How sanctuary cities facilitate the growth of terror enclaves in America.
In the wake of the terror attacks in Belgium, news reports once again focused on how so-called “No Go Zones” in Europe create neighborhoods where communities develop that, although are geographically located within major cities, insulate themselves from their surroundings, fostering the mindset that cooperating with law enforcement is dangerous and even traitorous.
The residents eye law enforcement officers with great suspicion if not outright animosity. The situation is exacerbated because while they fear law enforcement, they may well also fear their neighbors who may take revenge against them for cooperating with law enforcement.
These neighborhoods become “cultural islands” that eschew the cultures and values of the cities and countries in which they grow -- a virtual malignancy that ultimately comes to threaten its host city and country because within this cocoon radical Islamists are shielded from law enforcement, find shelter and support and an ample supply of potential terror recruits.
These communities are inhabited by many Muslim refugees who cannot be effectively screened.
This makes assimilation by the residents of these isolated communities unlikely if not impossible and creates breeding grounds for crime and, in this era and under these circumstances- breeding grounds for terrorism.
While there are no actual “No Go Zones” in the United States, there are neighborhoods scattered around the United States, where the concentration of ethnic immigrant minorities is so great that police find themselves unable to make the sort of inroads that they should be able to make in order to effectively police these communities. Adding to the high density of these aliens in these communities is the issue of foreign languages often being the prevalent language in such “ghettos.” This gives new meaning to the term “Language Barrier.”
Back when I was an INS agent, we had an expression- “Big cases- big problems; Little cases- little problems; No cases- no problems!” That phrase applies to all law enforcement officers.
When police or other law enforcement officers are put into a classic “no win” situation, their commonsense solution is to make their own survival and well-being their priority by minimizing their contacts with such enclaves and taking the fewest actions possible within those communities.
Not unlike the “No Go Zones” of European countries, these communities in the Unites States also tend to shield foreign nationals who may be fugitives from justice both inside the United States and in other countries. Terrorists and their supporters are able to go about their daily lives- undetected by law enforcement agencies.
Implementation of sanctuary policies in such cities greatly exacerbates the threats posed to national security and public safety- turning those cities into magnets that attract still more radicals and fugitives and terrorists who need to “fly under the radar.”
Any community that provides safe haven for illegal aliens willfully endangers the lives of it residents.
Even as concerns about increased threats of terror attacks are the topic of a succession of Congressional hearings, so-called “Sanctuary Cities” continue to flourish- with the tacit approval of the administration even though they are clearly operating in violation of federal law.
Consider these provisions of Title 8, U.S.C. 1324(a) Offenses:
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.
I focused on this threat to public safety and national security in my article for The Social Contract's Winter, 2016 Edition, “Sanctuary Cities Endanger - National Security and Public Safety.”
My January 23, 2015 FrontPage Magazine article, “Sleeper Cells: The Immigration Component of the Threat” took a hard look at how failures of the immigration system enable terrorists to enter the United States and, in the parlance of the 9/11 Commission, embed themselves in communities across the country.
Incredibly, New York's Mayor Bill De Blasio, not content to simply continue the dangerous- indeed deadly sanctuary policies, has amped up the threats to New York and New Yorkers- and indeed the United States, by issuing “Municipal Identity Documents” to illegal aliens.
Reportedly hundreds of thousands of individuals have been issued these identity documents that provide a host of benefits to those to whom the cards have been issued.
Criminals, fugitives and terrorists use multiple false identities. It is therefore beyond comprehension how any mayor would be willing to provide municipal identity documents to illegal aliens. It is especially confounding that New York City's mayor would do this, given that New York City suffered the greatest number of fatalities on September 11, 2001.
De Blasio is certainly cognizant that NYC is a major terror target. On February 17, 2016 he joined Senator Chuck Schumer, the architect of Comprehensive Immigration Reform, in preparing a letter in response to the administration's proposal to cut counter-terrorism funding in half. A copy of the letter was posted on the official NYC website under the title, “Transcript: Mayor de Blasio and U.S. Senator Schumer Call on White House to Fully Restore Critical Anti-Terror Funds.”
The Observer's March 15, 2016 report, “De Blasio Makes Bipartisan Push to Reverse Obama Terror Cuts” focused on De Blasio's appearance before a Congressional hearing in which he made an impassioned plea to have the funds reinstated.
If Mr. De Blasio is really that concerned about the threat of terrorism, perhaps he (and Senator Schumer) should read the 9/11 Commission Report and the companion report, “9/11 and Terrorist Travel - Staff Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.”
Consider this excerpt from Chapter 12 of the 9/11 Commission Report:
For terrorists, travel documents are as important as weapons. Terrorists must travel clandestinely to meet, train, plan, case targets, and gain access to attack. To them, international travel presents great danger, because they must surface to pass through regulated channels, present themselves to border security officials, or attempt to circumvent inspection points.
In their travels, terrorists use evasive methods, such as altered and counterfeit passports and visas, specific travel methods and routes, liaisons with corrupt government officials, human smuggling networks, supportive travel agencies, and immigration and identity fraud.
Page 9 of 9/11 and Terrorist Travel reported:
“The 19 hijackers used 364 aliases, including different spellings of their names and noms de guerre.4 As they passed through various countries, their names were recorded by governments and their intelligence and border authorities.”
Providing official identity documents to illegal aliens, whose true identities are unknown and unknowable, enables them to create new false identities and a level of credibility they are easily able to exploit as an embedding tactic. Criminals and terrorists use changes in identity the way that chameleons use changes in coloration- as camouflage that enables them to hide in plain sight, often among their intended victims.
Donald Trump has recommended that the United States, at least temporarily, bar Muslims from entering the United States.
In my judgement this solution is not realistic. While the President can order a ban on the admission of all foreign Muslims, it would be impossible to implement. Terrorists and others who were determined to enter the United States could simply lie about their religious beliefs. Aliens who enter the United States without inspection are not screened. We already have large numbers of Muslims living in the United States.
The First Amendment provides for freedom of religion and understandably, many Americans are repulsed at the thought of making religious distinctions where the admission of aliens is concerned.
A far better solution would be to beef up the enforcement of our immigration laws from within the interior of the United States and focus a major component of the enforcement effort on seeking to locate and apprehend illegal aliens, irrespective of religion, from countries associated with terrorism.
My December 20, 2015 article for Californians for Population Stabilization, “Effective Interior Enforcement of Immigration Law Vital to Nat'l Security” expounded on how national security would be greatly enhanced by not only securing our borders but enforcing our immigration laws from within the interior of the United States.
Much has been made of the need to develop effective intelligence. What is seldom, if ever, discussed is the role of informants. In my assignment to the Unified Intelligence Division of the DEA and then when I was assigned to the Organized Crime, Drug Enforcement Task Force, one of my key responsibilities was to use my authority as an INS agent to cultivate informants.
Aliens who would be arrested would, under certain circumstances, be provided with the opportunity to become informants and cooperating witnesses to identify those aliens who are engaged in terror-related activities, thereby providing invaluable intelligence. Those who cooperated could be permitted to remain in the United States and even possibly, granted lawful status provided that they could be effectively vetted and that their assistance was particularly meritorious and yielded significant results.
Deporting those illegal aliens who could not- or would not cooperate would shrink the size of the haystack in which some very deadly needles are hiding.
Either way, our security would be greatly enhanced.