The way we relate to our memories and recollections creates a dichotomy. Sometimes our memories of events make it appear that the event happened just days ago and sometimes we perceive our memories of the same events as through they happened a lifetime ago.Some events are so startling for good or evil that we will forever remember precisely where we were when that event occurred.
Those of us who are old enough to remember the assassination of President John F. Kennedy will forever remember where we were when we first learned about his death. The same can be said of the destruction of the Space Shuttle Challenger 72 seconds after liftoff on that cold January morning in 1986.
Similarly the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, were seared into our memories, if we are old enough to remember that horrific day, now 16 years ago.
As a New Yorker, I can never, ever forget the ashes from the conflagration at what came to be known as “Ground Zero” fluttering down on my neighborhood in Brooklyn less than ten miles away. I can never forget my neighbors screaming as they ran out of their homes and looked up at those ashes knowing that they likely contained the remains of people, including possibly, their family members who had just gone to work a couple of hour earlier.
I will never forget the cars that began driving around New York decorated with American flags and bearing the photos of their loved ones who had gone missing. Those photos were almost always accompanied by the plaintiff question, “Have you seen my son?” “Have you seen my wife?” “Have you seen my dad?”
It is sobering, however, to consider that there are millions of Americans who were too young on that day to remember the events surrounding the most massive terror attacks ever carried out on U.S. soil. There are also millions of American children who were born after that horrible day.
Recently I spoke with the producer of a radio show who called to invite me on his program. He was in his early 20’s and when I began discussing the attacks of 9/11 I was startled when he told me that he really did not know much about the attacks of 9/11. I asked him if he was taught about that savage act of mass murder in his classes. It was upsetting to hear that he had not learned much about that terror attack during the course of his education.
However, when I asked him about whether he had been taught about the attack at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, he immediately responded by saying, “Of course we learned about that attack, it led to America’s entry into World War II!
I decided that this was a moment to provide him with a bit of perspective about 9/11.
I asked him if he realized that on September 11, 2001, nineteen radical Islamic terrorists barely out of their teens, for the most part, had inflicted more casualties on the United States that did the entire Japanese fleet at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
It took him nearly a minute to respond. He told me that he had never heard anyone make that comparison before, nor did he himself ever consider that comparison.
I went on and told him that the Second World War ended back in 1945 and Japan was no longer an adversary but an ally. In point of fact, I had worked with the Japanese government to help them to bring one of their citizens to justice, a young Japanese woman who was the final co-conspirator of a massive international drug trafficking organization, to be arrested.
The organization she was a part of smuggled cocaine from the United States to Japan. At the time that I assisted with that investigation I was the first INS agent assigned to the Unified Intelligence Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration in New York City.
I was awarded a medal by the Japanese National Police for my assistance in that case.
The “War on Terror” however, is still very much ongoing. The “All clear” has not yet been sounded. No armistice is on the horizon.
As you read this members of the U.S. Military are engaged in the life and death struggles that go with combat, waging a war against an enemy that is determined to kill as many Americans, and others, as possible and destroy our freedoms and our way of life.
The terror attacks of 9/11 have changed America profoundly. Privacy afforded by the Fourth Amendment has all but vanished in many aspects of our lives whether we are boarding airliners, conducting business or engaging in so many other aspects of our day-to-day lives, concerns about safety and national security have stripped us of our privacy.
In point of fact, the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, have yet to claim their last victim. In addition to the nearly 3,000 people who were slaughtered on September 11, 2001 even more people were injured or sickened by their exposure to deadly toxins released when the World Trade Center Complex was destroyed.
Because the illnesses and suffering and death attributable to the attacks of 9/11 continue to this very day, legislation known as H.R.1786 – James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act was passed to provide billions of dollars to address the massive expenses for providing medical care for these victims of 9/11. That bill and the legislation that preceded it was named for NYPD Detective James Zadroga, one of the first responders who perished because of his exposure to those toxins released at “Ground Zero.”
Every year since the attacks of 9/11 I have committed myself to doing whatever I could to alert and educate as many folks as possible about the nexus between immigration failures and national security and America’s vulnerability to international terrorists.
As an INS agent I have investigated and arrested terrorists.
I was called upon to provide testimony to the 9/11 Commission about the nexus between the terror attacks of 9/11 and multiple failures of the immigration system.
I have testified before numerous Congressional hearings in both the House and Senate.
Open borders/immigration anarchists attempt to bully and intimidate those who call for secure borders and effective immigration law enforcement by accusing them of being “anti-immigrant” and, for the most part, the mainstream media has been more than complicit in their deception using that language to deride anyone who would dare suggest that America’s borders must be secured and our immigration laws must be enforced.
All too often he media equates demands for effective immigration law enforcement with xenophobia and racism.
However, our immigration laws have nothing, whatsoever, to do with race, religion, or ethnicity. As an INS agent I frequently investigated and arrested aliens who were not from Latin America. I have investigated and arrested aliens who were citizens of countries from around the world and were of every race, religion, and ethnicity.
Because of my advocacy for secure borders and effective immigration law enforcement I have been referred to as “anti-immigrant” in some articles. Let’s set the record straight. I am the son of an immigrant. My mother legally came to the United States at the age of 13 and lived by herself in a rooming house and supported herself by working in an umbrella factory for $3 per week. Her mother, my grandmother, died in the Holocaust — I was named for her.
As an Immigration Inspector I gladly admitted many, many more aliens than I denied entry. When I was assigned as an Adjudications Officer to adjudicate the immigration marriage petitions as you’ve no doubt seen in some movies, while I did uncover a major fraud ring for which I received an award, I happily granted Green Cards to many more aliens than I denied.
Enforcement of our immigration laws is not about bigotry but about protecting America and Americans.
Inspectors of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are charged with enforcing our immigration laws at ports of entry. It is a job I am intimately familiar with because it is the job I did for the first four years of my thirty year career with the INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) before I became an INS Special Agent.
Those inspectors are charged with preventing the entry of aliens whose presence would be dangerous or otherwise problematic for America and Americans.
They are law enforcement officers and the law that governs their decisions are comprehended within one of the sections of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), specifically Title 8, United States Code, Section 1182 which enumerates the categories of aliens who are to be excluded. Among these classes of aliens who are to be prevented from entering the United States are aliens who suffer from dangerous communicable, diseases or extreme mental illness.
Additionally, convicted felons, human rights violators, war criminals, terrorists, and spies are to be excluded as well as aliens who would seek unlawful employment thus displacing American workers or driving down the wages of American workers who are similarly employed and aliens who would likely become public charges.
Racism is not behind our immigration laws but survival most certainly is.
The racists in the immigration debate are those who freely talk about “Latino Voters” as though American citizens who are of Latino ethnicity have different values, goals, and dreams than other Americans. By definition, anyone who makes such proclamations about people based solely on their race is a racist.
All reasonable Americans, Democrats, Republicans, Conservatives, Liberals and Independents, irrespective of superficial factors, race, religion, or ethnicity, have essentially the same concerns and desires. All Americans want our military to keep our enemies as far from our shores as possible. They want our police to keep our streets safe and they want our schools to educate our children so that any American of any race, religion, ethnicity, or gender who is willing to study hard, work hard and perhaps benefit from a bit of good luck, can write the next success story.
For the first time since the attacks of September 11, 2001, I truly believe that the United States has in Donald Trump a President of the United States who is determined to use the The 9/11 Commission Report and official companion report, “9/11 and Terrorist Travel – Staff Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States” as the starting point for formulating immigration enforcement strategies and policies.
The preface of that latter report began with the following paragraph:
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.
Page 47 of this report noted:
Once terrorists had entered the United States, their next challenge was to find a way to remain here. Their primary method was immigration fraud. For example, Yousef and Ajaj concocted bogus political asylum stories when they arrived in the United States. Mahmoud Abouhalima, involved in both the World Trade Center and landmarks plots, received temporary residence under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers (SAW) program, after falsely claiming that he picked beans in Florida.” Mohammed Salameh, who rented the truck used in the bombing, overstayed his tourist visa. He then applied for permanent residency under the agricultural workers program, but was rejected. Eyad Mahmoud Ismail, who drove the van containing the bomb, took English-language classes at Wichita State University in Kansas on a student visa; after he dropped out, he remained in the United States out of status.
Page 61 contained this passage:
Exploring the Link between Human Smugglers and Terrorists
In July 2001, the CIA warned of a possible link between human smugglers and terrorist groups, including Hamas, Hezbollah, and Egyptian Islamic Jihad.149 Indeed, there is evidence to suggest that since 1999 human smugglers have facilitated the travel of terrorists associated with more than a dozen extremist groups.150 With their global reach and connections to fraudulent document vendors and corrupt government officials, human smugglers clearly have the “credentials” necessary to aid terrorist travel.
This paragraph is found on page 98 under the title “Immigration Benefits:”
Terrorists in the 1990s, as well as the September 11 hijackers, needed to find a way to stay in or embed themselves in the United States if their operational plans were to come to fruition. As already discussed, this could be accomplished legally by marrying an American citizen, achieving temporary worker status, or applying for asylum after entering. In many cases, the act of filing for an immigration benefit sufficed to permit the alien to remain in the country until the petition was adjudicated. Terrorists were free to conduct surveillance, coordinate operations, obtain and receive funding, go to school and learn English, make contacts in the United States, acquire necessary materials, and execute an attack.
As we have seen, 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.
The news media is also guilty of committing fraud. President Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration is always referred to as the “Travel Ban” and it is then generally followed up with the statement that he has focused on “Muslim majority nations.”
In point of fact, the actual executive order does not include one word about the religion of the aliens impacted by his Executive Order. Furthermore, many other countries that are also “Muslim majority” are not on the list, including Indonesia whose population alone is nearly as great as the population of all of the countries on the list combined.
It is frustrating, at the least, that the mainstream media refuses to publish the actual name of President Trump Executive Order. If they did the manufactured “controversy” would evaporate.
The actual name of President Trump’s Executive Order is:
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 all of these important efforts.
The globalists of both political parties are adamantly opposed to the notion of secure borders and effective immigration law enforcement.
While our borders are America’s first line of defense and last line of defense, to these globalists, borders are an impediment to their wealth.
They want our borders to be wide open to permit America to be flooded with as many exploitable workers as possible, including high-tech workers, to drive down wages and benefits.
Pure and simple this is a matter of unbridled and immoral greed.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and their allies including major corporation and a wide array of special interest groups, often from seemingly divergent positions are far more concerned with head counts on airliners, theaters, and hotels than they are with body counts in the morgue.
Lives are sacred and We the People must focus on what unites us as Americans and ignore the immigration scammers who engage in Theft By Deception: The Immigration Con Game.
As we contemplate the terror attacks of 9/11 and the victims of that horrific day, we must, as rational and moral Americans, resist those who would put America and its citizens in harms way.
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in Newsmax. The featured image is of the ‘Tribute in Light’ illuminating the night sky, on September 10, 2017, in New York City, on the eve of the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. (Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images). The image appeared in the original column and is reprinted with permission.