Instead of treading water until the next election fighting over a doomed immigration reform bill, Congress should narrow its sights and take up a deadly immigration issue that has haunted us since 9/11.
As information comes out about the marathon bombers, background checks, immigrant visas, and the path to legal status and citizenship will be in the spotlight. Immigrant visas and background checks have created problems for years. Americans should ask why lawmakers and the president are holding our security hostage by telling us we need to pass their amnesty legislation to address national security problems our government promised to fix after the World Trade Center was destroyed.
Immigrant visas are a deadly immigration issue.
Nearly ten years after 9/11 we were still having problems with immigrant visas, overstays, and flight schools (see: Study in the States Disregards America’s Potential). ICE took a hard look in 2010 after the operator of a flight school near Boston was found to be in the U.S. illegally. 25 of his flight school students approved by the TSA had immigration problems. 8 came to the U.S. illegally. 17 overstayed their immigrant visas.¹
In July 2012 a government report warned:
TSA vets foreign flight student applicants through its Alien Flight Student Program (AFSP), but weaknesses exist in the vetting process, and in DHS’s process for identifying flight students who may be in the country illegally.²
Two months later, on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Homeland Security boasted:
Today, in response to both 9/11 and evolving threats, and with the help and support of Congress, we have significantly adapted and enhanced our ability to detect and interdict threats at the earliest opportunity.³
Perhaps needing a better reason than amnesty to push its immigration agenda, the White House tells us we still need a new bill to deal with the national security threat posed by immigrant visas and overstays:
The President’s proposal creates a streamlined administrative removal process for people who overstay their visas and have been determined to be threats to national security and public safety.4
Ironically, national security is the immigration issue used to justify opening our doors wide, even though our security agencies have proved time and again that they are not up to the task of administering the volume of immigrants and visas we already have, much less the traffic that a reform bill would produce. Is protecting Americans just another excuse for lawmakers to pass laws they know cannot be enforced?
The national security deception: votes come first.
An immigration issue as vital to our national security as keeping track of who we let into the country has become an excuse for the worst kind of Washington hucksterism. Instead of wasting time on their bloated immigration boondoggle, our federal lawmakers might try delivering on promises they made alongside federal agencies after 9/11.
Long after the media has stopped feasting on our newest terrorist attack we will still be hearing calls to pass the president’s Hispanic vote-getter in the interest of national security. The fact that lawmakers are unable to enforce the laws pertaining to immigrant visas and overstays they have already approved will be ignored. If this amnesty bill ever passes, you can be assured the security and enforcement provisions will be forgotten as soon as the ink on Barack Obama’s signature is dry. Lawmakers know that making promises is the easy part.