Domestic enforcement and border crisis
There is no shortage of coverage of the immigration crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border, with much of the coverage focusing on the dire conditions in which unaccompanied minors are being held.
What is almost never discussed, however, is how the lack of internal enforcement of our immigration laws in the United States does not deter and actually encourage massive illegal immigration. What is also being ignored is how this lack of domestic enforcement undermines national security, public safety, public health, and jobs and wages of Americans.
If you ask most people how many “border states” the United States has, you will likely be told there are four: California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.
In reality, the United States has 50 border states. Any state that lies along the northern and southern borders, or along the 95,000-mile-long American coast, is a border state, as are states with international airports. As I wrote earlier, the collapse of the southwest border is just the tip of the iceberg.
Meanwhile, radical Democrats are calling for immigration and customs to be dismantled, and the Biden government has taken the unprecedented measure of enacting an executive order banning ICE agents from arresting illegal aliens without guarantee. Given this, and the Biden government opposing other such security measures, it can really be said that “Biden cripples immigration law” because its executive directs handcuff agents and releases violators.
On February 18, 2021, the Washington Post reported that a “Biden memo for ICE officers indicates fewer deportations and strict supervision”. According to the postICE agents “require pre-approval from a senior manager before attempting to deport someone who is not a new frontier worker, a national security threat, or a criminal conviction.” The Biden government believes that this policy will “lead to a sharp decline in the number of arrests and deportations of immigrants”.
In other words, with the stroke of a pen, Biden virtually eliminated the legal authority ICE agents have to arrest suspected illegal aliens without any guarantee. This sends a clear message to the agents that anything they do can (and likely will) be used against them.
In addition, so-called “protected areas”, which are being implemented by numerous mayors and even some governors, undermine any remaining remnants of internal enforcement, and therefore national and public security. The protected areas are now making driving licenses available to illegal foreigners. New York State even went so far as to block ICE and Border Patrol from accessing its DMV database, Cuomo’s gift to ISIS, the drug cartels and human traffickers.
According to Biden’s guidelines, the border police are once again engaged in “catching and releasing” the aliens they arrest. Once released, these aliens travel to cities in the United States. Some are due to appear for hearings in years’ time, while others have not even received court hearings. Foreigners who fail to attend immigration hearings have nothing to fear from immigration authorities because of the Biden executive ordinances and policies.
For decades, the immigration authorities’ internal enforcement mission has been all but ignored under both Democratic and Republican administration. This has been the biggest failure of the immigration system, in my opinion, and is truly an inherent failure. It has suffered from a dire lack of resources that has wreaked immeasurable damage and, in my judgment, and even after the judgment of the 9/11 Commission, contributed to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and other terrorist attacks in the United States from international states Terrorists.
This lack of domestic enforcement also hinders efforts to combat trafficking in human beings, cross-border gangs and drug trafficking organizations. ICE agents are supposed to investigate and punish employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens. ICE agents are assigned to various multi-agency task forces, such as the Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, where I served for the last decade of my career with the former United States Immigration and Naturalization Service.
In November 2001, just weeks after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, I testified before the House Immigration Reform Caucus, which was then headed by Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo. On December 10, 2001, he entered my prepared testimony for that hearing in the minutes of Congress. The focus of this hearing, and consequently my testimony, was on examining the failure of the immigration system that helped terrorists enter the United States, embed themselves in our country, and prepare for the most terrible terrorist attack in our nation’s history.
One of the topics I raised was my concept of the “tripod to enforce immigration law”. Under this concept, the Border Patrol enforces our immigration laws between ports of entry and prohibits illegal immigration and smuggling of contraband into the United States. The Immigration Inspectors (now known as Customs and Border Protection Inspectors) enforce our immigration laws in the ports of entry by applying immigration laws during the inspection process. and finally, the third leg of the enforcement tripod (Now Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents) who enforce immigration laws from inside the United States and support both the Border Patrol and the CBP Inspectors of Arresting Foreigners Who Join the Border Patrol and evade the inspection process carried out at the ports of entry by entering the United States without inspection. ICE agents are also said to arrest foreigners who violate their legal entry requirements into the United States.
ICE agents also conduct immigration fraud investigations where foreigners can enter fraudulent marriages with U.S. citizens or foreigners with legal immigrant backgrounds in order to gain legal immigrant status or apply for visas by hiding or changing material facts in their applications . The 9/11 commission to which I testified identified immigration and visa fraud as the main methods of entry and embedding used not only by the 9/11 hijacker’s terrorists but also by other terrorists were.
Immigration fraud enables foreigners to bypass measures to combat illegal immigration. The border wall, which has received so much attention, can be easily defeated by an item that you can slip in your jacket pocket or hold in your hand: a green card.
While so many have asked me over the years whether mandatory e-verification would end illegal immigration once and for all by forcing employers to stop hiring illegal aliens, the answer is that a foreigner who is a Green Acquiring a card, acquiring a green card through immigration fraud, or any other suitable visa can work legally in the US and allow them to go through the e-verify program.
The only way to combat immigration fraud is to have a sufficient number of ICE agents who have the resources they need to do their jobs effectively. Today ICE only has about 6,000 agents for the whole country and most of them are involved in investigations into nonimmigration related matters.
The official report of the commission “9/11 and Terrorist Travel” contained several important observations. Page 61 warned that “people smugglers have facilitated the travel of terrorists associated with more than a dozen extremist groups.” Page 98 states that immigration fraud is a primary method for terrorists to stay in the US after entering. For example: “Mahmoud Abouhalima, who was involved in both the World Trade Center and the land, was granted temporary residency under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers (SAW) program after falsely claiming he picked beans in Florida. “Furthermore, the report warns that terrorists can and have to use the scam with simple immigration services to extend their stay in the US. “In many cases, applying for an immigration benefit was sufficient to enable the foreigner to remain in the country until the petition was decided. “
Consider how many of our constitutionally guaranteed freedoms and expectations of privacy in the name of “national security” in the world after September 11th have been trimmed away while a number of administrations have ignored the results and recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.
Harry Truman understood the responsibility when he put the poster on the desk in the Oval Office that said, “The Buck Stops Here!” Today it appears that the Biden government is hindering the enforcement of the Immigration and Citizenship Act, which undermines national security, public safety and public health and is in direct contradiction to the critical findings and recommendations of the commission convened to order to protect us from future terrorist attacks. It has to be held accountable.
Michael W. Cutler was a senior special agent for the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.
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