Can Baseline Thinking Prevent Immigration Chaos?

By James H. Walsh
Volume 24, Number 1 (Fall 2013)
Issue theme: "Stolen lives"

Securing the United States in the twenty-first century depends largely on control of U.S. borders, of immigration across those borders, and of naturalizing immigrants within those borders. In the absence of these controls, the result is chaos. Baseline thinking––using a standard for measuring endeavors––could reduce immigration chaos in the nation’s future. National security requirements provide the baseline in considering immigration policy, foreign policy, fiscal policy, energy policy, and domestic needs.

Current U.S. immigration policy is being shaped by the President, the Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate, and the Democrat minority in the U.S. House of Representatives who court radical immigration advocates. Prominent among such advocates are Open Society money moguls, Hispanic-first organizations, leftist tenured professors, and union bosses. Having influenced recent elections, they now boldly advocate a Pathway to Citizenship for immigrants, legal and illegal alike. In the process, they choose to ignore would-be terrorists and those who place burdens on the economic well-being of the nation.

Both chambers of the U.S. Congress apparently fail to see the linkage between the Pathway to Citizenship clauses in their respective 2013 immigration bills and potential harm to the United States. Clearly legislative proposals leave the door open for foreign-born-and-trained terrorists.

Look no further than New York City for cautionary tales of radical Islamist attacks. The World Trade Center (WTC) was first bombed on February 26, 1993, and then again on September 11, 2001. Both attacks were plotted and carried out by foreign-born-and-trained Islamists, most of whom entered the United States in violation of federal immigration laws. They included undocumented aliens, visa overstays, and those who entered using fraudulent documents.

For example, Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, aka Abdul Bassit Karim (his actual name may be neither), entered the United States on September 1, 1992, with fraudulent Iraqi documentation. He was detained briefly for illegal entry, until he thought to claim asylum. Like many asylum seekers, he then failed to appear for his asylum hearing. During his time in America he was busy constructing the bombs used in the first WTC attack along with other bombs he planned to use against Jewish areas of New York City. He was arrested in Pakistan and extradited to the U.S., where he was convicted of murder. He remains in prison.

The nineteen terrorists who conducted the 9/11 attacks on the WTC, the Pentagon, and the United Airlines plane that crashed in a Pennsylvania field were mainly Saudi Arabians who entered the United States legally. Nine, however, had previous U.S. immigration violations; even so, they were receiving immigration benefits. Among the nineteen, these terrorists had 63 driver’s licenses issued in the U.S.

Blame for the 9/11 attacks does not rest with Islamic terrorists alone. More than a decade later, the U.S. Congress has yet to respond with effective, corrective immigration legislation:

• U.S. intelligence, foreign and domestic, must be held accountable for a number of security failures;

• Customs enforcement also registered failures;

• Congress, over four decades, failed to pass coherent and defined immigration and espionage laws;

• National, state, and local officials failed to enforce criminal laws;

• The judiciary failed to interpret U.S. immigration laws properly and proceeded to legislate from the bench by creating more rights and privileges than the nation’s founding documents actually created;

• U.S. citizens, who abrogated their duties and obligations to protect the Republic from the excesses of radical liberal elitists, unwittingly contributed to the 9/11 injuries and massive fatalities.

In the aftermath of 9/11, recurrent jihadist crimes in the United States appear to have no impact on the liberal/Democrat mentality that seeks to excuse such acts of terror. Take, for instance, the American-born Muslim psychiatrist/U.S. Army officer who shouted “Allah Akbar” as he murdered 13 U.S. service men and women and wounded 32 others—many critically—at Fort Hood in Texas. The Obama administration added insult to injury by labeling this massacre “workplace violence” rather than terrorism.

Islamic attacks and thwarted attacks large and small, past and in the planning stage, are meant to terrorize the United States and the world. Islamic terror is meant to force nations into recognizing Shari’a law, which is the first step in accepting Muslim control. The objective behind the current burning of Christian churches in Egypt, Syria, and Pakistan, as well as the beheading of Christians, is forced capitulation to a world-wide Islamic caliphate.

The U.S. Senate has passed and the House of Representatives is formulating immigration legislation to provide access to the United States for foreign nationals, among them those intent on doing us harm. Proposed amnesty and lax border control only assist terrorists.

The Obama administration talks tough on border security, while at the same time reducing U.S. Border Patrol effectiveness. Nevertheless, Congressional Democrats, the news media, and immigrant advocates continue to downplay the threat of terrorism along with the need for strict border security, despite the very real presence of Islamist terrorists in the United States.

The 2013 Boston Marathon bombings attest to this fact with innocents killed and cruelly maimed by foreign nationals. The bombers, two young brothers from Chechnya, had been granted asylum in the United States because of alleged persecution in their homeland, a predominantly Muslim nation. Yet the older brother traveled back and forth to and from their homeland. Ironically, David Sirota, an ultra-left writer, early on opined, “Let’s hope the Boston Marathon bomber is a white American.”

How has the White House responded to these terrorist attacks? By side-stepping Congress, the President and his appointees fail to enforce federal immigration laws still on the books. They trump these laws with bureaucratic regulations and memoranda. By sidestepping the legislative process, they debilitate national and international efforts to achieve an orderly flow of immigrants from nation to nation. On September 13, 2013, the Associated Press reported that immigrant advocates were pressuring Obama to continue bypassing Congress and to unilaterally grant a Pathway to Citizenship to aliens.

Deconstructing the Republic

By denigrating immigration enforcement, the Obama administration and liberal Democrat members of Congress display symptoms of ideological myopia with the following actions:

• Prosecutorial Discretion. In 2011, President Obama sanctioned disregard of existing U.S. immigration laws by directing U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees to exercise “prosecutorial discretion”—a phrase that allows for non-enforcement of current U.S. immigration laws—when dealing with illegal aliens.

• Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Process. On June 15, 2012, the DHS issued a Memorandum on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Process. This Memorandum requires DHS employees to defer any action, mainly deportation, against illegal alien “youths” up to age 31. Again, Obama acted unilaterally.

• Stayed Enforcement of Immigration Laws. On September 7, 2013, the world press reported that U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein, D-CA, a ranking senator, was seeking to “stay” enforcement of existing U.S. immigration laws for foreign agricultural workers. Not only agricultural workers but terrorist organizations take note when U.S. elected officials cite diversity as they “wink” at non-enforcement of federal immigration laws regulating foreign workers.

• Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013. The U.S. Senate has passed this bill, which is not yet a law (as of mid-September 2013), as it requires approval by the Republican-controlled U.S. House and signature by the President. Capitol Hill watchers waited in anticipation to read the Senate’s effort at immigration legislation. While Obama supporters welcomed it, conservative Democrats and Republicans were sorely disappointed. They found the Senate bill to be the first step toward “terminating liberty” via a “Pathway to Citizenship” with potential to become a pathway to national perdition.

The Senate immigration bill fails to address terrorists who are in or preparing to enter the United States using the muddled U.S. immigration system to their advantage. Open-border advocates, wittingly or not, assist foreign terrorists by employing platitudes, such as “Diversity is Our Strength”; “Globalization and peace are one”; “Brotherhood stops wars”; “No human is illegal”; and “Open borders must be used to deconstruct the racist Republic.” Terrorists are thus aware of just how gullible liberal Americans can be.

To facilitate their goals, terrorists and open-border advocates misuse the U.S. legal system and the inalienable rights and privileges provided in the founding documents of the United States. They use, to their advantage, the liberal left’s steady chipping away at current U.S. immigration and naturalization laws. Those members of Congress who have supported open borders during the past four decades tend to be either pawns of or co-conspirators with critics of the United States. Among these are radical anarchists, radical professors seeking a communist utopia, haters of American freedom, Muslim zealots, moneyed billionaires seeking dictatorial powers, and delusional U.S. citizens who think that the United States of America deserves to be brought to its knees.

Unrestricted immigration has the potential to reduce the United States to an unexceptional Third-World country. Open borders would be the fastest method of marginalizing or deconstructing the Republic. Mismanaged and lax naturalization procedures are also factors. These failures can be traced to nearly half a century of Congressional missteps, which U.S. voters have allowed to happen. Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor said it well, when she opined that there is an “alarming degree of public ignorance.”

The ongoing “balkanization” of the U.S. began with the Immigration and Naturalization Services Act of 1965 (INSA), which changed the quota system. Some two decades later, balkanization was exacerbated by the “amnesty” and “control” provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA). Since then, immigration anarchy has advanced especially under Democrat-controlled Congresses.

Destroying America from within

Today a looming threat to the United States is the radicalization of native-born or naturalized U.S. citizens, who have converted to Islam. This segment may be the most dangerous group of terrorists. The belief that non-Muslim Americans must give unrestricted deference to Muslim sensibilities and religious manifestations dominates Democrat and liberal thought and behavior, especially in the news media.

U.S. voters need to elect politicians who adhere to the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the U.S. Constitution. The nation needs politicians who have the best interests of the United States at heart. U.S. citizens are seeing their rights diminished, as some non-citizens claim “constitutional rights.” The current Senate immigration legislation reflects the failure of the Legislative Branch to protect and defend the United States.

The Executive Branch is failing the citizenry. Since creation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2002, a fundamental and systematic structural failure has resulted from incorporating two troubled predecessors––the Customs Service (USCS) and the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Combining the functions of a malfunctioning DHS with a badly weakened Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is resulting in confusion, misinformation, and turmoil.

With the re-election of President Barack Obama in 2012, the quality of job performance changed for many federal government employees, especially Democrats. Federal laws began to be obeyed only when convenient and disregarded or side-stepped routinely. The formerly renowned FBI, CIA, and National Security Agency (NSA), once the pride of the nation, are becoming infamous for electronic spying, external and internal miscues, political correctness, and flagrant intelligence omissions. Political appointees, rather than career employees, are muddling vital U.S. intelligence gathering. The FBI is increasingly seen as a mere lapdog of the President, with little of its past glory. The CIA is now headed by an ideologue Obama appointee. It is time for U.S. politicians and citizens to engage in baseline thinking to recognize the dangers of the political morass that is advancing open-door immigration and related terrorism:

A dialogue between elected officials and citizens is needed to determine relevant twenty-first century civic responsibilities paired with Constitutional rights.

Potential risks need to be considered with valued judgments to determine the extent of response for each level of threat, without regard to political correctness.

“Unspecified threats” need to be measured and evaluated by authorities before public announcement of a “specified threat.” This requires, for the common well-being, dedication to the nation’s safety and subjugation of partisan political and ideological views of investigators and politicians, federal, state, and local.

The left-liberal Democrat/Chamber of Commerce immigration agenda, however, is amnesty for aliens who have not played by the rules. It is U.S. citizenship with little vetting. It is rules that change like “red lines in the sand.” Terrorist groups know that liberal immigration legislation is the key to their entry into the United States.

President Abraham Lincoln once observed, “To destroy America, it has to be done from within.” Today anti-Americans are twisting this dire warning into their own battle cry: “Destroy America from within!” The best atmosphere for their success is open-border immigration chaos.

About the author

James H. Walsh, formerly an Associate General Counsel of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in the U.S. Department of Justice, writes immigration commentary. During his INS tenure, Walsh was selected as a German Marshall Fund Scholar, traveled through Europe interviewing immigration officials, and published articles based on his findings. At INS, he worked with other federal agencies and congressional committees on immigration matters. His assignments included consultations with foreign governments and international business concerns. He chaired a task force on Transit without Visa (TWOV), whose report identified weaknesses in pre-9/11 airport security. Walsh has a B.A. in history from Spring Hill College and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.