Although it has received scant, if any, attention in the mainstream media, Congress is now taking up a bill, H.R. 60, the ENLIST Act (Encourage New Legalized Immigrants to Start Training). It would potentially provide hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens, essentially “Dreamers,” who were granted temporary lawful status under the DACA program (Deferred Action, Childhood Arrival), with the opportunity to be fast-tracked to lawful immigrant status in exchange for enrolling and serving our military.
Thus far more than 200 members from both parties have co-sponsored this dangerous bill.
At first glance the concept of providing lawful immigrant status to illegal aliens who serve in the U.S. military may appeal to many Americans. Military service is properly seen as a most noble way of demonstrating patriotism for America and Americans.
However, upon closer scrutiny the alarming pitfalls to this approach become readily apparent.
Let us also be clear that there have been illegal aliens who joined our armed forces and served with distinction, and some of them paid the “ultimate price” in demonstrating loyalty to America. I do not want in any way to besmirch their reputations or sacrifices. I am however profoundly troubled that H.R. 60 could create a national security/public safety disaster.
This program could be subverted by international terrorists and transnational criminals who seek to obtain military tactics and weapons training to commit crimes and/or carry out terror attacks on-and-off military bases — “insider attacks.”
Criminals and terrorists could also seek to recruit adherents among those with whom they serve in the military.
We must begin with a clear understanding of how serious violations of America’s borders and immigration laws are. When aliens evade the inspections process conducted at ports of entry they are not entering “undocumented” as is claimed by advocates for immigration anarchy. They enter the United States without inspection. The inspections process conducted at ports of entry by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Inspectors is intended to prevent the entry of criminals, spies, terrorists, human rights violators, and fugitives from justice (categories of aliens under the aegis of federal law, contained within the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) Title 8, United States Code, Section 1182).
Aliens who run our borders do so because they know that they would be excluded from the United States because they fall into one or more categories of aliens who, under the INA are excludible from the United States.
Additionally, no record of entry is created when an alien enters the United States without inspection. Therefore there is no reliable way to know when, where, or how they entered the United States.
Although the Obama administration and those who have supported the DACA program claim that it is simply an application of prosecutorial discretion, in reality it should be considered a case of “prosecutorial deception” because there is nothing in our immigration laws that permit a massive program that is diametrically opposed to the letter and the spirit of our immigration laws.
At the time that Mr. Obama implemented this program he claimed that it would only provide benefits to those who entered the United States before they were 16 years of age. In reality, aliens as old as 31 years of age could participate in the program if they claim that they entered the United States prior to their 16th birthdays.
With no capacity to interview the hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens who applied for participation in this program, let alone conduct field investigations, this program invites fraud. Immigration fraud, it must be noted, was identified by the 9/11 Commission as the key entry and embedding tactic of terrorists.
Let’s first consider the issue of transnational gang members joining our military.
On October 21, 2011, ABC News reported, “FBI Finds Gangs Expanding, Even to U.S. Military.” It stated that although FBI and members of law enforcement don’t have estimates on the number of gang members in the military, there is evidence of gangs operating in 100 jurisdictions in the U.S. and abroad, with members of more than 50 different gangs throughout the military.
The 2015 National Gang Report prepared by the National Gang Intelligence Center included this cautionary statement on page 33:
Military-trained gang members pose a serious threat to law enforcement and to the public. They learn combat tactics in the military, then return home to utilize these new skills against rival gangs or law enforcement. Military training of individual gang members could ultimately result in more sophisticated and deadly gangs, as well as deadly assaults on law enforcement officers.
MS-13 and other such gangs have grown rapidly, metastasizing across the United States since the massive influx of “Unaccompanied Minors” during the latter half of the Obama administration’s second term.
On June 20, 2017, the House Homeland Security Committee, Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, conducted a hearing on the topic, “Combating Gang Violence On Long Island: Shutting Down The MS-13 Pipeline.”
That “pipeline” crosses the U.S.-Mexican border.
On June 21, 2017, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on “The MS-13 Problem: Investigating Gang Membership, its Nexus to Illegal Immigration, and Federal Efforts to End the Threat.”
Now let’s turn to the threats posed by terrorists who could gain entry onto military bases.
On June 8, 2017, the Department of Justice issued a press release, “Two Men Arrested for Terrorist Activities on Behalf of Hizballah’s Islamic Jihad Organization.”
Both of these terror suspects/sleeper agents were naturalized citizens. They easily gamed the immigration system and the naturalization process to acquire United States citizenship. One of the defendants is further being charged with committing naturalization fraud in support of terrorism, a 25 year felony under federal law. Both are also charged with, among other crimes, traveling overseas to obtain military training and with conducting surveillance in the United States as well as in other countries, of U.S. and Israeli military facilities and personnel.
Imagine if they could have gained access to our military bases in the United States and acquired the best military training in the world on those bases.
The overt acts that they allegedly committed in support of Hezbollah are enumerated in the federal complaints concerning Samer el Debek, a.k.a. Samer Eldebek and Ali Mohamad Kourani, a.k.a. Jacob Lewis, a.k.a. Daniel.
On April 22, 2017, The New York Times reported, “‘A Shortage of Coffins’ After Taliban Slaughter Unarmed Soldiers.”
On June 17, 2017, the Military Times reported, “Another insider attack in Afghanistan leaves 7 Americans wounded.”
On June 17, 2017, CBS reported, “At least 7 U.S. soldiers wounded after Afghan soldier opens fire.” That article ended with this sentence: “Last week, three U.S. soldiers were killed by an Afghan soldier in eastern Nangarhar province. In that case Mujahid claimed that the shooter was a Taliban loyalist who infiltrated the army specifically to seek out opportunities to attack foreign soldiers.”
The June 17, 2017, New York Times article, “7 U.S. Soldiers Wounded in Insider Attack in Afghanistan” included these two paragraphs:
In two episodes in March, a total of 11 American soldiers were wounded by Afghan soldiers in green-on-blue attacks in Helmand Province, in southern Afghanistan, according to Afghan officials. Nonetheless, the incidence of such attacks has decreased greatly as American and other foreign forces have declined from a peak of 150,000 soldiers to about 14,000 now. In 2012, one-fourth of all coalition killings were carried out by Afghan insiders, according to American military officials.
The 209th Corps has been particularly troubled this year, and in April was the scene of the Afghan military’s biggest single loss of life in the past 16 years, when Taliban infiltrators entered Camp Shaheen and killed more than 160 soldiers, many of them unarmed.
Albert Einstein famously remarked that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. You don’t have to possess Professor Einstein’s intellect to see that the concerns I have voiced today are based on multiple similar instances which ultimately resulted in tragedies.
Furthermore, suicide is most certainly not an act of “compassion.”
It is imperative that you contact your elected representatives and tell them to oppose this extremely dangerous legislation.
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on NewsMax.com.