Michael Cutler Expert Immigration/Nat’l Security


Check out my website: michaelcutler.net

Quote Of The Year -

“Surely something must be terribly wrong with a man who seems to be far more concerned with a Jew building a house in Israel than with Muslims building a nuclear bomb in Iran.” Columnist Burt
Prelutsky
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PROLOGUE:

Many of you may know that I have testified before more than a dozen Congressional hearings since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in an effort to provide my perspectives and concerns based on my 30 years of experience as an INS officer. What you may not know is that I actually first testified before a Congressional hearing that was conducted by the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims on May 20, 1997 on the topic:

“VISA FRAUD AND IMMIGRATION BENEFITS APPLICATION FRAUD”

That hearing was called for by Representative Lamar Smith who, at the time, chaired the subcommittee and was greatly concerned about how the terrorists who committed terrorist attacks in the United States in 1993 were able to enter our country and embed themselves after they arrived.

I have worked with Congressman Smith for more than 15 years on immigration-related issues and he has consistently demonstrated real leadership where the immigration issue is concerned and is continuing to demonstrate that leadership as the Ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee.

March 22, I was in Washington, in conjunction with the efforts of the caucus that Congressman Smith co-chairs, to provide insight and perspectives, along with other experts, to Congressional staffers, on the huge harm being done to our nation and especially the citizens and lawful immigrants of our nation who have lost their jobs to illegal aliens.

Each year our nation admits more than one million lawful immigrants who, by virtue of their lawful immigrant status are on the pathway to United States citizenship from the very moment that they acquire lawful immigrant status. This huge number of lawful immigrants actually exceeds the number of lawful immigrants of all of the other nations of the world, combined!

The need to secure our borders against illegal entry and illegal aliens is not an anti-immigrant issue but is, in fact a pro-immigrant position. Securing our borders against illegal aliens, among whom are criminals and, undoubtedly terrorists and supporters of terrorist activities protects our citizens and lawful immigrants alike from violence and the loss of jobs. This is, in fact the purpose behind our nation’s immigration laws.

As I like to point out, the difference between and immigrant and an illegal alien is comparable to the difference between a houseguest and a burglar.

It is important that we support those relative few members of Congress, such as Lamar Smith, who stand behind the citizens of our nation, especially as other members of Congress seek to provide a disastrous massive amnesty program for millions of illegal aliens whose true identities, backgrounds, possible affiliations with criminal or terrorist organizations is unknown and unknowable. It is also worth noting that Comprehensive Immigration Reform cannot be administered by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in a manner that provides even a shred of integrity because that beleaguered agency is utterly unable to deal with its massive workload without getting slammed by the onslaught of applications that would result from Comprehensive Immigration Reform. The consequence is that the rate of fraud in the system is nothing short of astronomical. To have USCIS attempt to deal with the administration of Comprehensive Immigration Reform would be comparable to having a wheel-chair bound patient on a respirator attempt to run the New York City marathon!

If our country is to survive and if our children and their children are to get their share of the “American Dream” the citizens of this nation must take their citizenship seriously!

We the People must be the best citizens we can be, citizens who are worthy of the gallantry demonstrated by our valiant men and women in the military, law enforcement and firefighters, who routinely go in harm’s way in defense of this nation and our citizens.

My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings before more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.

The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.

Any politician who refuses to work to secure our borders and create an immigration system that has integrity is either corrupt or too dumb to keep his (her) job. Any politician, irrespective of party affiliation who favors Comprehensive Immigration Reform and the outrageous betrayal that this would represent given the national security implications that this program would have, should be shown the door at the next election!

If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same.

Later this year, each and every member of the House of Representatives is up for reelection. Later this year more than one third of the members of the United States Senate will have to face their constituents. They need to be reminded that they work for us, We the People!

However, the practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.

The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!

The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to the politicians. I implore you to get involved!

If this situation concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation!

All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!

We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.

This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue!

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CHICAGO LOOKS AT EXPANDING IMMIGRANT ID CARDS
Posted July 11, 2010

CHICAGO (AP) -  Two Chicago aldermen want to look at expanding immigrant ID cards.

They want public hearings about allowing the “matricula consular” cards that Latin American immigrants use for identification to be recognized for immigrants from all foreign countries living in Chicago.

Aldermen Ed Burke and Danny Solis say they want hearings so consuls general from 79 countries who are based in Chicago can talk about the idea.

The Mexican Consulate’s identification card was the first one recognized by the city in 2002.

The resolution from the aldermen says not having an official ID card can keep immigrants from using city services or other services like banking……

Here is the link to a video of my appearance on Fox & Friends:

http://video.foxnews.com/v/4271102/foreign-ids-now-accepted

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NORTHCOM’S NEW LEADER BOOSTS FOCUS ON MEXICO
Posted July 11, 2010

Works to curb drug traffic, violence
By Bill Gertz

COLORADO SPRINGS | The new commander of the U.S. military‘s homeland security forces is stepping up cooperation with Mexico in an effort to stem drug trafficking and related violence.

Navy Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr., in his first newspaper interview since taking over in May as commander of U.S. Northern Command, said he is worried about the potentially devastating effects of a cyber-attack and that he remains concerned about the growing terrorist threat of what he termed “shot-on-goal” attacks, like the recent attempted car bombing in New York’s Times Square……

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/jul/5/northcoms-new-leader-boosts-focus-on-mexico/

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UNFIRE HITTING CITY HALL PROMPTS TEXAS AG TO ASK FOR MORE TROOPS ON BORDER
Posted July 3, 2010

EL PASO – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today demanded that President Obama send more troops to the Texas-Mexico border and used the shots that hit El Paso City Hall as an example of increased violence on the border.

Abbott said in a letter that the seven shots that hit City Hall in El Paso were an example of the violence that is plaguing the border area and that sending 1,200 National Guard soldiers to the entire U.S.-Mexico border is not enough.

He also cited the violence in Juarez and said that Americans lives are at risk.

“More than 1,300 people have been murdered in Juárez this year as a war continues relentlessly between the Juárez and Sinaloa drug cartels,” he told Obama.

He also said the “time for talk has passed.”

Here is the letter by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott:

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

Deadly violence from drug cartels and transnational gangs in Mexico is knocking on the United States’ door with ever increasing frequency.

Yesterday, gunfire from the cartels pierced that threshold and struck City Hall in El Paso. Fortunately no one was injured or killed. But that good fortune was not the result of effective border control – it was mere luck that the bullets struck buildings rather than bodies.

Luck and good fortune are not effective border enforcement policies. The shocking reality of cross border gunfire proves the cold reality: American lives are at risk. As the attached news article notes: “More than 1,300 people have been murdered in Juárez this year as a war continues relentlessly between the Juárez and Sinaloa drug cartels.” Americans must be protected as this deadly war bulges at our border.

Law enforcement officialswith the Texas Department of Public Safety and your own U.S. Customs and Border Protection will reveal the hard truth. Our state is under constant assault from illegal activity threatening a porous border.

The time for talk has passed. The time for action is now. The need is urgent. Each day that passes increases the likelihood that an American life will be lost because of the federal government’s failure to secure the border.

This threat demands immediate and effective action by your Administration to secure our border. As the Attorney General of Texas, I urge you to make border security your top priority so that no more innocent lives are lost to border violence.

I have attached a news article that appeared in today’s edition of the El Paso Times that should be of great concern to all Americans.

Click Here for Actual Article

The news report deals with seven bullets that were apparently fired across the border that is supposed to separate the United States from Mexico. The bullets struck City Hall.

You may have heard about that border- it is the very same border that California Congressman Pete Stark told his supposed constituents was secure. You will notice that I said Stark’s supposed constituents because I have no idea who he really represents. Supposedly a political representative does his job by representing the best interests of his constituents. In the Case of Mr. Stark, it is doubtful that he gives a damn about the citizens of the United States who live in his Congressional District or any other citizens of our country, for that matter, unless they advocate for the elimination of our nation’s borders and the enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws that were, in fact, promulgated to protect our nation and our citizens.

Here is the link to the town hall meeting that was held on June 26, 2010 as it appeared on You Tube:

THE BORDERS ARE QUITE SECURE. Congressman Pete Stark’s Town hall meeting in Fremont CA

This is the very same border that President George W. Bush refused to secure and it is the border that is not being secured by the current administration.

The citizens of the United States who reside in Mr. Stark’s Congressional district have been deprived of true representation. I sincerely hope that this deplorable situation is remedied on November 2, 2010!

Unfortunately Mr. Stark is not the only one who has such obvious contempt for the citizens of our nation. I can imagine that Secretary of Homeland Surrender, Janet Napolitano may declare that the “System worked” once again! Perhaps she will say that the seven bullets that struck El Paso City Hall had been “borrowed” from the United States and were simply being returned!

The point is that I don not believe that there has been a time in the history of our nation when so many Americans came to feel disenfranchised by their own government. Many pundits and news organizations have described members of the Tea Party Movement as being ultra-conservative. In my experience in speaking before a number of events sponsored by Tea Party groups around the United States, I have actually found Americans of all political perspectives. I have met those who are registered as Democrats and those who are registered as Republicans. I have met those who describe themselves as being political Independents. In my view, I believe that the Tea Party movement is the way that hundreds of thousands of Americans, or perhaps millions of Americans are saying that they want to vote for “None of the Above!”

When Felipe Calderon addressed members of the United States Congress, many of the members of Congress gave Mr. Calderon a standing ovation for demanding that his citizens be given lawful status in our country even though they had violated our nation’s borders and laws! He demanded that the federal government take action against the State of Arizona for passing laws that would require local and state law enforcement officials in Arizona to take an individual’s immigration status into account when such individuals are encountered during the normal course of law enforcement duties.

Stop and give this insanity a bit of thought.

Mr. Calderon looks at the majority of his citizens and sees money the same way he might look at an oil field or acres of crops swaying in the breeze! For Mr. Calderon, his citizens are his nation’s number one or number two most lucrative export! By exporting his citizens they work under exploitive conditions in the United States and send money back to Mexico to enhance the Mexican economy to the tune of tens of billions of dollars.

By exporting his citizens he exports the potential for insurrection- most of those who work in the United States are young and able-bodied men, the same individuals who might well storm the gates in Mexico if they had no prospect for employment in the United States and were confined to his country.

Calderon has convinced his citizens that they have the right to enter the United States, at great personal risk, to distract them from the fundamental truth- Mexico has one of the most vibrant economies of all of Latin America but only a very small percentage of the Mexican population benefits from that economy.

While open borders advocates in the United States assert that the immigration issue is about civil rights they refuse to accept the fact that the average Mexican has no real civil rights in his (her) own country! Demanding that illegal aliens in the United States be seen as the next chapter of the “Civil Rights” movement trivializes what the actual Civil Rights Movement were about- providing full citizenship to citizens of the United States who were the descendants of slaves!

Illegal aliens- irrespective of ethnicity, religion or origins are not entitled to civil rights! They are not supposed to be here!

They are not supposed to vote- (although many do).

Illegal aliens are not supposed to work in a workplace free from discrimination- because they are not supposed to be working in the United States at all! (Never mind that Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis has issued public service announcement declaring that the Labor Department would insure that illegal aliens be paid proper wages!)

I would remind you that the difference between an immigrant and an illegal alien is comparable to the difference between a houseguest and a burglar!

Illegal aliens including criminals and terrorists are heading north! They are not stopping near the border either! Janet Napolitano has noted that some 230 cities of the United States are infested by members of the Mexican Drug Cartels. Other gangs from virtually every country on this planet are operating throughout our nation- from coast to coast and border to border.

Yesterday we also found that Russians, allegedly engaged in sophisticated espionage efforts have also entered our country and embedded themselves.

Terrorists have also entered our country and have attempted to carry out murderous attacks on our nation.

And now bullets are also heading north!

Rather than chastising a true political leader- Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and members of her state’s legislature, the President of the United States needs to take his oath of office serious and secure our nation’s borders and do whatever is necessary to make certain that there is real integrity within the immigration system where immigration benefits and the enforcement of the immigration laws from within the interior of the United States are concerned!

It is time for the politicians in Washington to live up to their oaths of office as well!

It is unacceptable that the citizens of this nation be alienated by their own government especially where border security and the enforcement and administration of our nation’s immigration laws are concerned!

I hope that the political leaders of Texas are treated more fairly by the Obama administration than were their counterparts in the state of Arizona!

A country without secure borders can no more stand than can a house without walls!

November 2nd cannot come fast enough!

We the People, throughout this nation must seek opportunities to make it clear to our political “representatives” that we understand their game plan and won’t tolerate it!.

I believe our nation’s is greatly benefited by the rich diversity of our people which is why I could never imagine living anywhere except New York City, arguably the most diverse city in our nation if not, in fact, the world. However, my idea of diversity most certainly does not include members of MS-13, the Mexican drug cartels and members of al-Qaeda!

If reading this makes it difficult for you to sleep now- perhaps you could do something worthwhile- perhaps you might spend a couple of your sleepless hours writing letters to your elected representatives this evening and remind them that Election Day is just months away!

We the People can add to the consternation of these politicians who are failing to live up to their oaths of office by contacting them and making it abundantly clear that election day is coming and they should think of election day as their personal “Day of Reckoning!”

Our government must live up to its obligation of protecting its own citizens and, indeed, all who are present in our country from the criminals and terrorists who would threaten our lives and the survival of our nation and our way of life. In the end, the government is actually those who are elected to act as our “leaders.” Those who fail to truly lead and look out for those they are supposed to represent, need to be sent packing this coming Election Day!

If our country is to survive and if our children and their children are to get their share of the “American Dream” the citizens of this nation must take their citizenship seriously!

We the People must be the best citizens we can be, citizens who are worthy of the gallantry demonstrated by our valiant men and women in the military, law enforcement and firefighters, who routinely go in harm’s way in defense of this nation and our citizens.

My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings before more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.

The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.

Any politician who refuses to work to secure our borders and create an immigration system that has integrity is either corrupt or too dumb to keep his (her) job. Any politician, irrespective of party affiliation who favors Comprehensive Immigration Reform and the outrageous betrayal that this would represent given the national security implications that this program would have, should be shown the door at the next election!

If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same. We need to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”

Later this year, each and every member of the House of Representatives is up for reelection. Later this year more than one third of the members of the United States Senate will have to face their constituents. They need to be reminded that they work for us, We the People!

However, the practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.
The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!

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RUSSIAN SPY RING SUSPECTS BUSTED! 10 ALLEGED SECRET AGENTS ARRESTED IN U.S.
Posted June 29, 2010

Accused Russian Spies Allegedly Used Cold War Tactics to Send Information to Moscow

By JASON RYAN and MEGAN CHUCHMACH

The allegations are shocking: four couples living in the U.S. under assumed false identities while secretly working as covert Russian spies on long-term, “deep-cover” assignments to obtain information on nuclear weapons……

Click Here

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CLASS OF ALIENS INELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE VISAS
Posted June 26, 2010

Read on

(II) the employment of such alien will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of workers in the United States similarly employed…..

To view the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by title, chapter, and section, go to the USCIS website.
Click Here

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MILWAUKEE RELIGIUS LEADER CHARGED IN RELIGIOUS VISA FRAUD SCHEME
Posted June 26, 2010

Indian nationals allegedly paid $30,000 to fraudulently enter US as religious workers

MILWAUKEE, Wis. – A religious leader from India, who owns and operates a local Hindu temple, faces charges that he fraudulently obtained religious worker visas for Indian nationals and charged them up to $30,000 each. These charges resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)……
Read on

VIDEO OF MY INTERVIEW FOR “DESTINATION CASA BLANCA-THE LATINO VOICE IN POLITICS”

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to be interviewed on video by a journalist who works for the Latino news organization that addresses issues of concern to those who are Latinos or are concerned by issues impacting Latin America.

The focus of the interview was the escalating violence in Mexico and the threats that this poses to the United States as well as the need for effective border security

I have attached a link to this brief video- I hope you find it to be of interest:
Click Here

Comments:
Kicker
freepornmpk.com/
botangoklow@gmail.com
94.142.131.233
Submitted on 2010/06/28 at 5:16am
Hola, ?Gracias por el art?culo. Cada vez que quieres leer.
Have a nice day
http://www.freepornmpk.com/ Kicker

Jennifer Lancey
why-outsource.com
jen@why-outsource.com
74.81.89.18
Submitted on 2010/06/26 at 9:01pm
Just wanted to say HI. I found your blog a few days ago on Technorati and have been reading it over the past few days.

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SECURITY OF U.S. PASSPORTS CALLED INTO QUESTION
Posted June 14, 2010

Why Are Key Components Outsourced To Country In Turmoil?
By MATTHEW MOSK, MATTHEW COLE, BRIAN ROSS and JOHN SOLOMON
CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEGRITY AND ABC NEWS

The U.S. government agency that prints passports has for years failed to resolve persistent concerns about the security risks involved in outsourcing production to foreign factories, a joint investigation by ABC News and the Center for Public Integrity has found……

Click Here

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FAKE PASSPORTS EASY TO GET
Posted June 14, 2010

From Mike Ahlers
CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) — A congressional investigation has exposed gaping holes in security eight years after the September 11 terrorist attacks, a government report says.

An investigator used a false identification to obtain a U.S. passport and then used the passport to get an airline boarding pass and go through an airport security checkpoint, according to the Government Accountability Office……

Click Here

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BORDER SECURITY
Posted June 14, 2010

Security of New Passports and Visas Enhanced, but More Needs to Be Done to Prevent Their Fraudulent Use

Why GAO Did This Study -

Travel documents are often used fraudulently in attempts to enter the United States. The integrity of U.S. passports and visas depends on the combination of well- designed security features and solid issuance and inspection processes. GAO was asked to examine (1) the features of U.S. passports and visas and how information on the features is shared; (2) the integrity of the issuance process for these documents; and (3) how these documents are inspected at U.S. ports of entry. We reviewed documents such as studies, alerts, and training materials……

Click Here

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MASSIVE BUSTS NETS SUSPECTS, DRUGS IN 18 STATES
Posted June 13, 2010

Federal, state, local officers move against Mexico cartels
By Jerry Seper

The arrest of more than 2,200 persons and seizure of 74 tons of illicit drugs in 18 states in a massive nationwide undercover investigation by federal, state and local authorities has revealed that Mexican drug smuggling organizations are well entrenched in the United States, especially along the U.S.-Mexico border……

Click Here To Read More

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DRUG CARTELS SMUGGLING ILLEGALS CREATE SECURITY RISK, OFFICIALS SAY
Posted June 13,2010

By Sara A. Carter
National Security Correspondent

Smuggling of potential terrorists across the border is evolving into a billion dollar industry for Mexican drug cartels while posing a significant threat to the United States, according to federal law enforcement officials……

Click Here To Read More

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MD BUSINESSMAN ARRESTED: AMONG SIX CHARGES IN IRANIAN SATELLITE SCHEME
Posted June 9, 2010

A Montgomery County man who was president of a Maryland-based satellite company has been accused of illegally providing technology to his native Iran……

Click Here

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AMERICAN CITIZEN FROM MARYLAND AND 5 IRANIANS INDICTED IN CONSPIRAC TO ILLEGALLY PROVIDE SATELLITE TECHNOLOGY TO IRAN
Posted June 9, 2010

A federal grand jury has indicted six individuals — one American and five Iranian citizens — on charges of conspiring to illegally provide satellite hardware and technology to Iran……

Click Here

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“U.S. PRESSES PAKISTAN FOR MORE DATE ON TRAVELERS”
Posted June 3, 2010

Here is the link to that newspaper article: Click Here For Newspaper Article

CNN Report on Visa Overstays: I was quoted
I was recently interviewed by Casey Wian, a CNN journalist who has been covering the immigration issue for many years. Casey has interviewed me a number of times over the past several years so that I could provide my perspectives on various aspects of the immigration crisis confronting our nation. He most recently interviewed me about a week ago and the story aired on Memorial Day.

Here is a link to the video of the segment in which I briefly appear:

Click Here For Video

“U.S. not cracking down on immigrants with expired visas”
Here is the link to this news report:

Click Here For News Report

You can review the State Department’s website for information about this wrong headed and, indeed, treacherous Visa Waiver Program at: Click Here

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MEMORIAL DAY - by Michael Cutler
Posted May 29, 2010

Today, this Memorial Day Weekend, I am writing about the sacrifices that have been made, since the founding of this great nation, by our men and women in the military. I want all of us to remember that Memorial Day weekend is about much more than barbecues and department store sales. Memorial Day is more than the Indy 500 and airs shows (although I expect to join so many others to watch the Blue Angels perform at Jones Beach this weekend).

Memorial Day is the day that is set aside to honor those brave men and women who paid the “ultimate price” defending our nation, our freedoms and our way of life as Americans!

There is a wonderful website I urge you to visit. It is a tribute to our veterans and even if you have heard the wonderful music and seen the slide show that accompanies it- I think all Americans and all people around the world who owe their survival and their freedom to America’s valiant soldiers in all of the branches of our armed services should take a moment and give thanks to these heroes!

I also urge you to understand that when we, as citizens of this nation fail to live up to our responsibilities to make our voices heard by those who are elected to represent us, we are betraying those who laid down their lives for our country. We should endeavor, this Memorial Day Weekend to be worthy of the sacrifices of our nation’s military and other fellow Americans who, as a matter of routine, go in harm’s way in defense of our nation and our freedoms that all too often, we tend to take for granted.

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FEDS ISSUE TERRIOR WATCH FOR THE TEXAS/MEXICO BORDER — Washington Times: “SENATE SAS NO TO 6,000 BORDER TROOPS”
Posted May 30, 2010

I have attached a pair of news reports below. The first is a report that appeared in the May 27the edition of the Washington Times that was written by Stephen Dinan, one of the most experienced journalists who has been covering the immigration issue for quite a few years.

The second news report was prepared by Fox News on May 26th and addressed extraordinarily worrisome information that DHS is concerned that terrorists from Somalia may be seeking to enter the United States by running our nation’s border in Texas.

Now stop and put both stories together- the United States Senate has refused funding to station 6,000 national guard troops on the border that is supposed to separate our nation from Mexico although the previous day’s report disclosed that DHS is now concerned about the infiltration of terrorists into our country along the Mexican border!

There has been no shortage of news reports about the utterly unacceptable situation that exists along our nation’s border that is supposed to separate the United States from Mexico but this takes the lunacy to an unbelievable level!

I am convinced that the planet earth has fallen into a worm hole and we are now in a parallel universe!

The administration has vilified Jan Brewer, the Arizona Governor who beyond anything the “leaders” in Washington could imagine- actually took the safety of the citizens into account and lived up to her responsibilities to provide for the safety and security of the folks who live in her state, as did the members of Arizona’s legislature who acted to fill the gaping void created by Washington’s failures to secure our nation’s borders and enforce our nation’s immigration laws.

Governor Brewer and the other true leaders of her state also apparently listened to the vast majority of the citizens of Arizona who were justifiably angered and concerned about the many issues that our nation’s virtually open borders have created for the citizens of that state. Case in point- the fact that, as I have been discussing in many of my recent commentaries, Phoenix, Arizona has become the “Kidnap and Home Invasion Capital” of the United States and probably the entire Western Hemisphere! It is believed that the vast majority of these crimes are committed by members of the Mexican drug cartels and members of other transnational gangs.

What state would want to post that sort of unique situation on travel brochures?

Providing national guard troops along the border would be helpful but only if many other steps would be taken and unbelievably, the United States senate has now blocked the deployment of those national guard troops!

Consider these two links of news reports broadcast by Atlanta-based television station WSB-TV that addresses the national security implications of our nation’s open borders:

Click Here

Click Here

I probably should not be amazed when you consider that just last week, on May 20th, Felipe Calderon, the President of Mexico, the country that is sends our nation more illegal aliens than any other country in the world and the country through which more narcotics flow en route to the United States was invited to address the United States Congress and called for the enactment of Comprehensive Immigration Reform and condemned the government of the State of Arizona for enacting legislation that was enacted to discourage illegal aliens from coming to Arizona and setting up shop!

What is absolutely amazing is that Calderon’s remarks were greeted with a standing ovation by members of the United States government who were sworn to uphold our nation’s Constitution and laws and protect the sovereignty of this nation!

Here is a video of that disgusting moment:
Click Here

I would love to know the last time an American president or president of any other country, for that matter, has ever gone to Mexico to complain about the abysmal way that the citizens of that wealthiest of Latin American countries treats its citizens and, in fact, encourages them to violate the borders of the United States and the laws of the United States to take menial jobs under substandard conditions and send money back to Mexico? Indeed, it is common knowledge that the government of Mexico has provided its citizens with comic book style training manuals and even video tapes that aid its citizens by instructing them as to how best evade the United States Border Patrol!

In point of fact, the terms “Encourages” and “Aids” where it applies to those who encourage and aid aliens in entering our country illegally, represents a violation of our nation’s immigration laws. Check out this link to Title 8, United States Code, Section 1324:

Click Here

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BRINGING IN AND HARBORING CERTAIN ALIENS
Posted May 30, 2010

How Current is This?
(a) Criminal penalties
(1)
(A) Any person who—
(i) knowing that a person is an alien, brings to or attempts to bring to the United States in any manner whatsoever such person at a place other than a designated port of entry or place other than as designated by the Commissioner, regardless of whether such alien has received prior official authorization to come to, enter, or reside in the United States and regardless of any future official action which may be taken with respect to such alien;

(ii) 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, transports, or moves or attempts to transport or move such alien within the United States by means of transportation or otherwise, in furtherance of such violation of law;

(iii) 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;

(iv) 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; or

(v)

(I) engages in any conspiracy to commit any of the preceding acts, or
(II) aids or abets the commission of any of the preceding acts,
shall be punished as provided in subparagraph (B).

Mexico acknowledged second most valuable export are its citizens! I say that the citizens of Mexico are its “acknowledged” second most valuable export because I would not be surprised if the citizens of Mexico are actually more important that petroleum exports when you consider how much money is smuggled from the United States to Mexico. If you add in the tens of billions of dollars that the drug trade generates for the Mexican economy- I doubt that oil would come even close to the amount of money were are talking about!

It is also interesting to note that the constitution of Mexico absolutely prohibits any foreigner from engaging in any political activities in Mexico- yet Mr. Calderon was happy to tell our country’s president and Congress what laws they should enact and received a standing ovation!

I guess we should not, however, be surprised at Calderon’s display of unmitigated chutzpah when you consider what the President of the United States had to say about the new immigration laws enacted in Arizona. Check out this video prepared by Governor Brewer:

Click Here

The other issue that I cannot place enough emphasis on is the fact that nearly half of all illegal aliens who are present in our country did not run our nation’s border and evade the inspections process to circumvent that process that is supposed to prevent the entry of aliens into our country whose presence here would be harmful to our citizens or our nation and might even represent a threat to national security, is just one of many ways that aliens become illegally present.

Lou Dobbs, the most visible broadcast journalist, until he left CNN, and who was willing to tackle the issue of immigration generally referred to his segment on immigration as “Broken Borders.” In an effort to get as many people as possible to understand just how easily aliens are able to enter our country and then, in one way or another violate the terms of their admission, I cam to say that any state that has an international airport or a seaport should be considered a “Border State.”

On May 11, 2006 I testified before the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Committee on International Relations on the topic:

“VISA OVERSTAYS: CAN WE BAR THE TERRORIST DOOR?”

You can read the transcript of that hearing at: Click Here

Additionally, the immigration benefits program by which aliens acquire lawful immigrant status and even United States citizenship is rife with fraud. Nonfeasance, misfeasance and malfeasance are committed routinely by the employees of USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services), the agency under the DHS an agency I have come to refer to as the Department of Homeland Surrender.

A few years ago I wrote a commentary about the various ways in which aliens enter our country in violation of law. In order to explain the many ways that our nation is vulnerable to the unlawful entry of foreign nationals, I decided to copy the beginning of the famous poem by Henry Wasdsworth Longfellow, “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere.”

The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

LISTEN, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.
He said to his friend, “If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower, as a signal light, –
One, if by land, and two, if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country-folk to be up and to arm.”

Paul Revere had it relatively easy, there were only two possibilities. The British invaders could only come by land or by sea. Today, were Mr. Revere alive and decided to continue his now “low tech” method to communicate how illegal aliens and criminals and terrorists among them were entering the United States, he would need to have his friend place so many lanterns in the North Church tower that the tower would have probably burned to the ground!

Let us consider some of the many ways that illegal aliens and potentially criminals and terrorists, can gain entry into our country and embed themselves once they are here:

1. Running the Mexican border
2. Running the Canadian border
3. Stowing away on a ship
4. Entering the United States through a port of entry under the auspices of the Visa Waiver Program (This enables aliens from 35 countries to enter our country without first applying for and obtaining a nonimmigrant visa.)
5. Procuring a nonimmigrant tourist visa by filing a fraudulent application.
6. Entering the United States with a valid visa and then violating the terms of the visa such as overstaying the period of time for which he was admitted. (US VISIT is not currently able to track the departure of aliens who are admitted for a temporary period.)
7. Procuring a nonimmigrant student visa and then not attending the school for which the visa was issued- (Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, the 19 year old terror suspect who was arrested while plotting to use explosives to destroy an office building in Dallas, Texas is an example of this method of entry and ebedding in our country as was Nada Nadim Prouty, a woman from Lebanon who entered the United States on a student visa roughly 20 years ago who went on to commit immigration fraud and ultimately feloniously acquired United States citizenship. She parlayed her naturalization certificate into a security clearance and a job at the FBI and CIA where she used her clearance to access sensitive databases involving Hezbollah!)
8. Applying for and receiving an immigrant visa based on a fraud marriage. (If successful, this ploy provides the alien with a “green card” and puts him (her) on the path to United States citizenship.)
9. Applying for and receiving an immigrant visa based on a fraud job offer, as is the case with the marriage fraud, the alien would receive a “green card” and would place the alien on the path to United States citizenship.
10. Applying for political asylum by making a false claim of “credible fear.” (Mir Aimal Kansi used this ploy. In January 1993, roughly one month before the first attack on the World Trade Center, he stood outside the headquarters of the CIA in Virginia and opened fire on CIA employees who were arriving for what they had thought would be a routine day at work. Two CIA officials died and three were wounded. Additionally, more recently a 23 year old native and citizen of Eritrea by the name of Samuel Abrahaley Fessahazion, aka “Sami,” aka “Alex” and aka “Alex Williams” was able to easily game the bureaucracy at USCIS and was awarded political asylum on November 13, 2008, just under six weeks after applying for political asylum and falsely claiming that he had been fleeing persecution in Eritrea. In reality- at the time he claimed to have been fleeing persecution in Eritrea he was smuggling illegal aliens from East Africa into the United States through South and Central America and across our nation’s “border” with Mexico!)

When you consider the way that USCIS is utterly unable to provide a shred of meaningful integrity to the system by which aliens are able to acquire lawful immigrant status and even United States citizenship how in blazes would USCIS deal with the onslaught of 20 million, 30 million or perhaps even more than 40 million applications filed by aliens who would claim to not have a piece of official documentation to attest to their true names, dates of birth or nationalities (remember that is why they are “undocumented!”)

Furthermore, there would therefore be no way of being able to determine if they have any involvement with any criminal or terrorist organization!

There would be absolutely no way of knowing if that person got here ten days ago, ten months ago or ten years ago without a field investigation. There is no way that our nation could conduct 40 million field investigations! The adjudications officers would simply have to take the alien’s word for how long he had been in the United States!

Of course the very same politicians who are jumping up and down and condemning Governor Brewer and members of her state’s legislature for attempting to address the immigration crisis that is destroying their state and our nation, will tell you that Comprehensive Immigration Reform would require that each alien applicant would be fingerprinted and undergo a “security check.”

As I have noted on ever so many previous occasions, any alien who had never been previously arrested in the United States could easily game this system by providing a false name. Even if such an alien’s real name was on a “terror watch list” or a “no fly list” those lists generally have no biometrics associated with those names. If such a terrorist provided a false name- the fingerprints would come back as a “no hit” and the false name would similarly come back “clean.” Within 24 or perhaps 48 hours that individual would be granted temporary status in our country and an official identity document that would immediately enable that person to receive a Social Security Card, a driver’s license, credit cards and library cards and all sorts of other official and authentic identity documents.

If you wonder why I believe that so many more aliens would apply for participation in Comprehensive Immigration Reform- look no further than the Amnesty of 1986 when Chuck Schumer and his friends on the “Hill” told us that the 1986 Amnesty would be a “One time” program that would involve no more than one million to one and a half million aliens. We wound up with four million! If there are between 12 million and 20 million aliens as many claim- you do the math!

Here is another question no one seems to ask and Schumer and company are not about to tell you-

How would our government deal with 40 million newly legalized aliens who would demand prevailing wages and benefits once they acquire lawful status and are therefore no longer vulnerable? Why would our government have to deal with them? We can look to the 1986 Amnesty to understand this issue also. The unscrupulous employers who hired the illegal aliens because they were vulnerable and easy to exploit can be expected to fire most of them once they make their demands known to their employers. Where will these now unemployed legalized aliens go? They will go to the nearest unemployment office for their unemployment benefits!

Furthermore, these 40 million newly legalized aliens would have the authority to immediately bring their wives and minor children to the United States! If these aliens lose their jobs and are on unemployment- I assure you that their families will be immediately eligible for food stamps, welfare, assistance with housing, etc., etc.

How will cities, states and the federal government pick up this tab when communities across our nation are as solvent as Greece and teachers and police officers are being fired?

I would be willing to bet that now we would be talking about a minimum of 100 million aliens!

Does anyone who is attempting to foist Comprehensive Immigration Reform on our nation and our citizens have any answers?

The only answer that the United States Senate has come up with where simply trying to secure the Mexican border from the incursion and infiltration of terrorists and criminals is a resounding “NO!” Meanwhile, I would remind you that a country without secure borders can no more stand than can a house without walls!

I can only imagine that any attempt to hire an adequate number of special agents for ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to conduct fraud investigations to seek to uncover marriage fraud and other forms of fraud known to be used by terrorists and criminals as an embedding tactic will meet with a similar response!

Meanwhile, according to a recent statement by officials of ICE, there are all of 272 investigators seeking to locate all of the illegal aliens who are present in our country who had overstayed their authorized period of stay or otherwise violated the terms of their admission into our country!

Here is my challenge to Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and the other “Immigration All Stars” on Capitol Hill-

Why don’t you simply level with the citizens of our nation and tell us what you really want?

Why don’t you just step forward and look into those cameras you just love, and tell us that you plan to draft legislation that would make any human being born on the planet earth a United States citizen and order the Border Patrol and the special agents of ICE to only seek to locate and arrest extraterrestrials who arrived in flying saucers? You could call these government employees “The Men In Black (MIB)!”

Of course I am certain that if any such extraterrestrials were located Harry Reid or some other “leader” in the Senate or House of Representatives or the administration would question if the MIB special agents had resorted to species profiling!

If reading this makes it difficult for you to sleep now- perhaps you could do something worthwhile- perhaps you might spend a couple of your sleepless hours writing letters to your elected representatives this evening and remind them that Election Day is just months away!

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SENATE DEMOCRATS MANAGES TO BLOCK DEPLOYMENT OF 6,000 NATIONAL GUARD TROOPS TO THE U.S.- MEXICO BORDER
Posted May 30, 2010

ASSOCIATED PRESS Sen. John McCain, seen at a May 17 Senate hearing, disagreed Thursday with objections to boosting a program that jails illegal immigrants briefly rather than immediately releasing them across the border.

By Stephen Dinan

Senate Democrats managed Thursday to block deployment of 6,000 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, but the proposal still garnered a majority of senators, showing widespread support for a border-security-first strategy and underscoring why President Obama is having difficulty trying to win an immigration-legalization bill.The vote flustered Democrats, who seemed uncertain how to handle the proposal and were reluctant to defy Mr. Obama, who just this week proposed that a much smaller 1,200-troop force be deployed.

In the end, 12 Democrats joined 39 Republicans in voting for the deployment – though that still fell nine votes shy of the 60-vote supermajority needed for passage.

The border-security debate was the key fight as the Senate debated the $59 billion emergency war-spending bill to fund Mr. Obama’s Afghanistan troop surge.

Late Thursday, the spending bill passed 67-28, sending it on to be reconciled with a House version.
But that was not before senators defeated a Democratic effort to force Mr. Obama to produce a timetable for withdrawal and Republican efforts to force cuts elsewhere in the budget to pay for the added spending.
“First and foremost, this bill provides the resources needed to support and protect our troops serving in harms way,” said Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

With Democrats holding a giant advantage in the Senate, Republicans were never likely to garner the 60 votes needed to pass the National Guard amendment. But that made the symbolism of the vote all the more significant – a fact that was underscored by Sen. Charles E. Schumer’s pleas on the Senate floor to his colleagues not to defect and vote with Republicans.

“The president’s plan is smart and focused,” the New York Democrat said on the floor.

He told his colleagues to reject three Republican amendments that would have deployed 6,000 guard troops, siphoned more money to federal and local law enforcement on the border and boosted a program that jails illegal immigrants for a short time rather than immediately releasing them across the border, where they often just try again to cross.

In attacking the program to jail illegal immigrants, Mr. Schumer said it wouldn’t stop the flow of illegal immigrants but would instead waste money.

“It will pay for their food, their health care, their recreation time, their reading material for long periods of time,” he said.

Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, started laughing at that charge.

“Is he making this up?” Mr. McCain was overheard saying to fellow Arizona Republican Sen. Jon Kyl, the amendment’s author. Just a minute earlier, Mr. Kyl had told the chamber the incarceration program has a 94 percent success rate where it has been tried.

The incarceration and law enforcement support amendments won 54 votes each, short of the 60 votes needed to pass.

Immigrant rights groups said the amendments’ failure was a victory and said they hoped it clears room for the Senate to begin debate on a broader legalization bill.

“Our country does not need more political theater and grandstanding. We’ve already spent $17 billion on enforcement over the last eight years, with nothing to show for it,” said Janet Murguia, president of the National Council of La Raza. “Throwing more money into the same strategies that have given us no results is simply not a cost-effective approach. Both parties and the president know full well that meaningful and effective border strategy can only be achieved through comprehensive immigration reform.”

But the votes highlighted an unease among senators whom Mr. Obama has asked to pursue a broad legalization bill rather than a border-security-first approach.

One telling statistic is how many Democrats in tough re-election campaigns voted for the 6,000-troop deployment, including Sens. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, Michael Bennet of Colorado and Barbara Boxer of California. Mrs. Boxer’s California counterpart, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a fellow Democrat, initially voted against the deployment but switched her vote to favor the troops after talking with Mrs. Boxer.

Mr. Schumer was seen lobbying both of them, as well as some of the other Democrats who ended up voting for the deployment.

All but one Republican, Sen. George V. Voinovich of Ohio, supported the 6,000-troop proposal.
At a press conference Thursday, Mr. Obama defended his 1,200-troop plan, saying it was drawn up last year, not as a response to recent activity in Arizona.

He again pressed lawmakers to join him in trying to pass a bill that would legalize illegal immigrants and put them on a multistep path to citizenship.

However, recognizing unease among some members of his own party with that plan, he said he’ll have to rely on Republican votes to pass a bill.

“I don’t even need you to meet me halfway; meet me a quarter of the way,” he said. “I’ll bring the majority of Democrats to a smart, sensible, comprehensive immigration reform bill. But I’m going to have to have some help, given the rules of the Senate, where a simple majority is not enough.”

Mr. Obama also defended his Afghanistan surge, saying the country needs to remember that the Taliban harbored al Qaeda when the Sept. 11 attacks happened.

“They absolutely are a threat to us,” he said. “They’re a significant threat to us. I wouldn’t be deploying young men and women into harm’s way if I didn’t think that they were an absolute threat to us.”
A group of Democrats led by Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin offered an amendment on the spending bill to demand that the president lay out a nonbinding timetable for engagement in Afghanistan. But that effort was rejected overwhelmingly, 80-18.

The Senate also rejected two efforts by Sen Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican, to cut elsewhere in the federal budget to pay for the spending. The cuts were defeated by votes of 50-47 and 53-45.

© Copyright 2010 The Washington Times, LLC

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FEDS ISSUE TERROR WATCH OR THE TEXAS/MEXICO BORDER
Posted May 30, 2010

The Department of Homeland Security is alerting Texas authorities to be on the lookout for a suspected member of the Somalia-based Al Shabaab terrorist group who might be attempting to travel to the U.S. through Mexico, a security expert who has seen the memo tells FOXNews.com.

The Department of Homeland Security is alerting Texas authorities to be on the lookout for a suspected member of the Somalia-based Al Shabaab terrorist group who might be attempting to travel to the U.S. through Mexico, a security expert who has seen the memo tells FOXNews.com.

The warning follows an indictment unsealed this month in Texas federal court that accuses a Somali man in Texas of running a “large-scale smuggling enterprise” responsible for bringing hundreds of Somalis from Brazil through South America and eventually across the Mexican border. Many of the illegal immigrants, who court records say were given fake IDs, are alleged to have ties to other now-defunct Somalian terror organizations that have merged with active organizations like Al Shabaab, al-Barakat and Al-Ittihad Al-Islami.

In 2008, the U.S. government designated Al Shabaab a terrorist organization. Al Shabaab has said its priority is to impose Sharia, or Islamic law, on Somalia; the group has aligned itself with Al Qaeda and has made statements about its intent to harm the United States.

In recent years, American Somalis have been recruited by Al Shabaab to travel to Somalia, where they are often radicalized by more extremist or operational anti-American terror groups, which Al Shabaab supports. The recruiters coming through the Mexican border are the ones who could be the most dangerous, according to law enforcement officials.

Security experts tell FOXNews.com that the influx of hundreds of Somalis over the U.S. border who allegedly have ties to suspected terror cells is evidence of a porous and unsecured border being exploited by groups intent on wrecking deadly havoc on American soil.

The DHS alert was issued to police and sheriff’s deputies in Houston, asking them to keep their eyes open for a Somali man named Mohamed Ali who is believed to be in Mexico preparing to make the illegal crossing into Texas. Officials believe Ali has ties to Al Shabaab, a Somali terrorist organization aligned with Al Qaeda, said Joan Neuhaus Schaan, the homeland security and terrorism fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute, who has seen the alert.

An indictment was unsealed in Texas federal court earlier this month that revealed that a Somali man, Ahmed Muhammed Dhakane, led a human smuggling ring that brought East Africans, including Somalis with ties to terror groups, from Brazil and across the Mexican border and into Texas.

In a separate case, Anthony Joseph Tracy, of Virginia, who admitted to having ties to Al Shabaab, is currently being prosecuted for his alleged role in an international ring that illegally brought more than 200 Somalis across the Mexican border. Prosecutors say Tracy used his Kenya-based travel business as a cover to fraudulently obtain Cuban travel documents for the Somalis. The smuggled Somalis are believed to have spread out across the United States and remain mostly at large, court records show.

Somalis are classified by border and immigration officials as “special interest” — illegal immigrants who get caught trying to cross the Mexican border into the U.S. who come from countries that are considered a high threat to the U.S., Neuhaus Schaan explained.

DHS did not respond to multiple e-mail and phone requests for comment.

In addition to the Somali immigration issue, Mexican smugglers are coaching some Middle Eastern immigrants before they cross the border – schooling them on how to dress and giving them phrases to help them look and sound like Latinos, law enforcement sources told FoxNews.com.

“There have been a number of certain communities that have noticed this, villages in northern Mexico where Middle Easterners try to move into town and learn Spanish,” Neuhaus Schaan said. “People were changing there names from Middle Eastern names to Hispanic names.”

Security experts say the push by illegal immigrants to try to fit in also could be the realization of what officials have feared for years: Latin American drug cartels are helping jihadist groups bring terrorists across the Mexican border.

J. Peter Pham, senior fellow and director of the Africa Project at the National Committee on American Foreign Policy, said that for the past ten years there’s been suspicion by U.S. law enforcement that drug cartels could align with international terrorist organizations to bring would-be-jihadists into the U.S.

That kind of collaboration is already being seen in Africa, said Dr. Walid Phares, director of the Future Terrorism Project at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

“Al Qaeda could easily say, “Ok, now we want your help getting these guys into the United States,” Phares said. “Eventually the federal government will pay more attention, but there is a window of time now where they can get anyone they want to get in already.”

Experts also say the DHS alert and recent court case highlights the threat of terrorists penetrating the Mexican/Texas border — and the growing threat of Somali recruitment efforts to bring Americans of Somali descent back to Somalia for jihadist training, creating homegrown terrorists.

Pham says the DHS alert comes too late. “They’re just covering themselves for the fact that DHS has been failing to date to deal effectively with this,” he said. “They’re already here.”
Michael Weinstein, a political science professor at Purdue University and an expert on Somalia, said, “In the past year, it’s become obvious that there’s a spillover into the United States of the transnational revolutionaries in Somalia.”

“It’s something that certainly has to be watched, but I don’t think it’s an imminent threat,” he said. “This has to be put in context with people smuggling — everybody and their brother is getting into the United States through Mexico; I read last week that some Chinese were crossing, it’s just a big market.”

Pham disagrees. “The real danger is ‘something along the lines of jihadist version of ‘find a classmate,’ he said, referring to Al Shabaab’s potential to set up sleeper cells in the U.S. “Most of them rely on personal referral and association. That type of social networking is not beyond their capabilities.”
Pham says the DHS alert is too little, too late.

“This is like shutting the barn door after the horses got away,” he said.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Copyright 2010 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

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BORDER INVESTIGATION GETS WORLDWIDE RESPONSE
Posted May 30, 2010

Click Here

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ILLEGAL ALIENS WHO ARE CROSSING OUR NATION’S EXTREMELY POROUS SOUTHERN BORDER
Posted May 30, 2010

I just received this link to the video of an extremely disturbing news report that recently aired on Atlanta-based television station WSBTV-2. This report focused illegal aliens who are crossing our nation’s extremely porous southern border.

Click Here

If you doubt this, please check out the 9/11 Commission Staff Report on Terrorist Travel. You can download a free copy of that entire report at:

Click Here

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TWO DETAINED ADMIT AIDING NYC BOMBER
Posted May 30, 2010

Asif Shahzad and Kathy Gannon ASSOCIATED PRESS
ISLAMABAD (AP) — Two men detained in Pakistan admitted with pride that they helped the suspect in the attempted Times Square bombing, and one of the men angrily accused his interrogators of “siding with the infidels,” a senior intelligence official said Saturday……

Click Here

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MISSOURI MAN ADMITS AIDING AL QAEDA
Posted May 30, 2010

A Kansas City used car and auto parts dealer admitted Wednesday in federal court to sending money to al Qaeda, prosecutors said……

Click Here

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AMERICAN CITIZEN SENT MONEY TO AL QAEDA
Posted May 30, 2010

A Moroccan-born naturalized United States citizen pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges that he sent money to Al Qaeda, in the latest terrorism-related case to arise involving an American……

Click Here

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STATEMENT I PROVIDED FOR INCLUSION INTO RECORD OF MAY 11TH SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT HEARING INTO USCIS
Posted May 20, 2010

Senator Jeff Sessions, the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee honored me last week when he quoted me during an oversight hearing that the Judiciary Committee conducted into operations at USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services).

As you probably know, USCIS is the bureau with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that is responsible for adjudicating applications filed by aliens for immigration benefits such as permitting aliens present in our country as nonimmigrants to extend their authorized period of admission in the United States and change their status to a different nonimmigrant category- such as aliens who enter the United States as students and then seek to acquire H-1B category as did Faisal Shahzad, the “Times Square Bomber.” USCIS also adjudicates applications filed by aliens seeking to become lawful permanent resident aliens and aliens who seek to become United States citizens via the naturalization process. This was, in fact, the way that Shahzad became a United States citizen.

I was delighted when Senator Sessions’ counsel contacted me at the senator’s behest and offered to provide me with the opportunity to provide a statement for inclusion with the official record of that oversight hearing concerning my perspectives on the way that USCIS carries out it vital missions. It is important to remember that USCIS is a component agency of DHS because the missions of this beleaguered agency have serious national security implications. It is also important to remember that the issue of visa fraud and immigration benefit fraud were identified by the 9/11 Commission as being an area of vulnerability.

As you might imagine I immediately accepted Senator Sessions’ offer. (Talk about the proverbial offer you cannot refuse!)

You may recall that Senator Sessions also saw fit to quote me, from the floor of the United States Senate during the floor debate, on three separate occasions approximately three years ago when the United States Senate attempted to ram “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” through the legislative process and down the throats of our citizens. Back then I had written an Op-Ed column for the Washington Times that was entitled, Immigration Bill a “No Go.”

In that commentary I compared the hearings conducted by various Congressional committees and subcommittees on Comprehensive Immigration Reform with the countdown for the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger. The purpose of the countdown at Cape Canaveral is for the engineers, technicians, scientists and doctors to chime in with whether or not they believe it was safe to launch the spacecraft. The purpose for the Congressional hearings- including those I participated in, was to provide expert witnesses with the opportunity to provide our recommendations as to whether or not the legislative effort to enact Comprehensive Immigration Reform should go forward.

Of course we know that on that cold winter morning in January 1986 Challenger was launched against the objections of a number of NASA’s engineers and just about 73 seconds after liftoff the space shuttle was obliterated in a huge explosion that not only reduced an important national engineering marvel to shards of rubble, but also caused the horrible deaths of the 7 extraordinary astronauts onboard the vehicle.

I opined, in my Op-Ed that while the lives of 7 astronauts hung in the balance during the countdown and then the launch, where Comprehensive Immigration Reform was concerned, the lives of all Americans hung in the balance.

I also provided what I believed then, and still believe to this very day, is a more accurate, honest and descriptive name for Comprehensive Immigration Reform. I came to refer to that bit of legislative detritus as the “Terrorist Assistance and Facilitation Act!”

I am attaching a number of items to this commentary, beginning with my statement to be included in the official record of the hearing, followed by the notice of the hearing that the Senate Judiciary Committee conducted on May 11, 2010.

I am also attaching my Op-Ed Piece I noted above along with material concerning Senator Sessions’ statements in which he quoted from my article.

Before we get to the items I just noted above, I feel it is important to make note of the fact that I am often approached by folks who attend events where I speak publicly about immigration and its impact on so many aspects of our nation today- especially national security. I am also, on occasion, stopped on the street by people who recognize me because of my many appearances on national television programs. Often they ask me if my appearances on Capitol Hill really makes a difference. In a word, I honestly believe that the answer is “Yes!”

Certainly their are members of both houses of Congress who do not want to hear the message I bring with me. I sometimes joke that for these political “representatives” there ought to be way of conducting “Listenings” rather than “Hearings!” Such politicians are the reason why Congress gets such low approval ratings. Closed minded politicians who have no interest in hearing both sides of an argument do a huge disservice to our democratic processes.

True leaders such as Senator Sessions, on the other hand, welcome perspectives that are fact based and experience based. This is what the hearing process should be about.

I was very happy and indeed greatly honored that he provided me with this unique opportunity to make my concerns known.

The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.

Any politician who refuses to work to secure our borders and create an immigration system that has integrity is either corrupt or too dumb to keep his (her) job. Any politician, irrespective of party affiliation who favors Comprehensive Immigration Reform and the outrageous betrayal that this would represent given the national security implications that this program would have, should be shown the door at the next election!

If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, and with my statement to be included in the record of the Senate oversight hearing into operations at USCIS, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same. We need to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”

This is my statement for inclusion in the record of the hearing:

STATEMENT OF MICHAEL W. CUTLER, SENIOR SPECIAL AGENT, INS (RET.) FOR INCLUSION INTO THE RECORD OF HEARING “OVERSIGHT OF U.S. CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES” CONDUCTED BY THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE ON MAY 11, 2010

I want to start out by expressing my profound appreciation to Senator Jeff Sessions for his having provided me with this opportunity to present my perspectives and concerns about the way that our nation provides various immigration benefits to aliens who enter our country.

Our nation is currently facing an unparalleled immigration crisis. This crisis profoundly impacts nearly every significant challenge that is confronting our nation. Everything from national security and criminal justice to the economy, the environment, healthcare and education is getting hammered by our nation’s failures to secure its borders and create an immigration system that has real integrity.

Much has been made about the porous borders through which millions of illegal aliens have succeeded in entering our country and certainly remains a major threat to the safety of our citizens and the security of our nation. Aliens who circumvent the inspections process are not simply people who lack documents, as the term “Undocumented” would make it appear. Aliens who circumvent the inspections process are not the equivalent of a motorist who fails to pay a toll before driving over a toll bridge. The inspections process is the means by which employees of CBP (Customs and Border Protection) seek to prevent the entry of aliens into our country whose presence in our country would be harmful to our nation and/or our citizens.

Among the categories of aliens whose entry into our country is proscribed are aliens who suffer from dangerous communicable diseases, aliens who have been convicted of felonies, aliens engaged in smuggling and aliens who are involved in terrorism.

The problem is that when an alien circumvents the inspections process there is no way of knowing if that alien is simply seeking to violate the administrative provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by seeking illegal employment, or if the alien in question is wanted for committing serious crimes in another country and is evading law enforcement authorities in that other country. There is no way of knowing if the alien is involved in criminal or terrorism-related activities and is seeking to enter the United States to commit serious crimes such as those involving violence, narcotics or other felonies. There is no way of knowing if the alien is seeking to enter our country to commit crimes in the United States to secure money to be used in furtherance of terrorist goals in the United States or elsewhere, or embed himself in our nation as a “sleeper agent” and will seek to embed himself in our country while he (she) awaits a phone call or other communication advising him as to what needs to be done to assist in the commission of a terrorist attack.

The inspections process, as I am certain you must recognize, is not a mere formality but represents what should be a serious line of defense to protect our nation and our citizens. This is why I have come to say that the difference between a lawfully admitted immigrant and an illegal alien is comparable to the difference between a houseguest and a burglar.

My perspectives are not based on conjecture but are, rather, based on my experiences as an employee of the former INS.

As you may know, I was employed by the former INS for approximately 30 years, having begun my career as an Immigration Inspector assigned to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York in October of 1971. I remained in that position until I became a Criminal Investigator (Special Agent) in 1975 where I rotated through all of the squads within the Investigations Branch at the New York District Office. I was additionally assigned to the Unified Intelligence Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York Field Office from 1988 until 1991 when I as promoted to the position of Senior Special Agent and assigned to the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, a position in which I remained for the balance of my career with the INS.

As an Immigration Inspector I was responsible for applying the immigration laws of our nation in deciding on whether or not to admit aliens into the United States. This position also required me to process applications for various immigration benefits including applications filed by aliens who had been admitted into the United States as nonimmigrant visitors for pleasure and sought to gain additional time in our country or to change their nonimmigrant status to that of student or some other category of nonimmigrant. I also adjudicated applications for the replacement of lost alien Registration Receipt Cards and for the issuance of Reentry Permits.

By adjudicating these applications I was provided with a unique opportunity to see the way the INS, back then, dealt with the routine adjudications process.

In 1973 I accepted a temporary assignment to the I-130 Unit for a period of one year, to participate in a pilot program to seek to uncover fraud in the applications for residency filed by United States citizen and resident alien spouses of aliens to whom they were married. The purpose of this program was to identify those aliens whose marriages were nothing more than business arrangements in which the U.S. citizen or resident alien spouses were paid to engage in a marriage of convenience and file an I-130 petition on behalf of the aliens seeking a green card and potentially, a pathway to United States citizenship.

The goal of the pilot program was to attempt to create an environment that would discourage the filing of applications for residency that involved fraud. Many fraud marriages were thus uncovered, along with a number of rings that made a mockery of the process.

As an INS Special Agent I investigated and arrested aliens whose violations of law simply involved their having entered our country without inspection or overstayed their authorized period of admission to seek illegal employment to aliens who had committed a wide variety of felonies ranging from murder, rape, robbery, weapons possession, narcotics trafficking and alien smuggling to crimes committed in conjunction with the objectives of terrorist organizations.

Because of my background I have truly seen the immigration crisis that confronts our nation today from a front row seat.

Clearly our nation’s borders must be secured. But this is only one of many steps that must be taken if our nation is to live up to its mandate of protecting the survival of our nation and providing for the safety and security of our citizens.

If you consider the way that a responsible homeowner secures his home and his possessions and the safety of his family members from intruders, you can see that our nation needs to develop a comparable game plan. This is not an unreasonable analogy when you consider that time and again a green card and especially United States citizenship have been referred to as the “Keys to the kingdom.”

Our nation makes virtually no distinction between the United States citizen who acquired his citizenship by being born in the United States as compared with the alien who acquired his (her) citizenship via the naturalization process. In point of fact, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the governor of the most populace state of our nation is a naturalized citizen. Indeed, the only official positions a naturalized citizen may not hold are the positions of President and Vice President of the United States.

The illegal aliens who manage to run our nation’s borders are comparable to an individual who manages to break into a home by crawling through a window left open at the rear of the house.

The alien who manages to commit immigration fraud and game the bureaucracy at United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, is the equivalent of the burglar who manages to secure a copy of the key to the front door of the home he has targeted for illegal entry.

When you park your car in a garage where attendants park the car for you, there are almost invariably signs posted warning patrons to not leave any keys other than the ignition key. The obvious first concern is that you don’t want to have a larcenous employee of that garage rummaging through your glove compartment or trunk and possibly steal any of your valuables. Additionally, the potential exists that a dishonest garage employee might make a copy of your house key and be able to determine your address by running your license plate. Such criminals would not have to force their way into their victim’s home but would be able to simply walk through the front door with a key they were able to produce.

Many such burglary rings have, in fact, operated out of parking garages over the years.

Recently police in an affluent community north of New York City discovered that electronic garage door openers had been stolen from expensive cars. The thieves only stole the garage door openers. This was an obvious variation of the tactic employed by the dishonest parking garage employees- the goal being to find a way of gaining access into a victim’s home without having to use force.

Several weeks ago my car was broken into and my son’s backpack was stolen. It contained the keys to our home and his backpack had documents that included our home address. Out of an abundance of caution and commonsense, we immediately had the locks on our house changed.

Time and again news reports have detailed how aliens from countries all over the world have been able to game the immigration bureaucracy in order to gain visas and/or acquire lawful immigrant status and even United States citizenship by committing fraud. Time and again the GAO and the OIG have provided reports issued pursuant to investigations that disclosed the ways in which criminals and terrorists, including individuals engaged in espionage have easily gamed the immigration bureaucracy of USCIS to acquire resident alien status and then even United States citizenship as an integral component of their strategy to acquire a job that involved a security clearance or provided access to a secure location. We have seen where an alien who committed marriage fraud was able to ultimately secure a job as an FBI Special Agent and then went on to secure a position at the CIA.

In November of 2006 the GAO issued a report that included the incredible lapse of judgement, or worse, where purportedly some 111,000 immigration alien files were reportedly lost and yet each and every application for an immigration benefit that related to those missing files were adjudicated without those critically important files, including 30,000 aliens who were naturalized even though the adjudications officers were not provided with those files when they adjudicated those applications.

In January 1993 a citizen of Pakistan by the name of Mir Amal Kansi stood outside the main gate of the Central Intelligence Agency and opened fire with an AK-47 on the vehicles being driven into parking lot by CIA officials arriving for work that winter morning. When the shooting stopped, two CIA officers were dead and three others were seriously wounded. Kansi had managed to game the bureaucracy at the old INS and was granted political asylum even though he had committed fraud.

The very next month, the World Trade Center was attacked by aliens who had also gamed the immigration bureaucracy at the old INS.

On September 1, 2006 I was called to testify before the House Judiciary Committee hearing on the issue of “Comprehensive Immigration Reform.”

Here is an excerpt from my prepared testimony that illustrates the seriousness of immigration benefit fraud that was not addressed by the INS:

“A notable example of such a terrorist can be found in a review of the facts concerning Mahmud Abouhalima, a citizen of Egypt who entered the United States on a tourist visa, overstayed his authorized period of admission and then applied for amnesty under the agricultural worker provisions of IRCA. He succeeded in obtaining resident alien status through this process. During the 5 year period he drove a cab and had his license suspended numerous times for various violations of law and he ultimately demonstrated his appreciation for our Nation’s generosity by participating in the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 that left six people dead, hundreds of people injured and an estimated one-half billion dollars in damages inflicted on that iconic, ill-fated complex.

America had opened his doors to him so that he might participate in the American dream and he turned that dream into our worst nightmare. The other terrorists who attacked our Nation on subsequent attacks, including the attacks of September 11, 2001, similarly exploited our generosity, seeing in our Nation’s kindness, weakness, gaming the immigration system to enter our country and then hide in plain sight among us.”

Time and again we have seen how ineptitude at the INS and now at USCIS creates major vulnerabilities for our nation and our citizens.

I previously noted how an individual by the name of Kansi had managed to game the system to gain political asylum before he attacked CIA officials. You would think that the lessons should have, by now, been learned. Immigration fraud is not a victimless crime. Yet consider that recently ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) issued a press release into the arrest and prosecution of a 23 year old man from Eritrea.

Please consider this excerpt from that press release:
“According to plea documents, from at least June 2007 until approximately January 2008, Fessahazion was the Guatemalan link of an alien smuggling network that spans East Africa, Central and South America. Specifically, Fessahazion illegally entered the United States at McAllen, Texas, on March 20, 2008. He applied for asylum on Sept. 30, 2008, claiming in his application that he was traveling across Africa in 2007 and 2008, fleeing persecution in Eritrea. However, Fessahazion was actually in Guatemala during that period facilitating the smuggling of East African aliens to the United States.

Fessahazion was granted asylum by the United States on Nov. 13, 2008.”

Clearly our officials know that immigration benefit fraud has figured prominently in a number of terrorist attacks or thwarted terrorist attacks. Aliens have managed to game the system by claiming “credible fear” and thus being granted political asylum. In some instances this has enabled terrorists to embed themselves in our country. Yet Mr. Fessahazion was easily able to violate our nation’s porous borders numerous times and then game the immigration bureaucracy in 2008 to acquire political asylum. It should be presumed that he was easily able to cross the border between the United States and Mexico with his immigration document provided by USCIS less than 2 years ago. His application for asylum was processed in under six weeks. This certainly raises many questions starting with the most fundamental- how thoroughly was his claim of “credible fear” investigated? The false claim he made about credible fear concerned a country on the other side of the planet and in under six weeks his false claim was rewarded when he was granted political asylum.

I would remind you that Kansi’s attack on the CIA occurred more than 14 years before Fessahazion filed his fraudulent application for political asylum. This apparently illustrates that the lessons that should have been learned by a government agency that has clear national security implications were not.

This case is only one of a long list of cases in which immigration benefit fraud provided opportunities for criminals, terrorists and spies to embed themselves in our country and conduct operations that were detrimental to the security of our nation and the safety of our citizens.

In listening to the testimony and the responses of USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas to questions posed by Senator Orin Hatch, it became clear to me that many of the issues concerning the adjudications process and the integrity of the system still lacks the resources and the abilities to create a system that has real integrity when it has been made abundantly clear that immigration fraud has facilitated terrorist attacks that were committed on American soil and other attacks that were thwarted by effective work by our law enforcement officials while still other attacks failed because of the ineptitude of the terrorists. As I noted in a recent commentary I wrote, “If hope is not a strategy then dumb luck is not a success.”

We should never take comfort when our enemies fail because of their ineptitude. The most recent attack at Times Square is a good example of such a failure of the terrorist who, but for the failure of his explosives, might have killed many and wounded still more.

Having touched on the national security implications of the immigration benefits program I think it is worth considering another issue; the H-1B temporary visa program that has also failed in its mission to protect the jobs of American workers. Faisal Shahzad, the “Times Square Bomber” had on multiple occasions apparently gamed the immigration benefits program including the fact that he had secured an H-1B visa as an accounting clerk. This also points out another fundamental failure of this program.

Prior to the Second World War, the enforcement and administration of the immigration laws was the responsibility of the United States Labor Department. The concern was that the influx of massive numbers of foreign workers might have an adverse impact on the jobs, salaries and working conditions of American workers who were supporting themselves and their families. The underlying concept of what came to be called the “American Dream” was that each generation of Americans, in providing greater educational opportunities for their children would enable each succeeding generation to live more successful lives than did their parents.

On a personal note, my own mother legally immigrated to the United States as a teenager several years before the onslaught of the Holocaust that caused the slaughter of so many people including members of my own family- my mother’s mother among them and for whom I was named. My mother lived in a rooming house and worked in an umbrella factory when she first arrived in the United States and was paid just three dollars per week. She never had the opportunity to gain an education. She never completed public school. My dad was born in Brooklyn to an immigrant family that came from Russia at the beginning of the last century but because of his family’s situation, he never went beyond the 8th grade. My parents, however, made certain that I went to college. This was the way, they told me, that I would secure my thin slice of the “American Dream.”

Therefore I was greatly disturbed to watch and listen to Alan Greenspan’s testimony when he testified before a hearing conducted by the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration on April 30, 2009 about Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Mr. Greenspan made a statement that included the following excerpt:

“The second bonus would address the increasing concentration of income in this country. Greatly expanding our quotas for the highly skilled would lower wage premiums of skilled over lesser skilled. Skill shortages in America exist because we are shielding our skilled labor force from world competition. Quotas have been substituted for the wage pricing mechanism. In the process, we have created a privileged elite whose incomes are being supported at noncompetitively high levels by immigration quotas on skilled professionals. Eliminating such restrictions would reduce at least some of our income inequality.”
In reviewing Mr. Greenspan’s testimony I was compelled to review the portion of the INA that deals with the issuance of temporary work visas:

Under the INA, the law…”
“…excludes aliens seeking to immigrate “for the purpose of performing skilled or unskilled labor,” except that such aliens may be eligible for a visa if:

the Secretary of Labor has determined that (A) there are not sufficient United States workers who are able, willing, qualified and available at the time of application for a visa and admission into the United States and at the place where the alien is to perform the work, and (B) the employment of the alien will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of the United States workers similarly employed.”

Clearly what Mr. Greenspan had called for- the significant increase in quotas or perhaps even the elimination of quotas for temporary work visas to address the “income inequality” between America’s skilled and unskilled workers and thereby stop making a “privileged elite” to use his terminology, out of American workers who have skills or education. Mr. Greenspan’s stated goals would appear to run contrary to the letter and spirit of the immigration laws concerning foreign workers. His goals would reduce the salaries of American middle class workers.

If our government was to take Mr. Greenspan’s advice, there would be no reason for an American student to attend a trade school or even college USCIS is charged with adjudicating applications filed by aliens seeking to change their status to that of an H-1B visa holder and other categories of temporary nonimmigrant workers. The fact that Senator Charles Schumer who chairs the Immigration Subcommittee in the Senate would hold that hearing and have Mr. Greenspan provide testimony that included such troubling language that reflected a mindset that appears to seek to end the concept of the “American Dream” has left me greatly concerned.

In view of this, I believe it would be of great importance to understand what measures are being taken at USCIS to combat fraud in the H-1B Program not only in terms of the potential impact that this may have on national security but on the way it may well impact the ability of the average American to support himself and his family, especially in this era of double digit unemployment where a record number of Americans are losing their tenuous grip on their position in the “middle class.”

It is now estimated that one in six Americans lives below the poverty level and foreclosures are at extremely high levels. Meanwhile in the name of an economic stimulus program our nation has run up a national debt that to my knowledge far and away exceeds any previous national debt level. Foreign workers have one fundamental goal in seeking employment in the United States- to send money back to their families in their home countries. This results in the wiring of tens of billions of dollars out of the United States each and every year. This is money that is not earned by Americans or resident aliens. This is money that is not spent in the United States. This is money that is not invested in the United States. This is money that is utterly removed from our nation’s beleaguered economy.

It reminds me, in fact, of an analogous situation where someone turns on the faucets on his bathtub but by leaving the drain open, he never has enough water in his tub to take a bath.

How much effort, therefore is given to making certain that artful attorneys don’t aid client companies and foreign workers in locking Americans and lawful immigrant aliens out of jobs they desperately need to stay afloat financially so that the attorneys can get their fees and companies can reduce labor costs to the detriment of the citizens of our country?

The mission of USCIS is comparable to the job of the locksmith who provides the keys to our country to aliens from around the world. The fact is that our nation is a “nation of immigrants” but it is absolutely essential that the process by which aliens seeking a variety of immigration benefits be treated fairly and with dignity. Yet combatting fraud must be a major part of the effort of this agency that has serious national security implications.

Combatting fraud requires that USCIS and ICE have an adequate number of special agents who can actually locate, investigate and arrest aliens and those who conspire with them to commit immigration fraud. Simply taking down an occasional large scale fraud ring may generate a headline but in order to really have the desired effect, USCIS and ICE must create a program such as the one I participated in more than 35 years ago.

Today it would appear that there is little chance that an alien who engages in a marriage fraud or labor certification fraud will be detected. There is even a slimmer possibility that such criminal activities will result in the prosecution of those involved. This emboldens more aliens and more citizens to enter into criminal conspiracies to game the system. Immigration fraud is certainly not a victimless crime but it is a virtually prosecutionless (sic) crime that encourages ever more aliens to game the system and encourages ever more citizens to participate in these schemes to make a quick profit.

It has been said that you only get one opportunity to make a first impression. For hundreds of thousands of aliens who enter our country each year, the first impression they get of the United States of America comes from their contact with the enforcement and administration of the Immigration and Nationality Act. When it becomes virtual common knowledge that our government has no real interest or capability to secure our nation’s borders or enforce or administer the immigration laws effectively, the lesson is that in the United States you can expect to not only get away with violating our laws but you can be expected to be rewarded for violating our laws.

In my humble opinion this is a very dangerous first impression especially in this perilous era where the immigration benefits program administered by USCIS has been gamed repeatedly by criminals and terrorists as an embedding tactic.

It is this concern that compels me to touch on another issue. Today so many of our nation’s leaders are openly advocating for a program under the banner of “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” that would provide aliens whose presence in our country represents a violation of law with a pathway to United States citizenship.

There is no way to know the true names or nationalities of these millions of aliens. Consequently there would be no way of determining when, where or how they entered the United States. There would be no way of determining whether these aliens had involvement with criminal or terrorist organizations.

The fact that each application would undergo a “security check” would only catch those aliens whose fingerprints were on file for having committed a criminal offense or had been previously encountered by the immigration system.

An alien who had never been fingerprinted and who provided a false name would easily acquire lawful status and official identity documents under that false name that would immediately enable him (her) to obtain a Social Security Card, a driver’s license and all other sorts of identity documents. The identity document that would be provided to an alien under the auspices of “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” would be the ideal “breeder document” and would create a national security nightmare of unprecedented proportions.

The 1986 Amnesty that was supposed to encourage one million to one and a half million aliens to step out of the proverbial “shadows” resulted in approximately four million aliens coming forward to seek legalization including several terrorists among them.

There are a couple of reasons that we wound up with about 3 times as many aliens seeking legalization than were originally estimated. First of all there was apparently some undercounting- either intentional or unintentional. Second- and most importantly- there was absolutely no way of knowing how long an alien has been present in our country if they entered the United States without being inspected. There was no record of that person’s entry into the United States.

Today the estimated number of illegal aliens in our country range from a low of 12 million to a high of more than 30 million. If the lowest estimate is correct and if, as happened in 1986 we wind up with 3 times as many aliens stepping forward, then it must be presumed that more than 36 million aliens plus their families will line up for lawful status in our country- making an absolute mockery of the visa program by which aliens have traditionally sought to immigrate to the United States to begin their lives anew in our country. If the actual number of illegal aliens is closer to 30 million, then we are looking at a veritable human tsunami. There is absolutely no way I could imagine that the system could even begin to cope with the onslaught of so many aliens- all of whom are “undocumented” meaning that they do not possess even a shred of reliable official identity documents to attest to their true identities.

As for the current situation at USCIS- if fraud could be deterred in a meaningful way then perhaps the agency that has, for decades been fixated on chasing the ever increasing backlog to the detriment of the integrity of the process might find the backlog actually shrink as fewer fraudulent applications were filed.

This would be, to my thinking, a far more effective way of reducing the backlog of applications while actually increasing the integrity of the process and actually reducing the waiting time for those who file legitimate applications for various benefits including those who seek to share the American Dream and become a part of the tapestry of this magnificent nation.

I would be happy to provide responses to any questions my statement may give rise to.

Here is the link to the notice of the hearing that the Senate Judiciary Committee conducted on May 11th about operations at USCIS:

Click Here

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WASHINGTON TIMES: IMMIGRATION BIL A “NO-GO”
Posted May 20, 2010

Click Here

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IRAN BOOSTS QODS SHOCK TROOPS IN VENEZUELA
Posted May 20, 2010

Iran is increasing its paramilitary Qods force operatives in Venezuela while covertly continuing supplies of weapons and explosives to Taliban and other insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to the Pentagon’s first report to Congress on Tehran’s military……..

Click Here To Read

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EXCELLENT TELEVISED NEWS REPORT ABOUT SEVERE TERRORISM THREAT POSED BY OUR NATION’S POROUS BORDERS
Posted May 20, 2010

I just received this link to the video of an extremely disturbing news report that recently aired on Atlanta-based television station WSBTV-2. This report focused illegal aliens who are crossing our nation’s extremely porous southern border……

Click Here To Read More

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THERE ARE VERY REAL REASONS FOR ARIZONA’S NEW IMMIGRATION LAW
Posted May 20, 2010

Washington, not Arizona, is the problem, and ‘comprehensive immigration reform’ will only make a bad situation worse.

To Read, Click Here

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THE MIDNIGHT RIDE OF PAUL REVERE
Posted May 12, 2010

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

LISTEN, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.
He said to his friend, “If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower, as a signal light, –
One, if by land, and two, if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country-folk to be up and to arm.”

Paul Revere had it relatively easy, there were only two possibilities. The British invaders could only come by land or by sea. Today, were Mr. Revere alive and decided to continue his now “low tech” method to communicate how illegal aliens and criminals and terrorists among them were entering the United States, he would need to have his friend place so many lanterns in the North Church tower that the tower would have probably burned to the ground!

Let us consider some of the many ways that illegal aliens and potentially criminals and terrorists, can gain entry into our country:

1. Running the Mexican border
2. Running the Canadian border
3. Stowing away on a ship
4. Entering the United States through a port of entry under the auspices of the Visa Waiver Program (This enables aliens from 35 countries to enter our country without first applying for and obtaining a nonimmigrant visa.)
5. Procuring a nonimmigrant tourist visa by filing a fraudulent application.
6. Entering the United States with a valid visa and then violating the terms of the visa such as overstaying the period of time for which he was admitted. (US VISIT is not currently able to track the departure of aliens who are admitted for a temporary period.)
7. Procuring a nonimmigrant student visa and then not attending the school for which the visa was issued- (Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, the 19 year old terror suspect who was arrested several days ago while plotting to use explosives to destroy an office building in Dallas, Texas is an example of this method of entry and ebedding in our country as was Nada Nadim Prouty, a woman from Lebanon who entered the United States on a student visa roughly 20 years ago who went on to commit immigration fraud and ultimately acquire United States citizenship. She parlayed her naturalization certificate into a security clearance and a job at the FBI and CIA where she used her clearance to access sensitive databases to spy on our country for Hezbollah!)
8. Applying for and receiving an immigrant visa based on a fraud marriage. (If successful, this ploy provides the alien with a “green card” and puts him (her) on the path to United States citizenship.)
9. Applying for and receiving an immigrant visa based on a fraud job offer, as is the case with the marriage fraud, the alien would receive a “green card” and would place the alien on the path to United States citizenship.
10. Applying for political asylum by making a false claim of “credible fear.” (Mir Aimal Kansi used this ploy. In January 1993, roughly one month before the first attack on the World Trade Center, he stood outside the headquarters of the CIA in Virginia and opened fire on CIA employees who were arriving for what they had thought would be a routine day at work. Two CIA officials died and three were wounded.)

I have stopped this list on the tenth item but there are other ways I have not listed. This is why I refer to immigration as a “system.” If you were attempting to burglar proof you house I do not think you would be satisfied to simply reinforce your back door and declare your house to be “burglar proof!” You would secure all of your doors, all of your windows, all of your skylights and then have a locksmith install solid locks. You would retain strict control over the keys to those locks and then you would probably install a burglar alarm to automatically summon help if some really persistent burglar managed to break in. If you were really serious about the security of you house, you might also consider putting up a fence, installing effective lighting and trimming the trees and shrubs that are located close to the windows and doors of your house to deprive a burglar or criminal the opportunity to hide in the shrubs. There are still more measures you might consider, but you certainly get the idea. Security is best done in layers and must be thought of as a system.

In considering the facts that are presented in the news report below I want you to consider the lack of resources dedicated to enforcing the immigration laws from within the interior of the United States. ICE claims that there are all of 272 investigators whose assignment is to locate and apprehend visa overstays! I am willing to bet that they are also tasked with other assignments as well!

Stop and reread that last paragraph! There are just 272 investigators for the entire United States of America- from coast to coast and border to border whose job is to locate visa overstays when it is estimated that 40% of the illegal aliens who are present in our country did not run our nation’s borders but entered through a port of entry and then overstayed their authorized period of admission or otherwise violated their terms of admission!

There is a greater likelihood of getting hit in the head with a snowball in late August at a beach in Miami, Florida than an illegal alien has of getting arrested in the United Staes!

Meanwhile the President and members of Congress such as Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi demand that illegal aliens whose identities are unknown and unknowable be provided with a pathway to United States citizenship as a reward for running our nation’s borders and violating loads of additional laws along the way!

I guess that they are so accustomed to think of laws that stand in the way of their objectives that they have come to see laws as little more than “speed bumps” so why should anyone be concerned about pesky borders or laws, unless your are a citizen of this nation?

We should also consider the statement of Ms Doris Meissner, the former commissioner of the former INS and is currently the director of U.S. Immigration Policy at the Migration Policy Institute. (Even the name of her organization uses a bit of semantic legerdemain (slight of hand)- The Migration Policy Institute- it nearly sounds as though they are trying to determine what flight paths migrating geese should follow! Migration is to Ms Meissner, the former leader of the federal law enforcement agency that is charged with securing our nation’s borders and enforcing as well as administering our nation’s immigration laws who never wanted to effectively enforce those laws!

Consider this quote from Doris:
“You can’t ask the immigration system to do everything,” said Doris Meissner, a senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute, a research center in Washington, and a former commissioner of the immigration service. “This is an example of how changes in law enforcement priorities and techniques since Sept. 11 actually got to where they should be.”

Doris Meissner, as the commissioner of the INS was unwilling to make the enforcement of the immigration laws from within the interior of the United States a priority of any dimension at all.

This can be made crystal clear when you consider the testimony provided by a gentleman by the name of Jack Shaw who, at the time of his appearance before the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims on March 4, 1999 was the Assistant Commissioner for Investigations. He was the person in charge of every INS special agent in the United States. The topic of the hearing at which he testified was:

“DESIGNATIONS OF TEMPORARY PROTECTED STATUS AND FRAUD IN PRIOR AMNESTY PROGRAMS”

Here is an excerpt of Jack’s prepared testimony for that hearing:
”In reality, the INS still strikes little fear in illegal immigration here. . . . After leaving his home in Mexico in 1996, [the illegal immigrant], age 42, now a landscaper in Durham, was caught three times in a single month after crossing the Texas border with a smuggler. Yet when he made it to North Carolina on the fourth try, he was in the clear. . . . ‘In North Carolina, immigration authorities pose no problems,’ [according to the immigrant] . . . As Congress boosted the Washington-based agency’s budget 163 percent in six years, the enforcement priority has been clear. Each year through 2002, the INS is to deploy an additional 1,000 Border Patrol agents, for a total of 12,000. Yet almost half the illegal-entry problem has nothing to do with border enforcement. The INS’ own statistics show that four of every 10 undocumented immigrants enter the country legally-usually on short term tourist or work visas-and then stay.”

In its determined efforts to establish control of the border by tightening security on the perimeter, Congress has seemingly ignored the critical, complementary roles and responsibilities of Interior Enforcement . . . and these fall mainly on the shoulders of Investigations.

I believe that the concept of Interior Enforcement, supported by a well articulated strategy document, ought to be as familiar in the nomenclature of immigration enforcement as the concept, or term, Border Control. Although, I must admit that even in- house at INS, the Commissioner has said that Interior Enforcement is a term of usage invented by Investigations and devoid of meaning.

Let me repeat and highlight that last sentence in which Jack Shaw quoted then INS Commissioner Doris Meissner: “Although, I must admit that even in-house at INS, the Commissioner has said that Interior Enforcement is a term of usage invented by Investigations and devoid of meaning.”

The commissioner Jack Shaw referred to was Doris Meissner. That is what she thought of the critically important mission of the enforcement of the immigration laws from within the interior of the United States. She was in charge and refused to demonstrate leadership where immigration law enforcement was concerned! And now she makes all of these statements about immigration! It takes my breath away!
Jack Shaw showed real courage in speaking out against his boss at that Congressional hearing- but to no avail! Check out the statistic that 4 out of 10 (40%) of illegal aliens back then, in 1999 did not run our nation’s borders but were admitted into the United States via the inspections process and then simply managed to “hide in plain sight!”

Here is the transcript of that hearing in its entirety: Click Here

Ms Meissner is now “out there” touting Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

I have always thought that an effective leader was the person who ran in front of his (her) troops exhorting the people under his command to do a better job while sweeping debris off the road so those they led could run more swiftly and carry a heavier load.

I always had visions of Ms Meissnere throwing grenades in front of us, working over the road with jack hammers and sprinkling shards of broken glass in front of us while demanding we run barefoot! In fact, there was a time, during Meissner’s tenure, when the leadership at INS in New York demanded that those of us who were making arrests wear leather soled shoes so that we would look more professional!

The immigration crisis that now confronts our nation did not happen overnight- this has been a disaster a long time in the making!

In my view, the enactment of Comprehensive Immigration Reform would be nothing short of catastrophic for our nation but it would also represent the realization of a dream- Doris Meissner’s dream and the dream of politicians who clearly feel no responsibility to 300 million citizens of our nation whose best interests they are supposed to represent.

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U.S. NOT CRACKING DOWN ON IMMIGRANTS WITH EXPIRED VISAS
Posted May 12, 2010

by Daniel González
The Arizona Republic

Read more: Click Here

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PRESIDENT OBAMA, NO ONE IN ARIZONA IS LAUGHING
Posted May 12, 2010

Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona is taking the heat from a number of pandering politicians. Politicians who are openly displaying their disdain for the United States of America and the citizens of this nation.

There is a Yiddish expression that states, “When a fish goes bad, it smells from the head!”

The head of the fish, where the government of the United States is the person who occupies the office of President of the United States.

Harry S. Truman, the President of the United States who presided over our nation at the end of the Second World War understood, fully, the responsibility his office carried when he placed a plaque on his desk in the Oval Office which simply read, “The Buck Stops Here!”

I have provided you with a link to a commercial that appears on YouTube and was prepared by Governor Brewer. I also saw this ad on The O’Reilly Factor this evening. Here is that link: Click Here

In that brief video click, the President of the United States makes it clear that he believes that the efforts of the leaders of the state of Arizona to attempt to do the job the federal government adamantly refuses to do is a punch line in a sick joke. His contempt for efforts at problem solving demonstrated by Governor Brewer and the state legislature are contemptible and disturbing on many levels. Besides providing a peek into his mindset about immigration- he has, it must be presumed, in that brief “joke” destroyed any remaining shreds of morale at the various component agencies at the DHS that are involved with the enforcement and administration of the immigration laws.

I recall that many years ago, shortly after President Clinton was inaugurated, that he had some difficulties in attempting to fill the critically important position of the Attorney General. Back then the INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) was under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice. the Attorney General is the top official of that agency. Needless to say my colleagues and I at the INS were all concerned as to who would ultimately fill that important position, especially after U.S. district court Judge Kimba Wood of the Southern District of New York was forced to remove her name from consideration when it was discovered that she had hired an illegal alien as a household employee to assist with various chores around her home including the caring for her child. The news media branded this case “Nanny-Gate.”

Finally Janet Reno was selected. I don’t recall if the newspapers quoted Ms Reno after she was nominated or after she was sworn in, but I do recall that one morning, at O’Dark-thirty as we came to refer early morning field operations, we had gone out and arrested a number of illegal aliens who had extensive convictions records. These criminal aliens came from a number of different countries located on several continents and a few of them were found to have been in possession of firearms that we seized and brought into the office to seek to have these aliens prosecuted for the unlawful possession of firearms by illegal aliens.

When we arrived in the office we locked up those we arrested and found a copy of the New York Times containing Janet Reno’s statement. One of the agents read what Ms Reno had to say. The article reported that she said that she was looking forward to working closely with the component law enforcement agencies of the Justice Department and then went on to enumerate the FBI, DEA, U.S. Marshals Service, Bureau of Prisons and the Border Patrol but somehow left out the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Of course the Border Patrol was a component of the INS but the special agents of the INS were not a part of the Border Patrol and this oversight absolutely infuriated everyone in my squad that morning!

One of my buddies grabbed the newspaper and ripped it to shreds and dumped into a trash can and poured his coffee over the remnants of the newspaper. He then exclaimed, “Who the hell are we, chopped liver?”

His sentiment was echoed by everyone in the room.

Law enforcement officers, regardless of the agency that employs them have to grow leathery tough skin. This concern and anger on our part was not about ego but rather about a serious concern. The business of law enforcement is hazardous on many levels. Civilians are always advised to not make eye contact when a motorist cuts them off on the highway. The idea is to not have a confrontation if you can avoid it. Law enforcement officers are in the business of intentionally having confrontations! (It has been said that law enforcement officers run towards that which any sane person would run away from!)

Therefore it is of critical importance that those who engage in law enforcement know that the agency that employs them will stand behind them if a confrontation with a criminal leads to physical confrontation and allegations are made by the bad guys as a form of retribution or as a way of destroying the credibility of the agents who arrest the criminal. (Think of what happened to Border Patrol Agents Ramos and Compean!)

When the Attorney General enumerates every agency under her command but for some reason leaves off your agency, you have to be concerned! As an old-timer told me when I first hired on- “Just because you are paranoid, it does not mean you are not being followed!”

When law enforcement officers fear that their agency will not stand behind them morale and a willingness to do the job suffers. I recall when I began providing testimony before Congressional hearings that a member of Congress approached me after the hearing and asked me about morale at the INS. I told him that morale was not a problem. He appeared incredulous. He told me that he had heard horror stories about morale-related issues at the INS and I simply told him, “Congressman, where morale is concerned, there is no problem because that which does not exist cannot possibly be a problem!”

Now I want you to go back and check out the obvious attitude exhibited by the President of the United States where the enforcement of the immigration laws are concerned. Janet Reno was guilty of omitting our agency from her list of agencies under her command and the consternation was palpable. How must the personnel of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and CBP (Customs and Border Protection) feel?

If morale was a problem back then- the glib remarks by the President has to have sent the morale at DHS in to the territory of negative numbers!

I spent the majority of my adult years employed by the former INS and made a life’s work out of enforcing our nation’s immigration laws as did my colleagues. I will honestly tell you I was angered and nauseated by the President’s obvious disdain for my former professional efforts. There is absolutely no other way to feel!

At least I know now, with crystal clarity why the President is eager to provide unknown millions of illegal aliens with a pathway to United States citizenship- obviously he believes our borders are as he believes they should be- little more than speed bumps to those who seek to enter our country illegally.

For those who share Mr. Obama’s cavalier attitude- and in this group I would include all the “usual suspects” Pelosi, Schumer, Reid, etc.- I have a simple question, “Do you believe since running our borders and being present in our country illegally is no big deal, why don’t we save our nation lots of money and stop inspecting passengers and cargo entering our country?”

Think of how much time, money and effort could be saved by laying off all of the inspectors at CBP and all of the consular officials at State Department who are responsible for issuing visas to foreign nationals who wish to enter the United States. Our nation is, after all, expanding the number of Visa Waiver countries on a continuing basis- Greece being the most recent one added just a couple of months ago.

The point is that you either believe that it is important to enforce the immigration laws that are supposed to keep out aliens whose presence in our country is harmful to our nation or you believe it does not matter. If you think arriving international passengers must be inspected, then you must agree that those who avoid or circumvent the process must be sought and removed from our country in large enough numbers that this law enforcement effort provides a real deterrent against those who would violate our nation’s borders and our nation’s laws.

As you watch the commercial- please notice that the point is made that the majority of the individuals who are kidnapped in Arizona are either illegal aliens or are involved in the drug trade. Yet when people advocate that our nation’s borders be secured and the immigration laws be enforced that the open borders advocates accuse those who want secure borders and an immigration system that has real integrity of being “anti-immigrant.” The commercial makes the point I have often made- the most likely victim of the extreme violence employed by the cartels and transnational gangs, whose numbers in our country grow daily, are the members of the immigrant communities. So who is really “anti-immigrant,” those who want the borders secured against the entry of criminal thugs and terrorists or the open borders advocates who have never met an illegal aliens they didn’t like?

The President of the United States wears many hats. He is the Commander-in-Chief to our men and women in the armed services. He is also the ultimate boss to every federal agent in the United States. As the ultimate leader of the men and women whose professional responsibilities deal with the enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws and the securing of our nation’s borders, it is most certainly not appropriate that he wear the joker’s hat when he makes reference to the immigration crisis that confronts our nation today!

As I have noted on ever so many occasions, a nation without secure borders can no more stand than can a house without walls!

President Obama needs to understand that Americans have an interesting concept that used to be referred to as “Can Do!” That indomitable spirit that made America- America has been dormant for far too long. Apparently Governor Brewer subscribes to the saying “If you want a job done right- do it yourself!”

In the vacuum created by the lack of leadership and integrity in Washington has provided Jan Brewer and the members of her state’s legislature with no alternatives. Unlike the folks in Washington- she and the members of the legislature in Arizona and, I suspect the leaders of a growing number of states, have come to the realization that since no help is forthcoming from Washington- to continue to ignore the immigration crisis would constitute dereliction of duty!

In watching the video I have found yet another reason to refer to DHS as the Department of Homeland Surrender!

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LIEBERMAN: STRIP TERRORISTS OF CITENSHIP
Posted May 9, 2010

By Stephen Dinan

Go to Website to Read - Saying that citizens who become terrorists are at war with the U.S., lawmakers on Capitol Hill introduced a bill Thursday to let the government strip them of their citizenship – and stirred up a debate over what tools should be used to fight the war on terrorism.

Under a 1940 law, the State Department already can withdraw citizenship from those who join an enemy’s armed forces, and the lawmakers said it’s time to update the law by adding terrorism to the list of reasons, particularly because the threat of homegrown terrorism is increasing.

“Our enemies today are even more willing than the Nazis or fascists were to kill innocent civilian Americans here in our homeland,” said Sen. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut independent, who is leading the bipartisan push.
The lawmakers argued that those who engage in terrorism have shown an intent to renounce their citizenship – the standard set in a 1980 Supreme Court ruling that rejected an effort to void the 1940 law. The court said Congress can decide there are some actions people take that prove they intended to renounce their citizenship.

But both administration officials and congressional leaders, however, seemed uncertain about going down that path.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, and Minority Leader John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, said they worried about constitutional implications.

“I like the spirit of it, but I’d like to know what the trigger of it is,” Mrs. Pelosi said. “If somebody is on a watch list or do-not-fly list, does that constitute grounds for them losing citizenship?”

And White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said stripping citizenship wasn’t an effective solution, while a State Department spokesman said they were worried about taking action based on suspicion rather than on a criminal conviction.

Christopher Anders, senior legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, said all sides should be worried by how much power Mr. Lieberman’s proposal turns over to the State Department. That’s compounded, he said, by the government’s history of mistakes on the no-fly list and with some of those detained at the U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Mr. Anders said the definitions used in the bill could open people up to potential action for giving money to an organization the government thinks is involved in terrorism, or for visiting a training camp.

“It’s kind of a good attention-getting political game for Lieberman to do this. He certainly is getting a lot of attention, but at the end of the day, why is he doing this?” Mr. Anders said. “No terrorism act is going to be stopped by doing this; no terrorist is going to get caught by doing this.”

Mr. Lieberman said his bill could be seen as a reaction to Saturday’s failed Times Square bombing attempt, for which Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized U.S. citizen, has been arrested.

Mr. Lieberman said the law couldn’t be applied retroactively, as in the Times Square case, but his bill could be used to target someone such as Adam Gadahn, a U.S.-born spokesman for al Qaeda, or Americans who have been recruited to fight for al-Shabab, a radical group in Somalia.

“If our proposal becomes law, the State Department could immediately begin revoking Gadahn’s citizenship and that of other American citizens we know are involved in terrorist organizations abroad. And if they were captured at some point in the future, they could then be tried by military commission as the unprivileged enemy belligerents that they are,” Mr. Lieberman said.

Mr. Lieberman was joined in writing the bill by Sen. Scott Brown, Massachusetts Republican, and two House members from Pennsylvania, Democratic Rep Jason Altmire and Republican Rep. Charlie Dent.

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UNDER THE MEXICAN LAW, ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IS A FELONY, PUNISHABLE BY UP TO TWO YEARS IN PRISON
Posted May 9, 2010

Meanwhile the president of Mexico and his proxies in the United States including politicians who are supposedly representing citizens of the United States, yell bloody murder that the United States needs to provide a pathway to United States citizenship for illegal aliens- individuals who, under his country’s laws would be facing two years in federal prison! Talk about chutzpah or, as they say in Mexico: cojones!

(There is a classic example of chutzpa in Yiddish humor about the young man who kills both parents and pleads for mercy at the conclusion of his murder trial- begging he should be given special dispensation inasmuch as he is an orphan! Clearly President of Calderon of Mexico has trumped that oft cited classic example of chutzpah!)

Here is something to ponder: Do you think President Calderon is about to pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform in Mexico? Do you think it is likely he will provide any sort of amnesty for illegal aliens in Mexico?

Congressman King- a true “straight shooter” who always cuts to the chase summed up the situation succinctly with this one sentence quote:

“Why would Mr. Calderon have any objections to an Arizona law that is less draconian than his own, one he has pledged to enforce?” Mr. King said.

The answer to Representative King could be summed up by the apocryphal quote attributed to “Deep Throat” in the film “All The President’s Men” when he counseled reporters Woodward and Bernstein to “Follow the money!”

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DEPUTY SHOT NEAR STANFIELD
by KTAR Newsroom
Posted May 4, 2010

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. – Authorities in Pinal County located a deputy who radioed for help and said he had been shot in a remote desert area about 50 miles south of Casa Grande.

Pinal County Sheriff’s Lt. Tammy Villar said the deputy radioed in to say that he had encountered a group in the desert and had been shot with an AK-47 assault rifle in the abdomen.

Villar says the deputy suffered a superficial wound to his abdomen. He was flown by helicopter to a hospital in Casa Grande, about 40 miles south of Phoenix.

Villar says the deputy was doing smuggling interdiction work and found bales of marijuana in the desert. He then encountered five suspected illegal immigrants, two armed with rifles, and was shot.
A search was on in the rugged desert about 50 miles south of Phoenix for the five suspects. Hundreds of officers were involved.

The suspects, still at large, may be illegal immigrants.
“I don’t know that for sure, but that’s what the deputy advised our communication center when he contacted them,” Villar said.

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LINKS TO MY APPEARANCES SUNDAY, APRIL 26TH ON TWO TELEVISION PROGRAMS TO DEBATE THE IMMIGRATION LAW JUST ENACTED IN THE STATE OF ARIZONA
Posted May 3, 2010

I began my day with a debate on Fox and Friends:

Here is the link to my appearance on the program.
video.foxnews.com

A couple of hours later I was on MSNBC for another debate on the same issue- here is the link to my appearance on this program: Click Here

If you missed seeing these programs live- you can watch them now.

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JUSTICE’S ANTI-GANG UNITS NOT MESHING
Ben Conery
Posted May 3, 2010

With a rising tide of gang violence nationwide, the Justice Department set up two special units in the same building and charged them with helping coordinate investigations into some of the country’s deadliest street-crime syndicates.

But three years later, far from helping wipe out the scourge of the nation’s violent gangs, the two groups are hardly even communicating with each other. And that isn’t the only problem.

In November, investigators from the Justice Department’s office of inspector general found that the two units — the National Gang Intelligence Center (NGIC) and the National Gang Targeting, Enforcement and Coordination Center (GangTECC) — “still have not made a significant impact on the department’s anti-gang activities.”

Yet over the past six months, a review by The Washington Times shows that the Justice Department has done little or nothing to improve these essentially ineffective anti-gang programs. That inactivity comes at a time when the department itself has acknowledged the serious and increasing risks posed by the nation’s gangs.

The inspector general’s office, in a 63-page report, said that despite being located in the same suite, NGIC and GangTECC were not effectively collaborating and were not sharing gang-related information, and NGIC had not established a gang-information database for collecting and disseminating gang intelligence as directed by Congress.

The report said NGIC had not developed the capability to effectively share gang information with law enforcement agencies. It also said GangTECC had no budget and lacked the resources to carry out its mission.

Justice spokeswoman Laura Sweeney on Tuesday said the department appreciated the report’s “constructive recommendations,” which she said are “similar in concept to changes already under review.” She said the department’s Criminal Division has been “actively engaged for many months in identifying possible structural changes that will enhance cooperation and coordination in its violent-crime program.”

Ms. Sweeney said the department is considering organizational changes that will “result in more effective and efficient targeting, information-sharing and prosecution of gangs nationwide.” She also said the department is in the process of evaluating and formulating measures to “resolve many of the issues identified in the report.”

‘One-stop shopping’
According to the IG’s report, NGIC and GangTECC are not effectively providing investigators and prosecutors with “one-stop shopping” for gang information and assistance, and are not contributing significantly to the department’s anti-gang initiatives. The report made a series of recommendations to improve the units, some as simple as merging them so they actually work together.

It’s urgent work. According to a Justice Department estimate, gangs are responsible for as much as 80 percent of the crime in many communities and are the most common street-level drug dealers in the nation. Gangs also are responsible for offenses ranging from human smuggling to extortion and identity theft to homicide.

Law enforcement officials predict the nation’s gang problems will only worsen. The Justice Department’s 2009 Gang Threat Assessment said that as of September 2008 there were about 1 million gang members in the U.S. — an increase of 200,000 from three years earlier. At the same time, rural and suburban areas have seen an increase in gang presence.

And as gangs grow in size, their alliances have become more deadly.

With a propensity for indiscriminate violence, intimidation and coercion, some gangs are considered national security threats. One of the largest is Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, with an FBI estimate of 10,000 members in 42 states, including Maryland and Virginia, as well as the District.

The Justice Department’s 2010 Drug Threat Assessment said Mexican drug cartels formed more alliances in 2009 with violent American street and prison gangs that helped tighten their stranglehold on the lucrative U.S. narcotics market.

“As a result, disrupting illicit-drug availability and distribution will become increasingly difficult for state and local law enforcement agencies,” the report said.

Resources stretched
These new alliances come at a time when law enforcement resources are stretched particularly thin.
In April, the inspector general’s office said in a separate audit that the FBI assigned fewer agents to gang cases. It said the FBI used 26 percent of its field agents in 2009 on counterterrorism matters, while 51 percent were assigned to criminal matters, including gang cases.

This reflects the bureau’s changing priorities in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. That year, 13 percent of the FBI’s field agents worked on counterterrorism matters, while 72 percent were assigned to criminal matters.

“Because of the importance of anti-gang efforts, and the relevance of gang violence, it is critical that the Department of Justice take swift action to improve the coordination of its anti-gang initiatives,” Inspector General Glenn A. Fine said in February in written testimony to a House Judiciary subcommittee.
Nothing has significantly changed in the months since Mr. Fine’s testimony, The Times’ review found. The department did not address any of the specific recommendations.

The department’s response to the inspector general’s November audit was tepid in the first place. In a letter to Mr. Fine, it said only that it “agrees in concept with all 15 recommendations.”

“Notwithstanding the challenges, it also bears noting that the department’s anti-gang intelligence and coordination centers have been working together and within two months of working together, the centers jointly identified 13 priority gang threats,” Jennifer Shasky Calvery, senior counsel to Deputy Attorney General David Ogden, wrote in the Nov. 10, 2009, letter.

“Accordingly, they have certainly established a foundation upon which to build further success.”
During the same hearing, Ms. Calvery said that in addition to possibly merging NGIC and GangTECC, the department also is considering partnering the units with the well-established, multiagency Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. She said that would allow NGIC and GangTECC to benefit from the task force’s established technology and auditing capabilities, as well as its accepted information-sharing practices.

“We are working aggressively to resolve whether such a partnership should go forward, the terms of any partnership and to develop an implementation plan,” she said. “The goal is to have these three steps completed within approximately six months.”

Uncoordinated
The new gang units were established in 2006 to serve as a clearinghouse for information and to facilitate cooperation among federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. They were to aid the Justice Department in having “maximum impact at the national level against the most violent gangs in the United States.”

NGIC, which was created by statute, was charged by Congress with creating a gang-information database that would be readily accessible to law enforcement agencies at all levels. The unit, with a staff of 27 and a fiscal 2009 budget of $6.6 million, has not completed the database.

GangTECC, on the other hand, hasn’t received a budget and, according to the IG’s report, “lacks the resources to carry out its mission.” The unit is charged with serving as the central coordinating center for multijurisdictional, multiagency investigations.

It is supposed to bring together the department’s law enforcement components — the FBI; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Drug Enforcement Administration; and the U.S. Marshals Service — and the Department of Homeland Security’s investigative wing to coordinate investigations into particular gangs, coordinate overlapping investigations and ensure information is shared among the agencies.
Perhaps most importantly, GangTECC also is charged with preventing law enforcement agencies from getting in the way of one another. The unit, with a staff of 17 supplied by the various agencies that it’s intended to serve, falls under the control of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

The audit found that the Criminal Division has yet to assign an attorney to provide guidance to investigators and prosecutors. It’s also difficult for GangTECC to prevent overlapping investigations because law enforcement agencies and U.S. attorney’s offices are not required to inform the unit about pending investigations.

“Merging the centers could reduce incompatibilities that result from the current organizational alignment, create a better joint operating environment and provide for a more reliable resource stream to support the centers’ missions,” Mr. Fine wrote in the audit.

“While we believe that merging the centers would improve their ability to assist gang investigations and prosecutions, merger alone is insufficient to support the department’s anti-gang initiatives.”
Mr. Fine also suggested that the department request a separate budget for GangTECC, assign at least one experienced prosecutor to the unit and require participating agencies to inform GangTECC of every new gang-related investigation.

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DAN STEIN ON FAIR’s MISSION REGARDING PUBLIC POLICY AND LEGISLATIVE INITIATIVES REGARDING IMMIGRATION AND BORDER SECURITY
Posted April 26, 2010

FAIR is under direct attack by the open-borders lobby including many members of Congress who are either seeking to expand the Dem’s voting base in the future or are protecting the interests of the profiteers of illegal immigration. Please share this video of Dan Stein as he lays out the mission of FAIR and its decades long work on public policy issues regarding immigration, illegal immigration, border security and national security. It is informative and a good primer for those persons who want to start getting involved with their local immigration reform activists and organizations.

See below:
Click Here

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PRESSURE RISES TO LEGALIZE MIGRANTS
Posted April 26, 2010
Stephen Dinan

You can read my article at:
washingtontimes.com

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ARIZONA IMMIGRATION LAW
Posted April 26, 2010

Sunday, April 25th, I participated in a debate on MSNBC with Maria Teresa Kumar about the new immigration law passed by the Arizona State government to address the obvious failings of the federal government to secure our nation’s borders and enforce federal immigration laws.

If you were unable to watch this broadcast live, you can see it by going to the following link:
Click Here

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“OPERATION IN PLAIN SIGHT” – Targeting Arizona Smuggling Organizations
Sent April 21, 2010

Commercial transportation companies implicated in sweeping ICE investigation targeting Arizona human smuggling networks in criminal custody as agents execute federal search and arrest warrants – 47 statewide.

Learn more about Operation In Plain Sight
For more photos from Operation In Plain Sight, visit the ICE media gallery.

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PINOY TEACHERS WIN SUIT IN LOUISIANA
Posted April 17, 2010

By Rodney J. Jaleco, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

WASHINGTON D.C. – A Louisiana administrative judge has ordered a California-based Fil-Am recruitment agency to refund at least $1.8 million, representing part of fees it illegally collected from 350 Filipino teachers hired by the state’s public schools.

Administrative Judge Shelley Dick said Universal Placement International (UPI) violated at least 5 Louisiana labor statutes, among them the collection of “marketing fees”; collection of placement fees “prior to actual commencement of work”; collection of fees from teachers who never got to work with the schools; compelling them to pay 10% of their gross monthly income for 2 years; and failing to adjust employment service fees according to the teachers’ actual gross earnings.

It also found UPI liable for operating without a license in Louisiana.

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) based in Washington DC provided the lawyers to represent the Filipinos teachers in Louisiana. They hailed the decision as a victory for the Filipino teachers.

“What makes these allegations especially heinous is that the victims are good teachers, that school districts and tax dollars are involved, and that all this is taking place in 21st century America,” AFT President Randi Weingarten said in explaining their decision to take the cudgels for the Filipino mentors.

However, the administrative court’s decision fell short of the teachers’ petition to nullify their contract with UPI.

Judge Dick pointed out that the Louisiana Private Employment Service Law (LPES) “does not grant the power to declare the contracts null and void”. The teachers, she argued, can resort to the district courts to have the contracts nullified.

She ordered UPI to refund the teachers all unauthorized fees collected from them plus $7,500 in litigation expenses and a $500 fine for operating without a license in the state.

The teachers complained that they paid as much $15,000 each in various “fees” even before they could start working in Louisiana schools. However, in the court filings, it was estimated each teacher paid $5,000 in “marketing fees”.

The Louisiana public school system already paid UPI, through its president Lourdes “Lulu” Navarro, thousands of dollars for recruiting the Filipino teachers. The mentors also alleged they were made to pay the cost of getting H-1B visas.

“The evidence established that UPI and its Philippines affiliate, PARS also charged the teachers various fees associated with obtaining visas and other documents necessary to work legally in the United States.

“Scrutiny of these fees is not within the regulatory authority of this Commission. The placement fees paid by the Filipino teachers were charged by UPI an unlicensed employment service in violation of Louisiana’s Private Employment Service regulatory scheme. UPI is ordered to refund the placement fees paid by the Filipino teachers to UPI,” the court directed.

ABS-CBN’s North America News Bureau helped raise the alarm last year after the Filipino teachers mounted protest actions in their schools against what they said were the onerous terms of their contracts with UPI.

When school officials learned about this, they stopped taking in additional Filipino teachers, stranding many who had already arrived in the US but have not yet reported to their assigned schools.

UPI lawyers say the Filipino teachers were only trying to wiggle out of their contracts. They said they will appeal the decision in the district courts.

But they have more serious issues to contend with. The administrative court could elevate the instance of UPI’s operating without a license – a criminal offense – to the district courts. That decision rests with the Louisiana Workforce Commission, according to Judge Dick.

That violation is classified as a misdemeanor punishable by a fine or imprisonment of not more than six months, or both.

Collecting fees to pay for the teachers’ H-1B visas is also a federal offense. The AFT had also looked into the feasibility of charging Navarro and UPI of “involuntary servitude” for allegedly holding on to their visas unless they continued paying them the fees – now declared to be illegal – and allegedly threatening to have the teachers deported if they protested.

Lawyer Arnedo Valera, an executive director of the Virginia-based Migrant Heritage Commission (MHC), said they are near securing special visas for some of the teachers who’ve fallen out of status because of the dislocation of Filipino teachers in Louisiana. Those visas are given to victims of crimes or potential witnesses in cases being prosecuted in America.

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NEVER AGAIN SHOULD WE BE SILENT
Sent April 17, 2010
By Ed Koch

President Obama’s abysmal attitude toward the State of Israel and his humiliating treatment of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is shocking. In the Washington Post on March 24th, Jackson Diehl wrote, “Obama has added more poison to a U.S.-Israeli relationship that already was at its lowest point in two decades.

Tuesday night the White House refused to allow non-official photographers record the president’s meeting with Netanyahu; no statement was issued afterward. Netanyahu is being treated as if he were an unsavory Third World dictator, needed for strategic reasons but conspicuously held at arms length. That is something the rest of the world will be quick to notice and respond to.”

I have not heard or read statements criticizing the president by New York Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand or many other supporters of Israel for his blatantly hostile attitude toward Israel and his discourtesy displayed at the White House. President Obama orchestrated the hostile statements of Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, voiced by Biden in Israel and by Clinton in a 43-minute telephone call to Bibi Netanyahu, and then invited the latter to the White House to further berate him. He then left Prime Minister Netanyahu to have dinner at the White House with his family, conveying he would only be available to meet again if Netanyahu had further information — read concessions — to impart.

It is unimaginable that the President would treat any of our NATO allies, large or small, in such a degrading fashion. That there are policy differences between the U.S. and the Netanyahu government is no excuse. Allies often disagree, but remain respectful.

In portraying Israel as the cause of the lack of progress in the peace process, President Obama ignores the numerous offers and concessions that Israel has made over the years for the sake of peace, and the Palestinians’ repeated rejections of those offers. Not only have Israel’s peace proposals, which include ceding virtually the entire West Bank and parts of Jerusalem to the Palestinians, been rejected, but each Israeli concession has been met with even greater demands, no reciprocity, and frequently horrific violence directed at Israeli civilians. Thus, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s agreement to suspend construction on the West Bank — a move heralded by Secretary of State Clinton as unprecedented by an Israeli government — has now led to a demand that Israel also halt all construction in East Jerusalem, which is part of Israel’s capital. Meanwhile, Palestinians are upping the ante, with violent protests in Jerusalem and elsewhere. And the Obama administration’s request that our Arab allies make some conciliatory gesture towards Israel has fallen on deaf ears.

Prior American presidents, beginning with Truman who recognized the State of Israel in 1948, have valued Israel as a close ally and have often come to its rescue. For example, it was Richard Nixon during the 1973 war, who resupplied Israel with arms, making it possible for it to snatch victory from a potentially devastating defeat at the hands of a coalition of Arab countries including Egypt and Syria.

President George W. Bush made it a point of protecting Israel at the United Nations and the Security Council wielding the U.S. veto against the unfair actions and sanctions that Arab countries sought to impose to cripple and, if possible, destroy, the one Jewish nation in the world. Now, in my opinion, based on the actions and statements by President Obama and members of his administration, there is grave doubt among supporters of Israel that President Obama can be counted on to do what presidents before him did — protect our ally, Israel. The Arabs can lose countless wars and still come back because of their numbers. If Israel were to lose one, it would cease to exist.

To its credit, Congress, according to the Daily News, has acted differently towards Prime Minister Netanyahu than President Obama. Reporter Richard Sisk wrote on March 24th, “Congress put on a rare show of bipartisanship for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday — a sharp contrast to his chilly reception at the White House. ‘We in Congress stand by Israel,’ House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told a beaming Netanyahu, who has refused to budge on White House and State Department demands to freeze settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.”

But Congress does not make foreign policy. It can prevent military arms from going to Israel, but cannot send them. Congress has no role in determining U.S. policy at the U.N. Security Council. The President of the United States determines our foreign policy — nearly unilaterally — under our Constitution. So those Congressional bipartisan wishes of support, while welcome, will not protect Israel in these areas, only the President can do that. Based on his actions to date, I have serious doubts.

In the 1930s, the Jewish community and its leadership, with few exceptions, were silent when their coreligionists were being attacked, hunted down, incarcerated and slaughtered. Ultimately 6 million Jews were exterminated in the Holocaust. The feeling in the U.S. apparently was that Jews who criticized our country’s actions and inactions that endangered the lives of other Jews would be considered disloyal, unpatriotic and displaying dual loyalty, so many Jews stayed mute. Never again should we allow that to occur. We have every right to be concerned about the fate of the only Jewish nation in the world, which if it had existed during the 1930s and thereafter, would have given sanctuary to any Jew escaping the Nazi holocaust and taken whatever military action it could to save Jews not yet in the clutches of the Nazis. We who have learned the lessons of silence, Jews and Christians alike, must speak up now before it is too late.

So I ask again, where are our Senators, Schumer and Gillibrand? And, where are the voices, not only of the 31 members of the House and 14 Senators who are Jewish, but the Christian members of the House and Senate who support the State of Israel? Where are the peoples’ voices? Remember the words of Pastor Niemoller, so familiar that I will not recite them, except for the last line, “Then they came for me, and by that time, there was no one left to speak up.”

Supporters of Israel who gave their votes to candidate Obama — 78 percent of the Jewish community did — believing he would provide the same support as John McCain, this is the time to speak out and tell the President of your disappointment in him. It seems to me particularly appropriate to do so on the eve of the Passover. It is one thing to disagree with certain policies of the Israeli government. It is quite another to treat Israel and its prime minister as pariahs, which only emboldens Israel’s enemies and makes the prospect of peace even more remote.

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FEDS CAN’T FIND SOMALIS THEY SAY VA MAN SMUGGLED INTO U.S.By: Freeman Klopott
Examiner Staff Writer
Posted April 12, 2010

Federal authorities say they’re certain nearly 300 Somalis allegedly smuggled into the United States by a Virginia man who admitted contacts with an Islamic terrorist group are in the country, but they can’t find them despite a worldwide search for leads.

The search, first reported by the Washington Examiner, started in early February after Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested Anthony Joseph Tracy on charges that he helped smuggle the Somalis into the United States from Kenya. The 35-year-old has since been indicted on charges of conspiring with Cuban Embassy officials in Kenya to help the Somalis illegally enter the United States. ICE Agent Thomas Eyre has testified that authorities are “concerned” about the contact Tracy admitted having with the Somali terrorist organization Al-Shabaab, an al Qaeda ally.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema questioned Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeanine Linehan about the status of the government’s search for the illegal immigrants.

“We have not identified anyone,” Linehan said. “We believe all the individuals are present in the United States. But by the virtue of [Tracy's] successful smuggling scheme, we are having difficulty finding them.”

Eyre indicated in his testimony that authorities are trying to determine whether any of the Somalis are associated with Al-Shabaab.

In a court filing, Linehan said agents and prosecutors have “issued numerous subpoenas, reviewed Department of Homeland Security records, and conducted witness interviews throughout the United States, as well as in Australia and Africa.”

According to court documents, Tracy helped the Somalis move to the United States by getting them travel visas to Cuba through contacts he had at the Cuban Embassy in Kenya. Tracy’s attorney declined comment for this story.

The Somalis are believed to have entered the United States through the border with Mexico after making a circuitous trip from Kenya to Dubai to Moscow to Cuba to South America then to Mexico and northward, Eyre testified.

In March, federal prosecutors requested an extra month to indict Tracy because of investigation delays caused by the February snowstorms that battered Washington. Even with the indictment now in hand, Brinkema said the government’s case could be “shaky” without authorities locating the Somalis.
Tracy has been held without bail and his case has been scheduled for trial on May 17.

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MEXICAN ASSASSIN TEAMS TARGETING U.S. LAW ENFORCEMENT
Posted April 12, 2010 (Published April 7, 2010)

Mexico is deteriorating into anarchy, and there is a spill-over effect: DHS issued an alert to law enforcement units in western Texas, warning that Mexican drug cartels — specifically, the Barrio Azteca gang — are now targeting U.S. law enforcement personnel for assassination in retaliation for a recent crackdown on members of the gang; Mexican criminal gangs already routinely kill policemen, judges, and politicians (and their families, too) — often in the most gruesome manner in order to send a message to others — and they have now taken on the Mexican military as well.

The steady deterioration of security conditions in Mexico has brought the country to the verge of resembling Columbia in the 1990s: Drug traffickers and criminal organizations in Mexico now have many more men under arms than the combined uniformed forces — police, the military, etc. — of the Mexican government, and the brazenness of these criminal militias has grown apace: not only do they routinely kill policemen, judges, and politicians (and their families, too) — often in the most gruesome manner in order to send a message to others — they have now taken on the Mexican military as well.

This anarchic violence is now spilling into the United States. FOXNews.com’s Joshua Rhett Miller reports that law enforcement officers in west Texas are on guard following an alert issued by DHS warning of retaliatory killings for a recent crackdown on the Barrio Azteca gang.

David Cuthbertson, special agent in charge of the FBI’s El Paso division, said the paramilitary-style gang has an “open policy” to kill its rivals and may turn its sights toward local law enforcement officers. “[They] are extremely cold-blooded and aggressive,” Cuthbertson told FoxNews.com. “The killings are done really without thought and any kind of remorse.”

Citing uncorroborated information, DHS issued an Officer Safety Alert on 22 March, advising lawmen in the El Paso sector to vary their routes to and from work and to wear body armor while on duty. The alert also suggested that officers’ relatives pay closer attention to unusual activity in the area.

“The Barrio Azteca gang may issue a ‘green light’ authorizing the attempted murder of [law enforcement officers] in the El Paso area,” the alert read. “Due to the threat, it is recommended that [law enforcement officers] take extra safety precautions.”

The Barrio Azteca gang, which formed in Texas prisons in the 1980s, is a brother organization to the Aztecas gang in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, the epicenter of Mexico’s violent drug war, Cuthbertson said. He said members of the gang’s “assassination teams” are thought to work for very small monthly fees. One official from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has said Aztecas have been known to kill for as little as $100. Since 2006 drug violence across Mexico has claimed nearly 18,000 lives.

Eduardo “Tablas” Ravelo, the reputed boss of Barrio Azteca members living in Juarez, remains on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List, and the FBI is offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to his arrest. He and other Barrio Azteca gang members serve as hitmen for the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes drug trafficking organization — also known as the Juarez cartel — and are responsible for several killings, according to the FBI.

Miller reports that the DHS warning came just days after hundreds of Barrio Azteca gang members were interviewed by officials from DEA and FBI following the murders of three people linked to the U.S. consulate in Ciudad Juarez on 13 March. More than 200 officers from at least 18 agencies participated in Operation Knockdown, which resulted in at least twenty-six felony arrests of alleged Azteca members.

The Barrio Aztecas are believed to be aligned with the Juarez cartel against the Sinaloa drug cartel for control of the billion-dollar drug-trafficking routes through the El Paso-Ciudad Juarez corridor. Since 2008 the Aztecas have been rivals of the Artistic Assassins, or Double A’s, who serve as contract killers for the Sinaloa cartel, Cuthbertson said. “They’re very organized,” he said. “They have a code they go by and certainly a communication network inside and outside of the prison system.”

Cuthbertson said Barrio Azteca gang members have been found in central Texas towns like Odessa and Midland, as well as in southern Mexico.

Miller reports that Ricardo Valles de la Rosa, an Azteca sergeant, said last week in a purported confession that his gang was hunting for the vehicle of a Texas jail guard who was killed in one of two SUVs attacked in the 13 March shootings that killed El Paso jail officer Arthur Redelfs, his wife Lesley Enriquez, who worked as an employee of the U.S. consulate in Ciudad Juarez, and Jorge Alberto Salcido, the husband of another consulate worker.

Valles de la Rosa, according to his statement, was instructed by Azteca brass to target Redelfs due to alleged harsh treatment of Azteca members in jail. Valles de la Rosa was ordered last week to be held for trial on weapons charges for allegedly carrying a 9mm pistol when he was arrested.

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AS AGENTS CLEAR OUT MEXICAN GANGS, MORE BRUTAL ONES MOVE IN
Posted April 9, 2010
Jerry Seper

The bodies that turned up on a squalid back street in the border town of Reynosa in December were no longer human. The torsos showed deep lacerations and punctures; the severed heads were badly beaten and mutilated. Crudely butchered limbs lay scattered across the tarmac stained by blood.

“See. Hear. Shut up, if you want to stay alive,” read a note written – like so many others – in block letters on a splattered poster board.

Violence fueled by the illegal drug trade has long been a daily fact of life along the U.S.-Mexico border. But as the Mexican and U.S. governments have made significant inroads in dismantling an older order of drug cartels, their rivals and even newer ones have moved to fill the vacuum – and fill it in increasingly terrifying and barbarous ways.

The savagery began in earnest in 2006 in the city of Uruapan in the Mexican state of Michoacan, about 100 miles southeast of Guadalajara, when drug gang members stormed into the Sol y Sombra discotheque and dumped the decapitated heads of five rival cartel members onto a white tile dance floor – shocking people throughout Mexico.

Beheadings and dismemberments have since become the cartels’ signature crime – to punish those who oppose or betray them, to establish their turf, to terrorize the citizenry against testifying against them, and to press community and political leaders to collaborate.

Heads, torsos and severed legs and arms have been strewn along city streets throughout Mexico, mostly in border towns where the Gulf and Sinaloa cartels are in a pitched battle against each other and with Los Zetas, a former Mexican military group, for control of the multibillion-dollar drug industry.

Four severed heads have been found by Mexican authorities in the past two weeks, and dozens of people have been decapitated in recent months.

Sometimes, the heads are lined up neatly in rows, displayed along with banners designed to intimidate enemies, rivals and police.

Aping Iraqi militants -
Beheading was a lesson the drug smugglers learned after watching Iraqi insurgents carry out videotaped beheadings, Mexican Public Safety Secretary Genaro Garcia Luna said during a 2007 news conference after the discovery of one of the first severed heads.

Zapata County, Texas, Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez Jr., who has experienced the border violence firsthand, said his department started seeing beheadings in Mexico about a year after the videotaped beheading of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002 in Pakistan.

“Terrorists from the Middle East brought this practice to Central America then to Mexico. It is also a practice of the [violent U.S. street gang known as] MS-13,” Sheriff Gonzalez told The Washington Times. “They are getting worse and worse. It never stops shocking me.

“I am even more nervous about this practice spilling over into U.S. cities,” he said, noting that Mexican drug cartels are now operating in more than 200 American cities. “What a shame.”

Sheriff Gonzalez founded the Texas Border Sheriff’s Coalition, which sought help from the federal government to control growing violence along the 1,200-mile Texas-Mexico border. Overwhelmed by a flood of illegal immigrants and increasing violence, the coalition said the federal government’s failure to control the border had forced county law enforcement authorities into a “financial nightmare.”

The coalition has since expanded to become the Southwest Border Sheriff’s Coalition. It now includes 28 sheriffs’ departments along the border in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

Zapata County, with about 13,000 residents, is about 50 miles south of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, where killings by the drug cartels have been rampant. Sheriff Gonzalez has fewer than two dozen deputies to patrol nearly 1,000 square miles, including 60 miles of the border.

‘Fight or flee’ -
He said if Mexico’s major drug cartels are not “wiped out soon, the war will get a lot nastier.”

“They have artillery, and they will use it. What concerns me is that when the ‘fight or flee’ syndrome kicks in, they may try to make it into the U.S. This is already happening,” he said, while noting that “local politicians refuse to admit it.”

He said he has been in contact with police agencies in the U.S. interior and that a number of killings can be attributed to the Mexican cartels.

“America has already been impacted; it’s just that Americans don’t know it yet,” he said. “I think that we are going to have some very serious issues in about five to six months if the war in Mexico does not end by then.”

Robert C. Bonner, a former head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), said the major drug cartels have resorted to “beheadings and other grisly and macabre mutilations” for one plain and simple reason: to intimidate their rivals, the citizens of Mexico and the government.

“The increase in drug-related homicides and the resort to intimidation is a clear sign that the major drug cartels have been weakened and are in a state of disarray,” Mr. Bonner told The Times. “Corruption is not over, but the drug cartels are no longer able to corrupt the whole of government; and they can no longer operate with impunity. That is why they are lashing out.

“Unfortunately, a few seem willing to throw in the towel and make a Faustian pact with organized criminals. This would be a grave mistake for the future of Mexico and would also harm its relationship with the U.S.,” he said.

Mr. Bonner, a former federal judge who also headed the U.S. Customs Service and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), said the objective for both countries is clear: break the power and influence of the drug cartels based in Mexico over the legitimate institutions of the Mexican government – the police and the judiciary.

Colombian example -
He said Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who declared war against that country’s drug cartels, is succeeding, “although there is a long way to go.”

“At times like this, it is worthwhile to remember that Colombia succeeded in defeating the … most powerful and fearsome drug cartels the world has even seen,” said Mr. Bonner, who headed the DEA when the infamous Medellin and Cali cartels of Colombia were dismantled. “They were destroyed by the Colombian government with U.S. assistance.”

“I am confident that Mexico can do likewise,” he said. “But there will be a period of intense violence and intimidation, just as we saw in Colombia as the government there began to clamp down in earnest.”

More than 18,000 people have died from drug violence in Mexico since Mr. Calderon took office in late 2006 and declared war against the cartels.

Some of the beheadings have been videotaped. A few have ended up on YouTube, where they are quickly removed – but not until they have been seen by many.

William McMahon, deputy assistant director for field operation for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, told a House subcommittee in July that Mexican drug cartels posed a “national security threat” to Mexico and “an organized crime threat” to the United States.

“Drug-related violence, including kidnappings and increasingly gruesome murders, has skyrocketed in recent years in Mexico, particularly near the border with the United States,” Mr. McMahon said.

Gang enforcers -
The Justice Department, in a recent report by its National Drug Intelligence Center, said Mexican cartels are using southwestern border gangs to enforce and secure smuggling operations in that country and, to a lesser extent, in the United States, particularly in California and Texas.

The report said the cartels employ gang members who collect unpaid debts by using threats, extortion and intimidation and who kill rival traffickers or noncompliant members in Mexico and the United States. It said they also use gang members to enforce control of drug-trafficking routes from Mexico into the United States.

According to the report, the cartels have increased their efforts to recruit gang members along the southwestern border, including U.S. citizens who are a particularly valuable asset because they can cross the U.S.-Mexico border with less scrutiny and, as a result, are less likely to have illicit drug loads interdicted.

The report noted that in 2009, between 6,500 and 8,000 people were killed in Mexico as cartels battled for control over smuggling corridors and responded to increased pressure from the Mexican government. It said that while much of the violence attributed to conflicts over control of smuggling routes has been confined to Mexico, some has occurred in the United States.

In 2007, the governments of Mexico and the United States implemented a multiyear program against drug-trafficking organizations and organized crime. Known as the Merida Initiative, it commits each nation to confront organized crime and improve bilateral cooperation, particularly in the areas of information gathering and sharing, and law enforcement technology and training.

Since 2008, Congress has approved a total of $1.05 billion for Mexico under the program.
The funding pays for inspection equipment, scanners and canine units; improved communications systems; vetting for new police officers; software to track investigations; new offices of citizen complaints and professional responsibility; witness-protection programs; and helicopters and surveillance aircraft.

While Mr. Bonner lauded U.S. efforts in the Merida Initiative, he said the effort should go further.

In Colombia in the mid-1990s, he initiated a joint “kingpin” strategy targeting major drug organizations by attacking their most vulnerable areas – the chemicals needed to process the drugs, and their finances, communications, transportation and leadership structure.

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IMMIGRATION EFFORT LACKS 2ND BACKER FROM GOP
Sent April 5, 2010

For Info, please visit -
Immigration Effort

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BORDER VIOLENCE THREATENS AMERICANS
Posted April 1, 2010
By Ben Conery and Jerry Seper

For info, visit -
BORDER VIOLENCE THREATENS AMERICANS/

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US IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT
Posted March 30, 2010

ERITREAN MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO ALIEN SMUGGLING

WASHINGTON – Samuel Abrahaley Fessahazion, 23, an Eritrean national, has pleaded guilty to helping smuggle illegal aliens to the United States for private financial gain, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Custom and Border Protection (CBP).

Fessahazion, aka “Sami,” aka “Sammy,” aka “Alex” and aka “Alex Williams” pleaded guilty on March 29, 2010, in Houston to one count of conspiracy and two counts of encouraging and inducing aliens to come to, enter or reside in the United States in violation of law for the purpose of private financial gain.

“Breaking this global alien smuggling network puts smugglers on notice that we are coming after them and we will shut them down,” said ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton. “ICE will continue to identify the most dangerous international human smuggling organizations for investigation and prosecution.”

According to plea documents, from at least June 2007 until approximately January 2008, Fessahazion was the Guatemalan link of an alien smuggling network that spans East Africa, Central and South America.

Specifically, Fessahazion illegally entered the United States at McAllen, Texas, on March 20, 2008. He applied for asylum on Sept. 30, 2008, claiming in his application that he was traveling across Africa in 2007 and 2008, fleeing persecution in Eritrea. However, Fessahazion was actually in Guatemala during that period facilitating the smuggling of East African aliens to the United States.

Fessahazion was granted asylum by the United States on Nov. 13, 2008.

Fessahazion admitted that for profit, he encouraged or induced at least six and up to 24 illegal aliens, primarily East Africans, to come to, enter, or reside in the United States knowing that they were not authorized to do so. Fessahazion admitted he moved aliens from Honduras through Guatemala and into Mexico illegally, at which point he referred aliens to a smuggler who brought the aliens into the United States.
In one instance, Fessahazion and his co-conspirators moved two illegal aliens from South Africa to Sao Paulo, Brazil, then through Venezuela to Honduras where they were instructed to contact Fessahazion. Once in contact, Fessahazion sent a driver to pick up the two aliens and bring them to Guatemala City, Guatemala. In exchange for $800, Fessahazion took the two aliens by bus to a house bordering Guatemala and Mexico. There, working with a co-conspirator, Fessahazion provided information to the couple on how to cross the border into Mexico illegally and how to proceed once in Mexico to the United States border.

Fessahazion and the co-conspirator provided the couple with a guide who physically took them into Mexico and provided contact information for an unidentified smuggler known only by the alias “Matamoros,” who would in turn take the two aliens to the United States from Reynosa, Mexico. In February 2008, the couple was illegally brought to the United States by guides working for “Matamoros.” According to court documents, the guides carried guns and ferried the couple across the river on the Mexico/U.S. border in inner tubes.

In another example, an alien was moved from Dubai to Brazil, then to Honduras via Colombia and Costa Rica. According to court documents, a co-conspirator told the alien he could get him from Dubai to Brazil, at which point others would assist the alien each step of the way to the United States in a “chain like” fashion.

According to court documents, once the alien arrived in Honduras, Fessahazion sent a driver to retrieve him and bring him to Guatemala City. In exchange for $700, Fessahazion took the alien to the Guatemala/Mexico border and, along with a co-conspirator, gave the alien information on how to cross the border into Mexico illegally and how to proceed once in Mexico to the United States border, including contact information for “Matamoros.” The alien then traveled into Mexico, contacted “Matamoros” and traveled to Reynosa as “Matamoros” instructed. In December 2007, guides working for “Matamoros” took the alien and others to the United States illegally by ferrying them across the river on the Mexican/U.S. border in inner tubes.

Shortly after crossing the border into the United States, the alien and others were apprehended.

At sentencing, scheduled for June 14, 2010, Fessahazion faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

“By bringing this smuggler to justice, we have broken a chain that runs from Africa to South and Central America, directly into the United States,” said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer. “We will not allow these dangerous smuggling organizations to profit from bringing people illegally into the United States.”

“This prosecution strikes a significant blow to a criminal organization engaged in a sophisticated international alien smuggling operation,” said U.S. Attorney José Angel Moreno of the Southern District of Texas, “and highlights the continuing cooperation and success of multiple law enforcement agencies in interdicting such activities.”

ICE works with its law enforcement partners to dismantle the global criminal infrastructure engaged in human smuggling. ICE accomplishes this mission by making full use of its authorities and expertise, stripping away assets and profit incentive, collaborating with U.S. and foreign partners to attack networks worldwide.
Human smuggling is the importation of people into the United States involving deliberate evasion of immigration laws. This offense includes bringing illegal aliens into the country, as well as the unlawful transportation and harboring of aliens already in the United States.

The investigation was conducted by the ICE Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Washington, with the assistance of SAC San Francisco, the ICE Human Smuggling and Trafficking Unit, ICE Office of Intelligence, ICE Office of International Affairs and CBP’s Office of Alien Smuggling Interdiction.

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GAO-02-66 IMMIGRATION BENEFIT FRAUD: FOCUSED APPROACH IS NEEDED TO ADDRESS PROBLEMS
Posted March 24, 2010

Here is a link to that report in its entirety:
gao.gov/new.items/d0266.pdf

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CITZENSHIP AGENCY LOST 111,000 FILES
Posted March 24, 2010

Here is a link to the Washington Post news report on this unconscionable example of nonfeasance, misfeasance and malfeasance – Washington Post

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IMMIGRATION PLAN WOULD CREATE BACKLOG
Posted March 24, 2010

Agency not ready to process millions
By Stephen Dinan

The federal government is not equipped to process the flood of applications from a proposed immigration legalization bill and the agency that would oversee that program won’t be ready for “a few years,” the office of the Homeland Security Department’s inspector general told Congress on Tuesday.

The warning, from Assistant Inspector General Frank Deffer, could severely complicate President Obama’s new push to pass an immigration bill this year.

Mr. Deffer said U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), an agency of the Department of Homeland Security, is in the midst of trying to move from being a paper-based system to having electronic records. He warned that adding millions of new applications, as the bill would do, would be a bad idea.

“Adding 12 million more people to the system would be the mother of all backlogs. Clearly to us the systems could not handle it now,” Mr. Deffer told the House Judiciary Committee’s immigration subcommittee. “It’s going to take a few years, so it’s something for Congress to consider that, when they implement this, they don’t have a date too soon.”

Mr. Obama, in a video message last weekend, told tens of thousands of immigrant rights supporters rallying on the Mall that he wants to try to get a bipartisan immigration bill passed this year that would legalize the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the country.

USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas said flatly that his agency will be prepared to handle that task but that he anticipates Congress will give the agency more resources to handle a new program.

“We will be ready for comprehensive immigration reform when it is enacted,” he said after the hearing.

He said his confidence stemmed in part from the agency’s ability to respond to the earthquake in Haiti, after which officials moved quickly to expedite travel for more than 1,000 Haitian orphans and accept applications for “temporary protected status” from tens of thousands of Haitians, both legal visitors and illegal immigrants, who were in the U.S. at the time of the disaster.

Temporary protected status lets those individuals remain in the U.S. and authorizes them to work while here. Mr. Mayorkas said his agency had received 33,000 applications for protected status from Haitians through the first two months since the Jan. 12 quake, and has handled those requests without hurting the agency’s other duties.

The agency’s ability to handle an influx of applications is critical, particularly after studies showed the last amnesty, in 1986, gave legal status to hundreds of thousands of criminals and others who should not have been allowed to stay under the conditions of the law.

Fraudulent documents are already a problem for other programs administered by USCIS, such as E-Verify, the voluntary system businesses can use to see if job applicants are authorized to work. A recent study prepared for the agency found that E-Verify was able to weed out only about half of the illegal immigrants who applied for jobs.

When the Senate was considering another immigration legalization bill in 2006, the agency’s director, Emilio T. Gonzalez, warned that USCIS would need time to set up a new application process. The agency currently handles about 6 million applications a year.

Mr. Deffer said one of the reasons the inspector general began looking at USCIS’ technology five years ago was because of the efforts then to push for a new legalization bill.

He said occasional backlogs of applications are part of a cycle.

USCIS has been trying to upgrade its immigration benefits process for years, and Mr. Mayorkas acknowledged there have been few visible results. But he said the effort is moving, and officials are being careful because of many potential pitfalls.

He promised to provide Congress with benchmarks so lawmakers can evaluate the agency’s progress on that transformation.

USCIS is primarily funded by the fees it charges applicants for immigration benefits, which means those fees have to cover most of the agency’s nearly $3 billion budget.

Under Mr. Obama, the agency has asked for taxpayer money to cover the costs of applicants seeking asylum or refugee status, arguing that those people are less able to pay.

In 2007, across-the-board fee increases angered many Democrats in Congress, and USCIS is in the middle of another fee review that could lead to new cost hikes, unless Congress changes policy and approves more taxpayer money for the agency.

Some Democrats said that’s what they’d prefer. Rep. Judy Chu, California Democrat, compared fee increases charged to those applying for citizenship to a poll tax, saying it was “even more of an impediment for them to become citizens.”

The chairman of the full House Judiciary Committee made clear that he won’t back fee increases.

“I’m for putting these fees into the appropriations process. But I don’t want a fee increase,” said Rep. John Conyers Jr., Michigan Democrat. “The increases have been astronomical already, so we don’t need that.”

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COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM DEBATE
Posted March 21, 2010

Last Sunday, March 21st I was invited to participate in a brief debate on Comprehensive Immigration Reform. For those of you who missed this debate, I am providing you with a link so that you can watch it now.

http://kolken.blogspot.com/2010/03/angela-kelley-from-debates-mike-cutler.html

It is amazing that the open borders and pro-amnesty advocates describe our government’s ability to enforce and administer the immigration laws as being broken, yet they claim that the solution is to have the dysfunctional USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) provide official identity documents and lawful status to unknown millions of illegal aliens whose true identities, nationalities, backgrounds, potential affiliation with criminal or terrorist organizations are all unknown and unknowable. There would not even be a reliable way of knowing when, where or how these illegal aliens entered our nation!

The idea of USCIS attempting to administer Comprehensive Immigration Reform even as that hobbled agency is unable to deal with its current workload is the equivalent of expecting a wheelchair-bound hospital patient who requires a respirator to run the New York City Marathon- and win!!!

As you will see when you check out the link, I attempted to articulate as many of these concerns in my brief segment on MSNBC last weekend.

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TEXAS ON THE POTOMAC
Posted March 19, 2010

TEXAS REI SAYS PBA, A “FAILING” TO ENFORCE IMMIGRATION LAWS, CREATES “RECLAIM AMERICAN JOBS CAUCUS

Blaming the Obama administration for failing to enforce immigration laws, a group of House lawmakers formed a caucus on Friday to “reclaim American jobs.”

Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, is chairman of the 40-member Reclaim American Jobs Caucus made up of mostly Republican lawmakers. Eight Texas Republicans are part of the effort but only one, Rep. Michael McCaul, represents the Houston area.

“The whole purpose of what we are about is putting people back to work,” Smith told a news conference.
Other members of the caucus, however, attacked immigration reform proposals, including a bipartisan plan unveiled by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

Although the Schumer-Graham proposal calls for increased worksite enforcement, a national biometric ID card and other measures to halt illegal immigration, Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., called it a “carrot” to entice more unauthorized immigrants to sneak into the country.

Royce said the senators did a great disservice to the nation by “calling for another amnesty.”
Smith, meanwhile, said eliminating jobs for unauthorized immigrants in Texas would virtually eliminate unemployment.

There are roughly 1 million unemployed in Texas, Smith said, and an estimated 925,000 unauthorized immigrants working in the state.

Other Texas lawmakers who have joined the caucus are: McCaul, R-Austin; Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Dallas; Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Lubbock; Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler; Rep. Kenny Marchant, R-Carrollton; Rep. Michael Conaway, R-Coppell; and Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock.

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THOUSANDS OF CALIFORNIA TEACHERS, FACULTY, FACE LAY-OFFS
Posted March 17, 2010

by Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

SAN FRANCISCO, California – Close to 22,000 teachers and school employees in California received pink slips yesterday.

For the past month, Filipino students at Bessie Carmichael Elementary School in San Francisco have been worried about losing their teachers.

“It feels so sad,” said elementary school student Robert Manuyag. “If we don’t learn, we won’t know anything.”

Not all of the pink slips will mean layoffs. Last year, 40% of the 26,000 teachers that received layoff notices kept their jobs. But with the current economy, some are not as optimistic this time around that the pink slips will be rescinded in May.

Over 300 school administrators throughout the state went to Sacramento to lobby lawmakers and find answers to the budget cuts, especially the deep cuts in education. California faces a US$20 billion budget deficit.

Bessie Carmichael Principal Jeffrey Burgos was at the State Capitol to lobby. Burgos believes pink slips will be near-guarantees for being laid off.

“In this case, it’s very real, these pink slips. But when you have no money, how are you able to keep anybody? Everyone is in limbo; even I’m not sure right now,” Burgos said.

Parents have been worried, too, holding meetings, trying to make back-up plans in case the cuts do go through this time.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a lawsuit against the state over the pink slips. The ACLU says the pink slips are demoralizing to faculty and students.

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NAPOLITANO SHIFTS POLICY ON BORDER FENCE
Posted March 17, 2010
Jeffrey Anderson

Signaling a major shift from her predecessor, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Tuesday said she will spend $50 million of stimulus funds originally intended to build a “virtual fence” along the 2,000-mile

U.S.-Mexico border on other more proven and cost-effective security technology.

The decision to pull back funding on the initiative aimed at protecting the U.S. from terrorists, violent drug smugglers and illegal immigrants comes on the heels of a series of damning reports by the Government Accountability Office, and as Ms. Napolitano attempts to justify to lawmakers a 30 percent budget reduction for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in the midst of a raging drug war along the Southwest border.
To date, the U.S. government, through the Secure Border Initiative, has paid Boeing Co. more than $1 billion to build less than 700 miles of barriers between ports of entry, and a costly but flawed system of radar towers, ground sensors and cameras known as SBInet, a $4 billion project that appears to be in jeopardy.

“Not only do we have an obligation to secure our borders, we have a responsibility to do so in the most cost-effective way possible,” Ms. Napolitano said. “The system of sensors and cameras along the Southwest border known as SBInet has been plagued with cost overruns and missed deadlines.”

Ms. Napolitano said the department will instead use $50 million of stimulus funding originally allocated for the first phase of SBInet to buy security technology such as mobile surveillance, thermal-imaging devices, body scanning units, mobile radios, cameras and laptops for pursuit vehicles.

On Jan. 15, Ms. Napolitano said the department was reassessing the SBInet program. She said she had directed David V. Aguilar, acting CBP commissioner, to re-evaluate its implementation. She said the order was due to her “ongoing concerns about SBInet,” including what she called “unacceptable delays” in the project’s completion.

She said at the time that Homeland Security would decide based on that reassessment whether to recompete the contract, extend the contract or try something different. On Tuesday, she said, “We are freezing all SBInet funding beyond the initial deployment to the Tucson and Ajo regions until the assessment I ordered in January is completed.”

The Washington Times examined GAO reports on the project and reported on March 1 that government officials were unable to say when, how or whether SBInet would ever be completed.

Ms. Napolitano’s announcement Tuesday met with mixed reactions from lawmakers and representatives of rank and file border patrol officers.

“I’m all for securing our border, but haphazardly pulling the rug out from underneath SBINet to fund some other unplanned projects, suggests we’re back to throwing money at problems, not relying on strategic decisions on utilizing the taxpayers’ money,” said Rep. Harold Rogers, Kentucky Republican and ranking member of the House Appropriations subcommittee on homeland security.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, Mississippi Democrat and chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said that SBInet, since its inception “has been a grave and expensive disappointment.

“Today’s announcement is recognition that this troubled program needs better management and stronger oversight,” he said. “We are tired of listening to stories about faulty cameras, poor tower stability and overly sensitive sensors which have led to failed testing.”

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BRITISH AIRWAYS EMPLOYEE FACES TERRORISM CHARGES
Posted March 11, 2010

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
• 30-year-old BA employee appears in court on terror charges
• Rajib Karim employeed by BA as an information technology developer
• Authorities allege he sent money to Yemen and Bangladesh to fund terrorist activities
• Police learned about alleged activities from encrypted data on his home computer

London, England (CNN) — A British Airways employee accused of funding terrorism and planning suicide bombings — including his own — appeared in court Thursday.

Prosecutor Colin Gibb called the suspect, Rajib Karim, “a very dangerous individual, facing very serious offenses and likely to face a serious term of imprisonment.”

Authorities said Karim — who was born in Bangladesh and is now a British citizen — collected money in Britain and sent it to Yemen and Bangladesh to fund terrorist activities.

British authorities believe he had significant success in financing terrorist operations, security sources with knowledge of the case told CNN.

He volunteered to recruit suicide bombers and to be one himself, prosecutors said in court. He said he would go to Yemen or Pakistan for training, they charged.

Karim, 30, is charged with two counts of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts and fundraising for the purpose of terrorism, London’s Metropolitan Police Service said Wednesday. He appeared in Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

Karim, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, is an information technology developer for British Airways, authorities have said.

The alleged offenses took place between April 13, 2006, and February 25, 2010, “with the intention of committing acts of terrorism outside the UK or assisting another to commit such acts,” police said.

Karim did not speak during the 15-minute court hearing except to confirm his name and date of birth, November 4, 1979. He wore a black fleece pullover zipped up to the neck and white trousers, and appeared impassive throughout the hearing.

He did not enter a plea.

The hearing was intended only to outline the charges and discuss bail. Karim did not apply for bail. Prosecutor Gibbs had argued he should not be granted bail primarily because there was an ongoing investigation that could be impeded if Karim were released.

Police learned about his alleged activities from encrypted data on his computer at home, which was seized when he was arrested last month.

He used his position at British Airways to advise foreign terrorists on airport security measures, including suspicion scans, liquid allowances, and computer systems, prosecutors alleged.

He is also accused of offering to take advantage of a possible strike by British Airways crews. Prosecutors believe he advised his contacts that because of the industrial disputes he might have the opportunity to apply to join a cabin crew, giving him information on cabin crew training and on-the-job activity.

BA is planning to shuffle staff to cover positions left vacant if the strike goes ahead.

Authorities did not say who Karim was aiding or reporting to. They are investigating possible connections to terrorists in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Yemen, security sources told CNN.

Magistrate Judge Timothy Workman scheduled Karim’s next hearing for March 26 at the Old Bailey in London.

CNN International Security Correspondent Paula Newton and producer Jonathan Wald contributed to this report.

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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Posted March 04, 2010

Owner, employee of Miami language school charged with immigration fraud
ICE special agents also administratively arrest 81 student visa violators

MIAMI – The owner/operator of a Miami-based foreign language school and one of its employees were indicted on four counts today for conspiring to commit a criminal offense against the United States, following an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Miami Office of Investigations.

Miami residents Lydia Menocal, 58, the owner and director of the Florida Language Institute (FLI), and Ofelia Macia, 75, an employee of the school, are suspected of fraudulently sponsoring foreign students by issuing student status to non immigrants without requiring them to maintain a full course of study as mandated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) federal regulations. ICE investigations uncovered that only about 5 percent of FLI students attended class on any given day.

“This school was fraudulently facilitating the issuance of student visas, as well as allowing foreign nationals to fraudulently maintain their student status and remain in the United States,” said Anthony V. Mangione, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Miami. “One of the lessons learned from the September 11 attacks is that the U.S. government must be vigilant and aggressive in conducting investigations into organizations and persons who seek to exploit and corrupt America’s legal immigration system for personal gain.”

In November 2007, ICE special agents assigned to the ICE Office of Investigations in Miami Compliance Enforcement Group initiated a criminal investigation dubbed, “Operation Class Dismissed,” focused on Menocal and the FLI after they received information that the school was allegedly engaged in fraudulently sponsoring foreign students by issuing I-20 AB (Certificates of Eligibility for non-immigrant, F-1, student status for academics and language students) without requiring the students to attend at least 18 hours of classes per week, as they had agreed to do under federal regulations.

On February 26, Menocal and Macia, were indicted on charges of conspiring to commit an offense against the United States, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371. In addition, Menocal was individually charged with making false statements on immigration documents (which allowed foreign nationals to obtain student visas), and making false statements to an executive branch agency, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1546(a) and 1001(a)(2), respectively. The indictment also seeks the forfeiture of $2.4 million in cash, which represents the proceeds of the criminal activity.

On March 2, ICE special agents executed arrest warrants at the defendants’ home and a search warrant at the school, located at 947 S.W. 87th Avenue, Miami, Fla. The defendants made their initial appearances in court the same day and U.S. Magistrate Judge William Turnoff set bond for both defendants. The case has been assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Ursula Ungaro.

If convicted, the defendants face up to five years imprisonment on the conspiracy charge, and Menocal faces up to 10 years imprisonment on the false statement charges.

In addition to the indictment, ICE conducted a three-day operation, which concluded Thursday morning, and resulted in the administrative arrests of 81 student visa violators that purported to be attending FLI from countries including Thailand, Syria, Honduras, South Korea, Japan, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Turkmenistan, Turkey, Indonesia, Venezuela, Brazil and Kyrgyzstan, with the majority being from Thailand. Of those 81 arrested administratively, 39 were residing in Miami-Dade County, 27 in Broward County, nine in Palm Beach County, five in Bradenton and one resided in Altamonte Springs, Fla. Eighty individuals arrested remain in ICE custody pending immigration removal proceedings and one was processed for removal and released on her own recognizance. In these cases, ICE agents and officers exercise discretion by releasing aliens on orders of supervision.

Sloman commended the investigative efforts of ICE’s Office of Investigations in Miami with the assistance of ICE’s Office of Detention and Removal in Miami. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Roy K. Altman and Robert J. Luck.

An indictment is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov/ or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov/ More information on the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) can be found at: http://www.ice.gov/sevis/index.htm.

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IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT: “248 ARRESTED IN ICE OPERATION TARGETING CRIMINAL ALIENS THROUGHOUT TEXAS”
Received March 3, 2010

I have attached two recent press releases from ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) that deal with a series of successful field operations. The most recent of these press releases was published on February 26th of this year while the other was published this past December. These press releases are significant because they show how ICE can, when working synergistically with other law enforcement agencies can perform a vital function for our nation and our citizens, remove criminal aliens from our midst. Here are some other points that may not be immediately obvious that I want you to pay particular attention to:

In both press releases the point was made that some of the criminal aliens who were arrested were citizens of African and Middle Eastern countries. Considering the close call our nation suffered on Christmas Day of last year when an airliner was nearly destroyed as it prepared to land in Detroit, at the hands of a Nigerian citizen who sought to carry out a terrorist attack in our nation, it is important to note that a number of the aliens who were arrested in these publicized field operations were apparently citizens of “Special Interest” countries, that is to say, countries which have ties to terrorist organizations. Both California and Texas are obviously border states and while the information contained in the press released failed to identify the specific countries the aliens from the Middle Eastern and African countries came from, it would be interesting to know if these aliens had entered the United States via the inspections process or by running our nation’s borders. (I am willing to bet that at least some of these aliens had run the border, making it clear that the porous nature of our nation’s borders provide access to aliens who are not simply intent on doing menial jobs in the United States.)

Next it is important to note that the press releases make the point that criminal aliens who are deported and unlawfully reenter the United States can be subject to a maximum of 20 years in prison for the single crime of felony reentry. This particular point provides me, personally, with a great deal of satisfaction because I had coordinated an effort, in the early 1980′s to convince then New York Senator Al D’amato to rewrite the immigration laws to distinguish aliens who had been convicted of felonies who are deported and subsequently reenter the United States unlawfully, from aliens who have no such previous criminal histories. This is not about attempting to dislocate my shoulder by patting myself on the back, but rather to show how laws can be written to deal effectively with important issues that threaten national security and the safety of our citizens.

Additionally, it is important to consider the mention of the 287(g) program at the conclusion of these press releases and the fact that ICE acknowledges that:

“…Sadly, many of the people victimized by aliens who commit crimes are other members of the immigrant community, who are following the rules.”

This should make it clear that when criminal aliens enter our country, while all who live in the United States are placed at risk, the risk is often greater for the immigrant community.

This why it is astounding that the open borders advocates often vilify those of us who seek to insure our nation’s borders are secure and the immigration system has integrity by referring to us as being “anti-immigrant!”

In point of fact, my goal, when I was an INS special agent and today as a civilian, is to call attention to the failures of our government to secure our nation’s borders and create an immigration system that has real integrity to protect the lives of all who live in our country.

I am also at a loss to understand how anyone in the law enforcement profession could possibly oppose the effective use of the immigration laws to thwart the efforts of criminal aliens who are operating, often with near impunity in communities across our country.

I have, on previous occasions addressed the ways in which the effective use of the 287(g) program can enhance law enforcement efforts to protect our nation and communities across our nation from criminal aliens. I have compiled a list of seven important benefits to be gained by having local and state law enforcement agencies work cooperatively with ICE. At the risk of being repetitive, here is that list, once again:

The 287(g) program under which local law enforcement officers are trained to identify criminal aliens could be a force multiplier for ICE and the involved police departments. Here are 7 reasons why local law enforcement should welcome the advantages that the 287(g) program would provide:

1. Access to immigration files can provide investigative leads when a criminal alien is being sought as a fugitive or a suspect of a crime.

2. Access to immigration files can also provide vital information to a judge when a criminal alien is arrested and the judge is attempting to set the appropriate bail. The immigration file can provide documented evidence of risk of flight based on numerous identities the defendant may have previously used, occasions when the defendant jumped bail in an immigration matter and filed to appear for an immigration hearing. The file can also provide evidence of prior deportations. This could help to prevent those tragedies in which a criminal alien is arrested and then released on bail, only to commit another heinous crime while out on bail.

3. If a plea bargain is being arranged, local and state prosecutors should work in close cooperation with federal immigration counsels to make certain that in the process of working out a plea-bargain agreement that they don’t inadvertently eliminate a conviction for a crime that would render the alien deportable.

4. Working cooperatively with ICE, it would be easier to cultivate informants. Informants are often essential to the successful investigation and prosecution of criminals and criminal organizations as well as terrorists and their associates. The immigration laws provide a huge “carrot” as well as a huge “stick” to this end.

5. There are a number of laws that can be used to hammer criminal aliens under the federal code. For example, the penalty for an illegal alien found to be in possession of a firearm carries a ten year penalty. There are other such laws to be found in the federal code that deals with the possession and use of false identity documents and for the crime of unlawful reentry after deportation. A criminal alien who is deported from the United States and then reenters the United States with the authority of the government faces a maximum of 20 years in jail. (I am proud to have played a role in convincing the then Senior Senator from the State of New York, Alphonse D’Amato to create the legislation that distinguished criminal aliens who are deported and reenter the United States illegally for illegal aliens who had no previous criminal convictions.)

6. When an alien is convicted of a felony and when state and local law enforcement authorities work in close coordination with federal immigration authorities, a detainer can be lodged to make certain that upon release from custody when the criminal alien’s sentence is completed, the criminal alien will face deportation (removal) from the United States.

7. There are instances when it is advantageous to the investigation to arrest a key individual(s) without alerting other members of the criminal or terrorist organization he is a part of, that the entire organization is being investigated. In such instances, it is often easy to find of violation of the immigration laws to enable law enforcement to arrest these individuals for administrative or criminal violation of the immigration laws, thus not alerting their cohorts to the larger, on-going investigation.

Of course while I am happy to write about the successes of the ICE personnel as reported in the press releases I have attached below, I think it is vital to think about how many more such success stories there would be if ICE had an adequate number of special agents and support personnel “in the hunt” for criminal aliens who imperil our nation’s security and the safety of our citizens. We have seen where troop surges have been highly effective in our military efforts overseas and I can assure you that if ever their was a need for a “troop surge” it would be in the Border Patrol and within the ranks of the ICE special agents right here in the United States of America!

In order to combat crime, the criminals not only need to face possibility of being prosecuted for violating our nation’s borders and laws, they need to understand that they face a real probability of being caught, prosecuted and punished appropriately. What Nancy Pelosi refers to as a “Climate of Fear” is what those of us in the law enforcement profession refer to as deterrence! This can only happen if there are an adequate number of “boots on the ground!”

For our government to fail to deploy an adequate number of ICE personnel to combat the threats posed by aliens involved in terrorism, drug trafficking and other crimes is the equivalent of not allowing a baseball team to have its outfielders take to the field when the other team is at bat. Under such an absurd situation, any batter from the opposing team who succeeds in hitting the ball over the infielder’s heads would get an “in the park home run.”

Similarly, without an adequate number of ICE special agents who are provided with necessary resources, any alien, including those engaged in criminal or even terrorist activities simply need to get past the Border Patrol or the inspections process at a port of entry to be virtually “home free!”

This is simply unacceptable!

While I certainly commend that successes achieved by the men and women of ICE as noted in the press releases below, I want to see many more such successes each and every day in every state of our nation. This would require that our government, for once and for all, hire an adequate number of agents for ICE and absolutely mandate that all law enforcement agencies cooperate with ICE. Nothing less than the safety of all who live in our nation is on the line along with the security of our nation.

My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings before more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.

The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.

Any politician who refuses to work to secure our borders and create an immigration system that has integrity is either corrupt or too dumb to keep his (her) job. Any politician, irrespective of party affiliation who favors Comprehensive Immigration Reform and the outrageous betrayal that this would represent given the national security implications that this program would have, should be shown the door at the next election!

If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same.

Later this year, each and every member of the House of Representatives is up for reelection. Later this year more than one third of the members of the United States Senate will have to face their constituents. They need to be reminded that they work for us, We the People!

However, the practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.

The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!

The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to the politicians.I implore you to get involved!

If this situation concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation!

You need to politely but pointedly, demand to know what they are doing to protect our nation. You need to ask them how they are protecting you and your families.

All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!

We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.

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NO FINISH IN SIGHT FOR “VIRTUAL” BORDER FENCE
Posted March 1, 2010
Jeffrey Anderson

A multibillion-dollar “virtual fence” along the southwestern border promised for completion in 2009 to protect the U.S. from terrorists, violent drug smugglers and a flood of illegal immigrants is a long way from becoming a reality, with government officials unable to say when, how or whether it will ever be completed.

More than three years after launching a major border security initiative and forking over more than $1 billion to the Boeing Co., the project’s major contractor, Homeland Security Department officials are re-evaluating the high-tech component of the plan in the wake of a series of critical Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports warning lawmakers that the expensive undertaking is deeply flawed.

The program now places the Obama administration in a quandary, foretold by lawmakers who witnessed Boeing and Homeland Security publicly mischaracterize the nature of the contract, according to GAO, after government officials, watchdogs and contractors privately discovered that it was destined to fail.

“Regrettably, the partnership between [Homeland Security] and Boeing has produced far more missed deadlines and excuses than results,” Rep. Bennie Thompson, Mississippi Democrat and chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said in September 2008. “It will become the 44th president’s problem.”

Since February 2007, according to a review of federal records by The Washington Times, GAO has been telling Congress and Homeland Security that its high-tech border protection system needed better oversight and accountability, and that it lacked realistic measures of cost, timing and benefits.

Early on, GAO found that Boeing had failed to show how the $1.1 billion high-tech system would meet the objectives of the Secure Border Initiative (SBI), a comprehensive, multiyear, $4 billion Homeland Security proposal to secure the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border, and urged revisions to the company’s lucrative contract.

Despite such warnings, based on GAO’s detailed evaluations of the root causes of major problems, the goals of the high-tech project, dubbed “SBInet,” were not realized and deadlines were pushed back. In September, GAO reported to Congress that the virtual fence scheduled for completion in 2009 will not be ready until at least 2016 — if it goes forward at all.

Meantime, the Obama administration has announced significant budget cuts for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) programs that depend on costly manpower, fencing, infrastructure and technology. While Homeland Security has described the virtual fence project as a critical element of increased border security, the administration has requested $574 million for the program for fiscal 2011 — a cut of nearly 30 percent compared with the $800 million that Congress approved in fiscal 2010.

How can Congress even contemplate the administration’s substantial cuts to SBInet when the investment plans and oversight reports required by law have been completely ignored?” Rep. Harold Rogers, Kentucky Republican and a member of the House Appropriations subcommittee on homeland security, said last week.

Mr. Rogers is not the only one asking questions. The GAO has asked repeatedly how much more the government is willing to spend on a failed initiative.

“There’s a trillion-dollar budget deficit and you’re looking for programs that don’t work?” said Richard M. Stana, GAO’s director of homeland security issues. “This one hasn’t proven yet that it’s workable.”

The White House, in an e-mail response from Tom Gavin, a spokesman at the Office of Management and Budget, said that while SBInet has faced a series of “well-documented challenges,” the fiscal 2011 budget supports continued investment in technological improvements at the border.

“Currently, the technology is undergoing field testing prior to operational deployment,” he said. “The administration will take a hard look at [Homeland Security] assessments of the most effective ways to deploy security technology along the borders.”

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was before Congress last week defending a 3 percent cut to the CBP budget, a proposal that has concerned Border Patrol Chief David V. Aguilar, now serving as acting CBP deputy commissioner. In a Dec. 18 confidential memo to his sector chiefs, a copy of which was obtained by The Times, he said, “As you know, we have been going through some painful budget exercises and … unfortunately it is going to get more painful.”

The chief said the Border Patrol needed to cut new expenditures below commitments it made for the fiscal 2009 budget, adding that while “significant cuts” already had been made, additional reductions would be necessary. He directed the sector chiefs to do more with less.

Chief Aguilar also said he “had to shut down” some pending and ongoing programs involving the Border Patrol’s Enforcement and Information Technology (EIT) Division, which the agency has described as a key component in its ability to secure U.S. borders.

Critics of the border project contend that the Bush administration had two possible goals in launching SBInet, both of which it failed to meet: to build a well-planned, functional, high-tech system of sensors, cameras, radars and a Border Patrol command center; or to move quickly and tout the border security effort as a means of negotiating immigration reform.

“Those two forces are not in harmony,” Mr. Stana said. “The dilemma for the department now is how far does it go with a multibillion-dollar program, or are there other more reliable options at a comparable cost?”

William K. Moore, a former political consultant and now a lobbyist whose clients include the Texas Border Coalition, a group of local officials and community leaders who represent more than 6 million people who live along the Mexican border, described the project as a “political strategy” by the Bush administration to shore up immigration reform.

“The department either pursued it for a political purpose that had nothing to with homeland security, or pursued it without any strategy whatsoever,” Mr. Moore said.

Others contend that even after spending more than $1 billion, Homeland Security cannot demonstrate that SBInet or the 370 miles of pedestrian fencing and 300 miles of vehicle barriers being built along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border are responsible for the apprehension of illegal immigrants or contraband.

The department’s budget report for fiscal 2011 does not disclose actual apprehension rates of illegal immigrants for fiscal 2009 or target numbers for this fiscal year, labeling such figures: “For Official Use Only.”

Despite Homeland Security’s recent decision to re-evaluate SBInet, department officials and lawmakers charged with oversight were told long ago that the virtual fence was being built on a shaky foundation.

“GAO was on this right from the start,” Mr. Stana said of SBInet, which was launched in 2006. “The first problem was the government never came up with detailed requirements for the system; they never talked to the Border Patrol.”

In February 2007, GAO already knew SBInet needed better oversight and accountability. In a detailed report, GAO recommended to Congress that Homeland Security take a closer look at what Boeing was promising concerning the capabilities, schedules, costs and benefits associated with the program.

Earlier that month, the department had convened a panel of high-ranking government officials, including Homeland Security’s inspector general and the U.S. comptroller general, to discuss how to ensure that the government gets what it pays for from outside contractors.

The discussion centered on SBInet and Deepwater, a much-maligned program to develop new ships for the U.S. Coast Guard — an obvious cautionary tale for the border program: One of the panelists that day was Greg Giddens, then director of the SBI program who also headed Deepwater. He could not be reached for comment.

But GAO reports on SBInet kept coming, 14 in all. Congress was told that there were no management controls in place; there were no specifics on staffing levels, goals or status of the project; and there was a risk of cost and schedule overruns and performance problems.

By October 2007, GAO found that Boeing had delivered radars, sensors and cameras to a 28-mile test site near Tucson known as “Project 28,” yet the project was incomplete more than four months after it was to become operational. Homeland Security was unable to specify a date when the entire system would be operational, GAO said.

The SBInet contract called for a fixed-price pilot project that, Mr. Stana said, was “intended to be an off-the-shelf application to be replicated up and down the border by 2009.” Some of the most basic equipment, in other words, was commercially available at places like Radio Shack.

But as Project 28 bogged down in the often brutal climate of the southwestern border and as the system confused animals and windblown vegetation for suspicious activity, GAO grew more concerned.

“When they missed the first deadline in June 2008, an expectations gap became apparent between what Boeing and the department were telling Congress and what was on the ground,” Mr. Stana said. “It’s a shame that gap was never addressed by Homeland Security or Boeing.”

Boeing spokeswoman Deborah Bosick said in an e-mail that the company’s goal “is to deliver a system that will help agents do their jobs more safely and effectively.” She referred further questions to CBP.

By September 2008, Homeland Security and Boeing began telling Congress that the virtual fence was a “prototype,” meaning glitches were to be expected as the new technology was refined for actual use.

“That is not borne out by the documents,” Mr. Stana said. “You didn’t start hearing about prototypes until difficulties arose.”

Mark Borkowski, current SBI director, responded, “Pilot, prototype, it’s a distinction without a difference.”
But SBInet remained mired in an ambiguous but consistent state of flux, GAO found, which pushed back deadlines to 2011 and, eventually, 2016. Its September 2008 report said it was “unclear and uncertain” what SBInet was capable of detecting once the program was fully deployed.

The report said the absence of “clarity and stability” impaired Congress’ ability to oversee the program or to hold Homeland Security accountable. It said SBInet operational requirements either could not be traced or were “unaffordable and unverifiable.”

GAO told Congress and Homeland Security that Boeing would have to engage in a costly re-engineering of the failed off-the-shelf technology if it expected the system to ever work. In spite of a growing number of critical reports, Michael Chertoff, secretary of homeland security in the Bush administration, accepted the project.

By late 2008, two Boeing vice presidents delivered optimistic reports to Congress. A year later, in September 2009, on the same day the GAO released yet another critical report on the project, a third Boeing vice president similarly told Congress that SBInet was under control.

“There wasn’t anything in that report that wasn’t in our last report to the previous administration in 2008,” Mr. Stana said, adding that in September 2009 he told a House committee that taxpayers were not getting their money’s worth out of SBInet.

Mr. Chertoff did not return calls for comment.

Glenn Spencer, president of the American Border Patrol, a private organization that uses airplanes and high-tech equipment to monitor the U.S.-Mexico border, said the virtual fence failed because Homeland Security “did not set measurable goals for the system.”

“Boeing didnt really know what to build and [Homeland Security] had no way of knowing if it was working or not,” said Mr. Spencer, whose board includes two former Border Patrol chiefs. “The axiom reads: If you cant measure it, you cant improve it.”

Ms. Napolitano first announced that the program was under review on Jan. 8, the Friday before a report on SBInet aired on CBS’ “60 Minutes.” On Wednesday, she signaled in testimony to a Senate committee that SBInet was hanging in the balance, saying that “before we say we’re going to do this along the entire border, we need to re-evaluate and see if there’s better technologies that will pair with our actual boots on the ground in a more effective way.”

A day later, Mr. Borkowski sounded more committed to SBInet: “I am optimistic that this is a good system that will pass our evaluation tests by the end of 2010.”

Mr. Thompson said the Homeland Security Committee will continue its “careful oversight” of SBInet, adding that the “American taxpayers expect a return on their investment.” He urged Ms. Napolitano to “ensure that SBInet delivers as promised, or examine whether other reliable, cost-effective technology can help secure America’s borders.”

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U.S. IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT
Protecting national security by enforcing our nation’s customs and immigration laws
Posted February 26, 2010

284 arrested in ICE operation targeting criminal aliens throughout Texas
Nearly 160 with violent criminal histories arrested in 3-day operation
DALLAS – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and its law enforcement partners arrested 284 foreign nationals with criminal records during a three-day enforcement surge throughout Texas, making it the biggest operation targeting at-large criminal aliens ever carried out by ICE in the state.

During the operation, which concluded late Thursday, ICE officers and agents worked in teams with the U.S. Marshals Service, Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service and local law enforcement agencies. Of the 284 arrested, nearly 160 foreign nationals have violent criminal histories – such as homicide, assault and robbery – and more than 20 have convictions for sexual offenses. Of the total arrested, 18 have already been removed from the country.

At a news conference Friday morning, Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for ICE John Morton announced the results of the special operation, which involved more than 280 federal and local law enforcement officers and agents. Assistant Secretary Morton cited the operation as another example of the vital role multi-agency cooperation and targeted immigration enforcement play in protecting our communities.

“We are a compassionate nation with a proud history of immigration,” said Morton. “But we are also a nation governed by laws specifically designed to protect its citizens and residents. Those who come to the United States to prey upon our neighbors and communities will be prosecuted for their crimes and ultimately returned to their home countries. The results of this week’s operation demonstrate ICE’s commitment to that principle.”

Arrests in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area accounted for the largest number of apprehensions during the operation where a total of 119 criminal aliens were taken into custody. San Antonio recorded the next highest number of arrests with 73. The arrestees, 259 men and 25 women, represent more than 22 different nations, including countries in Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Because of their serious criminal histories and prior immigration arrest records, at least 23 of those arrested during the enforcement surge face federal prosecution for illegally reentering the country after being formally deported. A conviction for felony reentry carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.

Some of the worst of the offenders caught this week during Operation Cross Check include the following case examples:

• Juan Jose Lopez-Juarez, 36, from Mexico, was arrested at his home with the help of the Dallas County Constable Precinct Four. He was targeted and arrested in Dallas and is wanted in Michoacán, Mexico, for shooting and killing a 17-year-old boy while his mother pleaded for his life. Lopez-Juarez was originally deported in June 2000. ICE learned about his whereabouts from a tip made to our 24-hour tipline.

• Angel Gonzalez, from Mexico, was arrested Feb. 24 by ICE at his residence in Austin, Texas. He has a previous criminal history including a sexual offense against a child for which he was sentenced to three years in prison. Afterwards, ICE deported him. The U.S Attorney in the Western District of Texas has accepted him for prosecution for reentry after deportation.

• Ruiz Pina, from Mexico, was arrested by ICE agents in Houston on Feb. 24. He has convictions for unlawfully possessing a weapon, assault causing bodily injury, and drunken driving. PINA was ordered deported by a federal immigration judge in Houston, Texas, in 2005. He will be detained without bond at the Houston Contract Detention Facility pending removal from the United States.

Any of the foreign nationals arrested during this operation who have active warrants will be referred to the associated local law enforcement agency and ICE will place detainers to ensure they return to ICE custody following disposition of their criminal cases. Those who have outstanding orders of deportation, or who returned to the United States illegally after being deported, are subject to immediate removal from the country. The remaining individuals are in ICE custody awaiting a hearing before an immigration judge, or pending travel arrangements for removal in the near future.

This week’s special enforcement action was spearheaded by ICE’s Fugitive Operations Program, which is responsible for locating, arresting, and removing at large criminal aliens and immigration fugitives – aliens who have ignored final orders of deportation handed down by the nation’s immigration courts. ICE’s Fugitive Operations Teams (FOTs) give top priority to cases involving aliens who pose a threat to national security and public safety, including members of transnational street gangs and child sex offenders.

The officers who conducted this week’s special operation received substantial assistance from ICE’s Fugitive Operations Support Center (FOSC) located in South Burlington, Vt. The FOSC conducted exhaustive database checks on the targeted cases to help ensure the viability of the leads and accuracy of the criminal histories. The FOSC was established in 2006 to improve the integrity of the data available on at large criminal aliens and immigration fugitives nationwide. Since its inception, the FOSC has forwarded more than 150,000 case leads to ICE enforcement personnel in the field.

This week’s enforcement operation is just one facet of the Department of Homeland Security’s broader strategy to heighten the federal government’s effectiveness at identifying and removing dangerous criminal aliens from the United States. Other initiatives that figure prominently in this effort are the Criminal Alien Program, Secure Communities and the agency’s partnerships with state and local law enforcement agencies under 287(g).

Largely as a result of these initiatives, ICE removed a total of 136,126 criminal aliens from the United States last year, a record number.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security.

ICE comprises four integrated divisions that form a 21st century law enforcement agency with broad responsibilities for a number of key homeland security priorities. For more information, visit www.ICE.gov. To report suspicious activity, call 1-866-347-2423.

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MAN ACCUSED OF HELPING SMUGGLE SOMALIS INTO U.S.
Sent February 23, 2010

I was sent the news article I have attached below by Chris Burgard. For those of you who are not familiar with Chris, he is the producer of a documentary about our nation’s deplorably porous borders that was simply entitled, “Border.” I was pleased to have a brief appearance in his excellent film. The news article is the stuff of my nightmares and encapsulates a number of the issues I have been hammering away at, every since I decided to make my concerns public in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

There are many people and organizations who are “out there” making all sorts of of ridiculous assertions about immigration and related areas of concern because their agenda is to open our nation’s borders and create a massive amnesty program for millions of illegal aliens whose true identities, backgrounds, intentions and possible affiliation with criminal or terrorist organizations are unknown and unknowable.

These individuals and the organizations they share this agenda with are determined to have their way regardless of the cost.

Often when all else fails, these open borders advocates spew accusations and frankly, lies, accusing those of us who want our borders secured against illegal entry and the immigration system by which aliens are granted a variety of benefits including resident alien status and United States citizenship to have real integrity, of being hate mongers, racists, nativists, etc., etc.

The point is that our nation’s very survival is being threatened by transnational criminal organizations and international terrorist groups. In order to attack our nation the terrorists need to be able to enter our country and then embed themselves in communities around the United States while they wait their call to action.

Keeping this in mind, please read the news article I have attached below that appeared in the Washington Examiner yesterday. It details how a 35 year old man, Anthony Joseph Tracy facilitated the illegal entry of some 270 aliens who are citizens of Somalia. Somalia is a country that has become associated with terrorist activities and even with piracy on the high seas. In the jargon of our government, Somalia is a “Special Interest” country because of its established relationship with terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda and Al-Shabaab.

On ever so many occasions I have made the point that aliens who evade the inspections process may be simply determined to seek illegal employment- a problem of concern to our nation in and of itself, especially given the soaring unemployment rate for United States citizens and resident aliens, but not all illegal aliens simply seek illegal employment. Other illegal aliens may be fugitives from justice in their own or other countries for having committed serious crimes. Additionally, other illegal aliens may well be intent on entering our nation to carry out crimes in conjunction with transnational gangs such as the drug cartels, or may be involved in committing acts of terrorism in our country.

The problem is that without a “scorecard” it is impossible to know what motivates illegal aliens to circumvent the inspections process. These illegal aliens have no scorecard!

While much as been made of the Mexican border and our nation’s efforts to construct a fence on the border, a goal that has cost our nation more than a billion dollars to date and a goal the eludes a successful conclusion, there is virtually no real discussion about the abject failure to secure the immigration laws from within the interior of the United States.

When ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) personnel arrest a relative handful of illegal aliens whose presence in our country represents a violation of law, the open borders advocates yell at the top of their lungs that our government is creating a “Climate of Fear!” This amazing statement is one that is often used by Nancy Pelosi along with her assertions that it is Un-American to arrest illegal aliens! This betrayal of her oath of office and what should be her dedication to the citizens of our nation leaves me outraged!

In point of fact, it is a truly rare event when illegal aliens are arrested and removed from our nation. The illegal aliens play a game of “Hide and Seek” and in this game they have a distinct advantage over the beleaguered special agents of ICE. They literally have those agents greatly outnumbered. At present there are an estimated 6,000 special agents employed by ICE to enforce the immigration laws for the entire United States of America. Those special agents are also engaged in enforcing Customs laws which have absolutely nothing to do with immigration. Customs laws are concerned with the movement of currency and objects across international borders and to collect duties and tariffs while the immigration laws focus on the movement of people across our nation’s borders and the ways in which they can acquire lawful immigrant status and even United States citizenship.

The City of New York has been described as being the “Safest Big City in America” for a number of years. It is my belief that a major factor in this success is the large number of police officers that the NYPD has- currently estimated to be 37,000. Without an adequate number of “boots on the ground” the job cannot be done. In Iraq and Afghanistan we have seen where a “Troop Surge” has been extremely effective at preventing much of the violence in those war-torn countries. This is not “rocket science” but simply commonsense. As our nation approaches the 9th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 our nation’s leaders must finally understand that ICE must have many more agents and leaders who truly understand just how important the immigration issue is for the security of our nation and the safety of our citizens.

This is not a matter of “Connecting the Dots” but is rather a matter of being willing to “See the Dots!”

Further hobbling efforts to enforce the immigration laws is the simple fact that the vast majority of managers at ICE did not come from the former INS but rather came from what had been U.S. Customs. As a number of the current employees of ICE have told me, their bosses are far more concerned with apprehending those who produce counterfeit Gucci handbags than counterfeit passports and identity documents!

According to the news report some of the 270 Somali nationals who were aided in entering our country by Mr. Tracy have fanned out across our nation and are now believed to be hiding in plain sight in a variety of states including New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Minnesota and Arizona.

With a lack of resources to seek out these illegal aliens who may be intent on attacking our nation, my fear is that our citizens are at risk from these individuals and many others just like them who are, at present, hiding in plain sight in many cities across our nation. What is particularly worrisome about this group of illegal aliens is the relative sophistication in the way that they traveled around the globe to make their way here, spending what was estimated, in the article, to be some $30,000.

$30,000 is a significant sum of money for the average American. For an alien from Somalia this amount of money is stratospheric. It would be hard to imagine that someone who simply seeks to work illegally in a menial job would be able to put that sort of money together or that it would be financially sensible to do so. The question is, “Who paid for the travel expenses for these illegal aliens (and why)?”

Furthermore it is important to remember that not long ago the FBI and other law enforcement and intelligence agencies talked about how young men who had immigrated to the United States had returned to Somalia for apparent training and participation in terrorist attacks in the Middle East.

We have also seen a number of recent instances of aliens who sought to conduct terrorist attacks in our country. Clearly the “All Clear” has not sounded and so I am forced to ask, “Where are these Somali nationals and what are they doing?”

I hope that we don’t find out the answers to these questions the hard way!

My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings before more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.

The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.

Any politician who refuses to work to secure our borders and create an immigration system that has integrity is either corrupt or too dumb to keep his (her) job. Any politician, irrespective of party affiliation who favors Comprehensive Immigration Reform and the outrageous betrayal that this would represent given the national security implications that this program would have, should be shown the door at the next election!

If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same.

Later this year, each and every member of the House of Representatives is up for reelection. Later this year more than one third of the members of the United States Senate will have to face their constituents. They need to be reminded that they work for us, We the People!

However, the practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.
The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!

The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to the politicians.I implore you to get involved!

If this situation concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation!

You need to politely but pointedly, demand to know what they are doing to protect our nation. You need to ask them how they are protecting you and your families.

All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!

We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.

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VA MAN ACCUSED OF HELPING SMUGGLE SOMALIS INTO U.S.
By: Freeman Klopott
Examiner Staff Writer
Posted February 23, 2010

Authorities are searching for 270 Somalis believed to have entered the U.S. illegally with the help of a Virginia man who admitted contacts with an Islamic terrorist group.

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent said his agency had yet to locate any of the suspected illegal immigrants.

According to an affidavit filed in Alexandria’s federal court, Anthony Joseph Tracy told authorities that he came in contact with the Somali terrorist organization Al-Shabaab, which announced an alliance with al Qaeda earlier this year.

ICE Agent Thomas Eyre testified during a hearing that authorities are “concerned” about the 35-year-old’s dealings with the group.

In an e-mail, Tracy reportedly wrote, “i helped alot of somalis and most are good but there are some who are bad and i leave them to ALLAH,” the affidavit said.

He has been held without bail. Tracy’s attorney, Geremy Kamens, declined to comment for this story.
Eyre testified that authorities had not yet tracked down any of the Somalis whom Tracy allegedly helped travel to the U.S. The affidavit says Tracy’s e-mails, combined with information on Facebook, show that the Somalis have spread across the country and are living in New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Minnesota and Arizona.

Eyre indicated authorities are trying to find the Somalis and determine whether they’re associated with Al-Shabaab. An ICE spokeswoman said she could not comment on an ongoing investigation. The Somalis are believed to have entered the United States through the border with Mexico after making a circuitous trip from Kenya to Dubai to Moscow to Cuba to South America to Mexico and then the U.S., Eyre testified.
Vanessa Parra, a spokeswoman for Refugees International, estimated the trip could cost as much as $30,000. “It would be difficult for most Somalis to get that kind of money,” she said.

Tracy, who moved to Kenya in April from Winchester, is accused of helping the Somalis move to the United States by getting them travel visas to Cuba through contacts he had at the Cuban Embassy, court documents said. The visas were issued using fraudulent information Tracy allegedly provided his contacts. Authorities say Tracy knew that the U.S. was the Somalis’ intended final destination.

fklopott@washingtonexaminer.com

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FBI STOPS NIGERIAN BUSINESSMAN WITH MONEY TIES TO FORMER PRESIDENT; ALLOWED TO BOARD PRIVATE JET AFTER QUESTIONING
By Richard Esposito, Rhonda Schwarts and Brian Ross
Posted February 17, 2010

A Nigerian businessman who has been a significant financial supporter for former President Bill Clinton was stopped from boarding a private jet last month in New Jersey after law enforcement authorities discovered he had been put on the U.S. government’s recently expanded terrorist no-fly list, according to a report of the incident provided to ABCNews.com.

The businessman, Gilbert Chagoury, 64, was prevented from boarding the jet at Teterboro airport in New Jersey on Jan. 15, according to the report. Law enforcement authorities reported they ultimately obtained a “waiver” from Washington to permit Chagoury to fly out of the country to France.

According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the no-fly list is designed to “keep known terrorists off planes.” The TSA website says it works with intelligence and law enforcement partners to compile the list and has a “dedicated staff to review and scrub the existing No-Fly list and ensure all nominees meet the standing criteria.”

Chagoury with Bill Clinton at a 2005 Banquet

The TSA declined to comment on why or when Chagoury had been placed on the terror no-fly list or who provided the waiver to allow him to board his flight. and referred ABC News to the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) for comment.

A spokesperson for the FBI’s TSC also declined to comment about Chagoury, saying the TSC never comments on individual names on the no-fly list.

The spokesperson did say the list is “fluid” and individuals may be moved up or downgraded at any time based on the current threat environment, but “an individual’s social status, financial means, and political affiliations are not considered” in an individual being moved up or down the list.

Chagoury’s son, Gilbert Jr., confirmed that his father had been stopped by the FBI at Teterboro. He said he would ask his father to call ABC News for further comment but the senior Chagoury has yet to respond.
A Clinton spokesman, Matt McKenna, said the former President’s office was unaware of the incident until contacted by ABCNews.com. “We had no role whatsoever” in helping Chagoury get the waiver, said McKenna. “Nor would we ever,” he added.

Chagoury is a controversial figure in Africa and Europe but it is the first time there has been any suggestion of alleged ties to terrorism.

Described as a billionaire, Chagoury runs an industrial conglomerate in Nigeria, the Chagoury Group, and had ties to a former corrupt president there.

In 2009 Chagoury pledged $1 billion via the Chagoury Group as part of his commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative, according to the Global Initiative website. Chagoury also recently donated more than $1 million to the Clinton Foundation, according to a list of donors made public by the foundation in December. Members of Chagoury’s family were contributors to the 2008 Presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton.

Chagoury Donated to 1996 Clinton Campaign.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Chagoury’s ties to the former president date to 1996 when he donated money “to support then-President Clinton’s 1996 re-election effort, and later helped the former president land a lucrative speaking fee.”

The money for Clinton’s re-election helped to fund a get-out-the-vote effort, which legally can accept contributions from a non-US resident.

Law enforcement authorities say Chagoury was a “positive match” to the Gilbert Chagoury on the terrorism no fly list, based on his date of birth. He was traveling on a British passport which does not require a US visa to enter the country.

According to the law enforcement report, Chagoury also is named on a second watch list called, TIDE, the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, maintained by the National Counterterrorism Center.

According to the Center website, the TIDE list is the US government’s “central repository on international terrorist identities.” Federal agencies nominate individuals for the TIDE list based on possible connections to terrorist organizations or terrorist financing, according to the website.

The report on the incident said a private jet owned by Chagoury was at Teterboro for repairs and he was attempting to leave on a second jet, a Dassault Falcon 900EX.

Chagoury, five passengers and two crew members were all detained by TSA officers who called in agents from the FBI and Customs and Border Patrol.

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ANALYSIS; VISA SECURITY IS CRITICAL TO PREVENTING TERRORIST ATTACKS
By Asa Hutchinson
Posted February 9, 2010

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s failed attempt to bomb Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Christmas Day is another reminder that a visa is priceless to a terrorist. It is the golden key that allows easy passage to the United States. If the intelligence on Abdulmutallab had been properly analyzed, his visa would have been quickly revoked and he would have been denied access to Flight 253.

We must go back to basics and strengthen the role of the Homeland Security Department in visa issuance, review and security.

Certainly, we must continue to improve methods and technologies for screening and detecting explosives carried by airline passengers, but our highest priority is to remember the lesson of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the attempted Christmas Day bombing: Our first line of defense against terrorism is intelligence and visa security.

Yes, visa security. It’s not an easy, 30-second sound bite and it takes a little more explaining, but it might be our best defense. Without a valid visa, America’s enemies will not be able to lawfully enter the United States at all.

This does not mean we should in any way diminish America’s role as a gateway to visitors from around the world. Common-sense security measures and an open and welcoming culture are not mutually exclusive. Revoking Abdulmutallab’s visa would have done nothing to interfere with the travel plans of any other passenger boarding a flight to America.

When it was initially revealed that the United States granted visas to the Sept. 11 terrorists, Congress wisely directed the new Homeland Security Department to take a larger role in visa security. Prior to that, the State Department had exercised a historically lax approach to visa security.

As DHS’ first undersecretary for border and transportation security, it was my responsibility to fulfill the congressional mandate to establish a visa security office, deploy visa security agents to priority and at-risk embassies, and identify visa seekers who might pose a risk to the United States.

Before DHS was created, visa security checks were limited. Consular officers would interview visa applicants at U.S. embassies worldwide, they would conduct automated name checks against watch lists of known terrorists, and they would obtain the applicants’ fingerprints and a digital photograph. Now a visa security agent complements the State Department’s efforts, applying a keen law enforcement perspective to further check applicants who are either “not yet known” or flagged, to stop them from reaching the United States.
The DHS visa security office’s deployment of agents to embassies has been limited due to resistance from the State Department and a lack of funding. State contends its employees do the job adequately and that visa security agents can do their work remotely in Washington. Clearly the former is inaccurate; the Christmas Day bombing attempt is a case in point. But what of the latter assertion?

The DHS inspector general has found that the successful vetting of visas requires a hands-on presence at the embassy. On the ground, visa security agents can better connect local intelligence (such as that given by Abdulmutallab’s father to the U.S. embassy in Nigeria). They also can re-interview applicants if necessary, applying trained law enforcement and security perspectives the State Department simply does not offer.

In one instance cited by the IG in a July 2008 report, an applicant applied for a student visa at an overseas embassy. Based on available information, the consular officer initially approved the application. The visa security agent further vetted the applicant and produced information revealing that the applicant’s uncle was the subject of a terrorism investigation. Because of the agent’s work, additional information was provided to the FBI about the uncle and, based on the agent’s recommendation, the consular officer denied the student visa.

In 2007 alone, DHS visa agents recommended denials due to security concerns for more than 700 visa applicants. Regrettably, agents are posted in fewer than 15 embassies, which is less than 10 percent of all U.S. embassies and consulates. This needs to change immediately.

Logic suggests that if hundreds in high-risk areas have been denied visas, other locations might also require a close look. What is more, America’s enemies are smart and resourceful. Soon they will figure out where their chances of obtaining a U.S. visa are greatest, if they haven’t done so already.

There is another advantage to the role of Homeland Security deploying visa security agents, and that is another avenue of redress in the event an error is made and a legitimate traveler is wrongly denied a visa. A visa security agent can review the intelligence and provide checks and balances for an imperfect human system.

Congress must place a priority on funding these critical visa security positions. The Obama administration needs to make sure the State and Homeland Security departments are working together on this important mission because, as it is, nearly a decade after the Sept. 11 attacks, terrorists still are arriving on planes.
As President Obama said, this is “totally unacceptable.”

Asa Hutchinson, president and chief executive officer of Hutchinson Group consulting in Little Rock, Ark., is former undersecretary for border and transportation security at DHS.

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TECHNOLOGY AND THE BUSINESS OF GOVERNMENT
Delays prompt White House to propose deep cut in secure border initiative

By Jill R. Aitoro February 1, 2010

President Obama proposed slashing by more than a quarter the fiscal 2011 budget for the Homeland Security Department’s massive border security project, which relies on high-tech equipment to look for illegal immigrants, because of long development delays.

The White House asked for $574.2 million for the Secure Border Initiative, a cut of 28 percent from the $800 million fiscal 2010 budget. SBI includes security fencing that would eventually run along the southern and northwestern borders of the United States, and a network of sensors, cameras and control towers to monitor the areas.

“The deployment rollout schedule is taking longer than anticipated, [which is why] the secretary announced a review of the program,” said a DHS official during a press briefing about the budget.

DHS confirmed in January that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano would reassess SBI in the wake of extensive delays. “[She] indicated she’d take a look at the status of the project and where it was going to go, and this reduction reflects that [review],” the official said.

Fiscal 2011 funding will pay for the full deployment of the first phase of SBI, but will not cover additional developments in other areas that originally were included in the 2011 budget, the official said.

The administration also asked Congress to withhold $75 million until House and Senate appropriations committees approve a spending plan that Napolitano will have prepare within 90 days of the budget’s enactment.

In addition, 15 days before the award of any task order requiring funding of $25 million or more, and before the award of a task order that would cause the cumulative obligation of funds to exceed 50 percent of the total amount appropriated, Napolitano will have to report to the committees on the progress of the program and specific objectives the funding would support.

DHS’ budget request also includes $5.6 billion for aviation security. Of that, no more than $4.5 billion will be used for screening operations, including $214.7 million to deploy an additional 500 advanced imaging machines at airport checkpoints. When combined with the 500 systems already planned for fiscal 2010, 75 percent of the nation’s largest airports will have the scanning devices. Nearly $706 million also will be available for explosives detection systems.

“Any award to deploy explosives detection systems shall be based on risk, the airport’s current reliance on other screening solutions, lobby congestion resulting in increased security concerns, high injury rates, airport readiness and increased cost effectiveness,” the budget stated.

DHS allotted $866 million for infrastructure protection and information security programs and activities, a slight decrease from the nearly $900 million allocated in fiscal 2010. Of that, $379 million will go to the national cybersecurity division to identify and patch vulnerabilities in the dot-com and dot-gov domains, and $10 million will pay for staff increases and information sharing initiatives at the National Cyber Security Center.

To support internal IT initiatives, DHS budgeted a total of $398.5 million for the department’s Office of the Chief Information Officer, of which $315.7 million will be used for development and acquisition of IT equipment, software, services and related activities. No less than $82.8 million will be used to continue building the DHS datacenter, including $38.5 million for improved power efficiency at the National Center for Critical Information Processing and Storage, known as Data Center One and based at NASA’s Stennis Space Center, near the Gulf Coast in Mississippi.

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WATCHING THE BORDER: THE VIRTUAL FENCE
Posted January 10, 2010

Steve Kroft Reports on The High-Tech Project That Is Supposed to Secure The U.S.-Mexican Border
by Keith Sharman

Watching The Border -

Steve Kroft reports on the status of the multi-billion-dollar “virtual fence” being built at the U.S.-Mexican border, which is behind schedule and so far covers only about one percent of the border.
CBS) Terrorism and homeland security have been back in the news the past few weeks, and once again the focus has been on intelligence failures and airport security. But the easiest way for terrorists to get into the United States may well be across the nation’s porous 2,000 mile border with Mexico. And it is no secret.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigations have revealed that hundreds of illegal immigrants from the Middle East and countries associated with terrorism have entered the country through Mexico, and according to a study done for the Border Patrol, around 90 percent of the people who try to get in that way eventually make it.

President Clinton built a wall to try and stop it, and President Bush tried to tackle the problem with technology, initiating an ambitious program he called a “virtual fence,” that would allow the U.S. to visually monitor most of the border.

The bureaucrats at Homeland Security changed the name of the program to the “Secure Border Initiative Network” or SBInet, and after three years and a billion dollars, 60 Minutes correspondent Steve Kroft decided to see how it was going.

An 80-foot tower near Sasabe, Ariz. is just one of a network of electronic observation posts that dot the landscape along the Mexican border south of Tucson.

They’re part of a system that the Department of Homeland Security intended to be the eyes and ears of the U.S. Border Patrol, scanning the Southern frontier for migrants, drug smugglers, and even international terrorists trying to enter the country illegally.

“These towers are located based on geography, terrain, and what the Border Patrol knows about typical traffic patterns. So these are placed because they’re where we believe they’re gonna be most effective,” Mark Borkowski, the executive director of this huge technological undertaking for Homeland Security,” told Kroft.

Each one of the observation towers is equipped with long range radar and high resolution cameras, and is connected to underground sensors. It was designed and built by Boeing, one of the nation’s largest defense contractors; Borkowski himself is a rocket scientist who used to work for NASA.

“It’s not rocket science. But it is still a complex, ambitious project, particularly the way it was originally designed, which was to cover the entire border with this technology,” Borkowski told Kroft.

Asked why the United States needs this project, Borkowski said, “Well, we need it because we need to secure our borders. I think it’s a national imperative that we want to secure our borders.”

In principal it’s not that much different from the security systems you might find in someone’s home, office building, or the convenience store down the block – only on a much larger and more sophisticated scale.

The cameras and sensors on the towers are capable of picking up the slightest movements up to six or seven miles away, and shooting off an alert to a Border Patrol station, where an agent can then focus the cameras on the exact location. The visual information allows them to discern whether the intrusion is a threat that needs to be investigated or one that can be ignored.

“So in simple terms, what you want to do is you want to be able to look at the entire border with Mexico?” Kroft asked.

“Right. Where it’s appropriate to look at the entire border, right,” Borkowski replied.

“And then, if you see somebody crossing, you can dispatch Border Patrol people out to catch them?” Kroft asked.

“Correct,” he replied. “We have a view of this person. We know if they’re by themselves or with other people. We know if they’re riding or not riding. We know if they’re carrying things or not carrying things.”

But unfortunately for Borkowski and the two people who had the job before him, it has proven to be much easier said than done.

When Boeing was awarded the initial contract back in 2006, it made some rather extravagant promises, claiming it could complete the project quickly and that virtually no one would be able to sneak across the border undetected.

Asked how this has worked out, Richard Stana, the director of homeland security issues for the Government Accountability Office, said, “Well, it hasn’t worked out so far as well as they had hoped.”

And that is putting the best possible face on it. One of Stana’s jobs has been to investigate and monitor the project for Congress.

According to Stana, Boeing promised to complete the first 28 miles of the surveillance system in just eight months and wire the entire Mexican border in three years.

“In fact, this was supposed to be all deployed by now, by 2008-2009. The entire Southwest border was to be covered by SBI,” Stana said.

But according to him that hasn’t happened and that “we’re still in the early stages.”

CBS) In fact, after three years and a billion dollars, they are still fiddling with the first 28 miles, with 1,972 to go. And that is just one of the problems.

“You know, when Boeing first got the contract back in 2006, they made promises that they would be able to apprehend, at least detect and apprehend 95 percent, plus or minus five percent, of all the incursions,” Stana told Kroft.

Asked if that has happened, Stana told Kroft, “No. They promised camera ranges of ten miles. They promised radar ranges without clutter.”

But that didn’t happen either, according to Stana.

And that’s not all: the software had bugs, some of the equipment proved unreliable in the heat and high winds of the desert, components would break, and maintenance proved to be an issue.

According to the new project director, Mark Borkowski, part of the problem was that Boeing and his predecessors at Homeland Security thought they could get the job done with standard surveillance equipment.

“We were gonna go buy all this equipment that you can buy from vendors today. We call it off the shelf, commercial off the shelf,” he told Kroft.

“Radio Shack?” Kroft asked.

“Not quite. But, you know, people sell radars, people sell cameras. So not far off of that. The idea was that should have been a very simple thing to do. You know, go put that on towers, plug it in together. It should work,” Borkowski said.

The GAO’s Richard Stana told Kroft, “The cameras and the radar, that’s the blocking and tackling of the whole system. That’s what detects and identifies what’s on the screen.”

Asked what some of the problems have been with the cameras and radar, Stana said, “Well, with the radar, they were very susceptible to weather. You know, if it was raining, it would train on raindrops. If the wind blew mesquite leaves around on a bush, it would train on that as activity. You really don’t want that. You don’t want agents out looking for bushes and raindrops.”

But the biggest problem – and you may find this hard to fathom – was that no one at the Department of Homeland Security or the engineers at Boeing bothered to ask the people who would actually be using the surveillance system what they wanted or how they wanted the system to work.

“I’m just kind of amazed that they’re building this, what’s gonna be a multi-billion dollar system for the Border Patrol, and nobody asked the Border Patrol. What… they needed or wanted, or what would be helpful,” Kroft remarked.

“What we didn’t do was iterate with them and said, ‘Okay. Well, we heard that you’d like to be able to see what’s going on the border. How about a little of this?’ How about . . . we didn’t do that. And that should have happened,” Borkowski replied.

Borkowski acknowledged it was a “huge mistake” and that currently he’s responsible for it. “And we’ll just leave it at that. That’s my job now, to fix that.”

One of the results was that the original plan called for Border Patrol agents to be connected to the electronic surveillance system with laptop computers that they would carry in their off-road vehicles.

But if anyone had bothered to ask the agents, they would have said that laptops are hard to operate bounding though the desert, that the dust would prove inhospitable to the equipment, and that the agents would be unable to get a signal over vast stretches of the desolate region.

It’s a glitch that confounded even government auditors like Rich Stana.

“How does that happen, that you decide you’re gonna build a billion dollar system, and then not talk to the people you’re building it for?” Kroft asked.

“They really were in the mindset of, you know, pedal to the metal. They wanted to go full steam ahead with this virtual fence back in ’05, ’06, for whatever reason. So the kinds of things that you would expect to see in a large, multi-billion dollar program, you didn’t see right away,” Stana said.

“Isn’t that one of the first questions you ask? Like, okay, what does the customer think? What does the client want?” Kroft asked.

“Well, you would think so. I mean, you don’t want to build an Edsel,” Stana said.

Asked if this project is like an Edsel, Stana told Kroft, “Don’t know. You know, we’ll have to wait and see. We’re waiting for something that works.”

Someone in the government must have decided it was an Edsel, because in June 2008, just a few months
after the Border Patrol began using the virtual fence, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it would begin phasing out the original system, which it now calls a prototype and replace it with a brand new one covering the same 28 miles.

“There are people in Congress that have called this first version a failure. Do you agree with that?” Kroft asked Mark Borkowski.

“I think that given what we communicated to Congress about the expectations, I don’t think we met those expectations. So I would define that as a failure,” he replied.

“And now you’ve got what some people have called a do-over,” Kroft remarked.

“Some people have called it a do-over. The mistake we made was we – this prototype, which was a beta version, we told Congress, ‘It’s gonna work great. You’re gonna love it. It’s gonna lock down the border for you.’ Shame on us. We should not have said that,” Borkowski said.

Asked if the project was oversold to Congress, he told Kroft, “We certainly did.”

“Have the taxpayers got anything yet for that money?” Kroft asked.

“Frankly, it’s very frustrating to me to try to explain where that money went when it’s kind of ethereal, because it’s design and it’s connections, and it’s integration, and it’s computer software. But you do start to see it when you start to see the construction of towers. And that’s where we are now,” Borkowski replied.

Asked if he’s happy with Boeing’s performance on this, Borkowski said, “Boeing’s had a mixed record. They seem to be improving. I’m spending a lot of time with Boeing. I’m getting happier. I’m not yet happy.”

Borkowski, who still has the patience and the optimism of a former NASA engineer, believes that great technological advances are often plagued by early failure.

Last August, he took 60 Minutes to a secure facility in Playas, New Mexico, for a firsthand look at the new system, which was still being tested.

Agents Chris Geoffrey and Jeff York led us through a simulation of its capabilities.

The radar and motion detectors have been improved, and it is easier for agents to immediately tell whether an alert is more likely to be a human intruder or rolling sagebrush.

And the cameras are better too.

“The infrared picture looks even clearer than the daylight camera,” Kroft remarked.

“Often times it will be, yeah. You can see at this point, you can see real clear if they had weapons or large backpacks or something, I can see that very clearly,” one of the agents replied.

But it was impossible to tell how well the new system will work, given that everybody involved in this exercise was either a government employee or a contractor, and it seemed to have been rehearsed the day before.

“We were out there. We saw a demonstration. They had some Border Patrol agents disguised as illegal aliens in white T-shirts, running around, trying to get through the system. It seemed like it sorta worked,” Kroft told Richard Stana.

“Yeah, it sorta does. You know, the issue is, is in what weather does it work? In what heat does it work? In what distance does it work? And how reliable is it? Those are the things that really are the limiting factors,” he replied.

CBS Officially, the U.S. Border Patrol is behind the system, warts and all. Its chief, David Aguilar, claims even in its flawed state it has contributed to more than 5,000 arrests and the seizure of 15,000 pounds of marijuana since the 28-mile section went on line in 2008.

Aguilar told Kroft he “absolutely” thinks the system has made an impact.

“There are people [who] have studied and are involved with the system who disagree with your assessment on how well it’s working,” Kroft pointed out.

“Steve, as I said this is not a perfect system. We’re not putting it forth as a perfect system,” Aguilar replied. “It has got problems. We have got concerns with it. We are working to iron those out. But even as we are working to iron those out it is still giving us capabilities that we just did not have in the past.”

“It’s a great deal for Boeing and its subcontractors. It’s a bad deal for the taxpayers,” Wayne Cornelius, a professor at the University of California, San Diego, told Kroft.

There are some, like Cornelius, who think the virtual fence provides only the illusion of border security. He has studied and written about the border for years and says the only thing that has ever stopped people from illegally entering the United States from Mexico was the Great Depression.

“They will detour around the electronic fence just as they have detoured around sections of the physical fences that have been built since 1993. They would be crazy not to,” Cornelius said.

He says smugglers are already probing the system for weaknesses, and will eventually figure out ways to sabotage or blind the electronic towers.

“One thing we’ve learned over the years is that the smugglers and terrorists and illegal immigrants can be quite imaginative in ways to subvert the system,” Kroft told Borkowski. “And there are signs that that’s already started, right?”

“Absolutely,” Borkowski agreed.

“People talk about smugglers, setting up decoys,” Kroft said.

“[The] chief of the Border Patrol’s well aware of that. He’s provided for that. He’s planned for that. He continues to plan for it. So yes, we fully expect that people are gonna react to this. Does that mean we shouldn’t do anything at all? No, we should make it harder for people to come across the border illegally. We should make it so that if they want to come across the border illegally, they have to really want to do it,” Borkowski said.

“The bottom line to the whole program, Steve, is that, you know, here we are three years and hundreds of millions of dollars since SBI was first conceived of, and where are we? We’re still waiting for something that works,” Stana said.

And they will have to wait a while longer: Boeing, the main contractor, was scheduled to turn the new system over to Border Patrol this month, but this past week we were told it was being delayed for at least three more months.

We requested an interview with Boeing, but they deferred to the Department of Homeland Security. And on Friday, the Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, ordered a department-wide reassessment of the entire program.

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ILLEGAL BORDER CROSSING?
Posted December 13, 2009A number of people forwarded me the link to this news report that appeared on the website of the NBC affiliated television program in San Diego, California. This report should be of huge concern – not only to the residents of California but to Americans across this nation.
According to the article, students at UCSD (University of California at San Diego) are preparing software that will enable cell phones that have a GPS capability to guide illegal aliens across the border and into the United States. In essence, this program would turn inexpensive cell phones into a sort of electronic smuggler.
I was a member of the original Anti-Smuggling Unit at the New York City District Office of the former INS in the late 1970s and I can assure you that I am no friend of smugglers. There are few criminals that are nearly as vile and reprehensible as are smugglers. They often beat and rape the aliens who seek their assistance and will move any contraband for the right price. Smugglers are generally extremely violent and are responsible for the inundation of our nation with narcotics as well as illegal aliens, among who are members of violent gangs and drug trafficking organizations. I am confident that smugglers have also assisted terrorist sympathizers in crossing our nation’s borders without detection.
However, the solution to the violence of the pernicious smugglers is certainly not to provide a “high tech” alternative to those whose goal is to eradicate our nation’s borders.
According to the Immigration and Nationality Act, anyone who aids or encourages illegal aliens to enter our country in violation of law is violating the provisions of Title 8 of the United States Code, Section 1324.

Open borders advocates make light of problems posed by the massive influx of illegal aliens into our country, but these problems are real. An alien who circumvents the inspections process by running our nation’s borders is not the equivalent of a motorist who fails to pay a toll before crossing a toll bridge or a passenger who fails to pay a fare to gain access to a bus or train. The illegal alien who runs our nation’s borders may simply be motivated, out of desperation, to seek unlawful employment and be willing to subject himself to exploitation and degradation that generally make illegal aliens attractive to unscrupulous employers.

This violation of law involving aliens who simply seek unlawful employment is not without victims, however. Aliens who enter our country illegally in order to secure illegal employment actually undercut American and resident alien workers, a major issue considering the more than 10 percent of the unemployment rate that is currently acknowledged by the administration. Of course, this does not take into account those workers who have given up looking for work or who are underemployed, earning a fraction of their previous paychecks and trying desperately to hang onto their economic solvency by their fingernails.

Often, illegal aliens resort to purchasing false identity documents, either with utterly fictitious identities on them or, as is more the norm these days, identity documents that involve stolen identities. This is a great part of the reason that identity theft is the fastest growing white collar crime in the United States today. Anyone who has had his identity stolen will tell you true horror stories about the harm that this crime has caused them.

As bad as these issues are, my greater concerns deal with the potential for criminals and terrorists to make use of this technology to surreptitiously enter our country to advance their criminal careers or terrorist goals.

The problem is that without a “score card,” there is absolutely no way of knowing the motivation behind the alien who circumvents the inspections process that is supposed to keep out aliens whose presence in our country is harmful to our nation and/or our citizens and lawful immigrants.

I have heard some open borders advocates proclaim that “Mexicans are not terrorists.”

Here is my response to this: I am not focused on illegal aliens based on race, religion or ethnicity. My concern is with any foreign national irrespective of his ethnicity, race or religion. This is about the law and not about anything else. Additionally, while it is true that thus far there have been no terrorists operating in our country who are citizens of Mexico, I would pose the fundamental question, “What does a Mexican look like?”

In my 30 years with the INS, I can tell you that there are citizens of Mexico who are not Hispanic. I can also tell you that the current situation involving the violent drug gangs of Mexico has resulted in a level of violence that is all but indistinguishable from the violence that used to be the sole domain of terrorists.

Furthermore, going back to the issue of asking about the appearance of Mexicans, I am concerned that if a Middle Eastern terrorist gained entry into Mexico and spent several years there acquiring language skills and intimate familiarity with Mexico’s cities, such a terrorist could pass himself off as a Mexican citizen.

In the early 1990s I was contacted by members of the Organized Crime, Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) in Houston, Texas. I was assigned to OCDETF in New York City and I had trained with the INS senior special agent in Houston who reached out to me. He remembered I had worked with the Israeli National Police on several significant cases and needed my assistance.

During a surveillance at a “stash house” (a location where drugs were safeguarded by drug traffickers), the agents and police officers involved spotted a young man with a dark complexion and black curly hair wearing what appeared to be Mexican-manufactured clothing exit the stash house with a package. At a quick glance he appeared to possibly be a Mexican and since the stash house was located in a predominantly Mexican-American neighborhood, they presumed he was probably from Mexico.

As they approached the vehicle they noticed that there was a sawed off shotgun on the floor of the vehicle. They ordered the man out of the car in both English and Spanish, attempting to act quickly to keep him from reaching for the firearm. They were surprised that he did not understand Spanish and his English skills were not much better.

When they got him out of the car, they were totally surprised to find that he had a torn up passport stuffed into the upholstery of his van. The passport was issued by the Israeli government. The package was found to contain a significant quantity of narcotics. Consequently, they contacted me to see if I could provide them with information about this individual.

The Israeli National Police immediately provided us with all of the information we needed to successfully pursue the investigation.

The point is that if this might have passed himself off as a Mexican national had he acquired the language skills he clearly lacked. As the old saying goes, “You cannot tell a book by its cover!”

Incidentally, not all terrorists hijack airliners or blow up buildings. Many terrorists engage in supporting activities that include the commission of a wide variety of crimes in support of terrorist attacks around the world. Many years ago, in fact, I assisted the NYPD, members of the New York City Fire Department’s Fire Marshal Division and ATF who were engage in the investigation of aliens from the Middle East who purchased small grocery stores referred to as “bodegas” in New York. They used these stores to commit coupon fraud, encouraging their cohorts to clip coupons for all sorts of products and then redeem them from various companies and sent the proceeds of this scheme to fund the PLO and other terrorist organizations. When they tired of this or thought, perhaps, that the authorities might be getting suspicious of their activities, they set fire to the stores and sent the insurance money abroad to fill the coffers of terrorist organizations.

Some residents in the apartments in the building that housed their stores were burned. A number of these people died and others were so grievously injured that they wished they had died because they suffered terrible disfigurement and unrelenting pain.

Shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, I was contacted by a newspaper reporter who had found out I had testified before the Immigration Reform Caucus less than two months after the attacks, on the issue of the way that our nation’s failures to secure its borders and create an immigration system that has meaningful integrity may have contributed to the attacks.

He asked me if I would be able to enter the United States without detection or otherwise circumvent the immigration laws based on my knowledge of the system. I told him I would probably have the ability to do this. He next asked me if I would be willing to explain how I would defeat the immigration system to enter the United States in violation of law.

I nearly bit his head off! I explained to him that no responsible journalist should be seeking to provide any information that might assist illegal aliens and potentially terrorists and assorted criminals to evade the Border Patrol or develop a method of otherwise illegally gaining access to our nation. I told him in no uncertain terms that anyone who was intending to do this was, in my view, committing an act of treason!

This nation’s “War on terror” is proceeding and even as you read this commentary from the safety and comfort of your home, thousands of young American men and women in the armed forces are in harm’s way putting their safety and their very lives on the line for all of us.

Similarly our nation’s law enforcement officers who may well sleep in their own beds at the end of their shifts also go in harm’s way throughout our nation to protect the communities they serve.

To think that anyone with any stated purpose would work to make our porous border even more porous is an absolute outrage.

Certainly aliens who perish when they attempt illegal entry into our country is a tragedy, but my concern is that even more people may die if these GPS-enabled cell phones fall into the wrong hands.

Here is my question for the day: “Will any of these idiots at UCSD be prosecuted if they complete the nefarious project upon which they are working?”

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U.S. IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT
Posted December 11, 2009

286 arrested in ICE’s largest ever enforcement surge targeting criminal aliens
2 convicted rapists and armed robber among those captured in 3-day California operation

LOS ANGELES – Nearly 300 foreign nationals with criminal records have been removed from the United States or are facing deportation following a three-day enforcement surge in California, making it the biggest operation targeting at large criminal aliens ever carried out by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

During the operation, which concluded late Thursday, ICE officers located and arrested a total of 280 criminal aliens statewide, along with six non-criminal aliens who had final orders of deportation. More than 80 percent of the criminal aliens taken into custody had prior convictions for serious or violent crimes, such as rape by force, armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. Also included in the group are 30 convicted sex offenders, many whose crimes involved sexual assaults on children. Of those arrested, at least 100 have already been removed from the country.

At a news conference here Friday morning, Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for ICE John Morton announced the results of the special operation, which involved more than 400 agents and officers from ICE, the U.S. Marshals Service, as well as several other state and local agencies. Assistant Secretary Morton cited the operation as another example of the vital role multi-agency cooperation and targeted immigration enforcement play in protecting our communities.

“Enhancing public safety is at the core of ICE’s mission,” said Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary John Morton, who oversees ICE. “Legal immigration is an important part of our country’s history and the American dream exists for many immigrants. However, that dream involves playing by the rules and those who break our criminal laws will be removed from the country. Sadly, many of the people victimized by aliens who commit crimes are other members of the immigrant community, who are following the rules.”

Northern California accounted for the largest number of arrests during the operation where a total of 119 criminal aliens were taken into custody. The Los Angeles-area recorded the next highest number of arrests with 96, followed by San Diego and Imperial counties collectively with 71. The arrestees, 257 men and 29 women, represent more than 30 different nations, including countries in Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Because of their serious criminal histories and prior immigration arrest records, at least 17 of those arrested during the enforcement surge will face further federal prosecution for reentering the country illegally after a formal deportation. A conviction for felony re-entry carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.

Among the arrestees being federally prosecuted is a previously deported Salvadoran national with ties to the Mid-city street gang whose criminal history includes a prior conviction for first degree robbery. Ulises Vazuiz Arucha, 37, was taken into custody by ICE officers Dec. 8 in Reseda, Calif. Also facing felony re-entry charges is Ignacio Camacho-Madrigal, 43, a Mexican national formerly convicted of committing a lewd act on a child under 14. Camacho-Madrigal was arrested by ICE Dec. 8 in Rialto, Calif.

The foreign nationals detained during the operation who are not being criminally prosecuted will be processed administratively for removal from the United States. Those who have outstanding orders of deportation, or who returned to the United States illegally after being deported, are subject to immediate removal from the country. The remaining aliens are in ICE custody awaiting a hearing before an immigration judge, or pending travel arrangements for removal in the near future.

This week’s special enforcement action was spearheaded by ICE’s Fugitive Operations Program, which is responsible for locating, arresting, and removing at large criminal aliens and immigration fugitives – aliens who have ignored final orders of deportation handed down by the nation’s immigration courts. ICE’s Fugitive Operations Teams (FOTs) give top priority to cases involving aliens who pose a threat to national security and public safety, including members of transnational street gangs and child sex offenders.

Last year, ICE’s 104 FOTs nationwide made 35,094 arrests. More than 31,000 of those arrests, or nearly 89 percent, involved immigration fugitives and aliens with prior criminal convictions. Criminal aliens specifically accounted for approximately 45 percent of the overall total, including more than 3,600 individuals with prior convictions for violent crimes, such as murder and assault.

The officers who conducted this week’s special operation received substantial assistance from ICE’s Fugitive Operations Support Center (FOSC) located in South Burlington, Vermont. The FOSC conducted exhaustive database checks on the targeted cases to help ensure the viability of the leads and accuracy of the criminal histories. The FOSC was established in 2006 to improve the integrity of the data available on at large criminal aliens and immigration fugitives nationwide. Since its inception, the FOSC has forwarded more than 150,000 case leads to ICE enforcement personnel in the field.

ICE’s Fugitive Operations Program is just one facet of the Department of Homeland Security’s broader strategy to heighten the federal government’s effectiveness at identifying and removing dangerous criminal aliens from the United States. Other initiatives that figure prominently in this effort are the Criminal Alien Program, Secure Communities and the agency’s partnerships with state and local law enforcement agencies under 287(g).

Largely as a result of these initiatives, ICE removed a total of 136,126 criminal aliens from the United States last year, a record number.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security.

ICE comprises four integrated divisions that form a 21st century law enforcement agency with broad responsibilities for a number of key homeland security priorities. For more information, visit ICE.Gov. To report suspicious activity, call 1-866-347-2423.

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IMMIGRATION BILL IS PROMOTED FOR 2010
Posted November 14, 2009
By Stephen Dinan

Declaring success in border security and immigration enforcement, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Friday that the federal government has done its work and now it’s time for Congress to pass a broad bill to legalize illegal immigrants.

Her speech signals President Obama will make good on his promise to push Congress to pass an immigration bill next year – adding yet another hot-button issue to an already long and contentious list.

Ms. Napolitano said members of Congress and voters who balked at an immigration bill two years ago, fearing a repeat of the 1986 amnesty that only made the problem worse, can be assured this time is different. She said in those two years, the flow of illegal immigrants across the border has dropped dramatically and the government is doing more to catch fugitive aliens inside the U.S.

“The security of the southwest border has been transformed from where it was in 2007,” she said in a speech to the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank. “The federal government has dedicated unprecedented resources to the Mexican border in terms of manpower, technology and infrastructure – and it’s made a real difference.”

But Republicans said her declaration of victory on border security was premature.

“How can they claim that enforcement is ‘done’ when there are more than 400 open miles of border with Mexico, hundreds of thousands of criminal and fugitive aliens and millions of illegal immigrants taking American jobs?” said Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee.

The number of illegal immigrants being caught on the border has fallen – a measure Border Patrol officials say means fewer are trying to cross – and Ms. Napolitano said the government has hundreds of miles of fencing on the border, has boosted the number of Border Patrol agents to 20,000 and has begun to deport illegal-alien criminals being kept in U.S. prisons and jails.

The number of illegal immigrants apprehended by immigration authorities is down from 1.8 million in 2000 to 556,041 in fiscal 2009, which ended Sept. 30, and demography experts say the number of illegal immigrants remaining in the U.S. has actually begun to fall.

Ms. Napolitano said both a slowing economy and better enforcement account for the changes, which she said creates a window for Congress to act.

Rep. Steve King of Iowa, ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee’s immigration subcommittee, said Ms. Napolitano “contradicted herself by claiming the downturn in our economy has reduced illegal immigration but then advocated for an amnesty policy that allows millions of illegal aliens to take American jobs.”

“This is exactly the wrong time to be giving a pro-amnesty speech since we just received news that the national unemployment rate hit 10.2 percent,” Mr. King said.

Immigrant rights groups say they’ve changed the debate in Congress, and Ms. Napolitano said the attitude among Americans has changed as well.

But when it comes to actual votes in Congress, there hasn’t been a good test for some years, and earlier this year White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said the “votes aren’t there right now” to pass a broad legalization bill.

Immigrant rights advocates said they’ll be watching to see how much muscle Mr. Obama puts behind the effort. Some have said Mr. Obama betrayed them by embracing E-Verify, the voluntary employee verification system, and revamping but not ending local police enforcement of immigration laws.

On Friday, though, groups said they saw a “real commitment” from Ms. Napolitano and the administration to try to pass a broad bill, which they argue would take care of many of the key problems that have led to stepped-up enforcement.

In 2007, President George W. Bush teamed with Senate Democrats and some Republicans to try to pass a bill that legalized most illegal immigrants, rewrote the rules for legal immigration and provided money for some border security.

The bill lost on an unusual majority filibuster that saw 15 Democrats and one independent join 37 Republicans in blocking the measure.

A year earlier, the Senate had passed a bill that had legalized some illegal immigrants, while the House passed an enforcement-only measure. Both bills died because they could not be reconciled with one another.

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SCHUMER PUSHES LEGALIZATION EFFORT
May 21, 2009
By Stephen Dinan

With the nation’s top immigration enforcement officers saying they will finish the border fence and continue President George W. Bush’s immigration enforcement efforts, the top Democratic senator on immigration said Wednesday that the nation’s borders are secure enough to begin working on a legalization bill for current illegal immigrants.

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s immigration subcommittee, said that given progress over the past four years – from barriers to more agents to better technology – lawmakers have proved to the nation that they are serious about security. Now, he said, voters should be ready to accept a law that legalizes illegal immigrants and rewrites immigration rules.

“We can pass strong, fair, practical and effective immigration reform this year,” the New York Democrat said.
Efforts to pass a broad legalization bill faltered in 2006 and 2007 as voters flooded Congress with calls. Lawmakers concluded that voters didn’t believe the bills would actually control the border.

At a hearing before his subcommittee Wednesday, Mr. Schumer pointed to falling apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border – down 27 percent compared with last year – as evidence the borders are more secure. He said that should convince voters who objected in 2006 and 2007 to Senate legalization bills that the government has done its job.

Mr. Schumer did not credit Mr. Bush for the progress, instead praising Congress for passing the Secure Fence Act and other laws to strengthen border security – even though Mr. Schumer initally opposed the Secure Fence Act in 2006. He voted first to block the bill through a filibuster, but that effort failed and he voted for the measure on final passage a day later.

But Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, said with 700,000 people still being arrested annually, “that is not a lawful border.” He also said his fights to get a vote on fencing and other security measures belies Mr. Schumer’s claim that voters can now trust that Congress understands the security issue.

“I don’t think the politicians have in any way distinguished themselves, ourselves, in this matter,” he said.
He said progress has been made in security, but rather than showing that the job is done, it underscores the prospects for success if the government takes other steps on enforcement.
“We are not there yet,” he said.

The Obama administration has changed the focus of interior enforcement from detaining illegal workers to the employers who hire them. On border security, the administration remains committed to expanding the strategies of Mr. Bush. That includes finishing his plans for fencing and vehicle barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border, said Border Patrol Chief David V. Aguilar.

“Everybody is in agreement; we will continue to build the fence,” he said.

During the campaign, President Obama said he wanted to have a comprehensive immigration bill done in his first year but he has since backed off that and said his schedule is too full. Instead, he wants to begin talks that will lead to a bill later.

Adding to that momentum, Mr. Obama will host a small group of congressional Democrats and Republicans at the White House in June to talk about immigration and where work needs to be done, according to an administration official familiar with the issue who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

“The meeting is intended to launch a policy conversation, with the hope of beginning the debate in earnest later this year,” the official said.

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IMMIGRATION REFORM
June 25, 2007

“Mr. SESSIONS. Madam President, I thank my able colleague from Missouri. He is one of our most valuable and able members in the Senate. I value his thoughts on that and share his thoughts, actually.

I want to move off of that and some of the comments that Senator Dorgan had about working Americans and what they are facing today.

I remember addressing this point last year in the debate on immigration. I think it was at night when not many people were on the floor. Senator Kennedy was here. I raised the question of what was happening to wages of working Americans as a result of large-scale immigration, and quoted professors and experts who had demonstrated that where those areas–where immigration reached its highest levels, wages had gone down for workers; they hadn’t gone up.

Now we are told that businesses cannot get workers, and we are told we are at full employment, but apparently something is awry if wages are not going up in many areas.

I want to mention to you what we have with regard to the immigration bill that is coming before us. We will have cloture vote on it in the morning. This is what I want to say to my colleagues. The legislation promises that it will bring legality to the system. They say we have an illegal system and we have got a comprehensive plan to fix it.

What does our own Congressional Budget Office say? They just did an analysis of it. The Congressional Budget Office looked at the legislation that is proposed. They made an opinion about how much it would cost the U.S. Treasury. It was about $30 billion over the next 10 years; not for the cost of enforcement, just the cost of additional social and welfare benefits provided to those who are here illegally, who will be made legal.

They made that analysis, and they also made one more analysis that is so stunning and so remarkable that I remain baffled that my colleagues have not picked up on it. What the Congressional Budget Office, our own budget office–a budget office that answers to the House, answers to the Senate, answers to the majority leader, Harry Reid, answers to the Speaker, Nancy Pelosi–the Congressional Budget Office concluded that net illegal immigration, after the passage of this bill, would only be reduced 13 percent.

Now what kind of reform is that, I ask my colleagues? I submit to you this is not a reform. A fix that is supposed to bring legality to a system that only reduces illegality by 13 percent. Last year we arrested 1 million people entering our country illegally. These are huge numbers. I would have thought we would want to see an 80 or 90 percent reduction of illegality at our border. This is a bill that by our own evaluation does not bode well.

There is another factor that many of my colleagues probably do not know, have never understood. My staff has worked very hard to account for the actual flow of legal immigration into the country. In the next 20 years, this country, if this bill is passed, will see a doubling of the legal permanent residents in America. That is the number of people who are given a green card. That is the next step to citizenship. Anybody with legal permanent residence can move on to citizenship. It will double the number of legal permanent residents, which is what we call green card holders.

So we are not going to have any reduction in illegality, and we are going to have a major increase–a doubling of legal immigration. I am worried about that. We have been talking here about this debate about card check and unions. What it is about is wages and fairness for American workers, is it not?”

“That is a strong, crystal-clear condemnation of this act by the officers whose lives are on the line this very moment on our border trying to enforce our laws. Are we going to listen to them? Or are we going to listen to our mandarins, our masters meeting in secret, who plopped a bill down here, 700 pages long, that they say will make the system work? I wish it would. I even had hopes this spring, and I said so publicly. I was hoping they might make real progress. But I am afraid we haven’t. Talk to the experts. Talk to CBO.

This is a another very significant, but discrete issue that I believe we should think about, and it is a weakness I had not fully comprehended until I read a piece in the Washington Times by Michael Cutler on June 21. He also participated in a press conference, a different one than the Border Patrol one, at the National Press Club on June 19. The event focused on the grave threat to national security the immigration bill represents. Mr. Cutler authored an op-ed in the Washington Times last Friday entitled “Immigration Bill Is a No Go” that focused on security issues raised by the bill. People are going to be invited to come in who are here illegally, give their name and so forth, and within 24 hours they will be receiving a legal status in the country, a probationary visa. It will soon be converted into this Z visa that people will have, but immediately within 24 hours, they will be provided that, unless something shows up of a serious nature in their background. But as these experts have told us, it is not possible to do a very effective check in 24 hours, as you can imagine. Even though you can do a computer run, it still has great weaknesses in it. So he focuses on this whole issue and says this:

If a person lies about his or her identity and has never been fingerprinted anywhere in our country, what will enable the bureaucrats at the USCIS–that is the agency that will be handing out the immigration benefits–to know the person’s true identity? If the adjudicators simply run a fictitious identity through a computerized database, they will simply find the name has no connection to any criminal or terrorist watch lists.

I am quoting him now.
What is the true value? Remember, we are talking about a false name.

Let me continue quoting:
There is absolutely no way this program would have even a shred of integrity and the identity documents that would be given these millions of illegal aliens would enable every one of them to receive a driver’s license, Social Security card, and other such official identity documents in a false name.

Undoubtedly, terrorists would be among those applying to participate in this ill-conceived program. They would then be able to open bank accounts and obtain credit cards in that same false name. Finally, these cards would enable these aliens to board airliners and trains even if their true names appear on all of the various terrorist watch lists and “no fly” lists. That is why I have come to refer to this legislation as the “Terrorist Assistance and Facilitation Act of 2007.”

There has been a lot of talk in this Senate about Mexico’s consulates throughout the United States issuing matricula cards and that these matricula cards are given based on documents that nobody knows for sure how good they are. Therefore, the cards they have are not really guaranteed to be a valid identity, but they are being utilized around the country as legitimate identification. What Mr. Cutler says is the identification documents we will be giving out under this bill will not be any better than matricula cards….”

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IMMIGRATION BILL A “NO GO”
June, 22, 2007

Most of us have seen how mission control at Cape Canaveral conducts a countdown before the space shuttle is launched.

Many engineers, scientists and other essential personnel sit before their consoles monitoring various factors that determine if the launch should be made. Generally, they respond with a “Go” or “No Go” response when asked by the flight director if their respective element of the launch is functioning properly. Generally, each of these highly trained personnel is backed up by a staff of many others sitting in a back room along with banks of computers.

In most cases, if any member of the launch team does not give a “thumbs up” indicating satisfaction with his area of responsibility, the launch is postponed. This is done to ensure the safety of crewmembers and space shuttle and to make certain the objectives of the mission will be successfully carried out.

The Senate is poised to begin a debate about an extremely critical mission advocated by the president and the majority of the members of the Senate committee that came up with a proposed immigration reform bill. The implications for the United States, where this bill is concerned, are of the utmost significance for our nation. Immigration impacts so many other aspects of the United States, starting with national security and criminal justice, and including the economy, education, health care and the environment.

We could compare the debate about the wisdom of the proposed legislation with the preflight preparation of scientists and engineers charged with launching the space shuttle who provide their perspectives in determining whether to launch. If I had a seat at that debate, much like a member of a launch team, I would give the legislation an emphatic “No Go.”

There are many reasons I adamantly oppose the legislation, but first and foremost is national security. This aspect has not been addressed in any public debate, including the televised debates involving the presidential candidates. No matter which scheme we are to consider concerning the fate of the unknown millions of illegal aliens present in our country, one common factor remains: The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) would have to provide identity documents to those millions of undocumented aliens who have absolutely no documentary evidence to verify their true identities.

Though former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Arizona’s Sen. John McCain are eager to invoke the recommendations of the September 11 Commission and provide those undocumented illegal aliens with what they describe as “tamper-proof” identity documents, there really is no way to know what name or even what nationality should be imprinted on those millions of supposedly secure identity documents.

There is no way an adjudicator at USCIS can look at an applicant and know who he or she is. The USCIS also would be unable to know when, where or how the applicant entered the U.S. That is what the term “undocumented” means.

Those who advocate for a guest worker amnesty program attempt to gloss over this critical issue by saying that our government would simply use “high-tech” biometric methods. What does that mean? If a person lies about his or her identity and has never been fingerprinted in our country, what will enable the bureaucrats at USCIS to know that person’s true identity? If the adjudicators simply run a fictitious identity though a computerized database, they will simply find the name has no known connection to any criminal or terrorist watch lists. What is the value? Remember, we are talking about a false name.

There is absolutely no way this program would have even a shred of integrity and the identity documents that would be given these millions of illegal aliens would enable every one of them to receive a driver’s license, Social Security card and other such official identity documents in a false name.

Undoubtedly, terrorists would be among those applying to participate in this ill-conceived program. They would then be able to open bank accounts and obtain credit cards in that same false name. Finally, these cards would enable these aliens to board airliners and trains even if their true names appear on all of the various terrorist watch lists and “no fly” lists. That is why I have come to refer to this legislation as the “Terrorist Assistance and Facilitation Act of 2007.”

A final thought. To once again draw an analogy between the debate concerning this legislation and the launch process at Cape Canaveral: On Jan. 28, 1986, members of the launch team warned the flight director and others that the cold weather should cause them to postpone the flight of the space shuttle Challenger. They were ignored and the Challenger and its precious and irreplaceable crew of seven astronauts, including the astronaut-teacher Christa McAuliffe, were obliterated in an explosion 73 seconds after liftoff.

The astronauts paid the ultimate price because management at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) refused to listen to the advice of those with legitimate concerns about the safety of the launch procedure that terrible day. I fear if our nation’s leaders rush to create a fatally flawed program in the name of “comprehensive immigration reform” that many U.S. citizens will ultimately pay a similar price because our government is failing to take into account the advice of the September 11 Commission and many experts in an effort to please special-interest groups and deep-pocket campaign contributors.
Lead, follow or get out of the way.

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MSNBC Town Hall event on Immigration in which I participated…

Posted 11/21/2010

As I have previously reported, on Monday, November 15th I traveled to San Diego, California to participate in an MSNBC Special Town Hall Event, on immigration.

Clearly I represented a viewpoint that was not shared by the other participants on the various panels.  However, I believe that I managed to raise many of the points I had intended to bring up in order to increase public awareness of the impact of our nation’s failures to address the failings of the immigration system and border security, by taking part in this two hour program.

Here is a link to the segments of the broadcast, in case you missed seeing it:

I appeared in three segments of the program and this is the link to the first segment in which I appeared.  While there are so many aspects to the immigration crisis that confronts our nation- impacting virtually every challenge our nation is currently grappling with, I hope you will agree that my brief remarks hit a number of these issues:

click here

I understood, going into the event, that I would probably be providing a unique perspective in terms of where most of the other participants would stand, but I also think you will agree with me that people need to have the courage of their beliefs and come forward to take a position they truly believe in, especially when the stakes are as high as they are.  In my judgement, where immigration is concerned, the stakes could not possibly be greater!

Therefore I was happy that I was afforded this opportunity to be heard.

My dad used to tell me as a young man, “You can always tell who a real man is- he is the guy who stands for something!”

I stand, without equivocation or apology, for secure borders and an immigration system that has real integrity and not only protects our nation and our citizens but honors the countless millions of legal immigrants from the four corners of our planet who helped build this great nation since its founding more than two centuries ago!

If our country is to survive and if our children and their children are to get their share of the “American Dream” the citizens of this nation must take their citizenship seriously!

We the People must be the best citizens we can be, citizens who are worthy of the gallantry demonstrated by our valiant men and women in the military, law enforcement and firefighters, who routinely go in harm’s way in defense of this nation and our citizens.

My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nation’s many failings before more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.

The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.

Any politician who refuses to work to secure our borders and create an immigration system that has real integrity is either corrupt or too dumb to keep his (her) job.  Any politician, irrespective of party affiliation who favors Comprehensive Immigration Reform and the outrageous betrayal that this would represent given the national security implications that this program would have, should be shown the door at the next election!

If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same.  We need to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”

The practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.

The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!

The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to far too many politicians.I implore you to get involved!

If this situation concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation!

All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!

We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.

Border security and the creation of an immigration system that possesses real integrity are neither a “Conservative” issues, nor  ”Liberal” issues- simply stated, these are most certainly AMERICAN issues!

You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!

Democracy is not a spectator sport!

Lead, follow or get out of the way!

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DREAM ACT TO ENCOURAGE ILLEGAL ALIENS TO JOIN U.S. MILITARY- ANOTHER WRONG-HEADED IDEA!

Posted 11/27/2010

By now I am certain that you know that the administration and members of both houses of Congress are planning to make yet another attempt at ramming the DREAM Act down our throats.  I hate being partisan about this but, for the most part, it is the “leadership” of the Democratic Party that is most heavily involved in this legislative betrayal.

The efforts aimed at enacting this massive amnesty program for millions of illegal aliens is being cloaked in language that is so misleading that if a corporation in the United States utilized such deceptive language, that members of Congress would be clambering for hearing into deceptive practices!

First of all I want to remind you that the DREAM Act is an acronym for:  Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act.

As I have noted on a number of previous occasions, it is absolutely misleading to say that this legislation is intended to assist “Minor Alien.”

The most recent version of the House bill would enable aliens who had not attained their 35th birthday by the time that the bill would be signed into law while the most recent Senate bill had no age cutoff whatsoever!  Furthermore it is truly ironic that while the usual advocates for open borders and massive amnesty programs for illegal aliens often feign anger at the use of the word “Alien” when I debate them, the term “Alien” was incorporated into the DREAM Act because, I suspect, the drafters of this legislation were so determined to link the concept of the “American Dream” with the goals of the advocates for amnesty and open borders!  (You cannot make this stuff up!)

There is a website known as the DREAM Act Portal.  Here is the link to this website that is attempting to enroll volunteers to push for the enactment of the DREAM Act.

The proposed legislation notes that aliens must possess “Good Moral Conduct” in order to be eligible to participate in the program if it is passed.  Here is what this portal notes about this requirement (Good Moral Conduct):

click here

What is considered ‘good moral character’?

While the DREAM Act has not outlined specific guidelines of what “good moral character” should be, it can be characterized as being a law-abiding resident of the United States. This list may or may not be a comprehensive, however, it is a good way to gauge one’s moral character. For example, some students may have committed minor crimes such as misdemeanors before they turned 18; those minor incidents may not hinder their application process for Conditional Permanent Residency as much as being convicted of a felony would. However, since there are no guidelines, we cannot be 100% positive on which crimes would impact one’s application.

In other words, even an alien who has been convicted for committing crimes may not be disqualified from being  placed on a pathway to United States citizenship under the auspices of the DREAM Act!

We have been told that the DREAM Act would enable illegal aliens who join the military to be placed on a pathway to United States citizenship.  Certainly there are a number of illegal aliens who have gone in harm’s way as members of our military and some have been grievously injured or died as a result.  They certainly have rendered our nation and our citizens an invaluable service.  However, I believe it is wrong for our military to permit illegal aliens to enlist.  Under the aegis of federal laws, it is a felony for an illegal aliens to possess a firearm that affects interstate commerce.  In fact, ICE just issued a press release about a field operation that targeted criminal aliens who were deported from the United States and then reentered the United States without first obtaining permission to do so.  Criminal aliens who commit this crime face a maximum of 20 years in jail.  (I am proud to have worked with then New York State Senator Al D’Amato back in the 1980′s to enact this important law.

I have provided you with a copy of the press release.  You will notice that at least one of the aliens who was arrested was, additionally charged with violation of title 18 United States Code, Section 922(g)(5).  This statute deals solely and exclusively with the crime of possession of firearms by illegal aliens.  It should be of great concern that illegal aliens are able to join the military and acquire training in the use of weapons and combat tactics.  While there are certainly violent gangs that are comprised of United States citizens, it is of great importance to understand that there are many members of violent gangs in the United States who are illegal aliens and are obviously very interested in honing their skills to use weapons to enhance their criminal activities.

I have also provided you with an article that appeared in March of this year on a website relating to the United States military.  This article referenced an FBI report on concerns about gang members who have joined our military.

I can also tell you from personal experience as an INS special agent that back in the late 1970′s I worked extremely closely with the NYPD and the agency then known as Naval Intelligence, now known as NCIS, seek to locate and apprehend members of the United States Marine Corps who had falsely claimed to be United States citizens so that they could join the Marines and acquire the training the ultimately received.  These individuals were illegal aliens;  most of whom were citizens of Jamaica and Panama.

After completing firearms training they went AWOL and stole weapons from the armory or acquired firearms from other sources and committed a series of extremely violent bank robberies in the New York area putting their training to bad use!

It was subsequently determined that a number of military recruiters had been involved, in some instances, with securing the false identity documents for these recruits so that they could meet their extremely stringent recruiting quotas.

Clearly our military is now being stretched extremely thin with the military operations being conducted in Afghanistan and Pakistan as well as in other parts of the world.  There is an extreme need for new recruits and my concern is that the DREAM Act may well encourage many more illegal aliens to join the military and that the vetting process would fail to properly identify members of transnational gangs creating a national security nightmare for our nation and also pose a serious threat to community safety.

There have been numerous reports about how gang graffiti is now showing up in Afghanistan and elsewhere making it clear that there are transnational gang members in our military.

USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) is the agency of DHS, the agency that I have come to refer to as the Department of Homeland Surrender.  This beleaguered and inept agency has an absolutely abysmal track record in terms of the way that it adjudicates applications for various immigration benefits including the conferring of resident alien status and even United States citizenship upon aliens.  If this agency is unable to deal with its workload now, what do you suppose would happen if millions of additional applications in conjunction with the DREAM Act were suddenly dumped into that agency’s administrative hopper?

As I have previously noted on so many previous occasions, this concern is not an empty one.  Several years ago, USCIS claimed to have lost the relating immigration files of 111,000 aliens who applied for a wide variety of immigration applications including some 30,000 who applied to become naturalized citizens.  The adjudicators at USCIS actually adjudicated those applications without the relating files!

Those adjudicators were indeed, “flying blind” and over some very dangerous terrain!

Here is the link to an article that appeared in the Washington Post approximately 4 years ago that reported on this outrageous demonstration of nonfeasance, misfeasance and malfeasance committed by the agency that quite literally is charged with the responsibility of giving out the keys to America’s front door that United States citizenship represents:

click here

I wish I could tell you that the leadership at USCIS learned from their mistakes and addressed the deficiencies to be found in that agency.  The problem is, I cannot reassure you that all is well.  In point of fact, if anything, the situation at USCIS is probably even worse now!

On October 19th of this year, the Washington Times Investigative Editor, Jerry Seper wrote a news report that was entitled:

“USCIS official’s transfer probed-  Whistle blown on ‘negligence and mishandling’ of records”

Here is the link to the news article:

I can assure you that as hard hitting and disturbing as that news article is, what was reported is only the tip of a very huge iceberg!  Stay tuned for more reasons to not be able to sleep at night!

Here is something else for you to consider:  when our government geared up to enact the Amnesty in 1986 under the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) we were told that roughly one million illegal aliens would emerge from the “shadows” to participate in this program.  In reality, approximately four million illegal aliens were legalized and placed on a pathway to United States citizenship!

Today MSNBC estimates 2.1 million illegal aliens would participate in this new massive program.  Would you like to guess how many will illegal aliens actually jump on this outrageous program now?

Previous efforts to enact Comprehensive Immigration Reform were defeated by We the People making phone calls and sending faxes to their representatives in Washington.  We played the game, “Can you hear us now?”  Needless to say they most certainly did hear us then and we must make certain that they hear us now- today!

This past Election Day, the citizens of our nation sent a flock of Congressional Turkeys packing.  We need to follow-up with immediate and decisive action to make certain that don’t take the opportunity to get even with our citizens and our nation by ramming the DREAM Act through the legislative process!

The practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.

The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!

The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to far too many politicians.  I implore you to get involved!

The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.

If our country is to survive and if our children and their children are to get their share of the “American Dream” the citizens of this nation must take their citizenship seriously!

We the People must be the best citizens we can be, citizens who are worthy of the gallantry demonstrated by our valiant men and women in the military, law enforcement and firefighters, who routinely go in harm’s way in defense of this nation and our citizens.

My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings before more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.

If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same.  We need to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”

If our nation’s continuing failures to secure our borders and create an immigration system that has real integrity concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation!

All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!

We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.

Border security and the creation of an immigration system that possesses real integrity are neither a “Conservative” issues, nor  ”Liberal” issues- simply stated, these are most certainly AMERICAN issues!

You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!

Democracy is not a spectator sport!

Lead, follow or get out of the way!

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TWO DISTURBING NEWS REPORTS:  BORDER PATROL AGENT KILLED BY SMUGGLERS WHILE ON DUTY IN ARIZONA AND 8 MEMBERS OF MEXICAN DRUG CARTEL ARRESTED ON THE EAST COAST

Posted 12/17/2010

I have attached two news reports that appeared in the Washington Times a couple of days ago.

Both articles are related because both articles report on the failures of our nation to secure the borders of the United States with devastating results.

The first of the news reports deals with how members of the extremely dangerous Mexican-based drug cartel known as “La Familia”  (The Family) have set up shop in the Washington, DC area.

Here is the excerpt from that news report I want you to pay particular attention to:

The indictment says the drug operation was tied to La Familia, a violent Mexico-based gang that has killed 20 Mexican federal police and military officers in attacks this year. According to an affidavit in the case, the cartel is known to distribute large quantities of cocaine, marijuana and crystal methamphetamine.

Based in the Mexican state of Michoacan, about 100 miles southeast of Guadalajara, La Familia has quietly moved its drug operations into the United States. It is one of the Mexican government’s highest priorities in its often deadly war against drug-trafficking gangs. Formerly allied with the infamous Gulf cartel, it split off on its own in 2006.

In highly publicized incidents last year, La Familia members launched a series of attacks against Mexican federal police officers and military members after the arrest of some of the gang’s high-level members.

In one incident, the gang killed a dozen federal anti-drug agents in an ambush and dumped their bodies on a mountain highway with a note saying, “We will be waiting for you here.” Six federal police officers and two soldiers also have died in cartel attacks on police stations and at hotels where the agents were staying.

Last week I watched the Fox News program, “Geraldo at Large” when JD Hayworth, the former Arizona member of the House of Representatives ran, unsuccessfully to unseat Arizona’s Senator John McCain, debated Silvestre Reyes, the outgoing Democrat Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee on the Issue of the violence along the border that is supposed to separate the United States from Mexico.  Reyes will lose his chairmanship of the Subcommittee on Intelligence when the House of Representatives comes under the control of the Republican Party.  Reyes was a Border Patrol Chief and often sounds more like an apologist for our nation’s failures to secure our nation’s borders than someone who had once been sworn to make certain that the border has real security!

What was interesting about the debate is that Geraldo managed to keep the focus of the debate on the border region- showing that the violence from Mexico has not crossed into the United States.  To bolster this point, the extremely low homicide rate of El Paso, Texas was contrasted with the incredible violence to be found on the other side of the border in the Mexican city of Juarez.

What was not discussed was that the violence from Mexico does not only have a direct impact only on border cities of the United States but impacts our entire nation!  (Of course it was certainly disconcerting to read that several weeks ago, bullet fired from Mexico struck City Hall in El Paso!)

As I have noted on many previous occasions, when you pay a visit to the border region, you will not find any tents.  Illegal aliens and smugglers do not conduct themselves the way that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin did when they landed on the moon back in July of 1969.  Our astronauts landed on the moon, set up an American flag and several science experiments, grabbed some lunar rocks, never having wandered more than a few hundred yards from the lunar lander and then quickly blasted off to rendezvous with the command module left in orbit around the moon with Astronaut Mike Collins on board and then headed back to a successful splashdown on planet earth.

The illegal aliens and the criminals among them, are not seeking to simply cross the border, grab some rocks and be photographed on the United States side of the border and head back to Mexico!  They head for the rest of our country and the criminals, like those members of La Familia seek to establish themselves in cities clear across our nation!

Janet “The system worked” Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Surrender, has conceded that some 230 American cities from coast to coast and border to border have been infested by the members of the La Familia cartel.  Other cities now play “host” to members of MS 13, Jamaican drug posses, members of Asian Organized Crime, Traditional Organized Crime and other criminals and terrorists from the four corners of the globe!

It has been estimated that 75% of crime in the United States is directly or indirectly linked to the drug trade.  The issue is not whether or not the violence from Mexico has spilled into the United States into border cities but rather whether or not the violence has spread into the United States into every one of our nation’s 50 states!

When I was assigned to the Unified Intelligence Division of the New York Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration in New York City from 1988 until 1991 I decided to do an analysis of the arrest records of the DEA and the DEA Task Force.  I found that nationally some 30% of the individuals that were arrested by the DEA for drug trafficking and related crimes, were identified as being “foreign born” while in New York City, some 60% of those arrested for those crimes were identified as being “foreign born.”

Yet ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency that is supposed to enforce the immigration laws from within the interior of the United States has about 6,500 special agents for the entire United States of America and it is estimated that at least half of those agents are dedicated to enforcing the customs laws and not the immigration laws!  I have been told that there is greater concern at ICE about those who produce counterfeit Gucci wallets then counterfeit passports!

To put that number of ICE agents into perspective, the NYPD has about 35,000 police officers just to protect the City of New York and its residents!

Perhaps the outgoing Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee was comfortable in claiming that there was no violence spilling into the United States from Mexico.  I am, however, comforted by the knowledge that Mr. Reyes will no longer be chairing the House Intelligence Committee in just a couple of weeks!

Now we come to the second of the two stories that I have provided you with copies of below.  This story is about how three United States Border Patrol agents were fired upon by smugglers with the result that one of those valiant Border Patrol agents, Brian A. Terry was shot and killed.  These officials of the government of the United States were attired in readily identified uniforms and the smugglers were so brazen and aggressive to engage the agents in a fire fight with tragic results.  I want you to consider the following quote from the news report:

Mr. Terry, who joined the agency three years ago and was a member of the Border Patrol’s elite Search, Trauma and Rescue (BORSTAR) team, died early Wednesday. Four of the suspected shooters were taken into custody. A fifth is still being sought.

BORSTAR is an elite unit that often saves the lives of illegal aliens who get lost in the desert and will die if not for the efforts of the BORSTAR teams.

Please consider this other passage from the news report:

“By all accounts he was a fine agent,” Mr. Judd said. “This is one more example of the sacrifices made by front-line agents, and it’s a major reason we are continually outraged by activists and self-serving politicians in Washington, D.C., who sell us out with incessant talk about ‘amnesty’ for illegal aliens.

“While they play games, our country continues to be invaded and Border Patrol agents continue to pay the price,” he said.

Rep. Lamar Smith, Texas Republican and chairman-elect of the House Judiciary Committee, said 28,000 people, including 1,000 law enforcement officers, have been killed over the past five years in the war on drugs along the southwest border. He called the Terry death a “sad reminder of the real-life dangers that Americans and our law enforcement agents face along the southwest border.”

“The Obama administration‘s lax enforcement of immigration laws, coupled with calls for mass amnesty, only encourage more illegal immigration,” he said. “Our border remains porous and the Obama administration has done nothing to stop the steady flow of human and drug smuggling from Mexico.”??Mr. Smith noted that earlier this year, Arizona rancher Robert Krentz was killed on his own property and that the suspect in the case is thought to have been an illegal immigrant.

“What will it take to make the Obama administration realize that we must do more to secure our border and keep Americans safe? Last night, Border Patrol Agent Terry lost his life for simply doing his job,” he said. “How many more Americans will die before the Obama administration wakes up and starts taking illegal immigration seriously?

I am greatly encouraged that Rep. Lamar Smith, the former Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Immigration is about to become the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.  In considering his statement and his tireless efforts to protect our nation and our citizens, I think you will agree with me that Mr. Smith truly “gets it!”

As you read the news reports I have provided you today, do you believe that those who engaged in the shootout with the Border Patrol agents would react with any greater level of respect for any law enforcement officer anywhere else in the United States?

In the 1980′s many of us were concerned that terrorists might strike within the United States.  Among those of us who had those concerns were the INS special agents I worked with along with other federal agents including members of the FBI, DEA and ATF.  Back then the “conventional wisdom” was that terrorists would only use the United States as a source for funding of terrorist activities they engaged in around the world.  We did not concur with what we believed was an incredibly myopic and optimistic assessment.

Fueling our concerns were the hijacking of airliners in the 1970′s owned by American companies including one incident where an American navy seal was shot and killed when the airliner in which he was a passenger was hijacked and flown to the Middle East.  We had also seen many instances, in the 1980′s, where terrorists and those supportive of terrorism were buying grocery stores to commit coupon fraud.  When they tired of running this multi-million dollar scam that provided funding to terrorist organizations, those who bought or rented the stores set fire to the buildings that housed the stores.  Many times the stores were located on the first floor of apartment houses and often these fires resulted in the occupants of the apartments above the stores being badly burned or even killed in the fires.

Of course in 1993 our nation was attacked at the CIA and the World Trade Center but still, our nation’s “leaders” told us not to worry.  One of my contacts on Capitol Hill told me I needed to not be so adamant about voicing my concerns because, he told me, “You are starting to sound like Chicken Little- running around and telling people the sky is falling!”

On September 11, 2001 the sky did not fall but airplanes did fall out of the sky and crash into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania!

Today I am concerned about the continuing threats posed by terrorists and I am also extremely concerned the extreme violence plaguing Mexico will start playing out in the streets of our nation from coast to coast and border to border!

A country without secure borders can no more stand than a house without walls!

The practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.

The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!

The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to far too many politicians.  I implore you to get involved!

The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.

If our country is to survive and if our children and their children are to get their share of the “American Dream” the citizens of this nation must take their citizenship seriously!

We the People must be the best citizens we can be, citizens who are worthy of the gallantry demonstrated by our valiant men and women in the military, law enforcement and firefighters, who routinely go in harm’s way in defense of this nation and our citizens.

My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings before more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.

If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same.  We need to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”

If our nation’s continuing failures to secure our borders and create an immigration system that has real integrity concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation!

All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!

We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.

Border security and the creation of an immigration system that possesses real integrity are neither a “Conservative” issues, nor  ”Liberal” issues- simply stated, these are most certainly AMERICAN issues!

You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!

Democracy is not a spectator sport!

Lead, follow or get out of the way!

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

HARRY REID WAS ABSOLUTELY CORRECT-     IN 1993……NOT SO MUCH TODAY!      DREAM ACT CRASHED AND BURNED TODAY!!

Posted 12/18/2010

As you undoubtedly know, I end my commentaries by saying that “Democracy is not a spectator sport!”

I am gratified beyond words that so many of our fellow Americans did not sit this dance out but got involved!

At about 11:30 AM Eastern Standard Time, this morning, the DREAM Act failed to get the necessary votes and I am certain that the efforts so many of our fellow Americans made helped to make certain that the DREAM Act was defeated earlier today!

I feel compelled to tell a story that deals with the experiences I had yesterday in calling the offices of many of the United States senators in Washington.  In a couple of instances I was greeted by a staffer who began the conversation by inquiring as to my zip code!

When I asked why they needed to know it, I was told that they were instructed to only speak with constituents!  One young lady actually disconnected our call when I told her I was from New York City and said she was transferring me to Chuck Schumer’s office!  Before I could respond I heard a phone ringing and had to presume that it was Chuck’s phone that was ringing!  Understanding just how futile any conversation with his staffers might be, I simply hung up!

Here is the point- senators and members of the House of Representatives certainly need to provide representation to their constituents.  The problem is that when members of Congress vote on bills the impact can and is felt clear across our nation!

In one case I asked a staffer, who initially did not want to speak with me because I was not from the state her senator represented, “Just answer one simple question- if enacted would the dream act not impact the entire United States of America?  If enacted, would not this bill impact the residents of the State of New York?”  She reluctantly spoke with me but with all of the enthusiasm of someone being served rancid milk!

Several years ago a gentleman by the name of Steve King treated me to lunch on the bank of the Mississippi River after I had testified before the House Judiciary Committee field hearing that was conducted in Dubuque, Iowa.  As you no doubt know, Steve King was the Ranking Member of the Immigration Subcommittee and, thankfully, is about to become the chairman of that subcommittee in January.

We spent a couple of leisurely hours enjoying an outdoor meal with one of his staffers, discussing a variety of issues relating to the immigration crisis that confronts our nation today.  At one point I told him, “Steve, you know I am a died in the wool New Yorker but it would almost be worth moving my family to Iowa to live in your district to have you represent me in Congress, even though I have been registered as a Democrat ever since I cast my first vote more than 4 decades ago!”

Steve King looked me in the eye and said, “Mike, I would love for you to move to Iowa and would like to have you as a next door neighbor, but you certainly do not need to move to my state to have me represent you and your family- I already do that every time I vote on bills in Congress- I do my best to represent all Americans!”  He went on to explain that he certainly does whatever he can to help the citizens who live in his Congressional district but he certainly understands how all of our citizens are impacted by the bills that are enacted in Washington!

Perhaps I can convince Steve to conduct training sessions for his colleagues who, on so many levels, don’t “get it!”

Anyway, I am certainly in a celebratory mood this afternoon- having just watched the news coverage of the vote on the DREAM Act right after I returned home from my appearance on Fox & Friends this morning!  What a great way to start a weekend!

Here is a link to a video clip of Harry Reid when he made a statement about illegal immigration in 1993.  There was a science fiction movie “The Invaders From Mars” where the martians implanted a device in the back of the necks of their human victims to make them act and speak the way they wanted them to.  Someone should really check the back of Harry Reid’s neck to see if he has had one of the control devices implanted in his neck!

If you wonder why I say this- just check out Harry Reid’s brief video when he actually made sense

The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.

If our country is to survive and if our children and their children are to get their share of the “American Dream” the citizens of this nation must take their citizenship seriously!

We the People must be the best citizens we can be, citizens who are worthy of the gallantry demonstrated by our valiant men and women in the military, law enforcement and firefighters, who routinely go in harm’s way in defense of this nation and our citizens.

My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings before more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.

If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same.  We need to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”

If our nation’s continuing failures to secure our borders and create an immigration system that has real integrity concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation!

All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!

We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.

Border security and the creation of an immigration system that possesses real integrity are neither a “Conservative” issues, nor  ”Liberal” issues- simply stated, these are most certainly AMERICAN issues!

You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!

Democracy is not a spectator sport!

Lead, follow or get out of the way!

———————————————————————————————————————————–

Posted 01/20/2011

Hi Gang:

I decided to write my commentary that is predicated on a news report written by Shaun Waterman, an experienced journalist who has been covering various components of national security for many years.

The news report he most recently wrote appeared in yesterday’s edition of the Washington Times (January 19).  The focus was on how terrorism is funded.

There are several points worth noting- starting with the point that you could give this news report a second title, “First you lose and then you LOSE!”  What I mean to say is that terrorists are urged to commit crimes that certainly harm people.  As if t his is not bad enough, the proceeds from these crimes are then used to fund terrorist attacks that are intended to run up mass casualties whenever and wherever possible.

Many years ago, in the early 1980′s, I assisted the NYPD and members of BATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) in conducting investigations in Palestinians who had purchased or rented so-called “bodegas” or small grocery stores in New York.  Most of these stores were located on the first floor of apartment houses that may have had just a couple of floors or as many as 6 or more floors above them.  Each floor contained private apartments that housed families.  The stores were used to commit coupon fraud in which the stores would send many coupons to various corporations to be re-imbursed for allegedly providing customers with discounts for the items relating to the coupons.

The corporations would then send a check to the store that submitted the coupons.  It was estimated that each year coupon fraud costs major companies tens of millions of dollars.  The way that it works is that the stores involved with such fraud did not actually redeem those coupons for their customers but simply clipped them out of sales circulars and consequently the company was paying for coupons that did not relate to the sale of their products. 

It was determined that the owners of the stores would often have members of their community clip the coupons for them so while the store in question may have sold 25 boxes of a particular cereal, the storekeeper would submit perhaps a couple of hundred coupons for the cereal.  This worked for all sorts of products and the fraud was discovered when an employee of a major corporation who had retired from a law enforcement career realized that the numbers of coupons being redeemed from was many times greater than the number of products the store had actually ordered.  It was believed that the money that was thus fraudulently obtained was sent to terrorist organizations in the Middle East.

It was ultimately believed that the stores owned by the Palestinians who came to be investigated, had asked for members of their community to giver the coupons to the crooked storekeepers.  In some instances, it was believed that some storekeepers, either our of fear that they would soon be discovered for committing fraud or perhaps because they were tired of playing this “game” set fire to their stores to get the insurance money and then forward the proceeds from the policy to Middle Eastern Terrorist organizations.  In some of these fires people were horribly injured while in other fires, people died.

The proceeds from these crimes are believed to have been used to pay for weapons and other “operating costs” related to terrorism.  

The companies and their shareholders were victimized by the fraud scheme, the people who were injured or killed in the fires were also victimized by the arsons and finally the people killed or injured in the terrorist attacks that were funded by these schemes became the final victims.

The sale of narcotics also funds terrorism.  It has been, on occasion estimated that 85% of the heroin used by drug addicts in England came from Afghanistan.  Think of how much suffering the use of narcotics inflicts on the addicts and the victims of crime- both direct victims and indirect victims are subjected to because of this.

Next I have to make note of the term “Homegrown.”  The article described Richard Reid, the infamous “Shoe Bomber” as having been “homegrown.”

I would remind you that he is a citizen of Great Britain and hence did not need a visa in order to board the airliner he attempted to destroy in flight by detonating the explosives concealed in his shoes.  He would not have needed a visa to seek entry into the United States if his intention had not been to destroy and airliner mid-flight but had been determined to attack a facility or other venue in the United States to kill as many people as possible.  It is because of Richard Reid that all passengers preparing to board airliners must remove their shoes to enable TSA to determine that the passengers’ shoes contain no explosives, yet the Visa Waiver Program that enabled Mr. Reid to board that airliner without first obtaining a visa is still alive and well and is being continually expanded!

It is also important to note that Reid was not the only terrorist who was a citizen of one of the 36 countries that are now enrolled in the Visa Waiver Program.

I guess you could say that the expectations of privacy and freedom under our Constitution are negotiable but because of extreme pressure being brought to bear by the executives of the Travel and Hospitality Industries make damned certain that the Visa Waiver Program will continue at least until, God Forbid, there is another horrific attack by terrorists who did not need visas to board an airliner or enter the United States.  You should know that the program that pushes the expansion of the Visa Waiver Program is called “Discover America.”  

Here is a link to their website:

http://www.discoveramerica.com/ca/

As I have noted on previous occasions, the folks behind this wacky program and the politicians who, for the campaign contributions I am all but certain they received for becoming a Discover America “Bobble-head” should remember that Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations have already “discovered America!” 

Some time ago I compiled a list of the ways in which the visa process can be helpful to law enforcement and bolster our nation’s efforts to prevent the entry of aliens whose presence on our country may prove harmful to our nation and our citizens. 

You can review the State Department’s website for information about this wrong headed and, indeed, treacherous Visa Waiver Program at: 

http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/without/without_1990.html

Here is the list of the 6 benefits that the visa requirement provides to national security:

1.  By requiring visas of aliens who seek to enter the United States, this process helps to screen potential passengers on airliners that are destined to the United States.  Richard Reid, the so-called “Shoe Bomber” was able to board an airliner to come to the United States although he had no intentions of entering the United States, his apparent goal was to blow up the airliner and its many passengers somewhere over the depths of the Atlantic Ocean by detonating explosives he had concealed in his shoes.  Because he is a subject of Great Britain, a country that participates in the Visa Waiver Program, Reid did not obtain a visa before he boarded that airliner. 

2.  The CBP inspectors are supposed to make a decision in one minute or less as to the admissibility of an alien seeking to enter the United States.  The visa requirement helps them to do a more effective job.  Their’s is a tough job I can certainly relate to, I began my career at the former INS as an immigration inspector at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and worked there for 4 years before I became a special agent.

3.  The application for a nonimmigrant visa contains roughly 40 questions that could provide invaluable information to law enforcement officials should that alien become the target of a criminal or terrorist investigation.  The information could provide intelligence as well as investigative leads.  You can check out the application for a nonimmigrant (tourist) visa by clicking on this link:

https://evisaforms.state.gov/ds156.asp

4.  If an alien applicant lies on the application for a visa that lie is called “visa fraud.”  The maximum penalty for visa fraud starts out at 10 years in jail for those who commit this crime simply in order to come to the United States, ostensibly to seek unlawful employment or other such purpose.  The penalty increases to 15 years in jail for those aliens who obtain a visa to commit a felony.  For aliens who engage in visa fraud to traffic in narcotics or commit another narcotics-related crime, the maximum jail sentence that can be imposes rises to 20 years.  Finally, when an alien can be proven to have engaged in visa fraud in furtherance of terrorism, the maximum penalty climbs to 25 years in prison.  It is important to note that while it may be difficult to prove that an individual is a terrorist, it is usually relatively simple to prove that the alien has committed visa fraud when there is fraud involved in the visa application.  Indeed, terror suspects are often charged with visa fraud. 

5.  The charge of visa fraud can also be extremely helpful to law enforcement authorities who want to take a bad guy off the street without tipping their hand to the other members of a criminal conspiracy or terrorism conspiracy that the individual arrested was being arrested for his involvement in terrorism or a criminal organization.  You can arrest the alien who commits visa fraud for that violation of law and not for other charges that might make it clear that the investigation underway is targeting a criminal or terrorist organization.

6.  Even when an alien applies for a visa and his application is denied, the application he filed remains available for law enforcement and intelligence personnel to review to seek to glean intelligence from that application.

Next I want to call your attention to something that should be obvious but that is clearly noted in the news report:

In his article, Mr. al-Awlaki draws on the concept in Islamic theology and jurisprudence of “dar al harb,” or “land of war” — those parts of the world where Muslims and nonbelievers are in a state of conflict — to argue that “Muslims are not bound by the covenants of citizenship” in Western countries.

This is something that you would think is commonsense but for all too many of our leaders, not so much!

Who could possibly believe that aliens who believe that they are at war with our nation or with a Western nation would really care about the oaths of citizenship that they may take?  This is all the more reason why it is absolutely vital that when our government confers United States citizenship upon aliens that a true effort be made to conduct a “for real” background investigation of the alien seeking to become a citizen of our nation.  

Let me make this point as clearly as I can- the great majority of aliens who naturalize are honest and honorable.  They simply want to become citizens of our nation.  However, among the honest and decent folks are the bad guys “out there” seeking to do harm to us.

Ronald Reagan often said, “Trust but verify.”  He used that phrase to describe international relations- I will use it to describe the way that our immigration benefits program must have the capability and then make use of that capability to verify the backgrounds of aliens seeking various immigration benefits- especially aliens seeking to acquire resident alien status and, most certainly when they seek United States citizenship!

This was why I was absolutely infuriated that there were “leaders” who have pushed for legalizing millions of illegal aliens and would,, no doubt, seek to do so as soon as possible in the coming months!

This is why I came to refer to Comprehensive Immigration Reform as the “Terrorist Assistance and Facilitation Act!”

The nonsense that these advocates for immigration anarchy like to tout the “Background Checks” that would have been required.  Such checks would be all but worthless under the best of circumstances and actually likely to do real harm to national security!  Here is why:

A background check simply requires that an alien fill out a form and be fingerprinted without having any reliable documentation to attest to his (her) true identity.  This means that the name on the application may or may not be remotely related to the real name of the alien applicant.  In fact, it is entirely likely that a terrorist or transnational criminal who wanted to conceal himself in our country would provide false information about every identifying issue including his name, his date of birth, his parents’ names and perhaps even his country of citizenship.

If this person had never been arrested in the United States his fingerprints would reflect no criminal history.  His false name would certainly not show that he had any arrests or involvement in terrorist organizations- remember all of his information would be a series of utter lies!  Within scant minutes he would, no doubt, be given a “clean bill of health” and would be immediately eligible to receive a temporary identity document in a brand new identity that he could immediately use as a so-called “breeder document.”  He could get a real Social Security Card, a real driver’s license, a real library card and real credit cards and bank accounts- all in an utterly fictitious name!  A terrorist could easily game this system and put himself in his own witness protection program!

This is why background investigations must be conducted where investigators actually knock on doors, show photos of applicants for benefits and take reasonable measures to verify the information contained in the applications are accurate and honest.

Here is some more disturbing information that will help you stay awake this evening-

When an alien naturalizes, he (she) is permitted to assume a brand new identity.  He could utterly and completely change his name to reflect any ethnicity he would like!  Under this system, any alien can literally become “John Doe!”  When such a naturalized alien applies for and receives a new passport, the only name on the passport would be the name he took on the day he naturalized.  The entire world might be looking for this individual as a suspected terrorist and he would have morphed into a completely new identity and his United States passport would only reflect his new name!

Finally, the article noted that many of the individuals recruited to join al-Qaeda were petty thieves.  It must be understood that prisons have become recruitment centers for gangs and other criminal organizations.  It must be anticipated that terrorist organizations would similarly want to recruit inmates of jails.  The inmates have already proven themselves to be as antisocial as these groups could want in a recruit.  The inmates may have committed crimes of violence or crimes involving fraud and guile.  These predispositions would certainly be highly desired by those attempting to recruit terrorists.  It is of critical importance that measure be devise and implemented to do everything possible to prevent the recruitment of individuals into terrorist or criminal organizations while they serve out prison sentences.   

It has been said that “Ignorance is bliss!”  In my view stupidity of our “leaders” has the potential to kill- us!

If our country is to survive and if our children and their children are to get their share of the “American Dream” the citizens of this nation must take their citizenship seriously!

We the People must be the best citizens we can be, citizens who are worthy of the gallantry demonstrated by our valiant men and women in the military, law enforcement and firefighters, who routinely go in harm’s way in defense of this nation and our citizens.  

My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings before more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.

The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.

If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same.  We need to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”

The practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.

The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!

The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to the politicians.  I implore you to resolve this year to get involved!

If this situation concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation! 

All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!

We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.

This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue!

You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!

Democracy is not a spectator sport!

Lead, follow or get out of the way!

———————————————————————————————————————————-

Posted 01/21/2011

Hi Gang:

As you probably know, I am involved with a number of organizations that are concerned about the immigration crisis that confronts our nation today and has greatly impacted ever so many aspects of our country.

One of the organizations with which I am affiliated is CAPS (Californians for Population Stabilization) where I am a senior fellow.

I am a regular contributor to that organization’s website and regularly post entries on the CAPS Blog.

I have provided you, below, with my most recent posting that focuses on the our nation’s “War on Terror.”

-michael cutler- 

Please check out my website:

http://michaelcutler.net/

http://www.caps-blog.org/articles/2011/01/19/intelligence-and-the-war-on-terror/

Intelligence and the “War on Terror”

By Michael Cutler, CAPS Senior Fellow, January 19, 2011

Intelligence is the quality that places our species at the top of the food chain.  There are all sorts of creatures on our planet that easily surpass the human species in ever so many ways.  There are birds such as eagles, that can soar majestically and nearly effortlessly to dizzying altitudes by riding thermals (columns of rising warm air).  There are falcons that can snap their wings shut and plummet at high speeds towards its prey on the ground, far below.  There are species of dogs whose sense of smell is hundreds of times stronger than that of humans.  There are fish and aquatic mammals that can dive to depths that would crush  most submarines and there are animals that can sprint as fast as a car or possess far greater strength than humans.

What distinguishes the human species from all other species is intelligence.  “Intelligence” has a few different definitions. First, the “capacity for learning, reasoning, understanding, and similar forms  of mental activity; aptitude in grasping truths, relationships, facts, meanings, etc.” However, the other definition I want you to consider is: “The gathering or distribution of information, esp. secret information.”

Often when I have appeared before Congressional hearings or when I engage in debates with those who advocate for open borders and various forms of amnesty for illegal aliens, the familiar refrain is that immigration has nothing to do with terrorism.  Those who take this position will often followup by saying that the only way to protect our nation against the next terrorist attack is to make good use of intelligence.

Both forms of intelligence must be brought to bear against our adversaries.  Our various agencies most certainly have to develop good intelligence and then decide on how to react to whatever the intelligence reveals about our vulnerabilities and about possible impending attacks. However, ignoring the risk that our nation’s open borders and failures to address the utter lack of integrity where the entire immigration system is concerned, belies an abject failure to act intelligently and demonstrate a capability that the first definition of “intelligence” addresses.

There are many reasons why some people refuse to acknowledge the extreme significance of border security and the creation of an immigration system that has real integrity to issues relating to national security.  Some folks are simply misguided.  These individuals feel empathy and sympathy for illegal aliens who live in abject poverty in their home countries. The emotional appeals and propaganda spewed by open borders advocates have managed to cloud the realities for this group of people who consider themselves “humanitarians.”

The other group of open borders advocates are not naïve, but do have an agenda; they seek to profit from the influx of massive numbers of illegal aliens into our country.  Among these groups are the immigration lawyers who are eager to see an influx of potential clients.  The greater the number of illegal aliens, the greater the number of aliens who will seek their services.  An amnesty program would be ideal to encourage massive numbers of additional illegal aliens to enter our country and provide them with a huge incentive to seek out attorneys who practice immigration law.

So-called, “pro-immigrant” organizations recognize that in signing up more aliens they will garner more contributions and also acquire more political leverage as they are able to claim ever increasing numbers of members.  Labor unions are often guilty of a similar thought process.

All too often politicians from both political parties look at the massive numbers of illegal aliens and see new voters and also cheap labor for the deep-pocketed campaign contributors who own the factories, farms and other employment venues and are happy to employ illegal aliens that will work for substandard wages under substandard conditions.

The more courageous and/or ethical of our nation’s political leaders understand, however, that by not blocking the flood of illegal aliens into our country, while many of the illegal aliens are simply desperate for illegal employment, a violation of law that brings with it additional problems, there is a significant population of illegal aliens whose motivation is far more sinister than simply seeking a menial job.  These are the aliens who have criminal histories or may be fugitives from justice in another country where they are wanted for committing serious crimes.  Other illegal aliens may be involved in transnational gangs or criminal organizations such as the Mexican drug cartels or other organized crime groups from the four corners of our planet.  Still other may be involved with terrorism or fall into a number of other categories of aliens whose presence in our country would pose a threat to the security of our nation and the safety of our communities.

Additionally, our government needs to cultivate informants and make use of what is known as “Human Intelligence” as well as the sort of intelligence that can be gained by conducting electronic surveillance and through using spy satellites and high powered super-computers.

Human Intelligence is obtained, as its name suggests, the use of people to provide vital intelligence.  This means spies, intelligence officers and using informants (people who are familiar with particular criminal or terrorist organizations.)  The proper use of our immigration laws can help to reward those aliens who seek to provide assistance to our nation in exchange for the right to become residents of the United States and have their immediate families join them here.  One of my jobs when I was assigned to the Unified Intelligence Division of the New York office of the DEA and then when I became a Senior Special Agent and assigned to the Organized Crime, Drug Enforcement Task Force was to assist other federal agents from other federal agencies as well as members of local and state police departments in cultivating informants.

If our nation is to succeed in fending off terrorist attacks and effectively combating the growing threats posed by transnational criminal organizations, then our leaders had better understand the role of both sorts of “intelligence.”

After all, it is the intelligent thing to do!

———————————————————————————————————————————–

Posted 02/6/2011

Hi Gang:

I was sent information about the two news reports I have provided you with this commentary from a number of my friends including a former colleague who worked with me at the INS.

The news report appeared in the Loudoun Times and the Loudoun Daily Monitor on February 4th and are important on a couple of levels.

First of all the news report is significant because it provides some details about an apparently successful investigation that was conducted by local law enforcement investigators in Virginia that has resulted in the identification and the subsequent shutting down of a document mill.  Document mills produce various documents that can be used to provide individuals with documentation that would enable them to create false identities for themselves.  The issue of the creation of false identities is of extreme importance because the only folks who would want to alter their true identities are individuals who are attempting to conceal their true identities.

What I find interesting is that the news report makes no mention of DHS or ICE being involved in the investigation other than to note that the police officers made use of the 287(g) program to identify the fact that the individuals who were arrested pursuant to the investigation are believed to be illegal aliens and that through this important program, the cops were able to lodge detainers against those who were criminally charged.  This means that whenever their criminal charges are completely disposed of- perhaps after they serve out their prison sentences, presuming that they are ultimately found guilty of the crimes they are charged with and sentences to serve prison sentences that they will then come into the custody of ICE.

According to the Loudoun Daily Monitor, two of the defendants who were arrested by the police were previously deported from the United States.  These individuals can be further prosecuted for unlawful reentry by the federal government.

Ultimately, the lodging of detainers will enable ICE to attempt to seek the removal of all of these individuals once they come into federal custody.

As I noted at the beginning of this commentary, are a number of possible reasons why someone might want to conceal his (her) true identity but generally it must be presumed that anyone who would attempt to obscure his true identity is someone who is intending to engage in illegal activities.

The use of false identities is a tactic employed by criminals, by terrorists and by illegal aliens who may simply be seeking unlawful employment or may be attempting to conceal that they have committed other crimes. 

When law enforcement officials arrest a suspect in a crime, one of the first tasks to be undertaken is to photograph and fingerprint the person who as been arrested.  Most criminals who have been arrested previously will attempt to prevent law enforcement authorities from easily knowing about their prior arrests and possibly convictions.  The use of a false identity is used to obscure the career criminal’s background.  It is not uncommon for law enforcement to arrest and individual and find numerous false names that the person has used once the fingerprint records are found.  I have actually arrested individuals who had used so many false names that the printout had pages of aliases!

Illegal aliens also attempt to utilize false identities to conceal the fact that they are illegally present in the United States or, perhaps, had been previously deported from the United States, making their mere presence in our country subsequent to that deportation a felony.  (An alien who has been deported from the United States and has no criminal history is committing a felony that has a maximum punishment of up to two years in prison while an alien who has been previously deported and was removed from the United States because of criminal convictions faces a maximum of up to 20 years in prison.)

Illegal aliens also use false identity documents in order to procure illegal employment.  This is one of the reasons that I am concerned about the administration’s stated policy of seeking to punish employers who intentionally hire illegal aliens but through the “audit only” approach to worksite enforcement- conducting what have come to be referred to as “silent raids” are not focusing adequate attention on the way that likely millions of illegal aliens purchase counterfeit identity documents to enable them to pass themselves off as lawful immigrants or even United States citizens, who are entitled to to work in the United States.

You may be interested to know that last year I agreed to assist a law firm that was retained by a farm in Hawaii because two of their managers were arrested and criminally charged with intentionally hiring illegal aliens.  Generally I would not assist a defense attorney.  I certainly have the right to assist any law firm I want to, but I would never assist in the defense of a person who, in my judgement, was guilty of wrongdoing- this is a matter of personal principle.  I do not compromise on core issues and this is certainly one of them!

In the Hawaii case, however, all of the employees that were hired by the managers, who were subsequently arrested, showed the managers counterfeit Alien Registration Cards (Green Cards).  In my judgement the cards were not flawless but were of sufficiently good quality that it would be easy to understand how a farm manager would not detect the fact that these documents were bogus.  If you doubt this, consider the fact that the illegal aliens in this case, citizens of Mexico, were hired in California and flown by commercial airlines to Hawaii.  Their counterfeit documents were accepted by the TSA employees at the airport who permitted them to board their flights to Hawaii.  Interestingly the title of the employees of the TSA who made this decision have a job description- that description is “Document Checker!”

In this particular case, the workers were all paid “on the books,” there was absolutely no evidence of any sort of exploitation and there were no other factors usually associated with the intentional employment of illegal aliens.  The entire case was based on the use of fraud documents proffered by the employees and by statements made by a few of the illegal alien employees who agreed to become cooperators.  There were no audio or video tapes to substantiate any of the claims made by the few cooperators who, by cooperating with the government, were  permitted to remain in the United States for over one year and work while the case was pending.

The two farm managers were ultimately acquitted of all counts of their indictments.

You should also know that according to the current law, an employer who asks to see additional identity documents of an employee whose identity documents may appear questionable could be charged with violating the civil rights of that employee!  This places even honest employers in a bind- they can be charged with hiring illegal aliens or, if they ask too many questions about identity documents, may be charged with violating civil rights!  

The employees get to decide on what documents to show their employer provided that the documents are listed on the I-9.  The employer has no authority to ask to say any additional documents and, in fact, could be violating the law if he does ask for any additional documentation!  (Check out item 1 in the list below.)

Here is the link to the M-274 Handbook that is provided by the DHS as a guide to employers and employees about how the Form I-9 is to be prepared:

 http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/m-274.pdf

Here is the section of the handbook I want you to pay attention to:

Types of Employment Discrimination Prohibited Under the INA

Document Abuse

Discriminatory documentary practices related to verify- ing the employment authorization and identity of em- ployees during the Form I-9 process is called document abuse . Document abuse occurs when employers treat individuals differently on the basis of national origin or citizenship status in the Form I-9 process . Document abuse can be broadly categorized into four types of conduct:

1 .        Improperly requesting that employees produce more documents than are required by Form I-9 to establish the employee’s identity and employment authorization;

2 .        Improperly requesting that employees present a particular document, such as a “green card,” to es- tablish identity and/or employment authorization;

3 .        Improperly rejecting documents that reasonably appear to be genuine and to relate to the employee presenting them; and

4 .        Improperly treating groups of applicants differently when completing Form I-9, such as requiring cer- tain groups of employees who look or sound “for- eign” to present particular documents the employer does not require other employees to present.

These practices may constitute unlawful document abuse and should be avoided when verifying employment authorization . All employment-authorized individuals are protected against this type of discrimination .The INA’s provision against document abuse covers employers with four or more employees 

Clearly the documents that must be shown by employees to their new employers that represent the “linchpin” of the immigration system on so many levels and therefore identity documents are of tremendous importance to the entire immigration system.

Here is the real question- where is ICE in this investigation?  While we are asking questions, I would love to know how many investigations into document are ongoing by ICE at this very moment in an effort to shut down document mills such as this relatively small scale organization that is noted in the news reports below?  How many special agents of ICE are even detailed to attempting to identify such identity mills, especially when you consider how such mills undermine homeland security, community safety and even the mission of enforcing our nation’s immigration laws?

I have been told that today ICE is more concerned with the identification of criminal rings that seek to produce counterfeit Gucci loafers or other name brand products than they are with identifying and shutting down document mills! 

There is absolutely no mention or even intimation that the document mill targeted by this investigation had any nexus whatsoever with terrorists or terrorism but here is an excerpt from the 9/11 Commission Staff Report on Terrorist Travel to be found on page 68 of that report detailing how four of the terrorists who savagely attacked our nation on September 11, 2001 made use of counterfeit identity documents as they prepared for that attack:

Acquisition of Virginia identification cards. Three Salvadoran immigrants living in Virginia, two illegally and one as a lawful permanent resident, were found guilty of helping four September 11 operatives use fraudulent documentation to obtain Virginia identification documents. Two were convicted of helping Ahmed al Ghamdi and Abdul Aziz al Omari obtain fraudulent residency certificates.177 Another was convicted of providing false residency information on behalf of Hanjour and Mihdhar after being solicited by the two hijackers at a 7-Eleven in Falls Church, Virginia. For a fee, the Salvadoran falsely certified his old Virginia address as the residence of the hijackers.178 These residency certificates were then used to support their applications for Virginia identification cards issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles on August 1 and 2, 2001, respectively.179 The Salvadoran’s address was also recycled by Moqed and Salem al Hazmi to use on their Virginia identification cards issued on August 2, 2001.180 Jarrah followed suit on August 29, using a fictitious residency address and a certification of that address by Hanjour, who again used the address provided to him on August 1, 2001 to acquire his Virginia identification card.181 One of the men charged in these cases recognized these hijackers as having been together at the Arlington, Virginia, DMV on August 2, 2001.182 In all, the five hijackers based their Virginia identification documents on the residency information of one bribed Salvadoran. 

 

You can find that important report, in its entirety at:

www.9-11commission.gov/staff_statements/911_TerrTrav_Monograph.pdf

Could the DHS (Department of Homeland Surrender) possibly have a greater incentive to learn from the many errors that enabled the terrorists of September 11, 2001 and others, to enter our country and then embed themselves in our country?

I am extremely pleased by the success reported on in the newspaper articles that make it clear that the local police in Loudoun County clearly understand their mission- what will it take to get the federal government to live up to its responsibility?

I will remind you that the Justice Department is suing the state of Arizona for its efforts to do the job the federal government won’t do.  The immigration laws of our nation are supposed to protect our nation and our citizens from the presence of foreign nationals whose presence in our country is harmful to our nation and our citizens.  All components of the immigration system must be made to work effectively- so much hangs in the balance, especially in this perilous era!

While the United States certainly needs to do much more to secure our borders, it is imperative that the immigration laws of the United States be enforced effectively from within the interior of the United States.  Many states are copying the Arizona immigration law that I helped the law firm retained by Governor Jan Brewer to defend.  The citizens of our nation are clearly “getting it!”

The time has long since come for the federal government to live up to its absolute obligation of securing its borders against unlawful entry, and honoring those countless millions of lawful immigrants who came to this country from the four corners of our planet to begin their lives anew and thereby create what has come to be known as the “American Dream” by instilling in the immigration system real integrity.

Nothing less than the survival of our nation and our citizens hang in the balance!

A country without secure borders can no more stand than can a house without walls!  

If our country is to survive and if our children and their children are to get their share of the “American Dream” the citizens of this nation must take their citizenship seriously!

We the People must be the best citizens we can be, citizens who are worthy of the gallantry demonstrated by our valiant men and women in the military, law enforcement and firefighters, who routinely go in harm’s way in defense of this nation and our citizens.  

My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings before more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.

The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.

If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same.  We need to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”

The practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.

The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!

The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to the politicians.  I implore you to resolve this year to get involved!

I believe our nation’s is greatly benefited by the rich diversity of our people which is why I could never imagine living anywhere except New York City, arguably the most diverse city in our nation if not, in fact, the world.  However, my idea of diversity most certainly does not include members of MS-13, the Mexican drug cartels or members of other transnational gangs or members of al-Qaeda!

If this situation concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation! 

All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!

We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.

This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue!

You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!

Democracy is not a spectator sport!

Lead, follow or get out of the way!

———————————————————————————————————————————-

Posted 02/16/2011

Hi Gang:

I have provided you with an extremely disturbing news report that details the murder of one of our nation’s ICE special agents, Jamie Zapata and the wounding of his partner as they reportedly drove from Mexico City to Monterrey in Mexico.  At the time of the attack they were in an official United States government-owned SUV with diplomatic license plates.

The news report appeared online on the Examiner and was written by Kimberly Dvorak, a reporter with whom I have spoken on a number of occasions to provide my perspectives on immigration news reports she was working on.

According to Kimberly’s report, the brutal attack was believed to have been carried out by members of the Zetas, extremely violent drug gang members who were, in fact, trained by the government of the United States in an outreach program that was supposed to provide Mexican military and law enforcement officials with tactical training to enable them to help wage war against the narcotics trafficking organizations in Mexico.  Once trained and, apparently equipped by our government, at significant expense to the American taxpayers, these former members of the Mexican army and law enforcement agencies “switched sides” and became the enforcers to the Mexican drug cartels they were supposed to put out of business!

In some instances, the Zetas did come to oppose the Mexican Cartels but not in the way our naive government had hoped or expected- the Zetas supplanted their former employers, the cartels, that paid them for their “services!”

Now it is reported that the United States government is assisting the Mexican government in investigating this incredibly brutal attack on two officials of the government of the United States!  According to the news report, Mexican law enforcement will take the lead in this murder/assault investigation!

I demand to know why the United States is not taking the lead in this investigation- and so should you!

Consider this excerpt from the news report and pay special intention to the highlighted sentence:

Early reports say members from the Los Zetas cartel opened fire inside the SUV after agents rolled down their window to show their U.S. badges. Zapata was shot many times in the abdomen and died on the scene.

Details are still emerging from Mexico where U.S. officials have stated they will assist with the investigation of the crime, but have decided to let Mexican authorities take the lead.

“I’m deeply saddened by the news that earlier today, two U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents assigned to the ICE Attaché office in Mexico City were shot in the line of duty while driving between Mexico City and Monterrey by unknown assailants,” said Secretary of Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.

“Let me be clear: any act of violence against our ICE personnel – or any DHS personnel – is an attack against all those who serve our nation and put their lives at risk for our safety. The full resources of our Department are at the disposal of our Mexican partners in this investigation. We remain committed in our broader support for Mexico’s efforts to combat violence within its borders,” Napolitano said in a statement.

The murder of an ICE agent renews fears and anxiety about the sustained brutality of Mexico’s narco war and it remains to be seen how serious the Obama Administration is when it comes to America’s third war.

Let me repeat the unbelievable sentence:

“Details are still emerging from Mexico where U.S. officials have stated they will assist with the investigation of the crime, but have decided to let Mexican authorities take the lead.”

The two U.S. federal agents were clearly intentionally targeted in what has to be considered an assassination and the very same federal agency, the Department of Homeland Surrender, that sent these two valiant federal agents into harm’s way is content to permit the same corrupt government investigate the attack that left one agent dead and the other seriously wounded?

Just two months ago a United States Border Patrol agent. Brian Terry was brutally killed inside the United States while he was on duty in his clearly identifiable uniform and now two of our agents inside Mexico in a clearly marked United States official vehicle were shot numerous times as they apparently displayed their badges to those who shot them!

Clearly the thugs who killed Special Agent Jamie Zapata knew precisely who they were killing!  Special Agent Zapata was reportedly shot numerous times in the abdomen, something that not only killed him but must have caused him to suffer incredibly excruciating pain before he died and the government of the United States of America is now content to have the Mexican government take the lead in the investigation of federal agents operating in that corrupt country!

What will it take to get our government to get serious?

Napolitano is the same “leader” who said the “System worked” when “Captain Underpants” attempted to detonate a bomb in his underwear on Christmas Day on 2009 when, in reality the only thing that kept the airliner in which he was a passenger from disintegrating in the skies over Detroit as the plane was preparing to land, was a bit of incredibly good luck and the incompetence of the terrorist who attempted to destroy that airliner over Detroit.

Napolitano is someone who should know better but apparently has decided to “Go along to get along!”

She seizes every opportunity to tell us that our border is secure even as the violence in Mexico continues to accelerate!

She talks about the Mexican border but ignores the Canadian border that according to a recent GAO report, only exists on maps- considering that only 32 miles of that roughly four thousand mile border is under the “operation control” of the United States Border Patrol.

She tells us that at least 230 cities in the United States from coast to coast and border to border have been infested by members of the extremely violent Mexican drug cartels while other cities are also infested by members of pernicious transnational gangs from the four corners of our planet but never, ever talks about the need to ramp up efforts to enforce immigration laws from within the interior of the United States- even in conjunction with task force operations such as the task force to which I was assigned for more than a decade, the Organized Crime, Drug Enforcement Task Force.

She continues to beat the drum in support of Comprehensive Immigration Reform but blithely ignores the fact that there is virtually no integrity to be found in the program under which applications for various immigration benefits including the conferring of resident alien status and even United States citizenship.  USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) is the agency that is responsible for administering the benefits program and time and again reports by the GAO (General Accountability Office) and the OIG (Office of the Inspector General) provide ample evidence that this woebegone agency is inept, incompetent and morally corrupt!  This is the very same agency that would be called upon to provide lawful status and a “pathway to United States citizenship” for unknown millions of illegal aliens whose true identities (including even their countries of citizenship) are unknown and unknowable.  

If you cannot establish an individual’s identity, you cannot determine his background, possible affiliation with transnational gangs, drug trafficking organizations or terrorist organizations!

And now, adding insult to injury- indeed, insult to death- Napolitano is content to have the corrupt government of Mexico investigate the assassination of Special Agent Jamie Zapata!  How must Special Agent Zapata’s family feel about this?  How must the injured agent and his family feel about this?  How must the other employees of ICE feel about this?

I can tell you how I feel about this- I am absolutely outraged!!!

Clearly Janet Napolitano needs to be replaced by someone who understands the magnitude of the crisis and is willing to stand up for our nation, our citizens and the thousands of federal agents and other employees who are under her chain of command!

The time has long since come for the federal government to live up to its absolute obligation of securing its borders against unlawful entry, and honoring those countless millions of lawful immigrants who came to this country from the four corners of our planet to begin their lives anew and thereby create what has come to be known as the “American Dream” by instilling in the immigration system real integrity.

Nothing less than the survival of our nation and our citizens hang in the balance!

A country without secure borders can no more stand than can a house without walls! 

If our country is to survive and if our children and their children are to get their share of the “American Dream” the citizens of this nation must take their citizenship seriously!

We the People must be the best citizens we can be, citizens who are worthy of the gallantry demonstrated by our valiant men and women in the military, law enforcement and firefighters, who routinely go in harm’s way in defense of this nation and our citizens.  

My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings before more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.

The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.

If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same.  We need to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”

The practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.

The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!

The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to the politicians.  I implore you to resolve this year to get involved!

I believe our nation’s is greatly benefited by the rich diversity of our people which is why I could never imagine living anywhere except New York City, arguably the most diverse city in our nation if not, in fact, the world.  However, my idea of diversity most certainly does not include members of MS-13, the Mexican drug cartels or members of other transnational gangs or members of al-Qaeda!

If this situation concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation! 

All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!

We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.

This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue!

You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!

Democracy is not a spectator sport!

Lead, follow or get out of the way!

———————————————————————————————————————————-

Posted 02/27/2011 

Hi Gang:

The violence in Mexico has provided a constant source of news reports for several years.

Recently the increase in violence along the border that is supposed to separate the United States from Mexico has increased. 

The federal government has failed to secure our nation’s borders but officials of the administration have taken every opportunity to tell the citizens of our country that the border is safer now than it has been in years.  Members of Congress such as Chuck Schumer echoed these optimistic assessments and somehow expected that by claiming that the borders are secure that he could then push his pet “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” program through the legislative process.

There is absolutely no linkage between the issue of border security and amnesty- but it is the way that this abomination has always been sold.  Thankfully the citizens of our nation are not as dumb as Schumer and his pro-amnesty pals in Washington had hoped they were!

The violence of Mexico has most definitely spilled across the border into the United States.  Phoenix, Arizona had been averaging a kidnapping and/or home invasion each and every day and because the political leaders of Arizona were frustrated at the failures of the United States government to secure the borders, enacted their own immigration law that parallels the federal immigration statutes.  That law is known as SB 1070.  I assisted the attorneys retained by Governor Jan Brewer to defend her state when the United States Department of Justice filed a lawsuit seeking to prevent Arizona from doing what the feds refuse to do- enforce our immigration laws! 

While I usually focus on the issue of border security in terms of immigration and national security threats posed by our porous borders, I will focus today on another aspect of the border that is supposed to separate the United States from Mexico.  I am concerned about the efforts of the administration to purportedly stanch the flow of firearms and money from the United States to Mexico.

While every law enforcement agency in our country from local sheriff’s offices to big city police departments to the state police agencies of each of our nation’s 50 states to just about every federal law enforcement agency is involved in enforcing firearms laws, the Bureau of ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is the lead agency for the federal government’s efforts to enforce firearms laws.

Before the creation of DHS, an agency I have come to refer to as the Department of Homeland Surrender, ATF was under the Treasury Department.  Today ATF is a component of the Justice Department.

I had the privilege of working in close cooperation with members of the ATF as an INS special agent and, in fact, when I was promoted to the position of Senior Special Agent and assigned to the Organized Crime, Drug Enforcement Task Force, I spent a number of years as assigned to an ATF squad in New York City.  You may be interested to know that when I was assigned to that squad we worked out of the Post Office building in lower Manhattan and the window next to my desk faced the World Trade Center Complex that was just across the street from the Post Office building.

These agents were dedicated professionals who took their missions seriously.  Working with them on a daily basis I was impressed with their commitment to getting illegal drugs and firearms off the street.  We worked extremely long hours and their agents who made the undercover purchases of drug and firearms showed an impressive level of bravery.  

Every time we managed to seize firearms we would react the way a baseball team reacts to one of their team members hitting a home run.  We felt that every illegal gun that we took off the street from violent drug dealers made the streets that much safer.  Therefore, I cannot imagine the anguish that these professional must feel when they hear about the sort of report that appeared recently on CBS News about a program that was purportedly established to prevent the flow of guns into Mexico.

The name of the operation was “Project Gunrunner.”

Here is the link to a video of the CBS report that aired last week on February 23rd:

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7357550n

Unidentified ATF agents who were obviously extremely upset over the decisions made by their superiors were interviewed and their voices were disguised because they feared reprisals from their agency.  They claimed that thousands of high-powered weapons were permitted to “walk” under the auspices of “Project Gunrunner.”  This is to say that the guns were purchased by suspected gunrunners- many of whom purportedly paid for their weapons with cash contained in paper bags, and the gunrunners were permitted to drive off with those weapons including .50 calibre weapons!

 ATF has a website that explains “Project Gunrunner.”  This is the link to that website:

 http://www.usembassy-mexico.gov/eng/texts/et080116eTrace.html

As you might imagine, the ATF website claims that the program is designed to identify and stop those who would transport illegal firearms into Mexico.  

The bottom line is that it would certainly appear that for reasons I cannot begin to fathom, managers at ATF made some truly horrendous decisions!  Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry who was shot to death on December 15, 2010.  According to the CBS News report, two of the rifles found at the murder scene had been sold to a known gun trafficker, Jaime Avila as ATF monitored the sale of firearms by gun dealers who did not want to sell the guns but were purportedly encouraged to do so by the ATF!

Today I wonder about the origins of the firearms wielded by the Mexican thugs who fired numerous rounds, two weeks ago, into the SUV driven in Mexico by ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata who was killed at the scene and his partner Victor Avila who was seriously wounded.  Were any of those guns purchased pursuant to “Project Gunrunner?”

I have often noted my concerns about the issue of corruption within the ranks of the Mexican police officers and members of that nation’s military and questioned the wisdom of trusting those officials.  Again I want to make certain that I am not misunderstood- there are certainly many valiant and decent members of the Mexican law enforcement community who endanger their own lives as well as the lives of their families by conducting themselves in an admirable fashion.  They are true patriots of their country.  The problem is that it is vey hard to know who can be trusted in a country with a human life is nearly worthless.

Today I have to question how many Mexican officials- in high positions within the government, in law enforcement or in the military have been killed or wounded by guns that can be traced to “Project Gunrunner?”

This situation is vile and reprehensible and, if the allegations are accurate- those officials in our government who enabled this lunacy to take place need to face real consequences!

There are far too many managers throughout our government today who owe their careers to their willingness to “go along to get along!”  This is not limited to one agency but seems to permeate our government.  Not all managers are guilty of this mentality, but enough are that it really does create all sorts of problems for our government and hence, for our nation.

The consequence is that many so-called leaders of agencies put their careers ahead of commonsense.  They make compromises to placate those above them to advance their own careers.  In this sort of environment really bad decisions may be made.  If the news reports are accurate, the consequences of the decisions by the bosses at ATF may have contributed to the loss of lives including Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

This is something that cannot be swept under the rug.

Simply playing the game of “rearranging the deck furniture on the Titanic” and changing he assignments of those who made these horrific decisions won’t suffice!

Firing these individuals will not go far enough!

Considering that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is under the auspices of the Justice Department should absolutely require that the FBI not be involved in the investigation that must be undertaken swiftly.  An independent prosecutor should be appointed and those who made these insane decisions should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law if it is ultimately determined that criminal laws were violated.

If our country is to survive and if our children and their children are to get their share of the “American Dream” the citizens of this nation must take their citizenship seriously!

We the People must be the best citizens we can be, citizens who are worthy of the gallantry demonstrated by our valiant men and women in the military, law enforcement and firefighters, who routinely go in harm’s way in defense of this nation and our citizens.  

My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings before more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.

The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.

If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same.  We need to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”

The practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.

The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!

The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to the politicians.  I implore you to resolve this year to get involved!

If this situation concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation! 

All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!

We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.

This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue!

You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!

Democracy is not a spectator sport!

Lead, follow or get out of the way!

———————————————————————————————————————————–Posted 02/28/2011

The news report I am forwarding to you was sent to me Sunday evening by one of the folks who is on my e-mail list and communicates with me regularly.

The article was posted by a Fox News reporter from their Los Angeles bureau on February 21st and should be of great concern to all Americans and all of our leaders- it deals with evidence that members of Hezbollah are working in conjunction with the Mexican drug cartels along our nation’s borders.

If you click on the link that I have provided you with the article, you will be able to view the video of the news report that ran on Fox News last week.

As I have noted in many of my commentaries, terrorist organizations require money in order to carry out their operations and will often commit a wide variety of crimes in order to secure those critically important funds.  This news report addresses the fact that the Hezbollah terrorists are seeking to enter the United States by running our southern border and are believed to have done so on previous occasions over the past several years.  It should be presumed that smugglers have assisted these terrorists in entering our country surreptitiously and that Hezbollah and most likely other terrorist organizations have smuggled narcotics into the United States as well as into Europe as a means of raising funds that are so vital to them.

The news report addresses the fact that terrorist organizations, including Hezbollah have been operating in the so-called “Tri-Border Region” of Brazil and have also made inroads into other Latin American countries.

WSB-TV has been doing a terrific job of reporting on how our porous borders are providing illegal aliens from so-called “Special Interest” countries- countries that are involved with state sponsored terrorism have been arrested attempting to enter our country.  

Brad Stone, a producer for the Special Projects Unit of WSB-TV, the Atlanta based ABC Network affiliated station, has been spearheading these reports and has interviewed me on a number of occasions for his station’s continuing coverage of this major threat to our nation’s security.

Here is a link to one of a series of these reports that aired on his station last year:

http://www.wsbtv.com/news/23686786/detail.html

What must be understood is that the Border Patrol only stops and arrests a percentage of the illegal aliens who seek to enter our country each and every day.  It may be that one in five gets arrested, it may be that one in three gets arrested or, it may be that one in ten gets arrested- no one knows with anything resembling certainty what percentage of illegal aliens manage to evade the Border Patrol.  The point is that while we know who has been arrested, what we don’t know is who did not get arrested!

When I was attending school, I used to joke that the teacher should take attendance by asking those kids who were not in class to raise their hands.  This got lots of laughs from everyone, including my teachers, but this is a bit like the way that our country attempts to determine how secure our borders are- they track how many illegal aliens are arrested but really have no idea as to who did not get arrested.  No one knows where they are or why they  are here!  While many are simply seeking unlawful employment, a significant number of those aliens who evade the Border Patrol have far more sinister objectives in mind.  These are the fugitives who are wanted for crimes they committed in other countries, those who are here to commit crimes such as members of the various drug cartels from a number of countries including Mexico, those who belong to transnational gangs and criminal organizations and those whose presence in our country is to support the missions of terrorist organizations.

Something that must also be considered is the fact that it is impossible to sit across from another person and, without reliable documentation, truly know the identity of the person you rare interviewing.  It is not only impossible to know the true name of that person but even to be certain as to the nationality of that person.

This is not conjecture on my part, this is what I have experienced in the course of my 30 year career with the former INS.

A person who lives for years in Latin America would be able to pass for being a native of Latin America even if he (she) was born in the Middle East, Africa, Europe or any other country.  I could relate many stories about individuals who lied about their true identities and nationalities as a means of “getting over,” concealing their true identities in order to evade our efforts to uncover the criminal activities they were involved with.  

The following news report details how Venezuela is apparently playing host to Iranian shock troops.  Imagine how easy it would be for an Iranian soldier to immerse himself (herself) in the culture of Latin America by living in Venezuela for a number of years- perfecting his language skills and developing an extensive background in the culture of Latin America and then be given a passport from Venezuela with a brand new name so that, for example, Mohamed becomes Miguel.  How easily could that individual pass himself off as a Latin American?

On April 21, 2010 the Washington Times ran a disturbing news report that was entitled:

“Iran boosts Qods shock troops in Venezuela”

Here is the link to that news report in its entirety:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/apr/21/iran-boosts-qods-shock-troops-in-venezuela/

The report begins with the following paragraphs that are guaranteed to get your attention:

Iran is increasing its paramilitary Qods force operatives in Venezuela while covertly continuing supplies of weapons and explosives to Taliban and other insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to the Pentagon’s first report to Congress on Tehran’s military.

The report on Iranian military power provides new details on the group known formally as the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF), the Islamist shock troops deployed around the world to advance Iranian interests. The unit is aligned with terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, North Africa and Latin America, and the report warns that U.S. forces are likely to battle the Iranian paramilitaries in the future.

The Qods force “maintains operational capabilities around the world,” the report says, adding that “it is well established in the Middle East and North Africa and recent years have witnessed an increased presence in Latin America, particularly Venezuela.”

“If U.S. involvement in conflict in these regions deepens, contact with the IRGC-QF, directly or through extremist groups it supports, will be more frequent and consequential,” the report says.

The report provides the first warning in an official U.S. government report about Iranian paramilitary activities in the Western Hemisphere. It also highlights links between Iran and the anti-U.S. government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who has been accused of backing Marxist terrorists in Colombia.

The report gives no details on the activities of the Iranians in Venezuela and Latin America. Iranian-backed terrorists have conducted few attacks in the region. However, U.S. intelligence officials say Qods operatives are developing networks of terrorists in the region who could be called to attack the United States in the event of a conflict over Iran’s nuclear program. 

Here is the link to the report that the Pentagon provided to Congress on Tehran’s military that served as the predication for the news report:

http://www.pdfhost.net/index.php?Action=DownloadFile&id=fd4a61b6a2746dd12877065749ed557c

The online edition of the British newspaper, the Daily Mail, posted a news report, last month, on January 28th that was entitled:

“Controversial Muslim cleric caught being smuggled into U.S. over Mexico border”

Here is the link to that news report:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1351385/Controversial-Muslim-cleric-caught-smuggled-U-S-Mexico-border.html

The report noted that:

U.S. border guards got a surprise when they searched a Mexican BMW and found a hardline Muslim cleric – banned from France and Canada – curled up in the boot.

Said Jaziri, who called for the death of a Danish cartoonist that drew pictures of the prophet Mohammed, was being smuggled into California when he was arrested, along with his driver Kenneth Robert Lawler.

The 43-year-old was deported from Canada to his homeland Tunisia in 2007 after it emerged he had lied on his refugee application about having served jail time in France.

On May 26, 2010 Fox News ran a news report entitled:

Feds Issue Terror Watch for the Texas/Mexico Border

Here is the link to that worrisome report:

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/05/26/terror-alert-mexican-border/

The report begins with the following passage:

The Department of Homeland Security is alerting Texas authorities to be on the lookout for a suspected member of the Somalia-based Al Shabaab terrorist group who might be attempting to travel to the U.S. through Mexico, a security expert who has seen the memo tells FOXNews.com

The Department of Homeland Security is alerting Texas authorities to be on the lookout for a suspected member of the Somalia-based Al Shabaab terrorist group who might be attempting to travel to the U.S. through Mexico, a security expert who has seen the memo tells FOXNews.com.

The warning follows an indictment unsealed this month in Texas federal court that accuses a Somali man in Texas of running a “large-scale smuggling enterprise” responsible for bringing hundreds of Somalis from Brazil through South America and eventually across the Mexican border. Many of the illegal immigrants, who court records say were given fake IDs, are alleged to have ties to other now-defunct Somalian terror organizations that have merged with active organizations like Al Shabaab, al-Barakat and Al-Ittihad Al-Islami.

In 2008, the U.S. government designated Al Shabaab a terrorist organization. Al Shabaab has said its priority is to impose Sharia, or Islamic law, on Somalia; the group has aligned itself with Al Qaeda and has made statements about its intent to harm the United States.

Meanwhile we have had a continual stream of press releases and media appearances by Janet Napoltiano, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Surrender telling us that all was well and the border is now safer than it has been in years.

New York’s Senior Senator, Chuck Schumer has been insisting for years that the borders are so secure that we should now place the millions of illegal aliens whose true identities are unknown and unknowable on a pathway to United States citizenship!

Obviously the issue of what Schumer and company refer to as “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” and that I have come to call it by its far more accurate, honest and descriptive name, the “Terrorist Assistance and Facilitation Act” has nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not the borders are secure.  However, the fact that must not be forgotten is that Schumer is supposed to represent the best interests of our nation and all of our citizens with special attention paid to the citizens of the state that sent him to the United States Senate.  That state is New York State the state that suffered the greatest trauma on September 11, 2001!

It is unconscionable that any politician could ignore the huge vulnerabilities that our porous borders create for our nation.  

Anyone who understands national security knows that a nation’s security begins at its borders.  When our soldiers headed to Iraq in the aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001 a contingent of United States Border Patrol agents were sent along with them to secure the Iraqi borders against terrorists and insurgents.  Among those Border Patrol agents were members of the elite BORTAC Units to take the steps necessary to secure that nation’s borders to protect our soldiers and the civilians of that nation.

The security of our southern border should be a major priority for our nation but instead, that border remains as porous as a sieve!

This is not a new problem and it is not only something that should be attributed to the current administration- this has been going on for many years and the Bush Administration did nothing to secure that dangerous border either!

Under the current administration, when aliens succeed in running our nation’s borders and making their way to cities throughout our nation, virtually nothing is done to seek to identify them, apprehend them and remove them from our country.  

Illegal aliens who are found working illegally are not even being generally arrested by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).  This was a focus of a recent Congressional hearing conducted by the House Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement.  I testified at that hearing this past January 26th that was entitled:

“ICE Worksite Enforcement – Up to the Job?”

Here is a link to the prepared testimony of the witnesses who appeared at that hearing and the video of the hearing itself:

http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/hear_01262011.html

The administration has made it clear that unless an alien is convicted for committing a serious crime, DHS has no interest in arresting these illegal aliens.  In fact, the amnesty programs advocated by the administration and members of Congress of both major political parties would accord millions of illegal aliens lawful immigration status and a pathway to United States citizenship!

I have on a number of occasions compared a failure to enforce the immigration laws in a truly meaningful way the equivalent of playing baseball and having your outfielders sit out the game when they are supposed to be covering the outfield.  Under such a bizarre situation, any hitter from the opposing team who hits the ball over the infielders’ heads would get a virtual automatic “In the park home run!”

No same manager of a baseball team would do this and ICE should not be doing this either!

Meanwhile, anyone who calls for securing our nation’s borders is vilified for daring to demand that our government do for the United States and our citizens that our government did for Iraq!

Securing our borders against the unlawful entry of aliens into our country and the smuggling of narcotics and other contraband including, potentially weapons of mass destruction, is not racism or xenophobia- it is commonsense!

Locking your doors and windows before going to sleep at night does not make a person anti-social, it means he is prudent!

Because or the long standing failures to secure our borders and create an immigration system that has integrity our nation and our citizens remain exposed to serious threats.  

This must stop!  

Nothing less than the survival of our nation and our citizens hang in the balance!

A country without secure borders can no more stand than can a house without walls! 

If our country is to survive and if our children and their children are to get their share of the “American Dream” the citizens of this nation must take their citizenship seriously!

We the People must be the best citizens we can be, citizens who are worthy of the gallantry demonstrated by our valiant men and women in the military, law enforcement and firefighters, who routinely go in harm’s way in defense of this nation and our citizens.  

My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings before more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.

The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.

If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same.  We need to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”

The practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.

The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!

The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to the politicians.  I implore you to resolve this year to get involved!

I believe our nation’s is greatly benefited by the rich diversity of our people which is why I could never imagine living anywhere except New York City, arguably the most diverse city in our nation if not, in fact, the world.  However, my idea of diversity most certainly does not include members of MS-13, the Mexican drug cartels or members of other transnational gangs or members of al-Qaeda!

If this situation concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation! 

All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!

We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.

This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue!

You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!

Democracy is not a spectator sport!

Lead, follow or get out of the way!

 

 

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