Comprehensive Immigration Reform Won't Fly

Published on December 31st, 2013

Before an airplane pilot accelerates down the runway and heads for the wild blue yonder, a meticulous pre-flight check of the airplane must be performed to ensure that the airplane's systems all function properly and the aircraft is airworthy. In considering the impending flight, the pilot will also check weather conditions and any other factors that may result in a disaster.

On June 22, 2007, The Washington Times published my Op-Ed, “Immigration bill a ‘No Go',” in which I compared the numerous Congressional hearings focused on Comprehensive Immigration Reform. I had testified before four Congressional hearings, and compared those hearings with the countdown for the launch of the ill-fated Space Shuttle Challenger. In both instances experts were called upon to determine if legislation or a launch could and should proceed.

I recommended Comprehensive Immigration Reform be henceforth referred to as the “Terrorist Assistance and Facilitation Act” because it would require that unknown millions of illegal aliens would be granted official identity documents even though there would be no reliable way of knowing their true identities.

This not only violates common sense, but the recommendations and findings of the 9/11 Commission, to which, in fact, I provided testimony. What I said then is just as applicable today.

Time and again news reports have focused on the lack of integrity to the immigration system, including the adjudications process, thereby undermining national security, public safety and other issues.

On November 20, 2013, ABC News reported:

US May Have Let 'Dozens' of Terrorists Into Country As Refugees

This is not a new problem. On July 13, 2011, The Washington Times published:

Visas reviewed to find those who overstayed / Aim is to find any would-be terrorists

On November 21, 2013, The Washington Times reported on how members of Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTOs) have taken to the same tactic of making false claims of credible fear as a means of entering the United States. The title of this important report is self-explanatory:

Mexican drug cartels exploit asylum system by claiming ‘credible fear’

On December 12, 2013, the House Judiciary Committee conducted a hearing on the subject:

Asylum Abuse: Is it Overwhelming our Borders?

The testimony and responses of the high-ranking DHS officials made it clear that the immigration system is already overwhelmed, and any huge amnesty program would only exacerbate the serious problems that hobble that beleaguered system.

For example, applicants for asylum are subject to a 20-minute telephone interview. This raises the real threat that an imposter could stand in for the actual applicant.

The 9/11 Commission identified immigration fraud and fraud in applications for political asylum as being key embedding tactics used by terrorists.

While the title of the hearing focused on U.S. borders, the reality is that these failures are overwhelming the entire immigration system and could have dire consequences for America and Americans.

On May 2, 2013, I was interviewed by Megyn Kelly of Fox News to discuss the immigration aspects of the terror attack by the Tsarnaev brothers on the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013:

Immigration Expert: The System Failed in Boston and Keeps on Failing

An alien who applies for asylum must claim “credible fear” that returning to the home country would result in persecution, or worse. Yet immediately after the Tsarnaev family was granted asylum, they voluntarily returned to their native Russia.

The way that USCIS adjudicates asylum applications and applications for DREAMERS should be viewed as a trial run of what would happen if Comprehensive Immigration Reform were to be enacted.

On September 3, 2013, I joined Congressman Lou Barletta on the campus of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to discuss Comprehensive Immigration Reform, focusing on the national security implications of this legislation.

During our discussion, Rep. Barletta stated that during a hearing the then Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, admitted that DHS would not conduct in-person interviews of applicants for Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

This is the reality that makes Comprehensive Immigration Reform, or any similar sweeping program to provide unknown millions of illegal aliens with identity documents, as wrong-headed as taking off in an airplane known to have a faulty engine.

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