With just about all attention focused on the crisis on the U.S./Mexican border, scant if any attention is being paid to the many other ways aliens may enter the United States in violation of our immigration laws.
I have frequently written about the irrefutable fact that the United States has 50 border states and not just the four border states that abut with the Mexican border.
In addition to the four “border states” that everyone is well aware of, any state that lies along our nation’s northern border, lies along our nation’s 95,000 miles of coastline or has an international airport are all “border states.”
Aliens who run our nation’s borders are entering the United States without inspection, but then so do aliens who stow away on ships and then sneak off those ships. Boats undoubtedly make landfall along our 95,000 mile coastline and enable aliens to also evade the inspections process that is mandated by immigration laws and protect the United States from the entry and presence of aliens who may pose a threat to national security, public safety, public health and the jobs and wages of Americans.
On June 6, 1993 a dilapidated and vermin-infested boat, the Golden Venture ran aground in the Rockaways, a coastal neighborhood in Queens, New York. On board were some 300 illegal aliens from China who had paid alien smugglers thousands of dollars to enter the United States without inspection and they hoped, without detection.
On June 7, 2018 a local newspaper, The Rockaway Times, published a detailed report about that event, The Golden Venture: 25 Years Later.
Authorities only became aware of that aliens smuggling / human trafficking criminal enterprise because it failed. The obvious question is how many such efforts have been successful? As the saying goes, “You don’t know what you don’t know.”
Numerous reports prepared by the GAO also point to another means by which aliens enter the United States in violation of our immigration laws. These aliens enter the United States and violate their immigration status. All too frequently such aliens are referred to as “Visa Overstays.” This tends to sound less ominous that the reality. The notion that aliens remain past their authorized period of admission does not sound particularly worrisome, after all, we have all had houseguests who stay too late and ruin our nights sleep.
Why then should we be concerned about aliens who don’t leave when they are supposed to?
The more accurate way of describing aliens who violate the terms to their admission is “Visa Violators.” They not only remain beyond their authorized period of admission but likely violate other terms of their admission into the United States by, perhaps, accepting illegal employment or by committing serious crimes.
Many visa violators also lie on their applications for visas that they file at U.S. embassies and consulates around the world and also lie to the CBP (Customs and Border Protection) inspectors at ports of entry.
For the first four years of my thirty year career with the former INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) I was an Immigration Inspector assigned to John F. Kennedy International Airport before I became an INS Special Agent. The frustrations of that job were constant and enormous.
Inspectors are generally expected to take about one minute to complete the inspection of an alien seeking entry into the United States. On a limited basis when there are serious doubts about the alien’s admissibility into the United States that alien may be sent for a more in-depth “Secondary” inspection. However, with CBP’s limited resources many aliens are simply admitted into the United States and they simply go hiding in plain sight.
Biden’s edict that illegal aliens not be arrested by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents unless they not only have outstanding Warrants of Removal (Deportation) but must also have convictions for serious crimes meant that aliens who can game the legal entry process at ports of entry and then violate our immigration laws have nothing to fear- but Americans most certainly do!
In fact, on May 11, 2006 I testified before a hearing conducted by the House Committee on International Relations, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on the topic, Visa Overstays: Can We Bar The Terrorist Door? That hearing was convened because of serious concerns about how terrorists were able to easily game the immigration system to supposedly enter the United States legally, embed themselves in communities around the United States and go about their deadly preparations.
The preface of the official government report, “9/11 and Terrorist Travel – Staff Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States” begins with the following paragraph:
It is perhaps obvious to state that terrorists cannot plan and carry out attacks in the United States if they are unable to enter the country. Yet prior to September 11, while there were efforts to enhance border security, no agency of the U.S. government thought of border security as a tool in the counterterrorism arsenal. Indeed, even after 19 hijackers demonstrated the relative ease of obtaining a U.S. visa and gaining admission into the United States, border security still is not considered a cornerstone of national security policy. We believe, for reasons we discuss in the following pages, that it must be made one.
Page 54 of above-noted report contained this excerpt under the title, “Terrorist Travel Tactics by Plot”-
Although there is evidence that some land and sea border entries (of terrorists) without inspection occurred, these conspirators mainly subverted the legal entry system by entering at airports.
In doing so, they relied on a wide variety of fraudulent documents, on aliases, and on government corruption. Because terrorist operations were not suicide missions in the early to mid-1990s, once in the United States terrorists and their supporters tried to get legal immigration status that would permit them to remain here, primarily by committing serial, or repeated, immigration fraud, by claiming political asylum, and by marrying Americans. Many of these tactics would remain largely unchanged and undetected throughout the 1990s and up to the 9/11 attack.
Thus, abuse of the immigration system and a lack of interior immigration enforcement were unwittingly working together to support terrorist activity. It would remain largely unknown, since no agency of the United States government analyzed terrorist travel patterns until after 9/11. This lack of attention meant that critical opportunities to disrupt terrorist travel and, therefore, deadly terrorist operations were missed.
Last month my article, Alleged Iranian Kidnap Plot Targeted Iranian/American Dissident In Brooklyn Connecting the immigration dots Biden ignores, focused on how an Iranian woman was able to enter the United States to participate in what was a foiled plot to kidnap a naturalized American citizen who had been born in Iran and has been writing articles critical of the Iranian regime.
On July 22, 2021 the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a press release, Nine Individuals Charged in Superseding Indictment with Conspiring to Act as Illegal Agents of the People’s Republic of China. The subtitle stated, “PRC Prosecutor Allegedly Traveled to the United States, Directed Stalking of U.S. Residents, and Obstructed Criminal Investigation.”
Here is the salient excerpt from that press release:
According to court documents, Tu Lan, 50, and Zhai Yongqiang, 46, both of China, are the latest two of nine charged in the superseding indictment. Co-defendants Hu Ji, 46 and Li Minjun, 65, both of China; Zhu Feng, 34, a Chinese national residing in Queens, New York; Michael McMahon, 53, of Mahwah, New Jersey; Zheng Congying, 24, of Brooklyn, New York; and Zhu Yong, aka Jason Zhu, 64, of Norwich, Connecticut, were previously charged in a related criminal complaint issued in October 2020 and a related indictment in May 2021. The name of the ninth defendant remains under seal.
According to court documents, the defendants allegedly acted at the direction and under the control of PRC government officials, conducted surveillance of and engaged in a campaign to harass, stalk and coerce certain residents of the United States to return to the PRC as part of a global, concerted and extralegal repatriation effort known as “Operation Fox Hunt.” The superseding indictment also alleges that Tu Lan, a new defendant who was employed as a prosecutor with the Hanyang People’s Procuratorate, traveled to the United States, directed the harassment campaign and ordered a co-conspirator to destroy evidence to obstruct the criminal investigation.
There was no mention of how the alleged Chinese prosecutor procured a visa to enter the United States, to allegedly oversee the operation.
This case was the subject of an earlier DOJ press release, dated October 28, 2020, Eight Individuals Charged With Conspiring to Act as Illegal Agents of the People’s Republic of China. That press release also included a link to the initial Criminal Compaint which disclosed that most of the defendants in the case were either lawfully admitted permanent resident, aliens of the United States or a naturalized United States citizen.
In both of the above noted Iranian and Chinese cases, governments that are hostile to the United States were able to insert their operatives into the United States by potentially committing immigration and visa fraud. Nevertheless, a review of DOJ press releases shows that no attention is being given to visa fraud by the Biden administration. Indeed, as I noted in a recent report in which I addressed another case involving alleged Chinese espionage, Biden Dept. of Justice Drops Criminal Charges Lodged Against Five Chinese Spies.
America’s adversaries are having a field day while America’s national security and public safety are undermined by the Biden administration, even as the 20th anniversary of the terror attacks of 9/11 looms large on the horizon.