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“Unobtainium” and Border Deception

Exclusive from the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism by Michael W. Cutler

The “Gang of Eight,” aka the “Eight Gangsters,” are concocting Comprehensive Immigration Reform legislation. Purportedly this Open Borderslegislation is needed to address the presence of the officially-estimated population of 12 million illegal aliens.

While the legislation is referred to as being “Comprehensive,” there is nothing truly comprehensive about their approach, other than the fact that it would provide nearly all illegal aliens who are in the United States, or who will arrive in the months to come, with lawful status and ultimately, a pathway to United States citizenship. It would also increase the number of visas for many thousands of foreign workers and allow them to compete unfairly with American workers.

The “one time” amnesty of 1986 was supposed to involve approximately one million illegal aliens. Over 3.5 million actually came forward. If history were to repeat itself, Comprehensive Immigration Reform would involve between 30 and 40 million aliens.

And that is just one of the deceptions inherent in the coverage of the current debate. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) was on ABC’s “This Week” last Sunday, and expressed concern that pledges to secure the border between the U.S. and Mexico won’t be kept, leading to a massive influx of illegal aliens.

“It looks like…it will give amnesty now, legalize everyone that’s here effectively today and then there’s a promise of enforcement in the future,” Sessions said about the proposed legislation. “Even if you pass laws today that appear to be effective, it doesn’t mean they’re going to be enforced.”

“And we have in this administration,” he added, a failure to enforce. So that’s a big deal right now.”

Another deception is the claim that the United States has just four border states. Any state that has a seaport or international airport is as much a border state as are those states found along America's northern and southern border. Simply stated, there are 50 border states.

The “debate” over Comprehensive Immigration Reform has, by design, centered on whether the southern border is secure. It most certainly is anything but secure, but that is hardly the only problem in our current immigration system. While that border must be secured against the illegal, un-inspected entry of aliens and cargo, it is not a more serious problem than the fact that there are millions of illegal aliens present in the United States who ran across the U.S./Canadian border, jumped ship or stowed away on vessels, or violated their terms of supposedly lawful admissions into the United States. 

It is certainly not more serious than the fraud permeating the immigration benefits program.

While attention is being intentionally drawn to the U.S./Mexican border, attention is purposely being drawn away from the myriad other abysmal failures of the immigration system.

The lack of integrity in the adjudications process was the focus of clear concerns of the 9/11 Commission, and the 9/11 Commission staff noted it in their report, 9/11 AND TERRORIST TRAVEL: Staff Report of the National Commission onTerrorist Attacks Upon the United States.

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.”

Page 47 of the above-noted report contained the following paragraph: 

“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.”

The “Eight Gangsters” expect that there would be no way to verify material facts contained in applications for Comprehensive Immigration Reform filed by “Undocumented Aliens.” They craft legislative prerequisites for aliens to deceive their colleagues and the American people. Aliens who game the system will be able to falsely claim they meet those requirement. For example, let’s examine the requirement that aliens must have been present in the United States for a designated period of years. Without a record of their entry into the United States, and without the means to conduct field investigations, an alien could easily enter the United States well after any cutoff date, while fraudulently claiming to have been here for years.

Engineers who are engaged in cutting-edge programs refer to materials that don’t exist but that would be essential to the construction of advanced design aircraft, spacecraft and the like, as being “unobtainium.” Where immigration is concerned, the term “unobtainium” could be used to refer to the verification of claims made in applications for immigration benefits. There is no way to verify information concerning material facts contained in those applications. 

There has been no mention as to how the USCIS would process these amnesty applications. There are not enough personnel available to conduct face-to-face interviews with all of the applicants. Today, that beleaguered, inept and incompetent agency is processing alien “DREAMERS” without in-person interviews, and without the capacity to conduct field investigations to verify claims made in those applications.

Immigration fraud compromises national security and deprives hardworking Americans the opportunity to find decent jobs at a time when such jobs are already in short supply. 

Yet fraud largely goes undetected and unpunished. Think of it as a case of “Mind over matter.” If the administration doesn't mind, it would not matter if aliens lie on their applications with impunity, and, in fact, tacit immunity!

Aliens who succeed in gaming the system provide encouragement to other aliens, who are consequently emboldened to file their own fraud-laden applications, further exacerbating the backlog of applications, applying more pressure on the over-burdened system to move the applications still more quickly. It takes minutes to approve an application, but it may take hours or days to deny an application. The only way to clear the burgeoning backlog of applications is to approve nearly every application. This encourages more fraud and further compromises not only the integrity of the immigration system, but national security and the safety and well-being of all Americans as well.

Today, record numbers of Americans, especially young Americans and members of the American minority communities, are unemployed and underemployed. It is outrageous that the “Eight Gangsters,” such as Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), are calling for more work visas for foreign workers as a “solution” to the immigration crisis. This is the equivalent of addressing drunk driving by raising the acceptable blood alcohol level for motorists. While fewer drivers would be legally drunk, the carnage on the highways would actually increase as more drivers drank more—with impunity!

As I noted at the conclusion of my prepared testimony for the hearing on immigration conducted by the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 20, 2013: 

“Law enforcement is at its best when it creates a climate of deterrence to convince those who might be contemplating violating the law that such an effort is likely to be discovered, and, that if discovered, adverse consequences will result for the law violators. Current policies and statements by the administration, in my view, encourage aspiring illegal aliens around the world to head for the United States. In effect the starter's pistol has been fired, and for these folks, the finish line to this race is the border of the United States.”

The true solution to the immigration crisis lies in addressing all of the failures that induced and enabled millions of illegal aliens to enter the United States and work illegally or, in all too many instances, acquire lawful status by committing fraud. More agents must be hired for ICE and they must be given the resources and leadership to do an effective job. Aliens must come to understand that those who commit fraud and other violations will be identified and face prosecution and deportation.

Rather than Comprehensive Immigration Reform, America really needs COMPILE (Comprehensive Immigration Law Enforcement)!

Michael W. Cutler is a retired Senior Special Agent with the Immigration and Naturalization Service.  

 

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