A news report that appeared on the website of the NBC affiliated television program in San Diego, California should be of huge concern – not only to the residents of California but to Americans across this nation.
According to the news article on Wednesday, students at UCSD (University of California at San Diego) are preparing software that will enable cell phones that have a GPS capability to guide illegal aliens across the border and into the United States. In essence this program would turn inexpensive cell phones into a sort of electronic smuggler.
Most of you know of my extensive background as a former INS special agent. I was, in fact, a member of the original Anti-Smuggling Unit at the New York City District Office of the former INS in the late 1970’s and I can assure you that I am no friend of smugglers.
In my view, there are few criminals that are nearly as vile and reprehensible as are smugglers. They often beat and rape the aliens who seek their assistance and will move any contraband for the right price. Smugglers are generally extremely violent and are responsible for the inundation of our nation with narcotics as well as illegal aliens among whom are members of violent gangs and drug trafficking organizations. I am confident that smugglers have also assisted terrorist sympathizers in crossing our nation’s borders without detection.
However, the solution to the violence of the pernicious smugglers is certainly not to provide a “high tech” alternative to those whose goal is to eradicate our nation’s borders.
According to the Immigration and Nationality Act, anyone who aids or encourages illegal aliens to enter our country in violation of law is violating the provisions of Title 8 of the United States Code, Section 1324.
Here is a link to this section of law followed by the actual statute:
1907 Title 8, U.S.C.
Alien Smuggling – Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(i) makes it an offense for any person who – knowing that a person is an alien, to bring to or attempts to bring to the United States in any manner whatsoever such person at a place other than a designated port of entry or place other than as designated by the Commissioner, regardless of whether such alien has received prior official authorization to come to, enter, or reside in the United States and regardless of any future official action which may be taken with respect to such alien.
Domestic Transporting – Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(ii) makes it an offense for any person who – knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, transports, or moves or attempts to transport or move such alien within the United States by means of transportation or otherwise, in furtherance of such violation of law.
Harboring – Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(iii) makes it an offense for any person who – knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place, including any building or any means of transportation.
Encouraging/Inducing – Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv) makes it an offense for any person who – encourages or induces an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law.
Conspiracy/Aiding or Abetting – Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(v) expressly makes it an offense to engage in a conspiracy to commit or aid or abet the commission of the foregoing offenses.
Bringing Aliens to the United States – Subsection 1324(a)(2) makes it an offense for any person who – knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has not received prior authorization to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, to bring to or attempts to bring to the United States in any manner whatsoever, such alien, regardless of any official action which may later be taken with respect to such alien.
The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA), enacted on September 30, 1996, added a new 8 U.S.C.
Unit of Prosecution – With regard to offenses defined in subsections 1324(a)(1)(A)(i)-(v), (alien smuggling, domestic transporting, harboring, encouraging/inducing, or conspiracy/aiding or abetting) each alien with respect to whom a violation occurs constitutes a unit of prosecution. Prior to enactment of the IIRIRA, the unit of prosecution for violations of 8 U.S.C.
Knowledge – Prosecutions for alien smuggling, 8 U.S.C.
Penalties – The basic statutory maximum penalty for violating 8 U.S.C.
COMMENT: Further discussion of offenses defined in 8 U.S.C.
[cited in USAM 9-73.100
While open borders advocates make light of the massive influx of illegal aliens into our country, nothing could be further from the truth. First of all, as I have often noted, an alien who circumvents the inspections process by running our nation’s borders is not the equivalent of a motorist who fails to pay a toll before crossing a toll bridge or a passenger who fails to pay a fare to gain access to a bus or train. The illegal alien who runs our nation’s borders may simply be motivated, out of desperation, to seek unlawful employment and be willing to subject himself (herself) to exploitation and degradation that generally make illegal aliens attractive to unscrupulous employers.
This violation of law involving aliens who simply seek unlawful employment is not without victims, however. Aliens who enter our country illegally in order to secure illegal employment undercut American and resident alien workers, a major issue considering the more than 10% unemployment rate that is currently acknowledged by the administration. Of course this does not take into account those workers who have given up looking for work or who are underemployed, earning a fraction of their previous paychecks and trying desperately to hang onto their economic solvency by their fingernails.
Often illegal aliens resort to purchasing false identity documents, either documents with utterly fictitious identities on them or, as is more the norm these days, identity documents that involve stolen identities. This is a great part of the reason that identity theft is the fastest growing white collar crime in the United States today. Anyone who has had his identity stolen will tell you true horror stories about the harm that this crime has caused them.
As bad as these issues are, my greater concerns deal with the potential for criminals and terrorists to make use of this technology to surreptitiously enter our country to advance their criminal careers or terrorist goals.
The problem is that without a “score card” there is absolutely no way of knowing the motivation behind the alien who circumvents the inspections process that is supposed to keep out aliens whose presence in our country is harmful to our nation and/or our citizens and lawful immigrants.
I have heard some open borders advocates proclaim that “Mexicans are not terrorists.”
Here is my response to this: I am not focused on illegal aliens based on race, religion or ethnicity. My concern is with any foreign national irrespective of his (her) ethnicity, race or religion. This is about the law and not about anything else. Additionally, while it is true that thus far there have been no terrorists operating in our country who are citizens of Mexico, I would pose the fundamental question, “What does a Mexican look like?”
In my thirty years with the INS I can tell you that there are citizens of Mexico who are not Hispanic. I can also tell you that the current situation involving the violent drug gangs of Mexico has resulted in a level of violence that is all but indistinguishable from the violence that used to be the sole domain of terrorists.
Furthermore, going back to the issue of asking about the appearance of Mexicans, I am concerned that if a Middle Eastern terrorist gained entry into Mexico and spent several years there acquiring language skills and intimate familiarity with Mexico’s cities, such a terrorist could pass himself (herself) off as a Mexican citizen.
In the early 1990’s I was contacted by members of the Organized Crime, Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) in Houston, Texas contacted me. I was assigned to OCDETF in New York City and I had trained with the INS senior special agent in Houston who reached out to me. He remembered I had worked with the Israeli National Police on several significant cases and needed my assistance.
During a surveillance at a “stash house” (a location where drugs were safeguarded by drug traffickers) the agents and police officers involved spotted a young man with a dark complexion and black curly hair wearing what appeared to be Mexican-manufactured clothing exit the stash house with a package. At a quick glance he appeared to possibly be a Mexican and since the stash house was located in a predominantly Mexican-American neighborhood they presumed he was probably from Mexico.
As they approached the vehicle they noticed that there was a sawed off shotgun on the floor of the vehicle. They ordered the man out of the car in both English and Spanish, attempting to act quickly to keep him from reaching for the firearm. They were surprised that he did not understand Spanish and his English skills were not much better.
When they got him out of the car, they were totally surprised to find that he had a torn up passport stuffed into the upholstery of his van. The passport was issued by the Israeli government. The package was found to contain a significant quantity of narcotics. Consequently they contacted me to see if I could provide them with information about this individual.
The Israeli National Police immediately provided us with all of the information we needed to successfully pursue the investigation.
The point is that if this might have passed himself off as a Mexican national had he acquired the language skills he clearly lacked. The lesson to be learned is that as the saying goes, “You cannot tell a book by its cover!”
Incidentally, as I have often noted, not all terrorists hijack airliners or blow up buildings. Many terrorists engage in supporting activities that include the commission of a wide variety of crimes in support of terrorist attacks around the world. Many years ago, in fact, I assisted the NYPD, members of the New York City Fire Department’s Fire Marshal Division and ATF who were engage in the investigation of aliens from the Middle East who had purchased small grocery stores referred to as “bodegas” in New York. They used these stores to commit coupon fraud, encouraging their cohorts to clip coupons for all sorts of products and then redeem them from various companies and sent the proceeds of this scheme to fund the PLO and other terrorist organizations. When they tired of this or thought, perhaps, that the authorities might be getting suspicious of their activities, they set fire to the stores and sent the insurance money abroad to fill the coffers of terrorist organizations.
Often residents in the apartments in the building that housed their stores were burned. A number of these people died and others were so grievously injured that they wished they had died because they suffered terrible disfigurement and unrelenting pain.
Shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 I was contacted by a newspaper reporter who had found out I had testified before the Immigration Reform Caucus less than two months after the attacks, on the issue of the way that our nation’s failures to secure its borders and create an immigration system that has meaningful integrity may have contributed to the attacks.
He asked me if I would be able to enter the United States without detection or otherwise circumvent the immigration laws based on my knowledge of the system. I told him I would probably have the ability to do this. He next asked me if I would be willing to explain how I would defeat the immigration system to enter the United States in violation of law.
I damned near bit his head off! I explained to him that no responsible journalist should be seeking to provide any information that might assist illegal aliens and potentially terrorists and assorted criminals to evade the Border Patrol or develop a method of otherwise illegally gaining access to our nation. I told him in no uncertain terms that anyone who was intending to do this was, in my view, committing an act of treason!
This nation’s “War on terror” is proceeding and even as your read this commentary from the safety and comfort of your home, thousands of young American men and women in the armed forces are in harm’s way putting their safety and their very lives on the line for all of us.
Similarly our nation’s law enforcement officers who may well sleep in their own beds at the end of their shifts also go in harm’s way throughout our nation to protect the communities they serve.
To think that anyone with any stated purpose would work to make our porous border even more porous is an absolute outrage.
Certainly aliens who perish when they attempt illegal entry into our country is a tragedy, but my concern is that even more people may die if these GPS-enabled cell phones fall into the wrong hands.
Here is my question for the day, “Will any of these idiots at UCSD be prosecuted if they complete the nefarious project that they are working on?”
A country without secure borders can no more stand than can a house without walls!
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!