The idea of writing about how America has become a “Sanctuary Country” came to me less than two months before demonstrators and, incredibly, leaders of the Democratic Party began demanding that ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) be completely disbanded and terminate the enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws.
My consternation led me to think back to a Congressional hearing at which I participated in 2005 and at which Rep. John Hostettler, then Chairman of the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, expressed frustration over how the very structure of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the inclusion of a divided immigration law enforcement program had come to be created, hobbling border security and immigration law enforcement. Rep. Hostettler warned that immigration enforcement must not take a “back seat to customs or agriculture” and that it should be shielded from political pressures. He observed that the structure of DHS itself violated the Homeland Security Act which was enacted in 2002 roughly one year after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 (9/11). This was the enabling legislation that created the DHS, which was supposed to address the myriad vulnerabilities that the 9/11 terrorists had exploited, enabling them to enter the United States and carry out their deadly attacks.
Let’s not forget that the “C” in ICE stands for “Customs,” an area of law that has nothing to do with immigration. In fact, before the creation of the DHS the U.S. Customs Service operated under the auspices of the Treasury Department while the former INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) was an element of the Justice Department.
As we consider the extreme politicization of immigration law enforcement, consider these opening remarks by Chairman Hostettler from that hearing well over a decade ago:
The 9/11 terrorists all came to the U.S. with-out weapons or contraband—Added customs enforcement would not have stopped 9/11 from happening. What might have foiled al Qaeda’s plan was additional immigration focus, vetting, and enforcement. And so what is needed is recognition that, one, immigration is a very important national security issue that cannot take a back seat to customs or agriculture. Two, immigration is a very complex issue, and immigration enforcement agencies need experts in immigration enforcement. And three, the leadership of our immigration agencies should be shielded from political pressures to act in a way which could compromise the Nation’s security.
Since the 9/11 attacks and the Congressional hearings to address the core issues involved, the U.S. has been victimized by a multitude of failures of the immigration system. There is a clear pattern of utter unwillingness by political leaders from both parties to address those failures with meaningful efforts and/or resources.
So-called “Sanctuary Cities” and “Sanctuary States” refuse to cooperate with ICE agents to seek the removal (deportation) of any illegal aliens, including aliens who have been convicted of violent felonies. Those cities should actually be referred to as “Magnet Cities” because they attract illegal aliens, among whom are international terrorists and their supporters, members of extremely vicious transnational gangs, and international fugitives from justice, as well as aliens who are likely to displace American and lawful immigrant workers.
However, the most effective way to block the vital work of ICE is to make certain that there is an abject lack of personnel to carry out their vital missions. The federal government has, in point of fact, been guilty of this crime. There are roughly 6,000 ICE agents nationwide, half of whom are not even doing immigration law enforcement-related work. To provide some comparisons, the Border Patrol has about 20,000 agents, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has roughly 45,000 employees, and the New York City Police Department has roughly 37,000 officers, while the U.S. military has more than one million enlisted men and women serving in all five branches.
The very structure of DHS and the immigration law enforcement elements of ICE obstruct rather than facilitate the enforcement of our immigration laws. This has been known to those in Congress concerned with immigration-related problems for a long time. For example, at a hearing on “Funding for Immigration in the President’s 2005 Budget” before the House Immigration Subcommittee on March 11, 2004, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) lamented the lack of ICE agents to combat the hiring of illegal aliens — the “magnet” responsible for drawing many of them to the U.S.
Rep. Smith’s statement below at the hearing on immigration enforcement funding illustrates how long these issues have persisted and how both political parties bear responsibility for the crisis that continues to this day. Here is Rep. Smith’s statement:
Mr.SMITH OF TEXAS.Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you once again for holding an interesting and timely and critical hearing on such an important subject matter. I want to make some observations and then I have a couple of questions for some of our witnesses here today.
First of all, I am glad to see in the Administration’s budget an increase in the money that’s going to be spent on the worksite inspections. I notice, though, in some figures that we have been given in a memo to all Members of the Subcommittee that the number of companies fined for hiring illegal workers has plummeted from over 1,000 in 1992 to 13 in 2002. That means it was almost non-existent.
And while it’s a step in the right direction that we’re increasing the amount of money—as I recall, it was something like from $20 million to $40 million, roughly—for worksite inspections, that’s a little bit like having two candles instead of one candle in a blackout. It’s a step in the right direction, but it’s not doing near what we should.
The gentleman from Iowa just made an excellent point a while ago, which is basically if we’re not willing to enforce employer sanctions, we’re not really willing to reduce the attraction of the largest magnet that is attracting the individuals to this country, that is jobs. So I hope that this is the beginning of an Administration willing to go into the right direction.
But what concerns me, I think, is the mixed signals that is coming from the Administration. We had this small increase in a very large budget in one area. Meanwhile, as I understand it, we are not increasing the number of Border Patrol agents. And meanwhile, going back to my assertion of mixed signals, we are approving matricular cards which are only going to be helpful to illegal immigrants and help them stay in the country longer. We’re not doing anything to discourage States from offering drivers’ licenses. We continue to give Federal benefits to many people in the country who are here illegally.
In other words, we make it very, very easy in many, many ways for individuals to stay here who are here illegally. That is not the right signal to send if we are, in fact, serious about reducing illegal immigration in America.
To the question that we hear asked so frequently, well, we have ten million people in the country illegally. What are we going to do, deport them all? No. There’s an alternative to that and there’s an alternative to gradual amnesty or immediate amnesty, depending on who is proposing it, and that is enforcing immigration laws. And if we enforced immigration laws alone, that would discourage many people from coming and would discourage those who are here from staying.
All that would lead to a reduction in the number of people who are in the country illegally, which, by the way, is far more than ten million. Ten million refers to the number of people who are here permanently. If you today took a head count of the number of people in the country illegally, it would probably be closer to 20 million because there’s a lot of people who are here only for a month or two or three.
That’s how serious the problem is, and if the Administration were serious, we wouldn’t be sending these mixed signals, in my judgment.
Another mixed signal, by the way, is that I just had a staff counsel return from a trip to the border where she was informed by various agents that in New Mexico and Arizona, a person coming across the border illegally had to actually be apprehended between ten and 15 times before they were actually arrested and officially deported. When you’re coming into the country or want to come into the country illegally and you figure your chances, that you have 15 free chances, that’s an open invitation in bright red lights to come to America, keep trying to come to America. And, of course, we know once you get across the border and if you don’t commit a serious crime, you’re basically home free. So we shouldn’t be surprised that both the illegal immigrant traffic is increasing and we shouldn’t be surprised that so many people want to stay here. We’re making it very easy for them to stay here.
By the way, I don’t know who to ask, Mr. Dougherty or Mr. Stodder. On the Texas border, how many times do you have to be apprehended before you’re actually a part of the deportation process, do you know?
Indeed, failures of the immigration system under-mine national security, public safety, public health, and the jobs and wages of American workers and create great stresses on the critical infrastructure of towns and cities across the U.S. Failures of the immigration system violate the findings and recommendation of the 9/11 Commission that was, we must remember, convened to make certain that future such attacks would be prevented.
Early on, as a new INS employee, I came to the worrying conclusion that the INS was an agency that refused to take itself seriously when, in point of fact, the mission of the INS should actually be thought of as an extension of the common mission of all five branches of the U.S. military. Simply stated, that common mission for our armed forces is to keep America’s enemies as far from its shores as possible. During World War II German saboteurs attempted to enter the U.S. surreptitiously on U-Boats. Today’s terrorists are not coming to America on U-Boats but on airliners or by crossing our nation’s borders and entering without inspection. This puts this deadly threat firmly in the realm of immigration law enforcement.
Politicians and the mainstream media frequently claim that the immigration system is broken. To bolster this claim they point to the millions of illegal aliens who live throughout the U.S. Estimates as to the true size of the illegal alien population vary, but commonly the media report that there are about 11 million illegal aliens present. That number has been constant for the past decade in spite of the massive flood of illegal aliens flowing across the U.S./Mexican border, including so-called “Unaccompanied Minors” and the fact that a series of GAO and other reports state that more than a half-million aliens who were lawfully admitted each year violate the terms of their admission. In point of fact, it is likely that the U.S. has more than 30 million illegal aliens.
For millions of aliens to embark on the dangerous and financially costly journey to the southwest border of the U.S., covertly without inspection, or enter through ports of entry with the intention of violating their terms of admission, is a measure of the abject failure of our government to deter such illegal conduct.
I would argue that this failure to deter the entry of all of these aliens in violation of our laws is willful on the part of political leaders from both major political parties and demonstrates, that for all intents and purposes, the lack of resources and commitment to effective and meaningful immigration law enforcement has already turned our entire country into a virtual “sanctuary” for illegal aliens.
The supposed “solution” proffered by the politicians from both the Democratic and Republican parties has been to provide lawful status to millions of illegal aliens. They repeat, “We cannot arrest them all.” This actually incentivizes still more aliens from all over the world to enter America.
There is no other area of law enforcement where politicians are so eager to readily admit defeat and offer to provide a massive amnesty. There are certainly more motorists who have cell phones than there are illegal aliens, and certainly more motorists who drive drunk than there are illegal aliens. Yet no politician or chief of police has ever said that because there are so many motorists who text or are under the influence of alcohol or drugs while driving, that we simply can’t do anything about it.
Indeed, when there are massive violations of laws, the traditional response is to increase penalties for those who violate the laws, and to ramp up resources dedicated to finding and arresting the law violators. The authorities use every means possible to alert the public that such violations will not only not be tolerated, but will result in serious consequences for law violators who are caught. After thirty years in immigration law enforcement, I have come to the disquieting conclusion that the failures of the immigration system are actually “failures by design.” To the globalists, open borders are a beautiful thing. To greedy employers and a long list of others, the ability to exploit cheap labor is their “meal ticket” to a lavish dinner with all of the trimmings.
In order to truly understand what we are witnessing, you need to change your vantage point.
Forget that you are an American citizen or lawful immigrant who scrupulously abides by our laws. Consider the massive flood of foreigners pouring into our country from the perspective of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce or executives of the hotel, hospitality, or travel industries. Consider the situation from the perspective of manufacturing executives. Consider that human tsunami from the perspective of immigration lawyers, and suddenly a new and clear image emerges.
Instead of thinking of the immigration system as a law enforcement system, think of it as a delivery system, a system that delivers an unlimited supply of cheap, exploitable labor. Think of it as a delivery system that delivers a huge number of foreign students who can then qualify to gain practical training in the U.S. by working for American companies. Think of it as a delivery system that provides an unlimited stream of foreign tourists, and finally, think of the immigration system as a delivery system that delivers an unlimited supply of clients for immigration attorneys.
From these perspectives, the immigration system is hardly a failure, but is, in fact, the most effective and efficient delivery system this side of Fed-Ex and UPS combined. That delivery system is well paid for. It is paid for by the campaign contributions of every industry and special interest group that sees profit in undermining the integrity of the immigration system.
To the greedy, the lives lost to criminal aliens, gangs, and terrorists are, as the father of a young man who was slaughtered during the terror attacks of 9/11 testified, simply “the cost of doing business.”
Military leaders go to great pains to minimize civilian casualties in war zones, euphemistically referred to as “collateral damage.” Engineers and scientists have devised “smart weapons” to save non-combatant lives, overseas. Inside the U.S., however, the thousands of innocent victims killed or injured by illegal aliens, including transnational gang members or international terrorists, are nothing more than collateral damage to the beneficiaries of the immigration system.
To greedy employers, the destruction of middle class wages, through the importation of cheap and exploitable workers, is not a problem but a goal.
Furthermore, offering illegal aliens lawful status accomplishes a number of other goals that are certainly not in the best interests of the American public. It acts as the “starter pistol” for aspiring illegal aliens from around the world, convincing them that our government lacks the resources or the will to search for them once they get past the U.S. borders. Additionally, it offers the promise that at some point they will not only not be arrested and deported after making the dangerous, arduous, and costly journey, but they are likely to be rewarded for successfully running the U.S. borders by our very own government.
Finally, if another massive legalization program is created, it will cause a veritable stampede of illegal aliens, quickly filling the waiting rooms of immigration law offices from coast to coast.
Immigration lawyers, particularly immigration lawyers who are members of Congress, from both parties, certainly want to get those illegal aliens “out of the shadows” and into the law offices of their colleagues or, perhaps, into their own law offices when they leave Congress, as some are doing at the end of this year.
Let’s not forget that the “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” legislation first introduced ten years ago would have paid legal fees for the illegal aliens. This was not out of any sort of compassion for illegal aliens but was a taxpayer-funded subsidy for immigration attorneys who hate to work for free (think “billable hours”!).
This outrageous feature of that stalled legislation the “Bi-Partisan Gang of Eight” nearly foisted on us was legislation that I came to refer to as the “Terrorist Assistance and Facilitation Act.” It would have required the beleaguered and overwhelmed adjudications officers of USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) to process the applications of unknown millions of illegal aliens without the capacity to interview them or request outside field investigations. This would have created an open invitation to massive levels of immigration fraud — a threat not just to the integrity of the immigration system but to national security as well.
After the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, it became abundantly clear that at the root cause of those deadly and savage attacks, staged by international terrorists, were multiple failures of the immigration system.
The Homeland Security Act, which was enacted by the Bush administration in 2002, roughly one year after the 9/11 terror attacks, was the enabling legislation that created the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to address the myriad vulnerabilities that the 9/11 terrorists had exploited, which enabled them to carry out their deadly attacks. As has become clear over the years, in creating the DHS, immigration law enforcement was not enhanced but hobbled when it was moved from the Justice Department to the DHS and sliced into multiple agencies and combined with other law enforcement entities.
On May 5, 2005, I testified before a hearing of the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, chaired by Republican Congressman John Hostettler. The topic of the hearing was new “Dual Missions” of the Immigration Enforcement Agencies.
Chairman Hostettler’s opening statement is essential reading. Remember, he was a Republican and courageously speaking out clearly and unequivocally against the actions of a Republican president to interfere with immigration law enforcement, even as the attacks of 9/11 continued to reverberate around the world, around our nation, and certainly within the hearts and souls of all Americans. Here are Rep. Hostettler’s heartfelt remarks:
The first two Subcommittee hearings of the year examined in detail how the immigration enforcement agencies have inadequate resources and too few personnel to carry out their mission. The witnesses mentioned the lack of uniforms, badges, detention space, and the inevitable low morale of frontline agents who are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of incoming illegal aliens. If this were not enough, these “immigration enforcement” agencies also face internal confusion resulting from dual or multiple missions in which immigration has all too often taken a back seat. Sadly, contrary to Congress’ expectations, immigration enforcement has not been the primary focus of either of these agencies, and that is the subject of today’s hearing.
The Homeland Security Act [HSA], enacted in November 2002, split the former Immigration and Naturalization Service, or INS, into separate immigration service and enforcement agencies, both within the Department of Homeland Security. This split had been pursued by Chairman Sensenbrenner based on testimony and evidence that the dual missions of INS had resulted in poor performance.
There was a constant tug-of-war between providing good service to law-abiding aliens and enforcing the law against law-breakers. The plain language of the Homeland Security Act, Title D, creates a “Bureau of Border Security,” and specifically transfers all immigration enforcement functions of INS into it. Yet when it came down to actually creating the two: new agencies, the Administration veered off course. Although the service functions of INS were transferred to USCIS, the enforcement side of INS was split in two: what is now Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, to handle interior enforcement, and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to guard our borders.
ICE was given all Customs agents, investigators, intelligence and analysis from the Treasury Department, as well as the Federal Protective Service to guard Federal buildings, and the Federal Air Marshals to protect our airplanes, and finally the INS investigators.
CBP was given all Treasury Customs inspectors at the ports-of-entry, Agriculture Inspector from the Department Of Agriculture, and INS inspectors.
At no time during the reorganization planning was it anticipated by the Committee that an immigration enforcement agency would share its role with other enforcement functions, such as enforcement of our customs laws. This simply results in the creation of dual or multiple missions that the act sought to avoid in the first place.
Failure to adhere to the statutory framework established by HSA has produced immigration enforcement incoherence that undermines the immigration enforcement mission central to DHS, and undermines the security of our Nation’s borders and citizens.
It is not certain on what basis it was determined that customs and agriculture enforcement should become part of the immigration enforcement agency, except to require Federal agents at the border to have more expertise and more functions.
It is also unknown on what basis the Federal Air Marshals should become part of this agency, especially since it has been revealed that the policy is not to apprehend out-of-immigration status aliens when discovered on flights. If the mission of the Department of Homeland Security is to protect the homeland, it cannot effect its mission by compromising or neglecting immigration enforcement for customs enforcement….
While I am grateful for the service and good work of the heads of our immigration agencies — some of whom are leaving presently for other experiences in Government — I would urge the Administration in the future to place the leadership of the immigration agencies in the hands of those experienced in immigration matters.
Because the DHS was not created capriciously or arbitrarily, it must be concluded that it was done with considerable forethought. I have come to the conclusion that the Bush administration’s response to the 9/11 attacks had the actual effect of undermining the enforcement of our nation’s immigration law enforcement system.
What I had to say at that hearing back on May 5, 2005, is as relevant today as it was back then. In my prepared testimony I make it clear that the myriad failures of the immigration system were not the result of regrettable mistakes, but rather by intentional design:
Chairman Hostettler, Ranking Member Jack-son Lee, distinguished Members of Congress, members of the panel, ladies and gentlemen, I welcome this opportunity to provide testimony today on the critical issue of the dual missions of the immigration enforcement agencies.
While my prepared testimony will focus on ICE, it’s my understanding that the inspections program of CBP is similarly hobbled in its ability to enforce the immigration laws.
For decades our Nation has had the reputation of being the can-do Nation; if we could dream it, we could accomplish it. Our Nation’s entry into both world wars ended with victory. When President John F. Kennedy challenged our scientists and engineers to land men on the moon and return them safely to the Earth, in less than a decade we again rose to the challenge.
Today our Nation is challenged by many problems, and the one issue that impacts so many of these other issues, the enforcement and the administration of the immigration laws, eludes our purported efforts at solving it.
For decades the immigration crisis—and it is, indeed, a crisis—has grown more significant, and its repercussions have increased expo-nentially. We are waging a war on terror and a war on drugs. The immigration component of this battle, of which not only the lives of our citizens, but the survival of our nation itself is on the line, appears to be insoluble. I am here today to tell you that we can control our Nation’s borders, and we can effectively administer and enforce the immigration laws from within the interior of the U.S.
In order to gain control of our borders and our immigration programs, we need to see [them as part of a] system; we also need to understand that the interior enforcement program is critical to gaining control over our Nation’s borders.
Nearly half of the illegal aliens do not enter the country by running the border, but rather by being admitted through a port-of-entry and then subsequently violating their terms of admission. Special agents are desperately needed to not only seek to arrest illegal aliens, but to conduct field investigations to uncover immigration fraud to restore integrity to the benefits program which has been historically plagued with high fraud rates. This is especially troubling as we wage a war on terror. The 9/11 staff report on terrorist travel made it clear that this dysfunction of bureaucracy aided the terrorists who wrought so much damage upon our Nation.
The fact is that many of the managers of ICE appear more focused on traditional Customs-oriented investigations than they are on enforcing the Immigration and Nationality Act to safeguard our Nation from terrorists and criminals who have become adept at hiding in plain sight by making use of gaping loopholes and deficiencies in the immigration bureaucracy that go undetected by the law enforcement agency that is supposed to enforce these laws.
Since the merger of legacy INS and legacy Customs into ICE, the new ICE special agents are no longer even being given Spanish language training, even though it’s been estimated that some 80 percent of the illegal alien population is, in fact, Spanish-speaking. It is impossible to investigate individuals you are unable to communicate with, yet this critical language training program has been eliminated from the curriculum of new ICE agents. I have to believe that this represents more than a simple oversight on the part of the leaders at the Academy; it underscores an absolute lack of desire to enforce the critical immigration laws.
If anything, our agents should be getting additional language training as we seek to uncover aliens operating within our Nation’s borders who are a threat to our well-being. Strategic languages such as Arabic, Farsi and Urdu should be added to the curriculum, along with Chinese, Korean and other such languages; yet at present the curriculum not only fails to mandate any foreign language training, it doesn’t even offer any foreign language training.
Identity documents are the lynchpins that hold the immigration program together, yet incredibly, while other law enforcement agencies provide in-service document training to their personnel to help them recognize altered or counterfeited identity documents, ICE does not. Immigration law training is not as effective as it needs to be.
Besides the extreme lack of resources that have been the focus at previous hearings, we need to make certain that the people in charge of enforcing the immigration laws have a true understanding of the laws and have a clear sense of mission that many key managers appear to lack. At present, nearly every field office of ICE is headed by a Special Agent-in-Charge who came from the U.S. Customs Service and not from the former INS. The immigration laws are highly complex and require that the executives who are charged with leading the enforcement effort have a thorough understanding of the laws that they are responsible for enforcing. They should have real-world experience at investigating and aiding in the prosecution of criminal organizations that produce fraudulent documents, promote fraud schemes to circumvent the immigration laws, and engage in large-scale human trafficking or the smuggling of criminal or terrorist aliens into the U.S. They should also have real-world experience and understanding of the ways in which proper enforcement of the immigration laws can synergistically act as a force multiplier when ICE agents team up with law enforcement officers from other law enforcement agencies.
The effective enforcement of immigration laws can also help to cultivate informants to facilitate not only investigations into immigration law violations, but into other areas of concern, including narcotics investigations, gang investigations, and terrorism investigations.
The current lack of leadership that is experienced in immigration law enforcement, the lack of effective training and the previously examined lack of resources have been disastrous for the enforcement of the immigration laws, thereby imperiling our Nation and our people.
It is vital that there be real accountability and real leadership where immigration is concerned. While Customs and Immigration were both border enforcement agencies, the border is where their similarities begin and end. I would, therefore, strongly recommend that the law enforcement officers charged with enforcing the immigration laws have a dedicated chain of command with a budget and training program that focuses on immigration. Certainly they can and should work cooperatively with the former Customs enforcement agents, but they need a separate identity in order to make certain that the current “Customization” of immigration law enforcement stops immediately for the security of our Nation. The enforcement of our immigration statutes needs to be the priority, and not an afterthought.
Back then some members of the Republican Party had the courage and integrity to confront the President about failures of the immigration system, even though that President was himself a Republican. Today President Trump faces fierce, bi-partisan attacks for trying to secure our borders and enforce our immigration laws.
I made mention of Rep. Lamar Smith and his
remarks about the lack of resources to enforce our immigration laws. He made crystal clear his disappointment with the administration of George W. Bush, a fellow Texas Republican, in its failing to provide funding and leadership where immigration law enforcement was concerned.
I hasten to add that I am not being a partisan in stating my opinion. For the record, I have been a registered Democrat ever since I voted in my first election more decades ago than I care to remember. First and foremost I have always thought of myself as an American. How the times and our political “leaders” have changed! The issues that we are considering have nothing to do with “Left” or “Right.” They are all about right or wrong!
Globalists come in all shapes and sizes. They hate the concept of sovereign nations. They have flooded the campaign contribution war chests of politicians from both parties. George Soros and the Koch brothers are on the identical page where immigration-related issues are concerned.
Many decent Americans have been snookered by the promoters of mass immigration to believe that our immigration laws, and those who seek to have them fairly but effectively enforced, are xenophobic racists. In point of fact, our immigration laws are utterly and totally blind as to race, religion, or ethnicity.
CBP (Customs and Border Protection) inspectors who stand guard over America’s ports of entry applying and enforcing our immigration laws in determining whether or not to admit aliens are guided by one of the sections of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) — Title 8, U.S. Code, Section 1182, which enumerates the categories of aliens who are to be excluded. Among these classes of aliens are aliens who suffer from dangerous communicable, diseases or extreme mental illness, are criminals, human rights violators, human traffickers, drug smugglers, war criminals, terrorists, spies, or aliens who had been previously deported from the U.S. and did not have authorization to return, or had committed visa fraud.
Additionally, aliens are to be excluded if they are likely to become public charges because they did not have the financial resources to care for themselves, or in the case of nonimmigrant (temporary visitors), were likely to seek illegal employment, thus displacing American workers and/or driving down the wages of American workers who are similarly employed.
Aliens who evade the inspections process do so because they know that they are within one or more categories of aliens who are statutorily ineligible to enter the U.S. for reasons I enumerated above.
As Americans we share common goals and concerns. As an INS agent I arrested aliens from around the world of every race, every religion, and every ethnicity.
The complaint about families being separated at the U.S./Mexican border is cynicism at its worst. Those children would never have been separated from their parents (if indeed they were smuggled across the southwest border by their actual family members) if crimes had not been committed by the adults who brought them here.
No one complains when children are taken from their parents who mistreat them or leave them in deadly hot cars to suffocate in the summer time. It is expected that unfit parents will lose custody of their children to protect them from further harm.
It is estimated that about 3,000 children have been separated from their families by the Border Patrol, yet the activists want ICE to be disbanded. Religious groups rushed psychologists to care for the “traumatized children” who had been smuggled into the U.S. In my article for FrontPageMagazine.com, July 19, 2018, I revealed uncomfortable facts about the “family separation” issue, “The Left’s Embarrassing Plea For Open Borders,” which included the following:
The website Children’s Rights posted a section on Foster Care that included the following statistics:
On any given day, there are nearly 438,000 children in foster care in the U.S.
In 2016, over 687,000 children spent time in U.S. foster care.
On average,children remain in state care for nearly two years,and six percent of children in foster care have languished there for five or more years.
Despite the common perception that the majority of children in foster care are very young,the average age of kids entering care is 7.
In 2016,more than half of children entering U.S. foster care were young people of color.
While most children in foster care live in family settings,a substantial minority — 12 percent — live in institutions or group homes.
How many psychologists carrying Teddy bears were dispatched, with lights flashing and sirens blaring, to care for those traumatized children?
By words and deeds, our political leaders, journalists, and judges solemnly invoke objections to the alleged “unconstitutionality” of President Trump’s efforts to finally secure the borders and enforce our nation’s immigration laws while ignoring Article IV, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution: “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.”
Invasion has been defined in part, in Dictionary.com, as:
• an incursion by a large number of people or things into a place or sphere of activity: stadium guards are preparing for another invasion of fans.
• an unwelcome intrusion into another’s domain: random drug testing of employees is an unwarranted invasion of privacy.
The popular misconception about immigration law enforcement focuses attention on the U.S. Border Patrol. Indeed, the Border Patrol mission is extremely important and dangerous, securing our nation’s borders against the unlawful entry of individuals and materials by circumventing the inspections process at ports of entry.
Obviously our borders must be secured. However, nearly half of all illegal aliens did not run our nation’s borders but entered through ports of entry and then, in one way or another, violated the terms of their admission.
The Border Patrol has no role to play in locating and arresting aliens who violate their terms of admission into the U.S. by violating their visas. This is a responsibility of ICE. ICE searches for aliens who fail to show up for immigration hearings and also conducts investigations into crooked employers who intentionally hire illegal aliens. ICE agents participate in various other task forces such as the Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Organized Crime, Drug Enforcement Task Force where I spent the final ten years of my career.
The 9/11 Commission identified immigration and visa fraud as the key method of entry and embedding for terrorists, and not just the 19 terrorist hijackers who so savagely attacked the United States on September 11, 2001, but a list of other terrorists the Commission investigated.
Immigration fraud undermines the integrity of the immigration system and national security. Such investigations are not conducted by the Border Patrol but by ICE.
America should indeed be a true sanctuary where Americans and law-abiding immigrants are safe. That would certainly fulfill President Lincoln’t dream of a government: “of the people, by the people, for the people.”
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EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Social Contract Press. © Copyright 2018 The Social Contract Press, 445 E Mitchell Street, Petoskey, MI 49770; ISSN 1055-145X. (Article copyrights extend to the first date the article was published in The Social Contract). The featured photo is by Joey Csunyo on Unsplash.