President Trump’s decision to send National Guard troops to the U.S./Mexico border to provide support to the U.S. Border Patrol is not unprecedented. Both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama also sent unarmed National Guard troops to the southern border.
While the administration has yet to fully explain how the troops will assist the beleaguered Border Patrol agents, it is to be presumed that the National Guard personnel will also be unarmed and not directly involved in the interdiction and apprehension of aliens attempting to enter the United States surreptitiously without inspection.
Of course anything that can be done to free up Border Patrol agents from activities that distract them from their primary mission of securing the border are welcome, but we must understand that these national guard troops will not, by themselves, seal that problematic border.
Once again attention has been drawn, virtually exclusively, to the need to secure the southern border of the United States. Make no mistake, that border must be secured, however, the need to enforce the immigration laws from within the interior of the United States has always been ignored. We will consider interior enforcement shortly.
The justification for President Trump’s decision to deploy those National Guard troops was reported in an April 8, 2018 ABC News report, Trump adviser cites ‘alarming’ 200 percent increase in attempted US-Mexico border crossings.
Here is how the article reported on the underlying circumstances:
“It’s alarming. It’s an over 200 percent increase and we’re talking about apprehending over 50,000 people attempting to cross our border in one month,” White House homeland security and counterterrorism adviser Tom Bossert told ABC News Chief Global Affairs Correspondent and co-anchor Martha Raddatzon “This Week” Sunday.
The increase in March 2018 over the same month the year before paints a different picture than other figures from the Department of Homeland Security that show the number of people caught crossing the border illegally in 2017 was the lowest since 1971.
We can only speculate as to why the number of apprehensions has exploded as compared with the arrest statistics from the previous months.
One possible factor may be President Trump’s contradictory statements about how he would deal with DACA aliens, holding out the possibility that aliens who had not been processed but who claim to meet the requirements for participation in this illegal program may have convinced large numbers of individuals from around the world that if they can somehow enter the United States, especially without inspection, where no record is created of their admission, they could then easily falsely claim to have been present in the United States for years just days after actually entering the United States.
The number of such illegal aliens would be so great that no interviews and no field investigations could be routinely conducted in an effort to uncover fraud. Under such circumstances as the number of aliens who successfully game the overwhelmed bureaucracy increases, even more illegal aliens would be emboldened to submit similarly fraud-laden applications, thereby creating a vicious cycle of ever-increasing numbers of applications forcing the adjudications officers at USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) to process more applications in the least amount of time possible.
An application can be approved in minutes while a denial may require days. It must be presumed that an alien whose application is denied will file an appeal.
The denial of an application often requires a field investigation be conducted and a formal report of that investigation be completed by the investigator. The adjudications officer must then prepare a formal denial that will have to be reviewed by a government attorney to make certain it meets minimum standards of legal sufficiency to justify that denial.
Often no investigators are available to conduct that essential field investigation leaving adjudicators no choice but to approve applications that should not be approved.
This undermines the integrity of the system thereby undermining national security.
Indeed, immigration fraud and the overall lack of integrity of the immigration system were cited by the 9/11 Commission as the key means by which terrorists have entered the United States and embedded themselves as they went about their deadly preparations.
Concerns about immigration fraud was the focus of my article, Immigration Fraud – Lies That Kill.
Of course the number of Border Patrol arrests along the U.S./Mexican border don’t provide a comprehensive assessment of the true number of illegal aliens present in the United States or who are seeking to enter the United States.
A couple of years ago when I was a guest on Neil Cavuto’s program on Fox News, Neil attempted to draw the conclusion that when border arrests are down there are fewer illegal aliens entering the United States. I told Neil that to attempt to determine the number of illegal aliens present in the United States purely on the basis of Border Patrol arrests is comparable to taking attendance by asking people not present to raise their hands.
Not all illegal aliens enter the United States by entering the United States without inspection from Mexican and Canada. Some stowaway on ships while others enter the United States via the lawful entry process conducted at America’s hundreds of ports of entry, particularly international airports, and then, in one way or another, violate the terms of their admission.
For nonimmigrant (temporary) visitors this may involve overstaying their temporary authorized period of admission, working illegally, or otherwise violating their terms of admission.
Aliens who are lawfully admitted for permanent residence become subject to deportation (removal) when they commit crimes.
In November 2001, just weeks after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, I testified before the House Immigration Reform Caucus about failures of the immigration system that enabled the terrorists to enter the United States and hide in plain sight as they went about their deadly preparations. My prepared statement for that hearing was subsequently submitted for inclusion in the Congressional Record by Caucus Chairman Tom Tancredo.
My testimony included the recommendation that Congress and the administration conceptualize effective immigration law enforcement as standing on an “Immigration Enforcement Tripod” and that each leg of that tripod must be of equal length.
Under this concept, the Immigration Inspectors (today they are referred to as Customs and Border Protection inspectors) enforce the immigration laws at ports of entry.
The U.S. Border Patrol enforces the immigration laws from between ports of entry and finally, the Immigration Special Agents- now known as ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents) comprise the third leg of that enforcement tripod and enforce the immigration laws from within the interior of the United States.
This critical leg of the tripod is not only responsible for arresting illegal aliens but also deter many aliens from entering illegally.
ICE agents also investigate employers who may hire illegal aliens and ICE agents also participate in various task forces such as the Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Organized Crime, Drug Enforcement Task Force.
ICE agents and also conduct investigations into immigration fraud, a key vulnerability.
The official report, 9/11 and Terrorist Travel included these paragraphs:
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.
[ … ]
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.
More recently, consider how the Tsarnaev family was granted political asylum, claiming “credible fear” that they could not go back to their native Russia and then, upon being granted asylum, voluntarily boarded airliners for Russia. The two Tsarnaev brothers went on to launch the deadly terror attack on the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013.
For decades, this third leg of the immigration enforcement tripod has been much shorter and weaker than the other legs of this tripod and, I would argue, this has been intentional.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce exerts extraordinary influence in Washington. Without an adequate number of ICE agents, employers who violate the immigration laws go undiscovered and unpunished. Additionally, all too many politicians from both parties are globalists and all too many members of Congress are lawyers. Some, in fact, are immigration lawyers who don’t see illegal aliens as a problem but as clients for their friends, or, perhaps for themselves when they leave Congress and resume their legal practices.
Effective enforcement of immigration laws from within the interior of the United States is as important as securing our nation’s borders to solve the immigration crisis.
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on FrontPage Magazine.