Immigration and the Unlearned Lessons of 9/11

Politicians and the courts block Trump administration’s efforts to safeguard America.

It is hard to believe that it has been 16 years since four passenger airliners were used as de facto cruise missiles to carry out the most horrific terror attack in the history of the United States.

That attack was against the entire United States of America, however, for those who were in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania on that day, the attack was also personal — all too personal.

I will never forget the sight of the ashes from the conflagration at what came to be known as “Ground Zero” fluttering down on my neighborhood in Brooklyn on that day.  I will never forget my neighbors screaming and wailing as they watched the televised coverage of that act of violence and destruction playing out just miles from our homes, knowing that their loved ones and friends went to work only an hour or two earlier at the World Trade Center, or in one of the buildings near the World Trade Center complex.

I will never forget what I came to think of as the “stench of death,” the horrible, sickening odors emanating from the smoldering debris at Ground Zero that lasted for months, permeating the air in New York City.

So many of us still suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. How could we not?

Today the death count from 9/11 continues to climb as more people, especially first responders, slowly and torturously succumb to the diseases that were caused by their exposures to and ingestion of the toxins released when the World Trade Center collapsed.

In fact, the expenses associated with the massive number of those who were sickened by those toxins will be borne through the passage of legislation known as H.R.1786 – James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act.  That bill was named for NYPD Detective James Zadroga, one of the first responders who perished because of his exposure to those toxins.

For nearly every year since the attacks of 9/11 I have written retrospectives to lay out how both the Bush administration and especially the Obama administration failed to take the findings and recommendations of the 9/11 Commission into account, particularly where the issue of immigration was concerned.

I provided testimony to the 9/11 Commission about the nexus between the terror attacks of 9/11 and multiple failures of the immigration system.

Last year my article, Reflections On 9/11’S Vulnerabilities” made my frustrations with the Obama administration crystal clear.

My 2014 article The 9/11 Commission Report and Immigration: An Assessment, Fourteen Years after the Attacks provided and in-depth analysis of the many ways that the Obama administration had not only not acted in accordance with the findings and recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, but actually acted in direct opposition to those findings and recommendations.

Today, thankfully, Donald Trump is the President of the United States and the Attorney General is not Loretta Lynch but Jeff Sessions.

Trump and Session are both clearly committed to enforcing our immigration laws, securing our nation’s borders and addressing the immigration failures and vulnerabilities that the 9/11 Commission identified.

For the first time since the attacks of September 11, 2001 I truly believe that the President of the United States is determined to use the The 9/11 Commission Report and official companion report, “9/11 and  Terrorist TravelStaff Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States” as the starting point for formulating immigration enforcement strategies and policies.

However, don’t break out the champagne just yet.

At every turn the measures taken by the Trump administration to secure the borders of the United States and effectively and fairly enforce our nation’s immigration laws are being thwarted, hobbled and even blocked by politicians from both political parties in Washington and elsewhere.

“Sanctuary Cities” harbor and shield illegal aliens from detection by ICE enforcement personnel.  Among these illegal aliens are criminals, fugitives and terrorists. Without access to smuggled aliens ICE is unable to identify and act against human traffickers.

Incredibly some Sanctuary Cities have decided to solve the problem of “undocumented aliens” by providing them with documents often referred to as municipal IDs.  The term “Undocumented Immigrant” is an artifice created by President Jimmy Carter to blur the distinction between illegal aliens and lawful immigrants.  In the years since further blurring of distinction has served to minimize the distinction between citizens and aliens.

Meanwhile the idea of providing illegal aliens whose true identities, backgrounds and even entry data are unknown and unknowable are being provided with the illusion of legitimacy by being provided with those municipal identity documents which also runs contrary to the REAL ID Act passed by Congress to address issues identified by the 9/11 Commission.

Nearly five years ago the NY Times published an important and illuminating article, Roosevelt Avenue, a Corridor of Vice that reported on the nexus between illegal immigration, crime (including human trafficking, prostitution, narcotics) and the use of false identity documents.

The courts, including the Supreme Court, has acted to gut Presidential authority to prevent the entry of terrorists and into the United States.  Other court decisions have blocked the implementation of laws that would punish Sanctuary Cities.

Finally, supposed “journalists” who could be gainfully employed by Orwell’s Ministry of Truth in his novel “1984” castigate the President and anyone who would dare suggest that the United States not welcome every single foreign national irrespective of how they enter the United States.

They routinely refer to anyone who draws a distinction between lawful immigrants and illegal aliens as being “Anti-Immigrant” while those who advocate for pure immigration anarchy are kindly looked upon as compassionate and refer to them as “Pro-Immigrant.”

When President Obama issued his Executive Orders on immigration the media immediately and accurately published the actual name of the Executive Order.  Today the term DACA (Deferred Action- Childhood Arrival) is well-known because the media published the actual name of Obama’s Executive Order.

The media reported that the Executive Order would benefit “young undocumented immigrants” even though illegal aliens as old as 31 years of age could participate in this wrong-headed and dangerous program, if they claimed that they entered the United States prior to their 16th birthdays.

With no in-person interviews and no field investigations, however, fraudulent claims were extremely unlikely to be uncovered by the adjudications officers at USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services).

The 9/11 Commission identified immigration fraud as the key entry and embedding tactics of terrorists.  I have therefore come to refer to this issue as Immigration fraud: the lies that kill.

In the years since 9/11 still more terror attacks have been committed in the United States by aliens who committed visa fraud and/or immigration fraud.

Case in point, the Tsarnaev brothers who were granted political asylum and subsequent lawful status before they carried out the deadly terror attack on the Boston Marathon.

President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions are determined to identify and prosecute  aliens and co-conspirators who engage in visa fraud and immigration benefit fraud and end Sanctuary City policies.

Additionally, President Trump promulgated an Executive Order that has universally been reported as the “Travel Ban” that purportedly was focused on citizens of “Muslim majority countries.”

All of the supposed controversy surrounding President Trump’s Executive Order is contrived and would end overnight if the media simply published the actual name of President Trump’s Executive Order:

Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States

For Americans who are justifiably concerned about the dangers posed to America and Americans, especially in the wake of a series of worrying reports about terror attacks carried out overseas, the title of President Trump’s Executive Order would be comforting and reassuring.

A review of that Executive Order makes it clear that its purpose is not to single out aliens by religion but by the potential threat that they pose to national security and public safety and that where this Executive Order is concerned, “beauty is more than skin deep.”

Other Executive Orders issued by President Trump call for ramping up the enforcement of our immigration laws from within the interior of the United States to identify and remove criminal aliens and aliens who are members of violent gangs such as the notorious MS-13.

Sanctuary Cities obstruct these important efforts.

What has also not been reported by the media is that while President George W. Bush and his Secretary of Homeland Security issued an improper Executive Order to protect illegal aliens under the Privacy Act, even though that law, as enacted, only protects United States citizens and lawful immigrants, President Trump has issued an Executive Order that rescinds the Bush Executive Order.

President Trump has been acting in the best interests of America and Americans.

The bottom line:  Opposition to President Trump’s immigration policies is opposition to national security and public safety.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in FrontPage Magazine.

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