Response to ‘Prepared Remarks by Secretary Napolitano on Immigration Reform’

Here we go again!

Comprehensive Immigration Reform is now the goal of the administration as clearly articulated by Secretary of Homeland Security- Janet Napolitano!

Two years ago when I wrote a commentary for the Washington Times in an Op-Ed piece entitled, Immigration Bill a ‘No Go’ I stated that a truly descriptive name for that piece of legislative rubbish would not be “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” but should be the “Terrorist Assistance and Facilitation Act!”

You can read my Op-Ed here:

About three years ago I testified before the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims on the national security implications of Comprehensive Immigration Reform. You can see a video of a segment of that hearing at this link:

As I have noted in previous commentaries, Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama quoted from my commentary on three separate occasions during the floor debate in the United States Senate. When the Senate attempted to ram this travesty down the throats of our citizens they responded and, in record numbers, made so many phone calls to the United States Senate that the switchboard was so overloaded that it shut down!

I would like to think that I helped to encourage at least some of those phone calls, on the morning of the vote in the Senate the Fox Radio Network invited me to be a guest on more than a dozen radio shows and other radio programs as well asked me, on that day to be on their programs. In each appearance on what turned out to be more than 15 radio broadcasts I urged Americans to call their respective members of Congress to express their opposition to that massive amnesty program that would have done, in my judgment, irreparable harm to national security and create many other problems for our nation as well.

Today I think we should add an additional name to this fatally flawed legislation- it should be called the “Freddy Krueger Act” because no matter how many times the citizens of our nation make it clear that they are opposed to providing illegal aliens with lawful status, our nation’s leaders insist on attempting to force it on us against our will. So much for the concept of “Government of the people, by the people and for the people!”

I have many reasons for opposing Comprehensive Immigration Reform but let me start out with my number one reason:

When you are dealing with illegal aliens there is no way of easily knowing who they are. There is no verifiable way of knowing their true names or even their true nationalities. Therefore there is no readily available means for determining if these aliens have criminal histories in other countries or if they are fugitives wanted for serious crimes in other countries.

This means that we also have no reliable way of knowing who they are affiliated with or what their true intentions are in coming to our country. Finally, is this is also extremely important to realize, if we are dealing with aliens who ran our nation’s borders, not only are their fingerprints not on file which relates back to the problems I noted above, there would also not be any way of knowing how long these illegal aliens have been in the United States.

These issues are not being addressed by Ms Napolitano. Consider this paragraph from her statement:

“Let me be clear: when I talk about “immigration reform,” I’m referring to what I call the “three-legged stool” that includes a commitment to serious and effective enforcement, improved legal flows for families and workers, and a firm but fair way to deal with those who are already here. That’s the way that this problem has to be solved, because we need all three aspects to build a successful system. This approach has at its heart the conviction that we must demand responsibility and accountability from everyone involved in the system: immigrants, employers and government. And that begins with fair, reliable enforcement.”

She said that we need a .” ..firm but fair way to deal with those who are already here.”

The fatal flaw in this is that there is no way of knowing if the alien who would apply for amnesty has been in the United States for ten years or ten days!

Let us remember that the great majority of illegal aliens use false and often stolen identities. (This is why identity theft is now the fastest growing white collar crime in the United States.)

I am certain that aliens seeking to participate in Comprehensive Immigration Reform will be required to provide evidence as to their identity and length of time in the United States. We also know that these aliens have likely used not just one, but multiple false identities. This is not simply conjecture on my part but is based on my roughly three decades with the former INS. I cannot tell you how many times I arrested illegal aliens who had a number of Social Security cards and other such documents in their pockets. My colleagues and I often joked that we didn’t even know where I own Social Security Cards were, but these illegal aliens often had multiple cards and it was not even unusual for them to have a copy of one or more birth certificates in their possession. When I would ask them where they got all of their Social Security cards, many would claim that they found them lying on the street! (When was the last time you saw a Social Security card lying in the street?)

Now consider the plight of the adjudicator at USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services). He (she) will be told that they need to process an application every five or ten minutes- the exact time limit will be established by the managers of this beleaguered agency. An alien will walk into the office and provide a hand written rent receipt in one name, a utility bill in another name and a pay stub in yet another name. The question is, who is this alien and how reliable are any of these pieces of paper?

While the hapless adjudicator stares at these bits of “evidence” the clock will be ticking with the mandate that the applications be adjudicated quickly and there would be no way of knowing if these receipts and pay stubs were legitimate or were ever issued to the alien seeking to legalize his immigration status. Of course a field investigation might resolve some of these questions but with millions of pending applications in the inbox at USCIS and a relative handful of ICE special agents attempting to keep up with all of their responsibilities, there is no way that any agent is likely to hit the streets to conduct those investigations.

This inability to conduct field investigations because of an extreme lack of resources at ICE creates another problem- while Napolitano and other advocates for Comprehensive Immigration Reform are quick to tout the “Background checks” that would be mandated in conjunction with “Comprehensive Immigration Reform.” But there is, as I have noted on so many previous occasions, a world of difference between a Background Check and a Background Investigation.

A background check simply means the name of an applicant and his (her) fingerprints are run through various databases to check for matches. Any alien whose fingerprints are not on file would come back with “clean record.” If the alien uses a fictitious name, that name will also come back as a “No Hit” meaning that he has no known criminal or terrorist background. In reality, a terrorist who was never fingerprinted by our law enforcement agencies and who is using a false name would get a clean bill of health even if his real name appears on the terrorist watch list.

Furthermore, depending on how the fingerprints checks are done, there is a risk that criminals and terrorists who know or, at least suspect that their fingerprints are on file, might be able to game the system by submitting someone else’s fingerprints as though they were their own prints.

A background investigation, on the other hand, is far more involved. If done properly an investigator is assigned to each person who files and application. That investigator would show photos of the alien applicant to neighbors and others who should be familiar with that person. This way it would be easier to at least determine when that alien actually lived at an address, worked at a job or attended a school. This would help to make certain that if an alien claimed to have entered the United States ten years ago, that he really did reside here back then. While not foolproof, this would represent a major improvement over simple “Background Checks.”

Here is the reality- there is absolutely no way that USCIS has the resources to conduct even cursory background investigations. Fraud will permeate the program and as I have noted before, this approach would create a false sense of security about the identity and bona fides of millions of illegal aliens. The only thing worse than no security is false security. Rather than enhance our nation’s security, a vital issue especially in this post 9/11 era, Comprehensive Immigration Reform would compromise national security and provide, instead, false security.

This was, in fact, the situation that the adjudicators at the INS found themselves in when the first amnesty was enacted in 1986. This is why more than twenty years ago, when the “leaders” in Congress claimed that there were between 1 million and 1.5 million illegal aliens in our country nearly 4 million illegal aliens participated in that ill-conceived amnesty program. There was absolutely no way of knowing when these aliens actually came to our country.

If a similar situation occurs now, instead of providing amnesty to 12 or 20 million illegal aliens, we could have 30 million or more illegal aliens whose identities are unknown and unknowable being granted lawful status and wind up being placed on the pathway to United States citizenship. As soon as these previously illegal aliens are granted resident alien status and then, ultimately, United States citizenship, they will be able to file applications for members of their families to enter our country legally.

This includes their siblings who may well be married and have minor children of their own. Do the math and consider how this wrong-headed amnesty program would, within a decade, enable additional millions of additional aliens to enter our country legally and millions of illegal aliens will also have been encouraged to take their chances at running our nation’s border in violation of law creating yet another tsunami of humanity crashing against our nation’s borders that, undoubtedly, would require a future crop of “leaders” in Washington to attempt to create yet another amnesty just as the amnesty of 1986 is at the root cause of the massive influx of illegal aliens that the administration wants to legalize.

This would become a prime example of “History repeating itself!”

Additionally, when our nation enacted amnesty in 1986 another phenomenon I observed was that many aliens who had been illegally present and working in our country decided that once they had lawful status and were thus no longer exploitable, they demanded to be paid “on the books” at prevailing wage levels. They also demanded to be paid extra money for working on weekends and/or overtime, etc., etc.

The unscrupulous employers who hired them when they were illegally present and easy to exploit, often fired them once they became legal and simply hired the next wave of illegal aliens. The newly legalized aliens in the workplace will become virtually indistinguishable from United States citizens and lawful immigrants and compete with them for elusive jobs while the jobs they had previously taken would attract the next wave of illegal aliens, who are still easily entering our country by running our nonsecure borders, perpetuating the incentive for even more illegal aliens to enter our country.

Finally, while Napolitano makes brief mention about the huge problem posed by immigration fraud- I have testified about this issue before a number of Congressional hearings- she made it clear that the government would target lawyers and others involved in massive fraud rings. The point is that there are no resources to enforce the immigration laws from within the interior of the United States. The agents at ICE would their work cut out for them!

Just as an estimated 70% of all jobs in America are created by small businesses, much of the immigration fraud is carried out on a very small scale. The lack of resources would undoubtedly mean that while major fraud rings might be identified and targeted for law enforcement action small scale fraud would not be. The terrorists who gamed the immigration system did not make use of the “services” of large scale fraud rings. If the lack of resources would preclude the investigation of individuals involved in fraud then terrorists and other bad guys would find gaming the immigration system to acquire lawful status to be an easy task.

Once again our “leaders” in Congress and the administration are determined to do what they want in spite of the demands of the citizens of our nation and the commonsense that is needed to protect our nation and those who live in the United States.

There is actually no reason to believe that anything needs to be done about those aliens who violated our nation’s borders and our nation’s laws other than have the various components of DHS the (Department of Homeland Surrender) actually enforce the immigration laws that are on the books right now! The solution is to hire an adequate number of special agents and support personnel for ICE and provide them with the leadership and resources to do an effective job.

Virtually every law on the books in every town, city or state, in addition to the federal government are violated nearly as a matter of routine by many people. If you don’t believe this, check out the folks who are receiving free room and board in various prisons, correctional facilities and jails around our country.

If the solution to those dealing with the millions of illegal aliens who have entered our country in violation of law and then, no doubt violated other laws, such as those laws that involve identity theft, tax fraud, etc., is to provide them with the lawful authority to enable them to do legally what they have been, up until now been doing illegally, then we should treat our own citizens with no less “compassion!”

Our government should immediately mandate that since there are millions of citizens of our country who have violated all sorts of laws, that to clear the mess up, every prisoner in jail should be granted a waiver for his (her) crimes and release them from jail and expunge their criminal histories! We could then say that our nation has attained an incredible success, achieving what no country has ever achieved before- a criminal-free nation!

Of course the murder rate would undoubtedly soar and drunk drivers would, no doubt, mix drink up and head for their cars and endanger other motorists and pedestrians, but what the heck- you simply cannot get all of the drunk drivers off the road so why not show these law violators the same deference that advocates for illegal aliens are willing to show individuals who are not even citizens of our country?

By the way, in the issue of expunging criminal histories- the amnesty of 1986 required that the amnesty files relating to the roughly four million illegal aliens were sealed and were not to be provided to other law enforcement agencies even if the alien in question was a dangerous, violent criminal who was being sought for crimes of violence including rape and murder! The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 had a similar provision and, no doubt will be a component of the amnesty bill being proposed by the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Surrender.

Another “gem” of the 2007 Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act addressed the scourge of violent gangs in our country. It is certainly important to address this issue; it has been estimated that there are actually more members of various violent gangs living and plying their “trades” in our country than there are sworn police officers. A large percentage of these violent gang members are, in fact, illegal aliens. I refer to such illegal alien criminals as being “transnational.”

I use this term because these criminals move between the United States and other countries to conduct smuggling operations including shepherding drugs, weapons and other contraband across international borders along with illegal aliens and, no doubt, other criminals and possibly terrorists. They also use their ability to easily move between countries to evade their competitors who seek to kill them, and law enforcement authorities in a number of countries, including the United States who seeks to arrest them.

What is insane, however, was the way that the previous Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act would have dealt with these pernicious gang members- that legal travesty would have enabled any gang member to simply sign a document that stated that they renounced their membership in their gang!

Was that a deal, or what? Just sign a piece of paper that says that they won’t hit the streets with their gangs and they are good to go! (Does this help you sleep any better?)

If the federal government would be so willing to ignore membership in violent gangs by violent gang members, why should the government not release all people from any obligation they have to pay various taxes? The stroke of a pen would restore dignity to those who have failed to pay their taxes and have lived in the “shadows” fearful that the tax collectors may come knocking on their doors?

If we are to call illegal aliens “Undocumented workers” then we should, perhaps, refer to drunk drivers as “sobriety challenged motorists.” Perhaps murderers should be heretofore be called “Unlicensed executioners!” Rapists could be referred to as “Over- eager suitors!”

There is, actually a term that is used to describe the sort of society this would result in- it is referred to as “Anarchy.”

It has been said that you get only one opportunity to make a first impression. Generally the first laws aliens encounter when they seek to enter the United States are the immigration laws. A massive amnesty program under the aegis of “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” would convince people throughout the world that in the United States you cannot only expect to get away with violating our laws, the wacky “leaders” of our country are eager to reward them for violating our laws!

Comprehensive Immigration Reform as a classic example of the cure being far worse than the disease!

Any politician who supports Comprehensive Immigration Reform is working against the security of our nation and the well being of our citizens.

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 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.

Next year each and every member of the House of Representatives is up for reelection. Next year 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!

Any American who has lost his job certainly has enough time on his (her) hands to get involved!

Any American who fears the loss of his job must make effective use of his spare time to make certain he keeps his job! (Remember, the job save may be your own!) 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!

Prepared Remarks by Secretary Napolitano on Immigration Reform at the Center for American Progress

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.