Border Security and the Immigration Colander
Michael W. Cutler graduated from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York in 1971 with a B.A. in Communications Arts and Sciences. Mr. Cutler began his 30 career with the INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) in October 1971 as an Immigration Inspector assigned to John F. Kennedy International Airport. In 1975 he become a Special Agent and rotated through every squad of the Investigations Branch. In 1988 he was assigned to the Unified Intelligence Division of the DEA in New York City and, in 1991 was promoted to the position of Senior Special Agent and assigned to the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force where he remained for the balance of his career. He has testified as an “Expert witness” at more than a dozen Congressional hearings on issues relating to the enforcement of immigration laws most often on the nexus between immigration and national security and public safety. He furnished testimony to the 9/11 Commission. Mr. Cutler has also provided expert witness testimony at state legislative hearings as well as at trials where immigration was at issue. He appears regularly on innumerable national radio and television programs. He hosts his radio show,“The Michael Cutler Hour”on Friday evenings on BlogTalk Radio. His personal website is http://michaelcutler.net/.
When you consider how many ways an alien may enter the United States it is absurd to focus all attention on just the Southwest Border of the United States that involves just four of America’s 50 states.
In point of fact, it has been estimated that 40% of the illegal aliens who are present in the United States did not run our border and evade the inspections process that is supposed to prevent the entry of aliens whose presence would be harmful to America or Americans but entered the United States through ports of entry and went on, in various ways, to violate the terms of their admission into the United States.
Furthermore, some illegal aliens gain entry into the United States by stowing away on ships, illegal disembark from ships on which they work and are referred to as “ship-jumpers” or enter without inspection from Canada.
Yet the immigration debate has disingenuously focused nearly exclusively, on the need to secure America’s Southwest Border that is supposed to separate the United States from Mexico.
Of course, given the ongoing crisis involving tens of thousands of unaccompanied minor illegal aliens, primarily from Central America, who are showing up along the Southwest Border of the United States having illegally entered the United States, it is clear that this border must be made secure. However, it is foolhardy to not pay attention to all of the other entry points and methods of entry employed by illegal aliens. It is no less foolish to ignore the other failings of the immigration system that enable criminals and terrorists to game the process by which visas are issued and immigration benefits are conferred upon aliens.
The easiest way to visualize the immigration system is to consider the configuration of a colander.
col·an·der noun ˈkä-lən-dər, ˈkə-
: a bowl that has many small holes and that is used for washing or draining food
Consider that each of the holes in the colander is comparable to a hole in the immigration system. Politicians who attempt to convince us that all that is necessary as a pre-requisite for implementing Comprehensive Immigration Reform is to secure the US/Mexican border are, in essence, claiming that if you plug one hole in the bottom of a colander it could then be used as a bucket to carry water.
How preposterous is that?
If you want to use a colander as a bucket to carry water, all of the holes need to be plugged.
No less than national security and public safety hang in the balance.
Imagine that from time to time that colander is not used to carry water but a deadly liquid, that must not be released. This is not unlike the fact that among the aliens seeking to enter the United States in violation of our laws, are terrorists and pernicious criminals with deadly intentions.
Yet the politicians are so hell-bent on passing Comprehensive Immigration Reform that they willfully ignore the other failures of the immigration system upon which national security depends.
Think back to the politicians who, in the wake of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, demanded to know “Why no one connected the dots?” Think back to the statements frequently made that the terrorists need to get it right only once while our government needs to get it right 100% of the time.
Each hole in the colander represents a hole in the system which must get it right 100% of the time.
The concept of getting it right at all times was, and continues to be used, as justification for the continual erosion of our expectations of privacy and freedom.
This concept is used as justification for the ever more invasive search we are forced to undergo before boarding airliners. Indeed, we generally accept these invasive searches because of our concerns about the potential that hijackers could once again take control of an airliner and use it as a de facto cruise missile.
However, there are many ways that terrorists can launch attacks inside the United States that don’t involve airliners, as we saw on May 1, 2010 when Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized U.S. citizen who had immigrated to the United States from Pakistan and naturalized the year before he attempted to set off a car bomb, parked in highly congested “Crossroads of the World,” Times Square.
At the time of his arrest two days after the attempted attack, Shahzad was arrested as he sat on an an Emirates Airline flight waiting to take off for Dubai. Reportedly more than a dozen of his accomplices were arrested in Pakistan. All were reportedly acting under the direction of the Taliban.
On April 15, 2013 the Tsarnaev brothers carried out a deadly attack on the Boston Marathon. The Tsarnaev family had been granted political asylum in the United States when they claimed “credible fear” that they could not safely return to their native Russia — that they would face persecution or worse. No sooner had their applications for asylum been approved than they voluntarily returned to Russia. It would certainly appear that they committed fraud in their applications.
On May 2, 2013 I was interviewed by Megyn Kelly of Fox News to discuss the immigration aspects of this case. Fox News posted a video of the interview on its website with the title: “Immigration Expert: The System Failed in Boston and Keeps on Failing.”
Our government should be as determined to keep terrorists and transnational criminals out of the United States as it is determined to prevent terrorists from gaining access to airliners.
Yet our government refuses to do what is necessary to prevent the entry of international terrorists and transnational criminals into the United States. As a consequence we live among millions of illegal aliens who evaded the inspections process conducted at ports of entry by CBP (Customs and Border Protection) Inspectors, that is supposed to keep dangerous foreign nationals out of the United States.
Consider the first paragraph found in the preface of the The 9/11 Commission Staff Report on Terrorist Travel:
“It is perhaps obvious to state that terrorists cannot plan and carry out attacks in the United States if they are unable to enter the country. Yet prior to September 11, while there were efforts to enhance border security, no agency of the U.S. government thought of border security as a tool in the counterterrorism arsenal. Indeed, even after 19 hijackers demonstrated the relative ease of obtaining a U.S. visa and gaining admission into the United States, border security still is not considered a cornerstone of national security policy. We believe, for reasons we discuss in the following pages, that it must be made one.”
If you doubt that our borders lack integrity, you may certainly consider the situation unfolding on the Southwest Border that has, of late, garnered such focused press coverage. You may also consider that the United States is currently suffering from such a massive epidemic of heroin overdoses that police departments across the United States have taken to the unprecedented strategy of providing their officers with the antidote to heroin overdoses.
Heroin and cocaine are produced outside the United States. Every gram of heroin and every gram of cocaine present in the United States represent incontrovertible evidence of a failure of border security.
It is worth noting that the proceeds from the sale of heroin and cocaine enrich the coffers of transnational criminal organizations and terrorist organizations, further endangering America and Americans. It is worth noting that there is a direct nexus between drug use and crime- indeed, it is believed that the majority of crime, especially violent crime is connected to narcotics trafficking and the use of illegal drugs.
On July 4, 2014 NewsMax posted an article, “Rep. Michael McCaul: Military Bases Turning Into Refugee Camps” that began with the following paragraph:
Texas lawmakers have demanded that President Barack Obama finally secure the border, saying military bases are being overwhelmed as they house thousands of illegal immigrant children pouring into the United States every month.
The article further noted:
During a Homeland Security Committee field hearing in McAllen, Texas, attended by Texas Gov. Rick Perry, McCaul said that government statistics show 70 percent of the alien children risk life and limb to get into the United States illegally because they believe they will be allowed to stay.
“The border between the U.S. and Mexico is less secure than at any point in the recent past,” Perry told the field hearing, according to the Times. “Secure this border, Mr. president. Finally, address this issue and secure this border.”
Finally it is worthwhile considering this quote attributed to Rep. Bob Goodlatte the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee:
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican, said Border Patrol agents had told GOP and Democratic lawmakers during their field trip that “the best way to stop this crisis is through deterrence,” The Washington Times reported. “They were very clear that deterrence must be the focus and there must be an end to the so-called catch-and-release policy.”
Chairman Goodlatte is absolutely correct — effective deterrence is undoubtedly the only effective solution to the immigration crisis confronting America and Americans today.
However, thus far, precious few members of Congress are willing to go beyond the concept of securing the Southwest border to include plugging the other gaping holes in the immigration system that go well beyond the U.S./Mexican border.
“The Social Contract,” a quarterly journal, published my article, “Political Asylum: Where Compassion and National Security Intersect” in its Summer, 2013 edition, on how fraud in the political asylum program currently enables our enemies to see in America’s compassion, weakness.
On November 20, 2013, ABC News published this disconcerting article “Exclusive: US May Have Let ‘Dozens’ of Terrorists Into Country As Refugees.”
On December 1, 2013 the Huffington Post ran a worrying report: “America Is ‘Less Safe’ Than 2 Years Ago, Intelligence Committee Chairs Say”
The report focused on statements made by Senator Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the Senate’s Intelligence Committee, when she was interviewed for CNN’s program, “State of the Union.”
Here is how the report began:
Interviewed on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said she believed that there are now more terrorists with the technological means to carry out a bombing in the U.S.
Here is an additional important excerpt from the Huffington Post article:
“I think terror is up worldwide,” said Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee. “There are new bombs, very big bombs, trucks being reinforced for those bombs. There are bombs that go through magnetometers. The bomb-maker is still alive. There are more groups than ever. And there is huge malevolence out there.”
Feinstein added that there was “a real displaced aggression in this very fundamentalist jihadist Islamic community, and that is that the West is responsible for everything that goes wrong and that the only thing that’s going to solve this is Islamic Sharia law.”
On the same day, December 1, 2013 Newsmax posted the report that provided an even more dire warning: “Sen. Feinstein, Rep. Rogers: Terror Threat Greater Than Before Sept 11″
This report began with this unambiguous assessment:
The U.S. is in greater danger of a terrorist attack than it was prior to September 11 and has less ability to prevent such aggression by Islamist radicals, key congressional intelligence leaders said Sunday.
The report ended with the following statement:
Feinstein is pushing legislation to protect NSA practices but require more congressional reporting.
Feinstein is willing to accept a loss of privacy in the name of national security while she blithely ignores anything that relates to the 9/11 Commission, its findings or its recommendations. She has many like-minded colleagues on both sides of the political aisle and in both the Senate and House of Representatives.
These politicians need to hear from their constituents, especially as election day approaches.
Democracy is not a spectator sport.
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