by Michael Cutler
The crucial issues at stake for American citizens.
Since the creation of the Department of Homeland Security in the wake of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, the responsibility for securing America's borders against the illegal entry of people and contraband and for conducting inspections of people and cargo entering the United States has been the responsibility of CBP (Customs and Border Protection) a component agency of the DHS.
The Performance and Accountability Report / Fiscal Year 2014 reports that for FY 2014 CBP had 59,544 employees and was provided with a $13.9 billion annual budget for law enforcement and trade operations.
Yet I am compelled to ask, “Why bother spending all that money and expending that effort?”
Consider that President Obama and many politicians from both political parties have declared that we should provide unknown millions of illegal aliens, who evaded the vital inspections process at ports of entry, with lawful status in the United States. While the Democrats want to provide these individuals who have trespassed on the United States with a pathway to United States citizenship, most Republicans “only” want to provide them with lawful status and employment authorization.
Most illegal aliens do not enter the United States seeking United States citizenship. Most enter the United States seeking employment opportunities that ultimately displace American workers on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder and, by their sheer huge numbers, suppress the wages for all such workers.
Politicians from both political parties and nearly all journalists ignore the fact that our borders and our immigration laws serve as America's first line of defense and last line of defense against international terrorists and transnational criminals.
In point of fact, The Mission Statement of CBP as it appears in the Performance and Accountability Report / Fiscal Year 2014 is as follows:
We are the guardians of our Nation’s borders. We are America’s frontline. We safeguard the American homeland at and between our borders.
We protect the American public against terrorists and the instruments of terror. We steadfastly enforce the laws of the United States while fostering our Nation’s economic security through lawful international trade and travel.
We serve the American public with vigilance, integrity, and professionalism.
CBP’s approximate 60,000 employees manage, control, and protect the Nation’s borders at and between 328 ports of entry. CBP is responsible for protecting more than 5,000 miles of border with Canada, 1,900 miles of border with Mexico, and 95,000 miles of shoreline.
While CBP’s missions are complex and diverse, the principal operational requirements can be summarized in three distinct and mutually supporting themes:
Protect the American people;
Protect the national economy; and
Safeguard and manage the U.S. air, land, and maritime borders.
The men and women of CBP pursue these mission themes every day as they safeguard America at its borders with vigilance, selfless service, and unyielding integrity.
How can CBP protect our nation and our citizens from aliens who evade that inspections process conducted at ports of entry? How can those aliens not be considered a potential threat to national security and public safety?
When aliens are admitted into the United States with non-immigrant visas, they are limited by the terms of the specific visa they were issued as to what activities they may or may not engage in. They are limited as to how long they may remain in the United States. For example, foreign students must attend the schools for which they were admitted and must maintain minimum academic standing to maintain their immigration status as students.
Tourists may not work in the United States and may not remain beyond six months.
Aliens admitted under the wrong-headed Visa Waiver Program may not work and are limited to remaining in the United States for only 90 days.
However, today under administration policies and allocated resources, no one at ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) is looking for aliens who fail to depart when they are supposed to and no one is looking to arrest aliens who work illegally.
This raises the obvious question: “Why do we bother issuing a wide array of visas or tell arriving non-immigrant aliens that they may not remain in the United States past a certain date although there are no adverse consequences for those aliens who violate these terms of admission?”
At the Democratic Presidential Debate on October 13, 2015 the candidates who did address the issue of how to deal with illegal aliens were in lock-step agreement that these foreign nationals whose very presence in our country represents a violation of our laws should be provided with every possible benefit including in-state tuition and medical care.
When Democratic presidential candidate James Webb was asked if he could support providing illegal aliens with in-state tuition, he said he would and then talked about how his own wife had come to the United States as a refugee who had never spoken a word of English before she came to the United States and then went on to graduate with a law degree. He glossed over the fundamental fact that his wife was legally admitted into the United States and made no distinction between her method of entering the United States as compared with illegal aliens whose presence in our country represents a violation of our immigration laws.
Candidate Martin O'Malley chastised the Republicans for not embracing the “immigrants,” essentially accusing them of bigotry when of course he was not really talking about immigrants but illegal aliens.
On June 1, 2015 Progressives For Immigration Reform published my article, “Candidate Martin O’Malley’s Position on Immigration Would Undermine National Security and Public Safety.”
I followed up in analyzing O'Malley's position one month later when, on July 1, 2015, Progressives For Immigration Reform published my article, “Candidate Martin O’Malley’s Position on Immigration Would Undermine America’s Economy and the Middle Class.”
Hillary Clinton has, in the past, accused the Republicans of intolerance and worse, for not wanting to provide immigrants with United States citizenship. Of course she too was referring to illegal aliens and not lawful immigrants. Bill Clinton was compelled to define the term “is” while Hillary is now redefining the term “Immigrant.” What rational country would provide illegal aliens with a pathway to citizenship? In point of fact, our current immigration laws have specific provisions to enable lawful immigrants who meet certain requirements to become United States citizens via the naturalization process. Our immigration laws, however, contain no provisions to provide illegal aliens with citizenship.
During the October 13, 2015 debate Ms Clinton accused Republicans of bashing hard-working immigrants when she was actually referring to illegal aliens.
On May 26, 2015 Progressives For Immigration Reform published my article, “Hillary Clinton’s Position on Immigration – Beyond Outrageous.”
On September 25, 2015 Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) posted my article, “Presidential Candidates Tap Dance Around the Need for Effective Enforcement of Immigration Laws.”
The Democrats insist on referring to illegal aliens as immigrants, making absolutely no distinction between aliens who are lawfully admitted as immigrants in accordance with our laws and established procedures, and aliens who enter the United States surreptitiously and in abject violation of our laws.
The politicians who insist that illegal aliens are indistinguishable from lawful immigrants are further making a mockery of our laws and must cause frustrated lawful immigrants to also ask, “Why bother going through the expensive and lengthy lawful process to legally immigrate to the United States?”
The Democratic candidates have all advocated the need to address “wage inequality” and help beleaguered middle-class families. This is a valid issue, but their strategies would serve to exacerbate the situation.
I have recently written about this notion of wage equality in my October 12, 2015 article for FrontPage magazine, “Immigration and the Wage Race to the Bottom.”
American college students have incurred massive student loan debt. Collectively that debt, estimated to be in excess of $1.2 trillion, is the second greatest source of household debt next to mortgages.
Meanwhile even when those highly trained and dedicated American students graduate with their degrees in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) curricula, they are effectively “all dressed up with nowhere to go.” All too often they cannot find jobs in their chosen professions because they cannot compete with foreign workers, especially from India who work for lower wages with few if any fringe benefits. These foreign workers are also not covered by ObamaCare, thereby saving their employers a minimum of $3,000 per year.
The winter 2014 edition of The Social Contract included my article, “American Dream Being Sold at Auction - America’s Middle Class to Be Put on Endangered Species List.”
Democratic candidates for the presidency have declared that they would provide free college educations to American students at city and state universities. I actually favor such a measure; on a personal note, when I was in college I lost both of my parents to cancer and have been on my own since I was 21 years old. I attended Brooklyn College of the City University of New York and I could not have afforded to pay tuition for my education. However, back then, the cost of a four-year degree was minimal.
Given the plight of many American families today, the high cost of an education is prohibitive for all too many American families. However, what is the point to the education if, upon graduation, even American students who graduate with honors are all too often unable to get a job in their chosen profession?
However, the United States admits hundreds of thousands of foreign students each year. Currently our universities are educating 400,000 foreign students in the STEM field, including students of countries that are our adversaries. On September 10, 2015 FrontPage Magazine published my article, “Educating Our Adversaries: Why educating foreign STEM students is bad for American workers and national security.”
Furthermore, if you consider the cost of tuition as an investment in that American student and in America, if our own government creates unfair competition for that American who now has the training to take that high-tech job, then our own government is undermining its own investment in its own citizens.
While the politicians hammer away at the need to improve our educational system and help more American kids go to college, they blithely ignore that there is no shortage of Americans with the necessary degrees and training to take those jobs today. They also ignore how hundreds of thousands of American high-tech workers who had been doing those STEM jobs have been fired, only to be replaced by foreign workers. Adding insult to injury, these soon-to-be fired Americans are often ordered to train the foreign worker interlopers who will replace them. Those Americans who refuse to comply lose their severance packages.
How many American college graduates who are working in menial jobs, notwithstanding their degrees and academic achievements, are now asking themselves, “Why did I bother going to college for so many years and run up such a massive student loan debt?”
The politicians who support providing unknown millions of illegal aliens with lawful status ignore the indisputable fact that there are so many illegal aliens that there would be no way to conduct in-person interviews or field investigations to verify any of the information that these aliens would provide in their applications for lawful status.
They are also ignoring the findings and recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.
The United States government, through a bi-partisan effort, created the 9/11 Commission, in the wake of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. The objective was to determine how international terrorists were able to enter our country and then embed themselves, hiding in plain sight as they went about their deadly preparations without detection. The goal was to make certain that the vulnerabilities were identified and effectively addressed to eliminate those vulnerabilities to enhance national security.
The Summer 2015 Edition of the quarterly journal The Social Contract published my article, “The 9/11 Commission Report and Immigration: An Assessment, Fourteen Years after the Attacks” in which I expressed my extreme frustrations and concerns that the immigration policies of the Obama administration not only ignore the findings and recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, but are diametrically opposed to those findings and recommendations. Additionally, in a parallel situation, many of our politicians, from both parties on the local, state and federal level also ignore the findings of the 9/11 Commission and its recommendations, and demonstrate through words and deeds their eagerness to violate the findings and recommendations of the commission.
Consider the local and state political “leaders” who have been gleefully declaring, in growing numbers, that their towns, cities and even states will cheerfully provide “sanctuary” to illegal aliens, thus shielding them from detection by the federal government. Often even criminal aliens are benefiting from this lunacy.
Meanwhile the administration does nothing to dissuade political leaders from implementing these irresponsible policies even though they are in clear violation of 8 U.S. Code § 1324 - Bringing in and harboring certain aliens, a statute under the Immigration and Nationality Act that deems it a felony to harbor, shield, aid, abet, encourage and induce aliens to enter the United States illegally or remain thereafter without authority.
This gives rise to another “Why bother?” question: “Why did our government bother commissioning the 9/11 Commission and pouring resources into the Commission?” Why did we waste the time of the Commission members and those experts who provided their perspectives in what is apparently a futile effort to address the vulnerabilities that made the attacks upon our nation and so many innocent people possible?
Here is the final “Why bother?” question: “Why bother having a military if America is unwilling to secure its borders and prevent the entry of enemy combatants and international terrorists?”
The primary mission of all five branches of our Armed Services is to keep America's enemies as far from our shores as possible.
Here is something for you to contemplate. On December 7, 1941 the United States was attacked at Pearl Harbor by the Japanese military. Approximately 3,000 people were killed and our navy suffered tremendous losses. In just 44 months our military, working in close coordination with our allies, defeated the Axis Fascist/Nazi countries. We embodied the “can do” spirit that has been synonymous with America. What may have been “Mission Impossible” for other countries was no more challenging than “Mission Difficult” for America and Americans. Understandably America's leaders and even average American citizens of this period have since come to be justifiably referred to, with great reverence, as “The Greatest Generation.”
America built fleets of brand new aircraft, ships and weapons systems that had never existed before. We built nuclear weapons with brand new and scarcely proven technology.
Contrast the steadfast courage and determination and grit of The Greatest Generation with the current crop of inept and corrupt politicians, as well as millions of sleep-walking American citizens.
America was attacked twice in 1993: an attack at the CIA in January of that year that resulted in the death of two CIA officers and the wounding of three others and then, one month later, the bombing at the World Trade Center that left six dead and more than one thousand injured and an estimated half-billion dollars in damages inflicted. Both attacks were carried out by Middle Eastern men who all gamed the visa process and the immigration system to enter the United States and embed themselves in the United States. It was obvious to our government's leaders that the immigration system had failed.
On May 20, 1997, more than four years after the 1993 attacks and more than four years before the attacks of 9/11, the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims conducted a hearing that was predicated on the two attacks of 1993 at the CIA in January and the first World Trade Center bombing one month later, on the topic, “Visa Fraud and Immigration Benefits Application Fraud.”
I participated in that hearing. The Clinton administration did less than nothing to address the obvious failures of the immigration system.
Consequently, on September 11, 2001 approximately as many people were killed as were killed at the attack on Pearl Harbor. Nearly four times as much time has now elapsed since the 9/11 attacks as it took our nation to win the second World War. Yet according to our nation's leaders, including those who chair the Intelligence Committees in the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, as well as other congressional committees and subcommittees, our nation has never been more vulnerable to a terror attack.
The deadly attack at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 was carried out by the Japanese Navy and involved thousands of Japanese sailors and aviators.
On September 11, 2001 just 19 men, barely out of their teens, carried out the horrific terror attacks of that day.
Currently tens of millions of illegal aliens live in towns and cities across our vast nation. There is no record of their entry, no way of knowing who they are, how long they have been here or what possible affiliations they may have with international terrorist organizations such as ISIS or Hezbollah.
Hezbollah is a terrorist organization that is sponsored by the rogue government of Iran, a nation whose leaders find recreation and spiritual rejuvenation by attending huge rallies where they often lead their citizenry in a rousing chant of “Death to America!” Yet the administration has negotiated a “nuclear deal” with Iran.
My April 6, 2015 article for FrontPage Magazine, “Connecting the Dots: Iran, Immigration & National Security: How Obama is empowering state sponsors of terror — and weakening our first line of defense” focused on this existential threat to our nation and our citizens.
The administration is now planning to admit nearly 200,000 Syrian refugees who cannot be vetted. This is the worrying assessment of James Comey, the Director of the FBI and Michael Steinbach, the FBI's Assistant Director for Counterterrorism.
On September 30, 2015 CAPS published my article, “Refugee Resettlement Program Raises Unsettling Issues.”
Nevertheless, precious few journalists or politicians are willing to connect those dots between immigration and national security. The first step in problem solving is to identify the problem. It is time real leaders emerge and deal effectively with the immigration crisis.
With stakes this high, failure is truly not an option: Americans must be profoundly bothered by all of the above and must bother to become involved.
Michael Cutler is a retired Senior Special Agent of the former INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) whose career spanned some 30 years. He served as an Immigration Inspector, Immigration Adjudications Officer and spent 26 years as an agent who rotated through all of the squads within the Investigations Branch. For half of his career he was assigned to the Drug Task Force. He has testified before well over a dozen congressional hearings, provided testimony to the 9/11 Commission as well as state legislative hearings around the United States and at trials where immigration is at issue. He hosts his radio show, “The Michael Cutler Hour,” on Friday evenings on BlogTalk Radio. His personal website is http://michaelcutler.net/.
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.