblity for the benefit that I am seeking.
Here are some of the potential law violations that Mr. &Mrs. Tarhini committed in entering into their criminal conspiracy that they would likely have gotten away with if the FBI had not been interested in Tarhini:
923 18 U.S.C. 371-Conspiracy to Defraud the United States
The general conspiracy statute, 18 U.S.C. s.371, creates an offense “[i]f two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose. (emphasis added). See Project, Tenth Annual Survey of White Collar Crime, 32 Am. Crim. L. Rev. 137, 379-406 (1995)(generally discussing s. 371).
The operative language is the so-called “defraud clause,” that prohibits conspiracies to defraud the United States. This clause creates a separate offense from the “offense clause” in Section 371. Both offenses require the traditional elements of Section 371 conspiracy, including an illegal agreement, criminal intent, and proof of an overt act.
Although this language is very broad, cases rely heavily on the definition of “defraud” provided by the Supreme Court in two early cases, Hass v. Henkel, 216 U.S. 462 (1910), and Hammerschmidt v. United States, 265 U.S. 182 (1924). In Hass the Court stated:
The statute is broad enough in its terms to include any conspiracy for the purpose of impairing, obstructing or defeating the lawful function of any department of government . . . (A)ny conspiracy which is calculated to obstruct or impair its efficiency and destroy the value of its operation and reports as fair, impartial and reasonably accurate, would be to defraud the United States by depriving it of its lawful right and duty of promulgating or diffusing the information so officially acquired in the way and at the time required by law or departmental regulation.
TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 47 >
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully-
(1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;
(2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or
(3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry;
shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both. If the matter relates to an offense under chapter 109A, 109B, 110, or 117, or section 1591, then the term of imprisonment imposed under this section shall be not more than 8 years.
Title 18 of the United States Code, Section 1546:
The first paragraph of 18 U.S.C. s. 1546(a) proscribes the forging, counterfeiting, altering or falsely making of certain immigration documents or their use, possession, or receipt. The second paragraph proscribes the possession, or bringing into the United States of plates or distinctive papers used for the printing of entry documents. The third paragraph makes it a crime, when applying for an entry document or admission into the United States, to personate another or appear under a false name. The fourth paragraph makes it a crime to give a false statement under oath in any document required by the immigration laws or regulations. Subsection 1546(b) makes it a felony offense to use a false identification document, or to misuse a real one, for the purpose of satisfying the employment verification provisions in 8 U.S.C. s. 1324a(b).
The statutory maximum term of imprisonment for violations of 18 U.S.C. s. 1541 – 1546 is 10 years. However, 18 U.S.C. s. 1547 provides that notwithstanding any other provision of title 18, the maximum term of imprisonment that may be imposed for passport and visa violations (except violations under 18 U.S.C. s. 1545) if committed to facilitate a drug trafficking crime is 15 years; and if committed to facilitate an act of international terrorism is 20 years.
The saying goes, “It takes two to Tango!” Both of these “dance partners” danced around the law for gain. He was seeking a Green Card and perhaps United States citizenship and she was seeking money. She got her money and he almost got a Green Card!
One of the other areas of concern you may not be aware of is the fact that when an alien becomes a naturalized citizen, that alien can opt to change his (her) name for no extra charge, no less, on the day of being sworn in as a new United States citizen!
Should that newly minted U.S. citizen apply for a United States passport, the passport would only reflect the new name that the naturalized citizen took on the day of being sworn in as a citizen of the United States. Many of the names on so-called “No Fly” and “Terror Watch Lists” have no identifiers such as photographs or fingerprints but are known because of various forms of intelligence gathering. By changing his name, a terrorist could put himself into his own de facto “Witness Protection” program and gain entrance into countries that allied with the United States that may well be seeking to prevent his entry under his original name but are unaware of the name change that acts as camouflage.
It is understandable that Senator Reid would want to distance himself from his former employee – but hopefully this will cause him and his colleagues in the Senate and the House of Representatives, who have been pushing so hard to legalize unknown millions of illegal aliens whose identities, backgrounds and potential affiliation or involvement with criminal or terrorist organizations will take a long hard look at what their program, Comprehensive Immigration Reform would do to our nation in so many negative ways, especially from the perspective of national security!
Perhaps Harry Reid could “reach across the aisle” and arrange to have lunch with Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa who just sent a letter, on October 14th to the Office of the Inspector General to investigate allegations that the adjudications officers of USCIS have been pressured by their bosses to approve applications even when it would appear the aliens were ineligible or that fraud may have been involved!
Here is the link to Senator Grassley’s letter (PDF).
On November 29, 2006 the Washington Post ran a story entitled,
Citizenship Agency Lost 111,000 Files
Here is the link to this news report
The immigration crisis that confronts our nation is not limited to the ongoing lunacy represented by the continuing failures to secure our nation’s borders against illegal entry of millions of illegal aliens but extends to each and every component of a system that is supposed to prevent the entry of aliens whose presence would be harmful to our country. This includes the manner in which aliens are provided with the “Keys to the kingdom” the function that is the responsibility of USCIS.
I defy anyone in our government, at any level, to provide me or any other citizen of our nation with an example of any facet of the immigration system that actually works!
If the immigration system was an airplane, it would not be unsafe to taxi it out of the hangar, the damned thing could not be moved out of the hangar! Meanwhile it is common knowledge that the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 could not have taken place if the terrorists who attacked us had been unable to obtain visas. The attacks could not have taken place if the terrorists could not have gained entry or embedded themselves in our country.
Janet Napolitano has made it clear that the members of the Mexican drug cartels that are among the most vicious and blood thirsty criminals to be found anywhere on this planet have set up shop in some 230 plus cities inside the United States from coast to coast and border to border. I would love to ask Ms Napolitano, the Secretary who is in charge of the agency I have come to refer to as the “Department of Homeland Surrender” how those violent and pernicious criminals managed to enter our country? I would love to ask her how many ICE special agents are looking for them? I would love to ask her a slew of questions but I suspect her answers would be as inept and ludicrous as is the agency she heads up! This is the same “leader” who, the morning after an airliner was nearly brought down by a terrorist in the skies over Detroit last Christmas Day, declared, “The system worked!” I responded by writing a commentary where I said, “If hope is not a strategy, then dumb luck is not a success!”
Just as the “Virtual Fence” AKA the Secure Border Initiative Network (SBINet) is an abysmal, money sucking fiasco, so are the components of the “immigration system” that are supposed to protect our nation and our citizens from the many aspects of the failures of the immigration system and this must stop before our citizens pay the price for the ineptitude of our government!
Those failures include everything from national security and criminal justice to the economy, the environment, healthcare and education- to name the most prominent.
We need to have a “zero tolerance” for the sort of nonfeasance, misfeasance and malfeasance that now passes for “business as usual!”
If We the People fail to get involved in the democratic process and live up to our obligation as citizens of this nation, I fear that history may well remember our generation as America’s “Last Generation!”
If reading this makes it difficult for you to sleep tonight- 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 days 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!”
In just one week, each and every member of the House of Representatives is up for reelection and 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!