What America’s immigration infrastructure lacks – with a dire cost.
When immigration is discussed publicly, most of the news reports and most of the statements made by politicians focus on the presence of illegal aliens in the United States while problems within legal side of the issue are ignored. Additionally, most of these discussions begin by talking about the lack of security to be found along the U.S./Mexican border while ignoring the other dysfunctional components of the immigration system.
There is no doubt that the U.S./Mexican border lacks meaningful integrity. There is also no doubt that the Mexican border must be secured- however, simply securing that border will not end the immigration crisis and not eliminate the threats posed by international terrorists and transnational criminals.
Incredibly the Obama administration has made it all but impossible for the valiant Border Patrol agents along that border to do their jobs. On February 4, 2016 the Washington Examiner posted the report, “Border agent: 'We might as well abolish our immigration laws altogether'” in which the president of the National Council of the Border Patrol testified before a congressional hearing on the restrictions placed on the Border Patrol to make it all but impossible for them to take illegal aliens into custody or even process them for future hearings.
This is an act of national suicide- yet it has been barely covered in the mainstream media- if at all.
However, the restrictions under which ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) operates are no less stringent. Furthermore, while there are more than 20,000 Border Patrol Agents there are only about 7,000 ICE agents and more than half of them are engaged in enforcing customs laws which have absolutely no relevance to our immigration laws.
The extreme shortage of immigration judges now means that the reported backlog in the immigration courts results in a waiting time 667 days for deportation (removal) hearings.
The immigration system is comprised of many moving components and that all components of the immigration system must be made to work effectively. Each failure of the immigration system must be thought of as a hole in the bottom of a boat. If all but one hole in the bottom of that boat is sealed, that one remaining hole will cause the boat to sink.
However, none of the holes in the immigration system have been plugged. A series of these holes relate to the system by which aliens are admitted into the United States through ports of entry. The Visa Waiver Program enables the majority of nonimmigrant (temporary visitor) aliens who enter the United States through our international airports to do so without first applying for and receiving visas. This is especially disconcerting when you consider how many recent terror attacks have been carried out in Europe by terrorists who have European passports.
The “solution” concocted by Congress is to require that aliens who are citizens of countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program to obtain visas before seeking entry into the United States if they had visited Syria, The Sudan or other problematic countries within the past five years. The question never asked (or answered) is how will our officials know if such individuals traveled to those countries?
Do our congressional leaders expect that the terrorists will readily admit to having spent time in the Middle East attending bomb-making classes at the “ISIS School of Mayhem & Carnage?”
The only sensible solution is to terminate the Visa Waiver Program- period!
This fundamental issue was the topic of my September 2, 2015 opinion piece for The Daily Caller, “It’s Time To End The Visa Waiver Program.” However, as I noted in that article and in my September 3, 2015 FrontPage Magazine article, “Keeping Track of Visa Violators” the United States Chamber of Commerce has been pushing for an expansion of that dangerous program that undermines our security even as our leaders warn us that ISIS is determined to carry out deadly terror attacks on U.S. soil this year.
Yet the Visa Waiver Program has never been discussed in any of the presidential debates.
The abject lack of resources to enforce our immigration laws from within the interior of the United States creates more holes in the bottom of the boat and has never been truly discussed either. The majority of Republican candidates insist that since we cannot deport 11 million illegal aliens we may as well secure the border and then provide those illegally present with legal status.
As for the Democrats- incredibly Hillary and Bernie complain that the Republicans do not want to provide millions of illegal aliens with a pathway to citizenship. Somehow this represents biased treatment. (Of course the Democrats never use the term illegal alien- indeed the Republicans don't either.) The bottom line- if you thought Obama with his executive orders was outrageous, both Bernie and Hillary are determined to make you nostalgic for Obama!
The Democrats blithely ignore the difference between illegal immigration and legal immigration. Here is a bit of clarity- the difference between an immigrant and an illegal alien is comparable to the difference between a houseguest and a burglar.
There are likely at least 30 million illegal aliens currently living in the United States. More than half of all illegal aliens evaded the inspections process conducted by the inspectors at CBP (Customs and Border Protection) who screen aliens seeking entry into the United States through our 328 ports of entry along our northern and southern borders, along our coastline and at international airports scattered throughout the United States.
There is no way of truly knowing the identity of these aliens- that includes their true names, countries of citizenship, or their actual dates and places and means of entry into the United States.
This creates a series of critical challenges and threats to America and Americans starting with undermining national security. Among these millions of aliens who surreptitiously entered the United States are undoubtedly terrorists and terrorist sympathizers. There are criminals and fugitives from justice in other countries.
The number of aliens is so huge that no in-person interviews would be possible if our government was so self-destructive that we would actually provide these unknown millions of trespassers with lawful status. There would be no way to conduct field investigations to combat fraud in their applications.
Since a record of entry was not created when they evaded the inspections process there is no way of knowing when they actually entered the United States.
Aliens who evade the inspections process are not “undocumented” but are, in fact, un-inspected. Incidentally, the term “undocumented” should give every one “cause for pause” because this term means that these aliens have no official identity documents making it impossible to know who they are.
Aliens who run our borders are properly described as being EWI (Entrants Without Inspection).
It is justifiable that many Americans are gravely concerned about the inability of our government to vet refugees from Syria. Aliens who are un-inspected are not vetted either and the risks are no different. Yet this point is never, ever raised.
Because it would be impossible to conduct interviews and field investigations, it must be anticipated that no only with criminals and terrorists easily game this process, millions of additional illegal aliens would easily enter the United States falsely claiming to have entered the United States by whatever deadline would have been established. This would swell the number of aliens who would participate in this massive legalization program.
Here is one of the most significant issues that has never been discussed either:
If the United States created this massive legalization program, each and every heretofore illegal alien would have the right to petition the government to provide their spouses and minor children, back home, to enter the United States legally.
There would be no way of knowing how many tens of millions of additional aliens would thus flood into the United States. There would be no way of knowing how many children would suddenly have to be educated by our already beleaguered educational systems. How many hospitals would have to care for these millions of likely indigent immigrants? How much money would have to be spent to assist these millions of newcomers?
Here is a final thought.
The Zika virus has emerged as a huge threat to public safety yet it has been on the radar scope for several years. When news broke about this virus that can cause devastating birth defects our government immediately issued press releases linking the spread of the virus to mosquitos and told us to not worry because it cannot be transmitted from one person to another. A few days later it was disclosed that a person in Houston, Texas had apparently been infected through a sexual contact.
Did this person have sex with a mosquito?
The disturbing issue is not only the seriousness of this emerging threat to our health and safety and the health and safety of children yet unborn, but the motivation behind our government. I have no direct evidence, but just as politicians purposely ignore the obvious nexus between immigration and terrorism that was laid out in careful detail by the 9/11 Commission- it would appear that our “leaders” are concerned that Americans might come to understand that people who enter our country without screening might spread this dreadful disease.
Let us not forget that Ellis Island was a quarantine station operated by U.S. Public Health in conjunction with Immigration authorities.