Response to ‘DHS Report Attacking True Immigration Reformers as ‘Extremists’

The news article I have attached below appeared on a number of websites and originated on the FAIR website today and was forwarded to me by a friend who held a high-ranking position on Capitol Hill.

As I am all but certain, you know that FAIR is the Federation of American Immigration Reform.

As you read the article I want you to consider my “take” on this issue.

Let me start out by telling you that I am unashamedly in favor of having our nation enforce its immigration laws and secure its borders against those who would circumvent the vital inspections process by which our CBP (Customs and Border Protection) inspectors are supposed to keep out aliens whose presence in our country would be a violation of our laws and would have a deleterious impact on our nation and/or our citizens.

I also want you to know that I am absolutely outraged that there is virtually no integrity to the “system” by which our nation adjudicates applications for a wide variety of immigration benefits for aliens including according them lawful resident status and even United States citizenship.

Simply stated, I believe that the folks who are paid by our government to enforce and administer the immigration laws do so in an effective, efficient and civil manner.

As I am also certain you most probably know, for 30 years I worked for the former INS, first as an immigration inspector and then for about a one year stint, as an examiner or, “adjudicator” as that position is now referred to. I adjudicated applications for residency for aliens who were married to United States citizens or resident aliens (lawful immigrants).

I spent the balance of my career as an INS special agent enforcing the immigration laws, investigating and arresting aliens and others who had violated the immigration laws of our nation. I rotated through virtually every squad in the investigations branch of the INS at New York.

Yet, apparently today, DHS (Department of Homeland Security) and the Secretary of DHS would love to categorize me as being an “extremist” simply because I want our nation to secure its borders against illegal immigration and smuggling activities and want the immigration bureaucracy to possess real integrity.

They would also love to similarly brand returning soldiers with a similar label along with God only knows how many other Americans who believe in having our nation’s borders secured.

There is a radio talk show host by the name of Terry Anderson with whom I have had the privilege of sharing the podium at a number of speaking engagements around our nation. He has a wonderful expression and even hands out bumper stickers with his exclamation:

“If You Ain’t Mad- You Ain’t Paying Attention!”

I have been paying attention for many years and boy am I mad!

I recall when the DHS first made its outrageous claims that they referred to those of us who were concerned about our nation’s porous borders and its incompetent efforts to create an immigration bureaucracy that possessed even a modicum of integrity as being “single issue” advocates.

Here is the point: immigration is not a single issue but is the major aspect of almost every serious challenge confronting our nation today! Our nation’s nonfeasant, misfeasant and malfeasant immigration bureaucracy and our nation’s utter failure to secure its borders impacts everything from national security, criminal justice, the economy, the environment, health care and education- to name the most prominent of those challenges.

The 9/11 Commission, to which, incidentally, I provided testimony, found that immigration fraud and our broken immigration system contributed greatly to our nation’s vulnerability on September 11, 2001.

Yet, when citizens of our nation speak out demanding that our nation finally do what is in the best interests of our nation and our citizens, Ms Napolitano would be among the first in line to brand those citizens who are exercising their First Amendment rights as extremists.

Napolitano is not alone in playing the “name game.”

Nancy Pelosi has stated that when ICE agents arrest illegal aliens they are acting in a terrorist fashion against the people (illegal aliens) they arrest. Incredibly she made that statement on October 29, 2003 in Mexico City- the capital of the country that sends our nation the greatest number of illegal aliens!

What is more than just a bit disturbing is that Janet Napolitano, as the Secretary of Homeland Security is in charge of the agencies that are charged with securing our nation’s borders and providing integrity to the immigration bureaucracy.

Apparently she believes that anyone who expects her and her minions to actually do their jobs effectively are to be considered “Extremists!”


That really takes my breath away!

Would she consider anyone who expected the DEA to get the drugs off the streets of our towns and cities to be an “extremist?”

How about demanding that the EPA go after those who pollute- what would she call such people?

Why then is she quick to brand those who expect her to live up to her oath of office to be extremists?

Imagine being a soldier who returns to the United States after a tour of duty in harm’s way being told that he is suspicious to our government for having gone in harm’s way at the behest of the very government who sent him (her) overseas at great personal risk!

What is disturbing to me is what actions, perhaps, Ms Napolitano might have wanted to implement against those who are viewed as extremists.

In many ways, the DHS can wield more power than even the FBI. The DHS, through the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) has the authority to deny an individual the ability to board a commercial airliner.

The sort of hostility voiced by high ranking members of the government is of great concern to me and should be to all Americans!

What is of even greater concern are the “sources” used by DHS in preparing its report.

Certainly there are a relative handful of those who are xenophobic and simply do not want our nation to admit aliens. I can, however tell you that in my extensive travels around our nation to participate in various speaking events- just about everyone I have spoken with is not opposed to lawful immigration but are absolutely opposed to illegal immigration. As I generally state at the end of my commentaries- immigration is not a “Liberal” issue, nor is it a “Conservative” issue- immigration and border security are American issues!

The issue of immigration law enforcement is clearly not the “litmus test” to determine whether or not someone is an extremist, but it is being used by our government as a means of vilifying those who are willing to take a stand on this critical issue. Every poll that is taken makes it clear that the vast majorities of Americans want our borders secured and want the immigration bureaucracy to be effective at weeding out fraud.

Latest polls also show that the great majority of Americans want lawful immigration levels greatly reduced. This is not about extremism, racism or xenophobia- it is about common sense. It would be absurd for a family to invite guests to the dinner table if their own kids were going to sleep hungry at night. Today mortgage foreclosures are rising along with filings for bankruptcy. For an increasing number of Americans, the American dream is just that- a dream- an increasingly unattainable dream!

It makes no sense to permit the United States to go the way that California has gone! California should be thought of as the canary in the mine. The massive influx of illegal aliens into that beleaguered state has bankrupted its economy. Furthermore, if the point to the Economic Stimulus Package was to pour billions of dollars into the American economy to prime the economic pump, what sense does it make to watch more than a hundred billion dollars per year get wired or otherwise transmitted from the United States to countries around the globe by foreign workers, legal and illegal, working at jobs that Americans would do for a living wage?

The health of our country needs to be measure by more than the Dow Jones Average! America cannot be really doing well if the average American is not doing well!

On a personal note, I am a lifelong registered Democrat. As I have jokingly noted at a number of my speaking events, the closest I come to being a “skin head” is my growing bald patch on the back of my head that I have come to refer to as my “flesh colored yarmulke!”

Of course now there is an effort underway to backpedal on the name calling engaged in by our “leaders” but the point is that damage has already been done!

The issue for our politicians is that they do not want the citizens of our country to get in the way of their plans. In some ways, we have ourselves to blame for this deplorable situation. My dad used to tell me that I would teach people how they should treat me. He told me that if made it clear that I would accept unfair treatment that those around me would be quick to exploit my acquiescence. That is why first impressions are so important!

For far too many years, the average American has failed to be involved in the political process. Sporting events are far more exciting than listening to a Congressional hearing or reading through testimony and legislative bills. However, it is of extreme importance for the citizens of our nation to stand up and be heard!

Of course when people speak out at town hall meetings, they are often branded as extremists- there is that word again! However, We the People must stand up and be clear about what we expect of our government!

I will also offer you a suggestion.

I am a fan of Lou Dobbs- I have been on his program many, many times and he was one of the very first journalists to discuss our nation’s immigration crisis. However, I disagree with Lou on an important point. He has said that we should declare our “independence” and not be affiliated with either major party.

I have a very different suggestion. Especially when you consider that neither party represents the “average” American.

If you do not like your Congressional representative or your senator you need to vote against that person in the primary election. If that candidate is from the party in which you are registered, this is a simply matter to deal with. However, if you are not registered as a member of the party that your politician belongs to, then you need to change party affiliation so that you can get two votes in an effort to send him (her) packing- one in the primary and the other in the general election.

(By the way, if you are among that very small minority of people who really like their representatives, then you should make certain to be eligible to vote for that person in the primary election.)

Our nation must not only secure its borders against the illegal entry of illegal aliens, but must create an immigration system that has meaningful integrity if our nation is to effectively address the many challenges confronting our country and our citizens.

In less than two years each and every member of the House of Representatives is up for reelection. In less than two years 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! 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! You need to politely but pointedly, demand to know what they are doing to protect our nation. You need to ask them how they are protecting you and your families. You can also forward this commentary to them. 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!

April Report Attacking True Immigration Reformers as “Extremists” Further Discredited

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.