Our nation, attacked as never before two years ago, continues to slowly respond to ensure homeland security. After overseeing vastly tightened security at airports and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security in the president’s Cabinet, the Bush administration and Congress assure Americans they are being watchful for the foreign terrorists who would dare strike us again.
But the president and Congress have yet to address a gaping hole in our armor: an outdated and overburdened immigration system. The sheer volume of new legal immigrants, which has grown dramatically in recent decades to 1 million newcomers annually, has overwhelmed our immigration system. And the country has roughly 10 million illegal immigrants living here, with a staggering 700,000 slipping across the border each year.
We have almost no interior enforcement – so there is little chance that illegals who get past our borders will be detected, apprehended and removed. Identity document fraud is rampant. We have essentially the same loose system of immigration controls that allowed the 9/11 terrorists to enter our nation, train at our flight schools and murder our citizens in cold blood.
Even after these terrorists were dead, our government was busy awarding these same murderers special visas. And not so long ago, authorities uncovered suspected Islamic terrorists disguised as Mexicans slipping across the Southwestern border!
Both terrorists entering this country and sleeper cells already here can swim in a lake of uncontrolled immigration!
It should be unthinkable that our own government would turn its back on such an obvious threat. After all, the job of the government – especially now – is to stand guard to protect our country. Clearly, the place to begin is by cutting immigration numbers back to more reasonable levels that our system can accommodate. This means both serious efforts to stop illegal immigration and curbing mass legal immigration. We simply cannot continue to have an immigration policy that puts a massive pile of visas on the table for the picking.
Fortunately, some members of Congress recognize this grave threat to homeland security and are trying to prevent it. While comprehensive reform of our outdated immigration policies will take time, there are obvious immediate steps we can take.
For example, HR 775, a bill sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., would trim these waves of immigrants by eliminating the visa lottery that was foolishly established in 1990. As I point out in my new book, “The Dark Side of Liberalism: Unchaining the Truth,” it is incredible to witness a system that allows 50,000 new immigrants into the country simply by random selection – not on merit, job skills or potential risks they may bring with them.
Other visa categories also need to be reconsidered, but HR 775 is the beginning of what should be a program to restrict legal immigration to levels where it is possible to carefully scrutinize people and make sure they are truly those who are needed.
Another example is HR 2761 by Rep. Charlie Norwood, R-Ga. It would empower 700,000 local law enforcement officers to help federal agents, as they do regarding all other federal laws, to arrest and detain criminals and terrorists. It also forces federal agents to jail criminal aliens and deport them.
The House Judiciary Committee is holding hearings on this badly needed legislation – a good first step in trying to apprehend identified criminal aliens loose in our midst who have already been ordered deported by judges.