A distinguished panel at David Horowitz's Restoration Weekend discusses whether Janet Napolitano has everything "under control" on our border.
Moderator: My name’s Jeff Wienir. I’m the Director of Campus Campaigns for the David Horowitz Freedom Center. And it’s my honor to be the moderator for the -- this is officially the last panel of Restoration Weekend 2010. So thank you all for coming. I hope you all had a wonderful time this weekend, as I did.
Let me just say one thing about the border, and then we’ll get going with our experts here. You know, after hearing Janet Napolitano say that she’s got everything with the border under control, I know that we’re in serious trouble. And hopefully, our panelists can sort of illuminate some of those issues.
Our first speaker is going to be Mark Krikorian. He is the Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, D.C., which examines the impact of immigration on the United States. Mr. Krikorian frequently testifies before Congress and is the author of “The New Case Against Immigration, Both Legal and Illegal,” and most recently, “How Obama is Transforming America Through Immigration.”
Mark Krikorian: Thank you. Some of the other speakers will speak on more targeted issues, but the basic point I wanted to make is this -- that high levels of immigration, legal or illegal, are a handmaiden of the statist Left. Socialism needs mass immigration in the American context.
And this isn’t just me saying it. Let me quote Eliseo Medina -- Senior Vice President of the SEIU, America’s worst labor union -- and, not coincidentally, the honorary Chairman of the Democratic Socialists of America. He said that immigration “will solidify and expand the progressive coalition for the future.” In the same talk, he said the point of immigration is to “create a governing coalition for the long term, not just for an election cycle.”
Now, there are several reasons for this. Let me quickly touch on them. The first is kind of what everybody gets -- that high levels of immigration create Democratic voters. And this is true. And there’s a variety of reasons that immigrants are disproportionately going to vote for the Democratic Party.
First, the Democratic Party and its predecessor, the Jeffersonian Republicans, have always been the party of the pluribus; while the Republican Party and its predecessors, the Whigs and the Federalists, have been the party of the Unum, of the American nation.
And it’s not that the Democrats are bad because of that -- there are other reasons for that -- but immigrants are inevitably disproportionately going to be attracted to the outsider party. And the only exceptions are Cubans, for instance, who, for very unique foreign policy reasons, are disproportionately Republican, but that’s pretty much it. Over time, it can change. But it takes generations.
Secondly, overwhelming majority of [immigrants] -- something like 85 percent in any given year -- are people that under our laws are considered minorities, and therefore are eligible for affirmative action. The party that says we need to get rid of affirmative action is not going to be resonating with immigrants. It’s just the way it is.
Immigrants have much lower level of education -- four times more likely to be high school dropouts. In California, immigration has taken the workforce of that state from 1970 being the seventh-most educated in America among the 50 states, to now being 50th. The worst, lowest-educated, highest percentage of high school dropouts of any labor force in America’s in California. They will be lucky if they achieve the level of Mississippi and Arkansas at some point in the future.
That lower level of education necessarily means lower income. That’s simply the way it works in a modern society. A postindustrial knowledge-based economy just doesn’t pay high school dropouts that much. There’s no way around that. That means you’re not paying that much in taxes.
So when Republicans say, We need to cut taxes, a disproportionate share of immigrant voters are saying, Well, I don’t pay any taxes. What do I care whether taxes are cut.? That lower level of income and education means immigrants are more likely to be using government services.
Again, this isn’t an indictment of the immigrants. Our welfare system is designed to subsidize the working poor with children. Immigrants work, immigrants are poor, immigrants have more children than native Americans. Our welfare system is designed to subsidize them. And yet, what that means is when Republicans say, We need to cut the size of government, cut welfare -- it’s not only not going to resonate with a lot of immigrant voters; they’ll going to say, Well, that’s not something I want to vote for.
Also, unfortunately, we’re seeing significant levels of family breakdown among immigrants and their children. Immigrants have about a 30-something percent rate of illegitimacy, Hispanic immigrants have a 40-something rate of illegitimacy, and their children and grandchildren, native-born Americans of Hispanic origin, have a 50-plus percent rate of illegitimacy. Again, this pulls them away from the Right, toward the Left.
Thirdly -- I mean finally, rather -- in this area of voting, immigrants disproportionately come from countries with no tradition of limited government. And this is simply the way it is. It’s something that can be taught over time, through assimilation, through inculcation. But it doesn’t happen very quickly.
In fact, in a survey of just a few years ago -- these weren’t just immigrants; these were native and American-born Hispanics. But even the American-born are probably a generation or two mostly removed from the immigration process. It turns out that when they asked, Do you prefer lower taxes and fewer services, or higher taxes with more government services, Hispanic Republicans were more statist than white Democrats. Dramatically more statist than white Democrats.
But that’s just voting. Let me touch on the other reason that immigration inevitably serves the interest of statism, bigger government and the Left. And that is that it changes the political and economic and social environment to make the arguments of the statist Left more appealing even to non-immigrant voters, who aren’t thinking at all about immigration.
And let me give you just one example what I mean. The uninsured population -- if we didn’t have this constant drumbeat about the crisis of the uninsured, and all of this, they would never have had the traction to get as far as they have on Obamacare and, generally speaking, on socialized medicine. Well, one out of three people without health insurance in the United States is either an immigrant or the young child of an immigrant living at home. Eighty percent of the growth in the uninsured population over the past decade is directly a consequence of immigration.
The same thing is true with the gap between the rich and poor -- income inequality. Now, as conservatives, our goal is not to use government to reduce income inequality. Nonetheless, it does reinforce the argument for government intervention when there is much bigger and growing gaps between rich and poor.
Again, California’s a great example. California now has more income inequality than Mississippi did in 1970. The fact is that, whether we like it or not, that creates the political environment in which socialists get more of a hearing among middle-of-the-road voters who are, in fact, movable one way or the other.
And the last thing I want to talk about how immigration changes the environment is it increases diversity. And Robert Putnam, the Harvard professor who wrote “Bowling Alone,” has done extensive research on this issue of the effects of diversity. And what he’s found is that increasing diversity in a society weakens civic engagement. It erodes those institutions that exist between the individual and the State to mediate this power of the State.
Because what happens is people become less civically engaged. It’s not that whites and Hispanics and blacks pull into themselves; it’s that people stop having anything to do with each other altogether, even the participation in the PTA, participation in Hadassah, even in the frequency of having people over to your house for dinner -- all decline as diversity increases, eliminating all those “little platoons,” [that stand] between the individual and the State, and leaving the individual naked in the face of the State.
Obviously, I could go on for another seven or 15 or 20 minutes. But my basic point is this -- mass immigration inherently, because of its very nature, in a modern society is serving the interests of statism. And the only way you can create the prerequisites for achieving a smaller state and increasing liberty is through curbing the current very high levels of immigration.
Moderator: Our next speaker is Major General Paul Vallely. He retired in 1991, and he has served as a consultant to the commanding general of Special Operations Command, as well as the DOD Anti-Drug and Counterterrorist Task Forces. He is the author of “Operation Sucker Punch (Blood for Our Future),” and is now Chairman of Save Our Democracy and Stand Up America.
Paul Vallely: Thank you.
Thank you very much, David, Freedom Center, for inviting Muffin and me back to this wonderful Restoration Weekend, to see so many friends. And we thank you for your continued support for Stand Up America and the Soldier’s Memorial Fund.
We just got off a ship yesterday morning, 9 o’clock, came here. I had the opportunity to be on the spy cruise last week. And everybody likes spying and mysteries. Well, we had General Michael Hayden, past CIA director, Porter Goss, also a past CIA director, and myself as the guest speakers in the Caribbean. And it was wonderful. Because everybody likes to know what spies do? And we had a lot of retired CIA operatives who were in the audience and on the trip with us.
But last week, I had to bring in this part of our intelligence gathering. Stand Up America does is a whole new investigative intelligence center in a location in Southern California that really provides us a lot of great, modern, high-tech, instantaneous intelligence, of which about five, six months ago we provided our report to Congressman Royce, who then presented it to the Intel Committee on Israel, Southern Lebanon, Iraq and Syria. And as Congressman Royce knows, what we provided them has worked out.
And the reason I point this out, before I get into the subject of the Southern border, is that the most dangerous, hottest spot in the world today is Southern Lebanon. It’s not Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen or Somalia. It’s Southern Lebanon. When I look across the world -- we look at the new chessboard, we look at the influence of Iran -- we see, the second-hottest spot to me is our southern border.
And so I’ll talk today about that. And I’ll talk to you about a [notional] national security operation called Operation Checkmate.
But you know, nothing, nothing, will work in the United States -- will fall apart if we don’t have national security. Because I can’t protect Silicon Valley, it’ll fall apart. And so all these great ideas can’t happen unless we can secure the American people and our families.
I said that on Neil Cavuto about two years ago. And he looks at me, because we were talking about retirement plans and 401(k)s going to pot, and all that stuff. And I said, “Neil, none of it makes any difference, unless I can make it secure for you.” And so we just have to keep that in mind.
Let me talk now on an article I wrote, a series of three articles, actually -- “War on the Southern Border Cartels and Narco-Terrorists are Winning.” I usually don’t read things, but I want to [do it here] is because I think it’s very important.
[Reading from article]: There was a time when the municipality of San Fernando in Northeastern Mexico was known for farming, fishing and a quiet way of life. Today, it is associated with death.
And several weeks ago, a young Ecuadorian with bullet holes in his shoulder and cheek told a story of how he and his traveling companions were on their way to the United States, to come across our border and work for economic reasons. They had been kidnapped in San Fernando Valley by the Zetas, which are offshoots and recruit many of the military out of the Mexican army. And they’re one of the Mexicans’ largest cartels. And they work very closely with a lot of other groups there.
Even Monterrey, the country’s industrial center, known until recently with a very peaceful lifestyle, has been turned upside-down with terror. And we read about it every week -- what happens in El Paso, what happens in Juarez, what happens in Tijuana.
The past few months have [been seen as an] increase in what we called “narco-bloqueos,” or impromptu roadblocks, by drug gangs to create maximum chaos in the selected cities and thwart any local authority. And we see that particularly among the border cities today.
The Ecuadorian said, “They pulled us out of the truck violently and demanded money.” And after managing to escape, they said that the Zetas -- and “that they would pay us $1,000 every two weeks if we would join them. But we didn’t accept, and they opened fire.” Mexican authorities confirmed the account when they discovered in a remote and semi-derelict grain warehouse 72 bullet-ridden bodies with their hands tied and eyes bandaged. Among them was a woman in the final stages of pregnancy.
Revelations of what has now been confirmed as the worst massacre since Felipe Calderón, Mexico’s president, declared war on organized crime almost four years ago have focused international attention on the country’s drug war like never before. We have at least one to two flights from Tehran into Venezuela every week, offloading arms, offloading agents of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. And so as you look at that soft underbelly, and look what’s occurring there worldwide, in trying to figure out how they can neutralize and bring down the United States.
You can all remember, those that have visited Mexico, the plaza, that sunlit square, complete with the bubbling fountain in the middle, that forms any self-respecting image of a Mexican town. Today it means a local territory for dealing drugs.
Aware of their inability to perform even basic tasks of law and order, the center-right [coalition of] Senor Calderón has deployed almost 50,000 army troops to win the nation’s streets back from organized crime, and also to try to tell our governor, Jan Brewer, how to do her business in Arizona. That perception is increasingly reinforced by the numbers we see, the growing amounts of intensive conflicts along the border. Seventy-five hundred people have been murdered just in Mexico, according to the Reforma newspaper.
They say I have one minute left, so let me get into now Operation Checkmate. This is a notional strategy. If the federal government will not execute this operational plan to secure our borders, then the people must insist that we do it for our own protection and protecting our economy. The executable -- this is what we call it in national security -- a notional plan. It’s not connected to the government; it’s a notional plan that we propose in case we have to go to more aggressive action along our border.
The problems on and across our southern borders of California, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas are on the news every day. You’d have to live in a perpetual cave not to know the situation. We are facing a war of gigantic proportions.
Now, the plan I’m talking about is basic. And having been in Special Operations, it’s what I would do as a war planner now because I see the seriousness of the area south of our border. This combines the best use of all of our forces that will encompass intelligence, targeting structural organization of forces to accomplish their mission, base operations, offensive and defensive operations. We can’t sit behind the fence and the border and think this is going to go away and throw billions of dollars for something that is not working.
[Operation] Checkmate organizes three border task force groups and puts them in three operational bases -- one in Texas, one in Arizona, one in Southern California. I don’t have to tell you the bases that we already have there that could be utilized for this. There’s no requirement to create any new bases. I will not name these because of security. But these basic border task force groups would be organized with Special Ops, Army, Air Force and Navy, and Special Operations.
We have to plan for a 20-kilometer no-go zone on the other side of the border, just like we did in Iraq -- no-fly zones. We have to coordinate in some way many things with the Mexican government. We know they’re so corrupted. But if we know those drug cartels are there, we know that the Zetas and Hezbollahs are coming up, ladies and gentlemen, we have to take offensive action across our southern border if we’re going to protect America.
And as General Schumacher stated last night, each of these border task force groups would have 5,000 helicopters, everything -- Black Operation’s what we call it. And we’ll find them, fix them; and we’ll take care of them before they can come to our border. That’s Operation Checkmate.
Thank you very much.
Moderator: Thayer Verschoor is a state senator from Arizona. He has served on the Appropriations, Commerce, and Economic Development and Transportation Committees. He’s also served as the Senate Majority Leader and President Pro Temp. Thayer?
Thayer Verschoor: Well, thank you. I want to bring to you a couple of perspectives [from Arizona]. One is that the laws that we have passed regarding immigration are actually humanitarian. And I’ll explain that in a little bit. And the second thing I want to do is affirm what Paul [Vallely] has just said here.
So here’s our perspective on illegal migration -- and that’s what I’m going to call it because immigration is a term of legitimacy.
I was talking to my friend, Frank Gaffney, yesterday -- a new friend, I should say -- talking to him a little bit. And he wants to call it invasion. Because quite frankly, there’s a lot of people who call it an invasion. But it is not immigration; it’s an illegal migration that is occurring.
In Arizona, illegal migrants cost us $3 billion every year. That’s in -- and it’s a billion. When I first got elected, it was $1 billion eight years ago. Now it’s up to $3 billion. And that’s in three areas. That’s in incarceration, education, and in healthcare. Those are the three areas. We have emergency rooms that can’t even stay open because they’re just jam-packed full of citizens from Mexico coming in. So that’s one Arizona perspective.
Now the humanitarian. Folks, Senate Bill 1070 -- quite frankly, all it does is it allows Arizona law enforcement officers to enforce federal law. It’s already the law. The problem is that for 30 years, Arizonans and many other people, in Texas and California, have been asking the federal government, Enforce your damn laws! And thy won’t do it! They’ve refused to do it! And until they start doing it, we’re going to continue to see this escalation that we’re seeing.
How many of you have seen the movie “Amazing Grace?” In one scene in the movie, William Wilberforce is taken to see these slave ships, where these slaves are hauled from Africa to the Western Hemisphere. Okay? Folks, this is very similar to what is occurring in this illegal migration smuggling that’s going on.
They will pile 20, 30 people into a truck or a van that’s only made to seat eight or nine people, and just cram them in there. They bring them across the desert in 120-degree weather. If someone gets sick and can’t keep up, they just leave them there to die.
They bring them to Phoenix, to Mesa, to Chandler. They put them in these drop houses, where there’s not even room to lie down or sit down. And if they try to get away, they execute them. They beat them. The women are raped. A lot of the women and young girls and boys are sold into the sex trade.
This is a disaster that’s going on here, a humanitarian disaster. So we have to stop this.
Arizona passed employer sanctions. Employer sanction just simple says, you know what, employers, you can’t hire illegal aliens. Stop hiring them. And all we’ve asked them to do is just check federal government’s E-Verify.
So these things that we’re doing in Arizona are to try and curb the incentives for people to come here illegally. We’re trying to allow our law enforcement to enforce what is already the law. These are not new laws. And yet we’re called racists in Arizona, we’re called fascists in Arizona.
Folks, what’s going on here is horrifying. The environmental impact is disastrous. If you’ve ever seen these areas where they bring these illegal aliens, smuggle them into, it’s just total disaster -- the garbage and the trash that’s left behind that is almost impossible for people to clean up.
Arizona is second in the world in kidnappings. These coyotes will kidnap these human cargos and then resell them. This just goes on and on again. Folks, there’s nothing, there’s nothing redeeming about what is happening.
This is a national security issue. As of November, in this year alone in Mexico, the cartels have killed over 10,000 people now -- 10,035 people as of November. Ten thousand thirty-five. Over 300 decapitations. Okay? This is al-Qaeda stuff. And this is coming over, like you said, from the Middle East. Now they’re using car bombs down there.
Now, people say, Well, you know what, we can say that’s a Mexico problem. Well, I live in Arizona. And I can attest to you, it is no longer a Mexico problem. A couple years ago, we had a running gun battle between cartels, trying to snatch the other’s human cargo, right along Interstate 10. Right there, just south of Phoenix.
We just recently, in Chandler -- which is also in the Phoenix area -- had a decapitation. Now, they called it a stabbing, in which the man was beheaded. At first, they tried to make it sound like some partygoers gone wild. That wasn’t the case. Now they’re starting to find out that it looks like this man had ripped off one of the cartels. And now, they came and they decapitated him as a warning.
Folks, we had, just a month ago, a cartel member living in this town of Casa Grande, which is between Phoenix and Tucson. This person was executed in his car, in broad daylight, in a middle-class neighborhood like you’d see anywhere, even here in Palm Beach. This person was -- his job was to be in charge of these spotters. They believed him to have been turned to become a snitch. They executed him in this neighborhood, in front of his house, in broad daylight. They shot him to death in his car.
They have these spotters -- this is military type stuff -- they now have spotters in the mountains in the Arizona desert with communications abilities. They live in caves in the mountains, and they radio communication to the drug smugglers where the police are, where the Border Patrol is at, to try and help them avoid the smuggling.
This is the type of stuff that we’re seeing in Arizona. It’s bad stuff. We need not only to defund NPR, we not only need to defund Obamacare, but we need to secure our borders.
Moderator: We’re lucky to have two congressmen on this panel to talk about the opportunity GOP has to help rectify the situation -- what should be done, and hopefully what can be done.
First is Steven King. He was elected to Congress in 2002 to represent Iowa’s new Fifth Congressional District. He’s a member of the House Judiciary Committee, where he sits on the Constitution Subcommittee, and is the top Republican on the Immigration Subcommittee.
Steven King: Well, thank you very much.
The previous witnesses here on this panel have covered a lot of the territory that I anticipated I might. But I’ll try to speak on this from general terms.
And just think of [illegal immigration] as, yes, a national security problem that we have. And it also is a domestic security problem we have, to the extent that 90 percent of the illegal drugs that are consumed in the United States come from or through Mexico. And when I talk to DEA personnel, and I ask them with the door closed what would happen if magically everyone who woke up in this country tomorrow morning was here legally -- what would happen to the illegal drug distribution chain in America? And their answer is, it will sever at least one link in every distribution chain in America and at least temporarily shut off illegal drug distribution. So that’s a component I’d ask you to think about.
But from the broader perspective, it’s long been my belief that any country’s immigration policy should be designed to enhance the economic, the social and the cultural wellbeing of the United States of America. And to that end, we should be thinking about how we increase the average annual productivity of Americans. That’s the overlying philosophy.
We heard Mark Krikorian talk about the competing forces in this society, the Left versus Right, statism. I look at it this way -- the Left in this country, the progressives, the leftists of all stripes -- whether they’re directly Marxist, socialist, however you want to define them -- they are about expanding the dependency class in America.
And when we saw this immigration debate come at us in about 2004 and early 2005, what we saw was an effort, I believe, on the part of the Bush Administration to bring over into the Republican side a large percentage of Hispanics. And I’ve had this debate with Karl Rove, and we’ve gone at it fairly intensively.
But my position on it is this -- that newly arriving immigrants assimilate into the politics of the locale where they arrive, whether it be Los Angeles County -- you know how that goes, a lot of you in this room, if you’ve been there for an hour, you know the answer to that.
But if anybody is thinking about rebutting that comment, I’d ask you then, go to Boston, find me an Irish-Catholic Republican. After all these generations, for all of this incentive that’s there, still the Irish produce more and more generations of Democrats. And the Teddy Kennedy clan continues to grow and prosper. They haven’t stopped and taken a good look. And it isn’t about whether they go to church or whether they are productive, good, family people. It’s about [the fact that] they got assimilated into the politics of the locale where they arrived, just like we have fourth- and fifth-generation FDR Democrats that are still a problem for us today.
So what happened was, back then, Bush’s immigration speech began to split the Republican Party. And then we got confused on what we believed in. We got away from this idea that we are rule-of-law Republicans, and that when you want to list the pillars of American exceptionalism, you cannot build this edifice of this great country without one of those essential pillars being the rule of law.
And the effort to disregard the rule of law, the -- I’ll say the commitment that’s there to ignore it because it’s inconvenient economically or it does something to somebody’s labor supply -- we should know that there are people out there every day that are taking a jackhammer to those beautiful marble pillars of American exceptionalism. And the rule of law is essential pillar.
So here’s how I lay out the mission that we have ahead for us. One is we have to stop the bleeding at the border. A nation has to have a border if it’s going to be a nation. You have to protect that border if you’re going to remain sovereign. Phil Gingrey, a congressman from Georgia, laid it out best. He’d been an emergency room doctor. He said, when somebody wheels a patient into the emergency room, and they’re bleeding off of the gurney and it’s all over the floor, you don’t go grab a mop and a bucket and clean up the floor; you stop the bleeding.
And so I suggest we do stop the bleeding at the border. And I’m one, and maybe the only one, who’s actually looked at the business model down there -- $12 billion spent on 2,000 miles. That’s $6 million a mile. Now, I know what a mile of road looks like. There’s an uninhabited mile west of my house. And if Janet Napolitano came to me and said, I’ll pay you $6 million to protect this mile -- in fact, I’ll give you a 10-year contract. So you’ve got a $60 million contract to protect this mile. And if you can slow down 25 or maybe 20 percent of the traffic going across -- let the rest through -- I’ll still pay you. That’s what we have going. And I told Karl Rove one day, if you pay me that kind of money to protect a mile of the border, I’ll make sure that nothing gets across that border for that kind of money.
And so that’s why I say we can build a fence, a wall and a fence. We can build an interstate, four-lane interstate highway for $4 million a mile. We’re spending $6 million a mile. And if we just did that every year for the last 10 years, we’d have two walls two lanes wide.
Now, I don’t suggest that we build it all the way. Not 2,000 miles. Just build it till they stop going around the end. That’s the measure. Then, we have to shut off the jobs magnet. And one of those ways is E-Verify mandatory. But another way is this -- I’ve introduced legislation that I think has a reasonable chance, even this year, and this coming year. It’s called the New Idea Act. What it does is it clarifies that wages and benefits paid to illegals are not tax-deductable. It brings the IRS into the mix.
And so, when they come in and do an audit, they’d run the Social Security numbers of the employees through E-Verify. And if they kick them out, we give the employer safe harbor if he uses E-Verify. But the equivalent is this -- it moves that business expense over into the profit column. When you deny the business expense, it becomes taxable. So the interest, the penalty and the taxes turn your $10-an-hour illegal into a $16-an-hour illegal, which opens up opportunities for $12-, $13-, $14- and $15-an-hour jobs for [legals].
And then, when we get to this point where we establish and reestablish the rule of law, I want to restructure the immigration policy consistent with the mission that I’ve laid out in the beginning -- to enhance the economic, social and cultural wellbeing of the United States of America, to increase the average annual productivity, diminish the pressure on the welfare state in America, which is about half of the problem that brings about this immigration situation in the first place. And I’d like to set up a point system.
Today, we only control, based upon merit, between seven and 11 percent of our legal immigration. The rest is out of our control. Because it’s family reunification plan or whatever. I’d like to change that thing back around, and look at a score system, so we can reward youth and education and earning productivity, job skills, and, by the way, language skills. An ability to learn and speak English is the single -- most strongest indicator of assimilation in our culture.
Congressman Ed Royce: Many of you have read [Edward] Deming’s work. And I had a chance to talk to him about this issue. And he said, you know, there’s good immigration and bad immigration. And for the United States, low-skilled immigration was not going to be helpful.
Along with Duncan Hunter, I authored the border fence legislation. We got it signed into law. The President did not like that. Karl Rove was quite upset about it. But they had to sign it because it was right before an election. The reason it is not implemented is because there was a lack of will to do what’s in the law.
And I just want to make an observation. I did some work in El Paso, Texas years ago. And I remember Juarez. Do you know how many Americans were killed last month in Juarez, Mexico? Well, there were 20 last month. But if you look at how many Mexican citizens since ’08 have lost their lives in that city -- 7,100. That gives you a sense of the magnitude of the problem.
I held hearings down on the border, as chairman of the International Terrorism Committee, in which we heard testimony from the FBI, from one of our investigators who brought the components for a dirty bomb across the border successfully. We heard testimony from those who had worked with the 9/11 Commission Report, that border security is national security -- that four of the hijackers were actually stopped separately -- four cases -- speeding here in the United States. They were ticketed. If there had been a concerted effort to check with the toll-free number -- I know it’s not politically correct to do it in many communities -- they could’ve been arrested at that point for being in this country illegally. They had overstayed their visas.
So as a consequence of that, the 9/11 Commission pushed us to pass some of the very laws that we enacted. And in that legislation, we allow Arizona and other states to enforce the federal law. Now, this is what’s unique about the President’s position -- or, I should say, the Attorney General’s position. His position is, because the Administration has decided not to enforce the law of the land, the Justice Department now has the ability to prevent Arizona from enforcing the very laws that we passed.
I am the lead plaintiff on a brief that we have filed with Arizona -- John Eastman actually did the legal work on this -- in which our assertion is we have standing in the Congress because we actually passed the laws. And the Administration does not have standing not only to ignore the laws we passed, but to also ignore the mandate to allow states to enforce the law. I think we’re going to have standing in front of the Supreme Court on that.
But I want you to think for a minute about the condition we’re in today, where recently on a lake on the border, last month -- we had a US citizen killed. The investigator in Mexico who was working on that case was just decapitated. If you’re asking for how many convictions we have or expect -- out of the 20 Americans killed this month over in -- or last month in Juarez, I can tell you this is what we’re facing, is the collapse right now of the rule of law.
And if we look at Juarez’s history, that was the principal job generator in Mexico. That city, per capita, created the most jobs in all of Mexico. That situation has totally been reversed by this war between the Zetas and the Gulf cartel. And the reason we need to be especially concerned with this, as we see the Zetas go through there, burning homes, burning churches, burning markets and scaring people out to become refugees -- the reason we need to be concerned goes back to those post-9/11 hearings, the hearings that I did on the border with Mexico, in which we heard the testimony from our sheriffs, our Border Patrol.
By the way, our Border Patrol faces 700 attacks a year. What they’ve requested is a double border fence that they can deploy behind. All right? And that is what was enacted into law. And that is what is not being enforced.
But the testimony that we got was that by fraudulently securing documents and getting into this country, and violating their terms of stay, this is how the 9/11 attack occurred. And al-Qaeda leaders believe that illegal entry is more advantageous than legal entry for operational security concerns. That is the testimony that we heard.
We heard that Border Patrol routinely apprehends now people from Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Somalia, crossing our southern border. The FBI testified that individuals from countries where al-Qaeda’s operational are changing from Islamic surnames to Hispanic surnames in order to avoid detection. That’s our FBI.
When individuals who are OTMs -- from countries other than Mexico -- are apprehended, they’re frequently released. I don’t have much time, so I will share with you the story of Mahmoud Kourani, a story that’s important to me because his brother was head of military security for Lebanon and played a role in launching the missile attacks in Haifa. I actually was there during those attacks, in the Rambam Trauma Hospital. I saw the victims of 600 of those attacks.
This is the brother of that man. His brother paid $3,000 to a corrupt official in Beirut, in the Mexican Consulate, in order to get entry into the United States. He then approached a cartel and paid a sum of money, along with a confederate of his, to be put in the trunk of a vehicle and driven into the United States. He then made his way to Dearborn, Michigan, where he rendezvoused with the other members of this cell group, which was in excess of 50.
I’ll just read from the indictment -- “He is a fighter, recruiter, fundraiser for Hezbollah who received specialized training in radical Shiite fundamentalism, in weaponry, in spy craft, and in counterintelligence in both Lebanon and Iran. He has employed the Sharia Muslim doctrine of Taqiyya, which is concealment, pretense and fraud, while in the United States. He shaved his beard, he avoided mosques, he kept his beliefs private while inside what he called ‘hostile territory’.”
Now, luckily, he was apprehended. And he and his other 50 were serving time in federal penitentiary.
I don’t have a lot of time to speak on this. But I will just share with you that the concern that I have is that at least Arizona is getting serious about enforcing US law, at a time when the Administration is doing all it can do to undermine enforcement.
And the idea right now that we have testimony from Border Patrol agents who tell us that the cartels are using automatic weapons, grenades, grenade launchers -- I’m quoting from the testimony -- they are experts in explosives, wiretapping, counter-surveillance. And they monitor our offices, they monitor our homes as deputy sheriffs, and our cellular phone conversations. During the time of my hearing, one of those deputies had been shot. One of the sheriff’s deputies had been shot the week before.
This is the situation on the border today. This cannot be ignored. It has to be addressed. Edward Deming was right -- there is good immigration, and there’s bad immigration. You cannot allow immigration to be controlled by a group like this. This has to be under the rule of law. And it’s up to us to drive this issue home.
Thank you very much.
Moderator: We’ve got about 20 minutes for some questions.
Q: For General Vallely -- Texas has some 20 cameras in areas that they know are real active areas along the border. And those cameras are out on the Web, where anybody in the United States can view what’s going on and report directly to the Sheriffs Association. I think it’s called BlueServo. Are you all networking with people like that? And is there any ideas of using drones to maybe intercede in those situations?
Paul Vallely: We are talking -- a lot of the technology that I brought back from Israel in the north there [involves]their use of technology along the border using drones and balloons -- and that information’s fed right into the, I think, 7 outposts in the north. Very, very accurate as far as identifying moving, intelligent targets, and so on. That’s why I talk about the no-go zone, where you identify enemy targets that are a threat to the United States. This is not just a defensive operation anymore; we’re looking at on a war south of our border, for all the reasons these three gentlemen have pointed out -- that now we are in a transition point, where we really have to think about offensive operations.
We just can’t sit back and let this continue to deteriorate, and more and more people -- Americans, as well as innocent Mexicans and others -- be decapitated and blown up. Because we know Hezbollah, as Congressman Royce has said -- they’re coming in through the soft underbelly. Chavez is promoting it, along with Ahmadinejad. So they know what our soft underbelly looks like. And again, they’re going to take advantage of our laws.
And that is why the National Guard -- that the states control, by the way, unless they’re federalized -- need to be used in a better capacity, under Posse Comitatus on this side of the [board]. If I was the general in charge, in redeploying my forces, I would certainly develop a number of intelligence contacts within Mexico that I can trust, that would in fact work with our Special Ops, Delta Force, special forces, Green Berets, SEALs and so on. We find the targets, and we work with people, complemented by any technology that we have.
So I think we’re in a whole different war today. A different endgame needs to be resolved and recognized. If not, ladies and gentlemen, we will fall from below, just as we can fall from all the jihadi cells that are being developed in the country.
So that’s why we have to look at this as a total strategy. And hopefully, our leaders in Washington at some point in time, above and beyond Steve King and Ed Royce, will be able to deliver to us a strategy that will work to save America.
Q: I think the overriding theme is that there’s a lack of political will. And therefore, it leads to the next thing. You’re preaching to the choir in this audience here. But you obviously have a communication problem. Because the lack of political will isn’t getting through. And until that point, maybe you have to have billboard posters of decapitated bodies and American dead before we will get the political will. Because obviously, you know, this isn’t anything that we haven’t heard before. It’s just -- something needs to be done.
Mark Krikorian: Yeah, I had a thought on the political will idea. I mean, it’s true what you’re saying, obviously. But I’m not sure it’s an issue of, you know, communication strategy. It’s not just that people coming to Restoration Weekend are on our side. The public is on the side of controlling immigration. It’s just that immigration, the research actually shows, is the area of policy where there’s the biggest gap between elite views and public views.
The Chicago Council on Foreign Relations actually did some research on this. And even things like support for foreign aid had a smaller gap, between elite views and public views, than immigration did. Immigration’s not a right-left issue; it’s an up-down issue.
And that’s really the challenge. And it’s a different kind of challenge than making the case for, you know, a lot of other things -- whether it’s tax cuts, or on abortion or guns, or whatever it happens to be, which are clear are right-left issues. And it’s a very different challenge. And that’s why it’s been much more difficult to develop, to get any movement on it.
Thayer Verschoor: And the comment I’d like to make is -- the media’s complicit in the lack of communication in this. They don’t want to tell the truth about how bad things are. I mean, it’s a civil war that’s going on in Mexico that is now bleeding into the United States. They don’t want to tell you that, because they don’t want to incite the public and the masses. They want to lowball this whole issue -- that it’s just about prejudice, and it’s about racism and stuff like that.
But the fact is that as Arizona has stepped up, now 25 other states want to use that as model legislation to step up. And just like everything else, you know, that are big issues in the country, for the most part, they kind of have to come up through the states to reach the federal level. And that’s when you’re going to see that change, as more and more states start to adopt bills like Senate Bill 1070.
Q: I’d like to address Steve and Ed. First of all, thank you for being here and being so frank with us. How are you going to -- with the new Republican Congress, how are you going to get the Administration to start the fence-building and enforce these laws?
Steven King: Well, I’ve said that I’ve now had almost eight years in Congress. And I’ve spent a lot of those eight years seeking to embarrass the Administration into enforcing immigration law. I have been challenged publicly by people who will say Congress needs to do something to enforce the law. And I have to go back to the separation of powers and identify that we pass the laws we appropriate to the executive branch. Their job is to enforce the law. In fact, that’s the President’s Constitutional oath, is to take care that the laws are faithfully enforced.
So, that sounds like a bit of a duck. But it really isn’t, in that we need to continue to turn the pressure up. And we need to continue to advance these ideas that are so important. One thing that I do is I applaud the states stepping up, like Arizona has. And I support in this country, down to the county level, enforcement of our immigration laws.
I’m looking at some things we might be able to do to highlight this and continue this debate. One is holding hearings, informing America, moving legislation that puts more pressure on the administration to enforce immigration laws. One is to address anchor babies in this country. That’s about 340,000, maybe as many as 750,000 babies in America -- either one in a dozen or two in a dozen, depending on whose numbers you want to take. That’s something we can do by statute. And it would be litigated, but the clause subject to the jurisdiction thereof in the 14th Amendment, I think, makes it clear that Congress has the authority to pass laws [that] enforce the anchor baby issue.
The New Idea Act that I talked about -- sanctuary cities are another. And I think we can bring significant pressure to bear in the appropriations process on sanctuary cities.
I grew up in a law enforcement family. I never envisioned, in all of those years spent around uniformed people -- either military or law enforcement -- as I grew up, that there was anything other than a cooperative relationship between all levels of law enforcement, from the city police officer all the way up to the federal officers. And so I think we’ll have a lot of opportunities to bring amendments to start to reduce funding, and eventually unfund sanctuary cities.
And then -- and I want to just briefly mention, before I pass this microphone over to Ed, that Thayer mentioned the spotter locations in Arizona. I’ve gone to those locations, I’ve climbed those mountains. I found out about them when I was walking across the Tahotaotum Reservation with the Shadow Wolves. And they said, There’s a spotter on that mountain, there’s a spotter on that mountain. Of course, I couldn’t see them. But I wanted to go see what it looked like from there.
Later, I came back, climbed some of those mountains, sat in those locations. And then we took a Black Hawk, and we did some operations against them. And it was quite an interesting experience. But we have located at least 100 locations where there are tactical positions taken up on top of the mountains, where they’re overlooking generally intersections of highways, so they can tip off all of our -- any time our law enforcement officers are moving on that highway, they know it. We can embarrass them about that, and I intend to do all of those things. And I intend to help elect a President that’ll reestablish the rule of law. And that’s more important [than anything else].
Ed Royce: Well, our first step is going to have to be to defeat the amnesty legislation that Nancy Pelosi’s going to move during this lame duck session along with Harry Reid. Our second step -- you know, if you think about the fact that the Social Security Administration admits right now that there’s nine million people using fraudulent Social Security numbers in the United States -- we know who they are, and there is a lack of will to enforce that. So one of the easy steps with E-Verify is to move legislation that makes that mandatory. And electronically, you can check. And, you know, that is a quick fix.
Lastly, I would just say we’re going to have to secure our border on our side of the border. I’ve been down to the border on a number of occasions working with Border Patrol agents. One of the interesting occurrences I saw was where, on the Border Patrol’s counterparts, on the other side of the border, a tunnel was being dug. And the fellows showed me how, you know, they were watching as the Mexican officials offered cover for the guys digging the border tunnel.
So we’re not -- in that kind of environment, you’re not going to get a lot of cooperation on the other side of the border. We need to complete the double border fence and drive the hearings to do it. Thanks.
Q: One of the things that, I guess, last night we talked about, about our armed forces -- how we are overstressed. Unfortunately, the border is really our Achilles’ Heel. The situation is so bad, as you guys have talked about, and there’s so much research that has gone on. I don’t understand why we don’t have troop deployment here. Because this is the most serious war we’re going to fight. Not in Afghanistan, not in Iraq; it’s here. And people are coming through here -- al-Qaeda, all kinds of other terrorists. And everyone in Washington is passing legislation when nothing’s happening.
Why can’t we have true deployment here? Why can’t we stop it? We’re not going to get help from the Mexican government. Because money is being funneled to the Mexican government by the immigrants. That’s supporting their economy.
Ed Royce: The short answer is that the Obama Administration just pulled the National Guard off of the Texas border, the California border and the New Mexico border. So they’re headed in the wrong direction.
Mark Krikorian: This is the National Guard, mind you, he just sent before the election. And so now the election is over, the emergency is over, so he’s pulling them off the border.
But I mean, I think to answer your question, one of the reasons you don’t see more use of troops on the border is that legally, Congress would have to, it seems to me, adapt the law to permit the military in a certain range near -- which I’m all for. But I mean, [it’s not simple.]
But also, there has been use of military on the border in antidrug patrols. And one -- there was one kid, sort of a hapless kid who was herding his family’s goats and had a shotgun to keep the coyotes away, who ended up, you know, in the middle of the night with a group of marines sneaking up, or behind him. He turned around, aimed the gun at them, and they shot him down -- that kind of thing that immediately shuts down, really, any talk of it. So, I mean, it’s a politically problematic thing that needs, it seems to me, a legal structure to kind of control it and establish it.
And the final problem is, starting in the Bush Administration, we basically contracted out our immigration policy to the Mexican Foreign Ministry. And the Mexican government is dead-set against any use of American troops on American soil to protect our border. And since they, you know, to some degree have a kind of veto power, both in the last administration and this administration over our immigration policy, you see why it hasn’t happened yet.
Thayer Verschoor: Sooner or later, the public demand is going to be so high. Anybody in here familiar with the term “aztlan”? This is a philosophy held by many Mexicans to retake the western part of the United States through migration, and to repopulate it with their citizens.
In Arizona, we’ve already [ceded] about 60 miles of land to the cartels. We’ve got signs up there saying, Don’t go here. If you do, it’s at your own risk. Because the cartels -- they don’t say this specifically, but the implication is the cartels actually control this land now, and we can’t guarantee your safety there. That’s insane for our government to allow that to happen to our border. So we’re just basically giving up that much land right now that we’re saying we can’t control. We do need to change that. And I think the public outcry is starting to grow on that point. And that’s what will change it.
Unidentified Audience Member: May I please say one thing?
Q: First, I want to thank you, Mr. Vallely, for calling this what it is -- illegal migration and, more specifically, invasion. Because this is invasion. And all these proposals, all these calls for legislation, all these ideas and everything -- great. The President has pulled the National Guard off the border.
Now, he is -- he has taken a solemn oath to uphold our Constitution. And if I’m not mistaken, all the congressmen and -women have as well. Am I correct? All that is needed is to uphold the oath, uphold the Constitution. And every time that vow is broken, we need to treat it as sedition and as treason.
It’s very, very simple. We the people, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of our liberty, for ourselves and our posterity. It must be upheld.
And if someone pledges and takes the vow, and takes the oath in the name of God, and his solemn oath, and does not uphold that; and rather, in fact, undermines it and destroys it, he must be held accountable.
Ed Royce: And the most effective way to hold it accountable is to lay out this issue -- we’ve got an election coming up -- and run somebody on these issues who is going to be in step with the will of the American public and with our Constitution.
Mark Krikorian: One last comment on this that relates to what Congressman Royce said -- even on the right, there is dissention on this. And one of the first things we need to do is put our own house in order. And, you know, it’s -- Grover Norquist, the Editorial Board of The Wall Street Journal, Dick Armey, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce -- are on the side of the socialists on this issue. And that’s where we have to start, even before we start attacking Obama and his minions.
Thayer Verschoor: I’d just say in conclusion that whenever I’ve watched the Statue of Liberty, I’ve never envisioned her as having a voice. But now I do. Thank you.