The title for this commentary comes from a September 24, 2013 USA Today news report, which relied on a Pew Research Center report that purportedly found that 11.7 undocumented immigrants were in the United States in 2012, approaching the nation's all-time high of 12.2 million in 2007. The Pew estimates are largely based on U.S. Census data and Border Patrol arrests.
The Border Patrol statistics are untrustworthy, as I believe the agency has been “cooking their books” for years. The goal of DHS, which has oversight of the Border Patrol, is to provide corroboration for the administration's false claims that the border is under control. Janet Napolitano, the former DHS Secretary, frequently stated that an alien who runs the border and enters the U.S. without inspection is not committing a crime. For obvious reasons, anyone who enters the country surreptitiously must be considered a potential threat.
Furthermore, per the immigration laws, an alien who has been deported from the U.S. and then unlawfully re-enters the country is committing a felony and one that, upon conviction, may result in a 20-year jail sentence. There are few federal crimes that carry such an onerous penalty.
The point is to not take issue with the fact that there is an increase in the number of illegal aliens present in the U.S., but to understand that the numbers are likely much higher. Therefore, the impact on virtually every challenge related to illegal immigration is even greater.
The USA Today report included a photograph of a Border Patrol agent standing at the end of a fence with his walkie-talkie in hand, looking out into what is presumably Mexico. Once again the focus is on securing the border that is supposed to separate the U.S. from Mexico.
Given the threats posed by border security failures, that border must be made secure. However, no one in Washington raises the other dysfunctional components of the immigration system or that illegal aliens don't only run the Mexican border.
Simply focusing on the Mexican border distracts us and our government from all of the components that must be addressed if the immigration mission to protect American lives and the jobs of American workers is to be conducted successfully.
Our nation has 50 border states. Any state with a seaport or international airport must be seen as a border state, just as are the states that lie along America’s northern and southern borders.
The presence of millions of illegal alien visa violators who did not run our borders, but entered via the inspections process, calls into question the admission policies for foreign visitors and includes such factors as the Visa Waiver Program, the failure to track the arrivals and departures of nonimmigrant visitors and the resources committed to locating and arresting aliens who run our borders or otherwise violate terms of their admission.
On July 30, 2013, the Washington Times published a truly disturbing report:
There is also no integrity to the adjudications process, including the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program which provides DREAMERS who are as old as 31 years of age with lawful status and identity documents, without even an in-person interview.
As I noted when I was interviewed by Megyn Kelly of Fox News on May 2, 2013 to discuss the terror bombing of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, “We have a bunch of holes in the bottom of our boat. They’re not plugging any of them!”