By: Michael Cutler
On December 18, 2017 two important documents were published that illustrate that President Trump is determined to keep his campaign promises and protect America and Americans.
First of all, on that day the official White House website posted a document that laid out President Trump’s national security strategy to “advance America’s interests.” His national security strategy includes border security and meaningful enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws from within the interior of the United States. Here is the excerpt from that document:
PROTECT THE HOMELAND: President Trump’s fundamental responsibility is to protect the American people, the homeland, and the American way of life.
We will strengthen control of our borders and reform our immigration system to protect the homeland and restore our sovereignty.The greatest transnational threats to the homeland are:Jihadist terrorists, using barbaric cruelty to commit murder, repression, and slavery, and virtual networks to exploit vulnerable populations and inspire and direct plots.Transnational criminal organizations, tearing apart our communities with drugs and violence and weakening our allies and partners by corrupting democratic institutions.America will target threats at their source: we will confront threats before they ever reach our borders or cause harm to our people.
The second document to consider is the Government Executive Magazine report, “Trump Administration Seeks Outside Help to Hire 26,000 New Immigration Enforcement Personnel.”
According to the article, the administration is seeking to hire 10,000 more ICE personnel and 5,000 additional employees for the Border Patrol and continue to hire even more personnel over time. Clearly the administration is determined to not just talk about the need to secure our nation’s borders and enforce our immigration laws but to actually achieve these critical goals.
However, it is imperative that if the administration is able to overcome Congressional resistance to hiring enforcement personnel that ICE not distract them from the immigration law enforcement mission. Indeed there are many ways that this workforce can and must be deployed to achieve maximum results.
Obviously more agents could and should seek to locate and apprehend aliens who either entered the United States without inspection or subsequent to having been admitted into the United States, violated their terms of admission. However, there are many more missions that must be effectively addressed by ICE.
These new ICE agents should be used to combat immigration fraud to not only target the aliens who enter into conspiracies but also U.S. citizens who, for example, engage in marriage fraud. Task forces such as the Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Organized Crime, Drug Enforcement Task Force (where I spent the final 10 yeas of my career with the former INS) would certainly benefit greatly from an infusion of large numbers of immigration law enforcement personnel.
The laws of nature are immutable. The speed of light, for example, is determined by the laws of physics and needs no enforcement measures. The speed limit on our nation’s roads, however, are meaningless unless speed limits are enforced by the police. I refer to this as deterrence through enforcement.
America’s immigration crisis is the result of the determined efforts by political leaders from both parties, to make certain that the immigration system delivers what their deep-pocketed contributors such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce want, a virtually unlimited supply of cheap and compliant labor, unlimited foreign tourists and a massive influx of foreign students. Indeed, the frequent claims that the immigration system is broken are utter falsehoods.
The title of one of my previous articles, Immigration Failure – By Design sums up the current situation succinctly.
There has always been a abject shortage of personnel and resources allocated to the enforcement of our immigration laws from within the interior of the United States. Today there are only about 6,000 ICE agents and much of their work has nothing to do with immigration law enforcement. To put that number in perspective, the NYPD has more than 36,000 officers.
ICE agents spend much of their time pursuing financial crimes, intellectual property crimes, drug-related crimes and child pornography. While all of those crimes must certainly be investigated and appropriate enforcement actions taken, many other law enforcement agencies on the local, state and federal level have jurisdiction over those crimes.
Only one agency has the mandate and authority to enforce our immigration laws and that agency is ICE.
In point of fact the way that DHS was created by the administration of George W. Bush in the wake of the terror attacks of 9/11 actually hobbled efforts to enforce the immigration laws, not withstanding the fact that the 9/11 Commission made it clear that terrorists, and not only the 19 hijackers who participated in the attacks on September 11, 2001 but other terrorists as well, exploited vulnerabilities in the immigration system.
On May 5, 2005 I testified at a hearing conducted by the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims on the topic, “New ‘Dual Mission’ Of The Immigration Enforcement Agencies.”
Subcommittee Chairman John Hostettler noted in part:
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 (Homeland Security Act) 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.
Without adequate resources to enforce laws, laws become meaningless. Our politicians have become adept at creating illusions that they are meeting the demands of their constituents but making certain that first and foremost, they actually meet the demands of their wealthy campaign contributors. For example, we have all heard the call for mandatory E-Verify to help employers screen their employees to make certain that only Americans and aliens authorized to work in the United States will be hired.
Certainly, E-Verify must be made mandatory, however, without an adequate number of ICE personnel to conduct field investigations to make certain that employers are in compliance with the laws, unscrupulous employers could simply hire massive numbers of illegal aliens “off the books” so that their illegal hiring and employment practices go unnoticed. Even members of Congress who supporter making E-Verify mandatory have never called for hiring more ICE agents. Do these legislators want to really end the illegal hiring practices of employers, or simply create the illusion that they are acceding to the demands of the great majority of their constituents.
On another matter, immigration fraud poses a threat to the integrity of the immigration system and, as the 9/11 Commission reported, was a key method of entry and embedding for terrorists.
In the wake of the 9/11 attacks the penalties for immigration fraud and visa fraud were greatly increased. Immigration fraud and visa fraud committed in conjunction with terrorism now carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison. Aliens who enter the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) do not need visas. Therefore, terrorists from VWP countries need not fear being prosecuted for committing visa fraud.
On September 11, 2001 26 countries participated in the Visa Waiver Program. Today, thanks in large measure to the ceaseless efforts of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and their partners in the Discover America Partnership, 38 countries are now on that list.
As I have noted in prior articles, as long as the globalist U.S. Chamber of Commerce and their “partners in crime” from the hotel, travel, tourism and manufacturing associations are more concerned with head counts on airliners, cruise ships, hotels and ball parks than they are with body counts in the morgue, America will not be safe.
Today executives of the travel and tourism industries are making national security decisions for the United States. through politicians who are acting as their proxies.
In 2015 after terror attacks rocked countries in Europe, Congress amended the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) to require citizens of Visa Waiver countries to obtain visas before seeking entry into the United States if, as noted on the State Department website: “Nationals of VWP countries who have traveled to or been present in Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen on or after March 1, 2011 (with limited exceptions for travel for diplomatic or military purposes in the service of a VWP country).”
Does anyone expect a terrorist would share his/her prior travel information with our State Department officials? Why didn’t they require a transcript from terror training school while they were at it?
On March 10, 2005 the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims conducted a hearing at which I testified, on the topic, “Interior Immigration Enforcement Resources.”
Rep. John Hostettler chaired that subcommittee and noted:
The 9/11 Commission staff report on terrorist travel stated it had, ”identified numerous entry and embedding tactics associated with earlier attacks in the United States,” and that prior to 9/11, ”abuse of the immigration system and a lack of interior immigration enforcement were unwittingly working together to support terrorist activity.”
Today President Trump is seeking to hire meaningful numbers of immigration law enforcement personnel and Congress must support his goals to advance America’s interests, especially national security and public safety.