ACLU Attacks Border Wall and Kate’s Law

Sacrificing national security and citizen liberties.

Border Security is national security.

The preface of the official government report, 9/11 and  Terrorist Travel began 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.

That report was authored by the federal agents and attorneys who were assigned to the 9/11 Commission.  The 9/11 Commission was created and tasked with conducting an exhaustive investigation into how the 9/11 terrorists were able to carry out the most deadly terror attack in the history of the United States.

Indeed, the 19 hijacker-terrorists slaughtered more innocent victims on September 11, 2001 than did the Japanese fleet at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and the death toll continues to rise as still more people, including valiant first responders succumb to illness directly attributable to the toxins they were exposed to when the World Trade Center Complex was reduced to rubble. 

Today more than 10,000 people are being treated for illnesses directly related to those terror attacks.

The mission for the 9/11 Commission was not simply to document that which had transpired on that horrific day, but to identify the vulnerabilities that enabled those attacks to be carried out so that remedial measures could be implemented to prevent future attacks.

The 9/11 Commission determined that multiple failures of the immigration system, including failures of border security and a lack of interior enforcement of our immigration laws, undermined national security. These failures enabled, not only the 9/11 terrorists to enter the United States and embed themselves as they went about their deadly preparations, but also other terrorists that the 9/11 Commission studied.

Since the terror attacks of 9/11, additional deadly terror attacks have been carried out by aliens who, in one way or another, managed to enter the United States, commit immigration fraud and/or violate other immigration laws and then commit mass murder.  

Other foreign terrorists were thwarted, either by law enforcement, by courageous civilians, by dumb luck or by their own ineptitude.

My recent article, Congressional Hearing: Iranian Sleeper Cells Threaten U.S. included the Congressional testimony of national security experts who warned of the presence of large numbers of terrorists who are supported by Hamas and Hezbollah funded by Iran in Latin America who are increasing their cooperative efforts with drug trafficking organizations in Latin America to move large quantities of narcotics and individuals into the United States across the highly porous U.S./Mexican border.

That hearing was conducted on April 17, 2018 by the House Committee on Homeland Security, Counterterrorism and Intelligence Subcommittee on the topic, "State Sponsors Of Terrorism: An Examination Of Iran’s Global Terrorism Network."

How then could any rational individual or organization oppose securing our nation’s borders against the entry of international terrorists and/or transnational criminals?

That is the question that the executives of the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) should answer.

On October 12, 2018 the ACLU issued a press release: ACLU Responds To Introduction Of McCarthy Immigration Bill.

Here is what the press release contained:

WASHINGTON — House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy introduced a bill today that includes provisions to violate the constitutional rights of immigrants and inflate the Department of Homeland Security budget.

The bill would allocate $23.4 billion for a border wall, which even members of the Republican party have referred to as a “quantum leap” in funding. The sweeping bill also includes several bills previously introduced in the House that raise serious constitutional concerns. 

Lorella Praeli, deputy political director at the American Civil Liberties Union, had the following response:

“Let’s be clear: this bill is blatant political posturing ahead of the election and a total disregard for how voters want the government to use their taxpayer dollars. It rewards Trump for his brutal deportation force crackdown and family separation policy. Moreover, the bill is riddled with constitutional violations that completely disregard the civil and human rights of immigrants.

“The true intent of these bills is to empower Trump’s deportation force and anti-immigrant agenda. It’s inhumane, unacceptable, and voters will remember it in November.”

A border wall would not stop the lawful entry of even a single alien into the United States, or prevent anyone from having access to a U.S. port of entry.

All that a border wall would do is funnel all traffic destined to the United States into ports of entry where inspectors of CBP (Customs and Border Protection) would interview them, examine their documents and make law-based decisions as to whether or not to admit those aliens into the United States.

The grounds for excluding aliens from entering the United States are enumerated in one of the sections of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)- Title 8, United States Code, Section 1182.  Among these classes of aliens who are to be prevented from entering the United States are aliens who suffer from dangerous communicable, diseases or extreme mental illness.

Additionally, convicted felons, human rights violators, war criminals, terrorists and spies and aliens who were previously deported are to be excluded, as well as aliens who would seek unlawful employment thus displacing American workers or driving down the wages of American workers who are similarly employed and aliens who would likely become public charges.

It is vital to note that our immigration laws make absolutely no distinction in any way, shape of form as to the race, religion or ethnicity of any alien. 

Opponents of border security would undermine national security and the integrity of the immigration system itself, leading America to anarchy.

Additionally, the above-noted ACLU press release made note of “several bills.”  The link that was provided in the press release related specifically to “Kate’s Law” named for murder victim, Kate Steinle who was killed by an illegal alien who had previously been deported multiple times by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents and repeatedly reentered the United States in violation of federal law.

Criminal aliens who are deported from the United States and then unlawfully reenter the United States face a maximum of 20 years on prison.  Kate’s law would mandate that such aliens who are deemed “aggravated felons” would face a minimum of 5 years in prison for committing the crime of unlawful reentry.  Aggravated felons are particularly dangerous criminals who have committed specific felonies for which they were convicted.

The enhancement in punishment for such criminals are intended to act as a deterrence against such threats to public safety from returning to the United States, thereby threatening innocent lives.

As I noted in a recent articleSanctuary Policies Protect Sex Offenders, this section of law is of particular interest to me.  In the early 1980’s I approached then U.S. Senator Al D’Amato with the proposition that the federal law that addressed the unlawful reentry of aliens who had been deported be amended. At the time, the section of law in question, 8 U.S. Code § 1326 provided for a two year maximum penalty for aliens who had been previously deported from the United States and subsequently reentered without authorization. such unauthorized reentry into the United States.  Back then the law made no distinction between aliens who had been convicted of committing serious crimes and those who did not.  Because the penalty for this crime was so low and because so many aliens who had been deported from the United States returned, the U.S. Attorneys, particularly in major cities such as New York City rarely prosecuted aliens for that crime.

I suggested that a clear distinction be made for aliens who had been convicted of serious crimes, were deported and then reentered the United States.  I suggested that they be subjected to a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison as a means of deterring such threats to public safety and possibly national security from returning to the United States where they might harm more victims.

Working with the Senator and his staff and with my colleagues at the former INS including Walter Connery, who headed up the Investigations Branch of the NYC District Office of the INS, the law was amended.  Consequently, the crime of unlawful reentry of “aggravated felons” as specified in section b of 8 U.S. Code § 1326, is the most frequently prosecuted federal crime.

However, the ACLU adamantly opposes efforts to protect innocent victims from aliens who are convicted felons.  The American justice system operates via the principle of deference through enforcement.  Penalties are imposed on those who are convicted of crimes to not only punish the guilty but to deter future crimes.

Deporting criminal aliens and preventing their return, protects public safety.

Would that the ACLU be concerned about the civil liberties of the victims of alien criminals and terrorists.

Those who lose their lives to criminals and terrorists also lose their civil liberties.

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