As the United States entered the New Year, several immigration-related events garnered headlines -
* Shortly before Christmas, 32-year-old Ahmed Ressam, was charged with smuggling bomb-making material into Washington State at a remote border crossing from British Columbia. Rassam is an Algerian who had been living in Montreal, Canada before his arrest. In an apparently unrelated case, another Algerian national, Bouadide Chamchi, 20, was arrested in Vermont after reportedly trying to enter the U.S. with a falsified passport. He was in the company of a Canadian woman, Lucia Garofalo, 35, who was charged with attempted alien smuggling.
* Montreal police compare their city to a "Club Med" for Algerian extremists, reporting that the city is being used as a base to plan and finance their activities. Last Fall police broke up an Algerian crime ring suspected of financing the activities of the Armed Islamic Group.
* The discovery of Chinese stowaways in containers on cargo ships in Long Beach, California, Seattle, Washington, and British Columbia, Canada, once again drew attention to the booming illegal alien smuggling trade. In South Florida, Cubans, Haitians, Dominicans, and others attempt to enter in a wide variety of craft, from rafts, to speedboats, and freighters. And the flood tide from Mexico continues; though Arizona now seems to be the preferred state of entry.
* The connection between Third World immigration and the reintroduction to the U.S. and other Western countries of tuberculosis and other dangerous diseases was disclosed by reporter Susan Sachs, in a page-one article, "More Screening of Immigrants for TB Sought," (The New York Times, January 3, 2000). TB is endemic in Latin America, Asia, and Africa, areas from which most of our immigrants originate. According to the New York Times report, the immigrant groups with the highest number of TB cases are Mexicans, Filipinos, Vietnamese, Indians, Chinese, Haitians, and Koreans. Government health authorities are calling for expensive "outreach" programs to new "immigrant communities." Needless to say, the Times did not call for a reconsideration of the very policy of permitting non-Western immigration, nor explain to Americans just what they stand to benefit from its continuance.
In this issue we include testimony and reportage on crime and security issues. In a time of increased drug smuggling, terrorist threats, and illegal immigration, our northern border with Canada is virtually undefended. Once they enter the U.S. across any of our borders, or through airports or seaports, malefactors are in little danger of being detected or removed. The INS Investigations Division, responsible for interior enforcement, has only 2,000 investigators to cover all of the 50 states. Until greater numbers of voters understand the dimensions of our security needs, it will not be possible to force Congress to mandate real changes in policy.
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To keep our readers abreast of cyberspace developments, we have some new and updated internet websites listed on the Bulletin Board (see inside this issue's back cover). Among these are:
Let us know if you have discovered any links that we should share with others.
Wayne Lutton, Ph.D.