Two well-known and powerful members of the House of Representatives, Speaker Paul Ryan and Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte have proposed legislation to address the DACA aliens and a many other issues that all comprise failures of the immigration system.
The Goodlatte bill is seen as the “tougher” of the two bills.
It would fund the hiring of 10,000 additional employees for Customs and Border Protection including 5,000 additional Border Patrol Agents but no additional ICE agents.
Today, ICE has 6,000 agents, but half of them are enforcing customs or other non-immigration related laws.
Before we go further, consider this hypothetical question:
If President Trump was able to build the wall along the southern border that was 50 feet tall and topped with ultra high-voltage electrified concertina wire, what would a determined alien need to defeat that wall?
Some pundits would say that such an alien would simply need a 55 foot ladder. So to make things interesting, let me add that the device that could defeat President Trump’s wall could fit in the alien’s pocket.
We will consider the solution to the problem a bit further on, but first, on June 18, 2018 the Washington Times Examiner article, Paul Ryan’s immigration bill gains traction ahead of House votes provided an extremely limited comparison of the two competing bills as noted in this excerpt:
Goodlatte has acknowledged his own measure lacked the votes to pass, leaving the Ryan bill as the sole Republican option with any chance of becoming law.
The Ryan legislation includes four immigration reform requirements outlined by President Trump in January. That includes providing a special pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million Dreamers who came here as children, a reduction in chain migration, an end to the visa lottery system, and money for a wall along the southern border.
The Goodlatte/McCaul measure provides a more difficult pathway to citizenship and only for the approximately 800,000 people now enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program put in place by President Barack Obama. Goodlatte’s bill would end chain migration, the visa lottery system, and would authorize border wall funding.
Two outside groups who favor reduced immigration rates are critical of the Ryan plan, arguing that it amounts to amnesty for those who came to the country illegally, continues chain migration, and does not include a mandate for companies to use E-Verify, which some immigration reform advocates say is needed to curb illegal immigration. E-Verify is a system that ensures new hires are in the country legally.
Ryan has promised a vote on E-Verify in July and has also pledged consideration of a bill to create a program for immigrant agriculture workers.
President Trump has expressed a willingness to sign an immigration reform bill to finally end the immigration crisis.
Whether or not he would sign either of the two bills is not certain but interestingly, Chairman Goodlatte stated that even though he is the author of one of the two bills being considered, he would be willing to support the Ryan bill.
Both bills emphasize constructing the wall along the U.S. / Mexican border. Goodlatte’s bill would only provide legal status to aliens who have already participated in the DACA program while Ryan would also provide lawful status to aliens who would claim to have been eligible to participate in the DACA program but, for one reason or another, did not do so.
Estimates as to how many additional aliens could thus be processed for lawful status vary widely, from 1.8 million to double that number (3.6 million).
No one really knows how many aliens would actually make that claim but as I noted in a previous commentary, DACA: Trump and Congress Must Look Before They Leap- 800,000 DACA aliens just became 3.6 million.
There is absolutely no way to know how many aliens would attempt to game this program by falsely claiming to have entered the United States prior to their 16th birthdays. Records of entry are not created when aliens enter the United States without inspection by running our borders or stowing away on ships. The Ryan bill would enable aliens who are in their mid-thirties to file applications.
There would be so many applications that no interviews of applicants and field investigations to verify the information contained in applications would be possible.
The 9⁄11 Commission Staff Report on Terrorist Travel detailed numerous examples of instances where terrorists made use of visa and immigration benefit fraud- including political asylum fraud to enter the United States to also embed themselves in the United States.
Page 54 contained this excerpt under the title “3.2 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.
That excerpt above provides the answer to my question. An alien who has a green card or passport with a visa would not have to scale that wall but simply stroll into a port of entry and be cheerfully welcomed into the U.S. by CBP personnel. This is why immigration fraud is so dangerous.
Neither immigration bill calls for the hiring of a single additional ICE agent.
I tackled the necessity of effective interior enforcement of our immigration laws in my article, Border Security and the Immigration Colander.
Mandatory E-Verify is absolutely essential, however, without ICE agents to conduct field investigations, unscrupulous employers could easily defeat mandatory E-Verify by hiring illegal aliens “off the books.”
Immigration fraud undermines national security. While Goodlatte does call for assigning ICE agents to embassies around the world to enhance visa security, many aliens acquire various immigration benefits inside the United States by defrauding the adjudications process.
The Tsarnaev brothers who attacked the Boston Marathon and their other family members were granted political asylum by lying about “credible fear.” They were ultimately granted lawful immigrant status and one of the two terrorist brothers became a naturalized citizen by committing fraud.
The Goodlatte bill also has lots of other “goodies” for aliens, employers and immigration lawyers including a massive guest worker program for agricultural workers.
Without agents to police this program there would be no way to assure that aliens would not apply for such visas and then disappear, never showing up for work.
The Goodlatte bill would require that the employers of such errant workers to notify ICE, but without any ICE agents to seek these aliens, they will likely remain at large, joining the millions of other such illegal alien absconders who play the successful game of “Hide and seek” in America, because ICE has no agents who can seek.
Neither bill would address this major deficiency.
While on the topic of agricultural workers, the previously noted 9⁄11 Commission Staff Report on Terrorist Travel contained this passage:
Once terrorists had entered the United States, their next challenge was to find a way to remain here. Their primary method was immigration fraud. For example, Yousef and Ajaj concocted bogus political asylum stories when they arrived in the United States. Mahmoud Abouhalima, involved in both the World Trade Center and landmarks plots, received temporary residence under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers (SAW) program, after falsely claiming that he picked beans in Florida.
Not all DACA aliens are from Latin America- indeed some are from the Middle East.
On March 21, 2012 the House Committee on Homeland Security that was then chaired by New York Congressman Peter King conducted a hearing into these planned operations. The topic of the hearing was, Iran, Hezbollah, and the Threat to the Homeland. The Huffington Post reported about that hearing, Peter King: Iran May Have ‘Hundreds’ Of Hezbollah Agents In U.S. If you think this is old news, read my recent article that focused on a recent hearing chaired by Peter King this past April 2018, Congressional Hearing: Iranian Sleeper Cells Threaten U.S.
“Sleepers” often commit immigration fraud to acquire lawful status as an embedding tactic.
Why in the world doesn’t either Ryan or Goodlatte seek increased resources for critical interior enforcement?
Only they can answer that question.
Finally, Goodlatte would provide an additional 55,000 high-tech foreign workers with visas. Not exactly good news for unemployed or under-employed highly-skilled, highly-educated and highly-experienced American workers or their families.
Neither bill would enable President Trump to keep his campaign promises to Americans and make America safe again!