Monday, November 30, 2009


How the Lack of Enforcement of Immigration Law Threatens Our Natl.Sec. (“The Broken Door” –)

Date: 2009-11-30, 10:01AM PST
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“The Broken Door” – How the Lack of Enforcement of Immigration Law Threatens Our National Security

By Jennifer Magyari,

For many of us, the recent announcement that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed - the alleged mastermind of the September 11th attacks - will be tried in Manhattan has brought back painful memories of the worst attack on United States soil in history. These memories are a reminder of how vulnerable our country can be to its enemies. What many failed to address in the wake of the 9/11 attacks was how closely tied immigration is to our national security.

An immigration policy that allows so many to enter the United States illegally, or fails to provide the means to track those who overstay visas, only encourages groups who desire to come to our country and harm us. This video, “The Broken Door,” addresses how groups like Al Qaeda are able to operate within our country under the radar of the United States government, often due to lack of enforcement of immigration laws.

Related Videos Immigration and Terrorism: Immigration 108
Duration: 32 min 9 sec

Five of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers were in violation of our immigration laws. They were illegally present in our country, and could have been detained or removed. Four of those hijackers had been pulled over for traffic violations and were in contact with police who did not check their immigration status with the federal government.

Nawaf al Hazmi, one of the Flight 77 hijackers, was in the United States on a short-term business visa that he overstayed. As of 1/16/01 he was unlawfully present in the United States- yet he was able to obtain a driver’s license from the state of Florida and an ID card from the state of Virginia in June and August of that year.

Hani Hanjour, the pilot of Flight 77, entered the United States in December of 2000 on a student visa - though he never enrolled in school - making his entire presence in our country unlawful. He was still able to obtain ID cards from the state of Virginia and Maryland in August and September of 2001.

Our government needs to enforce its immigration laws. We need to know who is coming into our country and monitor where they are once present.

The Visa Waiver program provides another major terrorist loophole- for many years allowing anyone from a select number of countries to enter the United States without obtaining a visa. Once inside, many are able to continue to live in our country, knowing it is unlikely their immigration status will be checked.

The real question is, why does our government choose not to fully enforce such important laws? Why do we allow so many, whose backgrounds we do not know, to enter our country and reside in it illegally?

According to the Immigration and Nationality Act, “Failure of an alien intending to remain in the United States for thirty days or longer to apply for registration and fingerprinting during that thirty-day period is a deportable offense.” Why are we not following through on laws in place to protect our national security?

The question we need to ask is, what fear do those who come to our country with the intent to do us harm face? Fear that it’s likely they will be found to be illegally residing in the United States? Not likely. Fear that if caught to be in violation of our immigration laws, it will be reported to the federal government and they will face deportation? Probably not. Our government needs to wake up and realize that the safety of American citizens and legal immigrants should be our top priority, and an important part of ensuring that safety is enforcing our immigration laws.

Please watch this teaser video, or the full version of the video for more information on how our National Security is at risk due to uncontrolled immigration.

JENNY MAGYARI is the Assistant to the President at NumbersUSA


Ohio Set to Revoke Illegal-Alien Vehicle Registrations (license plates flagged as invalid )

Date: 2009-11-30, 10:08AM PST
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Ohio Set to Revoke Illegal-Alien Vehicle Registrations
- posted on NumbersUSA

In October, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles informed over 47,000 vehicle owners that their registrations would be canceled unless they provide a valid Ohio driver license or identification card or proof of a Social Security number. The Bureau is attempting to close a loophole that allowed illegal aliens to register vehicles without valid documentation. Those notified have until December 8 to show proper documentation or risk having their license plates flagged as invalid in police computers.

The loophole in question enabled illegal aliens without driver's licenses and insurance to use legal U.S. residents known as "runners" to register vehicles on their behalf with power-of-attorney forms. These forms did not require proof of the identity of vehicle owners, so the State is now attempting verification. Bureau spokeswoman Lindsay Komlanc said "What we are actually doing through this policy is verifying in our system to be sure people are who they say they are."

But the League of United Latin American Citizens has filed suit against the State in an attempt to prevent the cancellation of registrations. LULAC’s suit claims the State is engaging in immigration regulation reserved for the Federal government, and argues the vehicles were legally registered under state regulations and laws in effect at the time.

About 2,200 people have provided the necessary documentation this far.


8 million illegal foreign workers held U.S. jobs (75,000 new LEGAL immigrant each month)

Date: 2009-11-30, 10:12AM PST
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The Key Numbers in My Testimony Added Up To Demand For Immediate Immigration Reductions

By Roy Beck, - posted on NumbersUSA

I finally got my chance to get a formal hearing before Members of Congress on Thursday for NumbersUSA's year-long argument that U.S. unemployment requires deep, immediate cuts in immigration.

I let the key numbers do the talking. Do you know them? Take a look at the top three below.

Before I give you the first part of my testimony, I want to thank the activist members of NumbersUSA who showed up on Capitol Hill for the hearing. One woman told me she is living in a household with five adult workers, with three of them unemployed. Another woman said she has been unemployed so long that she has "burned through" two 401k retirement plans and has decided to sell her house rather than cash in the third and last pension plan.

Millions of Americans are in crisis because they have lost their jobs and can't get another one.

That is the crisis that I asked Members of Congress to address Thursday. Below, is most of the first section of my written testimony. I hope you will consider it carefully and determine if the main arguments here aren't ones that we should jointly repeat, repeat and repeat to each of our own Members of Congress until they explain why these key numbers should be allowed to stand.




Excerpt of Written Testimony by Roy Beck, Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA

Congressman Smith (Lamar Smith, R-Texas) and other distinguished Members,

. . . . Your hearing today is a flicker of hope that somebody up here cares enough to pay attention to a few key numbers that tend to say all that needs to be said about the necessity of changing immigration policy immediately.I believe that my written testimony outlines convincingly that perhaps hundreds of thousands of additional Americans could be in jobs a year from now if Congress immediately passes a few simple changes in immigration law.

A few key numbers make the case.

First Number -- at least 7 million

The Pew Hispanic Center estimated last spring that 8 million illegal foreign workers held U.S. jobs at that time.

Pew said only 4% of them were in agriculture.

Since that report, many illegal aliens’ jobs have been eliminated. But it is likely that at least 7 million construction, service, manufacturing and transportation jobs are still currently held by illegal foreign workers.

Those are 7 million jobs being sought by more than 7 million less-educated Americans who are currently unemployed and actively seeking a job.

Members of Congress and this Administration need to look at those numbers and come to understand that immigration enforcement is about creating jobs for unemployed Americans. In general, when a government action results in an illegal foreign worker leaving a job, an unemployed American gets to go back to work.

Congressman Smith, the 920,000 members of NumbersUSA in every congressional district of our country wholeheartedly support your efforts to promote far more immigration enforcement as one of the most effective JOBS programs the government can have.

Second Number -- 75,000

It appears that American workers’ own federal government in October issued permanent work permits to about 75,000 working-age immigrants[2] -- 75,000 new LEGAL immigrant workers in just one month.

Third Number -- 190,000

In October, 190,000 U.S. jobs were eliminated.[3] Our government added 75,000 more permanent workers to compete with 16 million unemployed Americans[4] for 190,000 FEWER U.S. jobs.

Since Jan. 1 of this year, it appears that our government already has issued nearly three-quarters of a million new permanent work permits to immigrants.[5]


Congress has created an immigration system on auto-pilot so that the unemployment rate of Americans has virtually no effect on the numerical levels.

Consider these numbers from the Department of Homeland Security:

Federal records show that two years ago – before the recession began – the federal government issued around 830,000 Green Cards (permanent work permits) to working-age immigrants.[6] 830,000.
Last year during the first year of the recession, the government gave away around 875,000 permanent work permits to immigrants. That was an average of around 75,000 per month.[7]
Without any evidence to suggest a significant change this year, it is safe to assume that our government has continued to crank out around 75,000 new permanent work permits to immigrants every month without any regard for how that might affect American workers.


Based on last year’s rate, it appears that the hand extended by the federal government to unemployed Americans THIS YEAR has already given them nearly 750,000 new immigrants to compete with them for the dwindling number of jobs.

That number is particularly interesting when compared with another number that the White House proclaimed on Oct. 30. The number was 990,000.

The White House announced that the $159 billion of Stimulus money spent thus far, plus the $189 billion of tax relief this year, had created or saved 990,000 jobs.

Putting aside charges by critics that the estimated number was far higher than was credible, compare the 990,000 jobs with the 750,000 new working-age immigrants given permanent work permits during the same period. It would appear that the majority of the $348 billion of Stimulus and tax relief went for jobs needed to just keep up with the workers brought in by our immigration system.

(Please note that I am not even counting the hundreds of thousands of brand new temporary foreign workers during this period. Temporary visas deserve their own consideration but I want to limit my remarks to giving permits for foreign workers to hold U.S. jobs not just this year, but for every year the rest of their lives.)

Of course, not every new immigrant takes a job from a U.S. worker. Many find themselves standing in the same unemployment lines. The U-3 unemployment rate for immigrants has increased from 4.1% in 2007 to 9.7% in 2009.

Congress might ask itself why it is importing an increasing percentage of immigrant workers only to become dependents on government unemployment and social service programs. The 75,000-a-month new permanent worker number is challenged by groups that support the status quo of labor importation. They point out – accurately – that a high percentage of those 75,000 were already in the country at the time they received their Green Card.

For example, an estimated 9,000 to 20,000 each month are illegal aliens who are being granted legal work authorization for the first time.

Other new Green Card recipients have been in the United States a short time on temporary visas for students, workers, tourists and others.The fact that those foreign workers were already here doesn’t mean that they had to stay. The federal government doesn’t have to adjust the status of most of these illegal or temporary visitors into permanent competitors for U.S. jobs.

It could—in the middle of an unemployment disaster -- let the visas run out and the workers, tourists and students go home as they promised when they sought the visas in the first place.


The questions that most Americans hearing these startling numbers are sure to ask are:

Why does Congress continue to order up 75,000 new permanent foreign workers each month at a time of so much suffering by unemployed Americans and the families that often depend on them?
And: Why not cut the 75,000 each month as close to zero as possible as long as the overall U-3 unemployment rate remains above, say, 5%?
Congressman Smith and other distinguished Members, I suggest to you that these few simple numbers demand immediate attention.The numbers demand the introduction of legislation to SUSPEND the issuance of as many permanent work visas as possible during this Jobs Depression.And the numbers demand tenacious and concerted public education efforts to build support for the Suspension Legislation among the general public. . . .

(more testimony will be posted at a later date)

ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA


[2] Monger, Randall and Nancy Rytina. “U.S. Legal Permanent Residents: 2008.” Department of Homeland Security, Office of Immigration Statistics. March 2009. In 2008 the United States issued 880,636 permanent residency permits to aliens aged 15-64 – an average of 73,386 per month.

[3] United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to data released on November 6, 2009, 190,000 payroll jobs were lost in October, 2009.

[4] Ibid., According to data released on November 6, 2009, 15.7 million Americans were considered to be unemployed in October, 2009. This is the U-3 category counting only those actively looking for a job who can’t find any job, not even a part-time one.

[5] Monger, Randall and Nancy Rytina. “U.S. Legal Permanent Residents: 2008.” Department of Homeland Security, Office of Immigration Statistics. March 2009. In 2008 the United States issued 880,636 permanent residency permits to aliens aged 15-64. Based on that same rate for this year (for which no official data has been released), approximately 733,860 permanent residency permits would have been issued during the first 10 months of 2009.

[6] Ibid., In 2007 the United States issued 835,697 permanent residency permits to aliens aged 15-64.

[7] Ibid., In 2008 the United States issued 880,636 permanent residency permits to aliens aged 15-64 – an average of 73,386 per month.

Location: 75,000 new LEGAL immigrant each month
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

PostingID: 1488271294

TOMGRAM: The Illusion of Recovery .... GOOD TIME FOR AMNESTY?



Tomgram: Andy Kroll, The Illusion of Recovery

Posted by Andy Kroll at 5:30am, November 30, 2009.

Talk about a devastated landscape... Any which way you look, the housing numbers are relentlessly bad. For example, 23% of U.S. homeowners owe more on their mortgages than their properties are worth, according to Ruth Simon and James R. Hagerty of the Wall Street Journal. They possess, in the vivid lingo of the housing industry, “underwater mortgages.” Among them, 5.3 million households have mortgages that are at least 20% higher than their home’s value, 520,000 of whom have already received default notices. In the meantime, home-loan delinquencies and home repossessions are now at record highs. According to E. Scott Reckard of the Los Angeles Times, by the end of September, “one in seven U.S. home loans was past due or in foreclosure,” and the chief economist for the Mortgage Bankers Association expects the number of foreclosures to keep rising deep into 2010.
Worse yet, foreclosures on large rental-unit buildings are also on the rise. This means, reports Robin Shulman of the Washington Post, that not just homeowners but renters are now being swept up in the housing crisis as landlords of apartment buildings in trouble let upkeep go while maintenance problems soar. Nor are the latest figures on home prices offering much cheer. Two key price indexes released last week, write David Streitfeld and Javier Hernandez of the New York Times, “indicated that the momentum the housing market showed over the late spring and summer is faltering.”
There was, however, a rare ray of good news amid this dismal scene: Wall Street has, according to Louise Story of the Times, figured out how to make money from the mortgage mess by “buying billions of dollars’ worth of home loans, discounted from the loans’ original value” and pocketing profits while shifting “nearly all the risk for the loans to the federal government -- and ultimately taxpayers.”
With this grim picture in mind and with California one of four Sunbelt states that account for 43% of all foreclosures started in recent months, we sent TomDispatch regular Andy Kroll to the Ground Zero of the mortgage crisis to see what an economic “recovery” looks like firsthand in post-meltdown America. Tom


Ask yourself why you never hear the LA RAZA DEMS ever speak out about this!
The Illegal-Alien Crime Wave
Heather Mac Donald EMAIL

Some of the most violent criminals at large today are illegal aliens.
Yet in cities where the crime these aliens commit is highest, the
police cannot use the most obvious tool to apprehend them: their
immigration status. In Los Angeles, for example, dozens of members of
a ruthless Salvadoran prison gang have sneaked back into town after
having been deported for such crimes as murder, assault with a deadly
weapon, and drug trafficking. Police officers know who they are and
know that their mere presence in the country is a felony. Yet should
a cop arrest an illegal gangbanger for felonious reentry, it is he
who will be treated as a criminal, for violating the LAPD’s rule
against enforcing immigration law.

The LAPD’s ban on immigration enforcement mirrors bans in
immigrant-saturated cities around the country, from New York and
Chicago to San Diego, Austin, and Houston. These “sanctuary
policies” generally prohibit city employees, including the cops,
from reporting immigration violations to federal authorities.

Such laws testify to the sheer political power of immigrant lobbies,
a power so irresistible that police officials shrink from even
mentioning the illegal-alien crime wave. “We can’t even talk
about it,” says a frustrated LAPD captain. “People are afraid of
a backlash from Hispanics.” Another LAPD commander in a
predominantly Hispanic, gang-infested district sighs: “I would get
a firestorm of criticism if I talked about [enforcing the immigration
law against illegals].” Neither captain would speak for attribution.

But however pernicious in themselves, sanctuary rules are a symptom
of a much broader disease: the nation’s near-total loss of control
over immigration policy. Fifty years ago, immigration policy might
have driven immigration numbers, but today the numbers drive policy.
The nonstop increase of immigration is reshaping the language and the
law to dissolve any distinction between legal and illegal aliens and,
ultimately, the very idea of national borders.

It is a measure of how topsy-turvy the immigration environment has
become that to ask police officials about the illegal-alien crime
problem feels like a gross faux pas, not done in polite company. And
a police official asked to violate this powerful taboo will give a
strangled response—or, as in the case of a New York deputy
commissioner, break off communication altogether. Meanwhile, millions
of illegal aliens work, shop, travel, and commit crimes in plain view,
utterly secure in their de facto immunity from the immigration law.

I asked the Miami Police Department’s spokesman, Detective Delrish
Moss, about his employer’s policy on lawbreaking illegals. In
September, the force arrested a Honduran visa violator for seven
vicious rapes. The previous year, Miami cops had had the suspect in
custody for lewd and lascivious molestation, without checking his
immigration status. Had they done so, they would have discovered his
visa overstay, a deportable offense, and so could have forestalled
the rapes. “We have shied away from unnecessary involvement dealing
with immigration issues,” explains Moss, choosing his words
carefully, “because of our large immigrant population.”

Police commanders may not want to discuss, much less respond to, the
illegal-alien crisis, but its magnitude for law enforcement is
startling. Some examples:

• In Los Angeles, 95 percent of all outstanding warrants for
homicide (which total 1,200 to 1,500) target illegal aliens. Up to
two-thirds of all fugitive felony warrants (17,000) are for illegal

• A confidential California Department of Justice study reported in
1995 that 60 percent of the 20,000-strong 18th Street Gang in southern
California is illegal; police officers say the proportion is actually
much greater. The bloody gang collaborates with the Mexican Mafia,
the dominant force in California prisons, on complex
drug-distribution schemes, extortion, and drive-by assassinations,
and commits an assault or robbery every day in L.A. County. The gang
has grown dramatically over the last two decades by recruiting
recently arrived youngsters, most of them illegal, from Central
America and Mexico.

• The leadership of the Columbia Lil’ Cycos gang, which uses
murder and racketeering to control the drug market around L.A.’s
MacArthur Park, was about 60 percent illegal in 2002, says former
assistant U.S. attorney Luis Li. Francisco Martinez, a Mexican Mafia
member and an illegal alien, controlled the gang from prison, while
serving time for felonious reentry following deportation.

Good luck finding any reference to such facts in official crime
analysis. The LAPD and the L.A. city attorney recently requested an
injunction against drug trafficking in Hollywood, targeting the 18th
Street Gang and the “non–gang members” who sell drugs in
Hollywood for the gang. Those non–gang members are virtually all
illegal Mexicans, smuggled into the country by a ring organized by
18th Street bigs. The Mexicans pay off their transportation debts to
the gang by selling drugs; many soon realize how lucrative that line
of work is and stay in the business.

Cops and prosecutors universally know the immigration status of these
non-gang “Hollywood dealers,” as the city attorney calls them, but
the gang injunction is assiduously silent on the matter. And if a
Hollywood officer were to arrest an illegal dealer (known on the
street as a “border brother”) for his immigration status, or even
notify the Immigration and Naturalization Service (since early 2003,
absorbed into the new Department of Homeland Security), he would face
severe discipline for violating Special Order 40, the city’s
sanctuary policy.

L.A.’s sanctuary law and all others like it contradict a key 1990s
policing discovery: the Great Chain of Being in criminal behavior.
Pick up a law-violator for a “minor” crime, and you might well
prevent a major crime: enforcing graffiti and turnstile-jumping laws
nabs you murderers and robbers. Enforcing known immigration
violations, such as reentry following deportation, against known
felons, would be even more productive. LAPD officers recognize
illegal deported gang members all the time—flashing gang signs at
court hearings for rival gangbangers, hanging out on the corner, or
casing a target. These illegal returnees are, simply by being in the
country after deportation, committing a felony (in contrast to
garden-variety illegals on their first trip to the U.S., say, who are
only committing a misdemeanor). “But if I see a deportee from the
Mara Salvatrucha [Salvadoran prison] gang crossing the street, I know
I can’t touch him,” laments a Los Angeles gang officer. Only if
the deported felon has given the officer some other reason to stop
him, such as an observed narcotics sale, can the cop accost him—but
not for the immigration felony.

The stated reasons for sanctuary policies are that they encourage
illegal-alien crime victims and witnesses to cooperate with cops
without fear of deportation, and that they encourage illegals to take
advantage of city services like health care and education (to whose
maintenance few illegals have contributed a single tax dollar, of
course). There has never been any empirical verification that
sanctuary laws actually accomplish these goals—and no one has ever
suggested not enforcing drug laws, say, for fear of intimidating
drug-using crime victims. But in any case, this official rationale
could be honored by limiting police use of immigration laws to some
subset of immigration violators: deported felons, say, or repeat
criminal offenders whose immigration status police already know.

The real reason cities prohibit their cops and other employees from
immigration reporting and enforcement is, like nearly everything else
in immigration policy, the numbers. The immigrant population has grown
so large that public officials are terrified of alienating it, even at
the expense of ignoring the law and tolerating violence. In 1996, a
breathtaking Los Angeles Times exposé on the 18th Street Gang, which
included descriptions of innocent bystanders being murdered by
laughing cholos (gang members), revealed the rate of illegal-alien
membership in the gang. In response to the public outcry, the Los
Angeles City Council ordered the police to reexamine Special Order
40. You would have thought it had suggested reconsidering Roe v.
Wade. A police commander warned the council: “This is going to open
a significant, heated debate.” City Councilwoman Laura Chick put on
a brave front: “We mustn’t be afraid,” she declared firmly.

But of course immigrant pandering trumped public safety. Law-abiding
residents of gang-infested neighborhoods may live in terror of the
tattooed gangbangers dealing drugs, spraying graffiti, and shooting
up rivals outside their homes, but such anxiety can never equal a
politician’s fear of offending Hispanics. At the start of the
reexamination process, LAPD deputy chief John White had argued that
allowing the department to work closely with the INS would give cops
another tool for getting gang members off the streets. Trying to
build a homicide case, say, against an illegal gang member is often
futile, he explained, since witnesses fear deadly retaliation if they
cooperate with the police. Enforcing an immigration violation would
allow the cops to lock up the murderer right now, without putting a
witness’s life at risk.

But six months later, Deputy Chief White had changed his tune: “Any
broadening of the policy gets us into the immigration business,” he
asserted. “It’s a federal law-enforcement issue, not a local
law-enforcement issue.” Interim police chief Bayan Lewis told the
L.A. Police Commission: “It is not the time. It is not the day to
look at Special Order 40.”

Nor will it ever be, as long as immigration numbers continue to grow.
After their brief moment of truth in 1996, Los Angeles politicians
have only grown more adamant in defense of Special Order 40. After
learning that cops in the scandal-plagued Rampart Division had
cooperated with the INS to try to uproot murderous gang members from
the community, local politicians threw a fit, criticizing district
commanders for even allowing INS agents into their station houses. In
turn, the LAPD strictly disciplined the offending officers. By now,
big-city police chiefs are unfortunately just as determined to defend
sanctuary policies as the politicians who appoint them; not so the
rank and file, however, who see daily the benefit that an immigration
tool would bring.
But even were immigrant-saturated cities to discard their sanctuary
policies and start enforcing immigration violations where public
safety demands it, the resource-starved immigration authorities
couldn’t handle the overwhelming additional workload.

The chronic shortage of manpower to oversee, and detention space to
house, aliens as they await their deportation hearings (or, following
an order of removal from a federal judge, their actual deportation)
has forced immigration officials to practice a constant triage. Long
ago, the feds stopped trying to find and deport aliens who had
“merely” entered the country illegally through stealth or
fraudulent documents. Currently, the only types of illegal aliens who
run any risk of catching federal attention are those who have been
convicted of an “aggravated felony” (a particularly egregious
crime) or who have been deported following conviction for an
aggravated felony and who have reentered (an offense punishable with
20 years in jail).

That triage has been going on for a long time, as former INS
investigator Mike Cutler, who worked with the NYPD catching Brooklyn
drug dealers in the 1970s, explains. “If you arrested someone you
wanted to detain, you’d go to your boss and start a bidding war,”
Cutler recalls. “You’d say: 'My guy ran three blocks, threw a
couple of punches, and had six pieces of ID.' The boss would turn to
another agent: 'Next! Whaddid your guy do?' 'He ran 18 blocks, pushed
over an old lady, and had a gun.' ” But such one-upmanship was
usually fruitless. “Without the jail space,” explains Cutler,
“it was like the Fish and Wildlife Service; you’d tag their ear
and let them go.”

But even when immigration officials actually arrest someone, and even
if a judge issues a final deportation order (usually after years of
litigation and appeals), they rarely have the manpower to put the
alien on a bus or plane and take him across the border. Second
alternative: detain him pending removal. Again, inadequate space and
staff. In the early 1990s, for example, 15 INS officers were in
charge of the deportation of approximately 85,000 aliens (not all of
them criminals) in New York City. The agency’s actual response to
final orders of removal was what is known as a “run letter”—a
notice asking the deportable alien kindly to show up in a month or
two to be deported, when the agency might be able to process him.
Results: in 2001, 87 percent of deportable aliens who received run
letters disappeared, a number that was even higher—94 percent—if
they were from terror-sponsoring countries.

To other law-enforcement agencies, the feds’ triage often looks
like complete indifference to immigration violations. Testifying to
Congress about the Queens rape by illegal Mexicans, New York’s
criminal justice coordinator defended the city’s failure to notify
the INS after the rapists’ previous arrests on the ground that the
agency wouldn’t have responded anyway. “We have time and time
again been unable to reach INS on the phone,” John Feinblatt said
last February. “When we reach them on the phone, they require that
we write a letter. When we write a letter, they require that it be by
a superior.”

Criminal aliens also interpret the triage as indifference. John
Mullaly a former NYPD homicide detective, estimates that 70 percent
of the drug dealers and other criminals in Manhattan’s Washington
Heights were illegal. Were Mullaly to threaten an illegal-alien thug
in custody that his next stop would be El Salvador unless he
cooperated, the criminal would just laugh, knowing that the INS would
never show up. The message could not be clearer: this is a culture
that can’t enforce its most basic law of entry. If policing’s
broken-windows theory is correct, the failure to enforce one set of
rules breeds overall contempt for the law.

The sheer number of criminal aliens overwhelmed an innovative program
that would allow immigration officials to complete deportation
hearings while a criminal was still in state or federal prison, so
that upon his release he could be immediately ejected without taking
up precious INS detention space. But the process, begun in 1988,
immediately bogged down due to the numbers—in 2000, for example,
nearly 30 percent of federal prisoners were foreign-born. The agency
couldn’t find enough pro bono attorneys to represent such an army
of criminal aliens (who have extensive due-process rights in
contesting deportation) and so would have to request delay after
delay. Or enough immigration judges would not be available. In 1997,
the INS simply had no record of a whopping 36 percent of foreign-born
inmates who had been released from federal and four state prisons
without any review of their deportability. They included 1,198
aggravated felons, 80 of whom were soon re-arrested for new crimes.

Resource starvation is not the only reason for federal inaction. The
INS was a creature of immigration politics, and INS district
directors came under great pressure from local politicians to divert
scarce resources into distribution of such “benefits” as
permanent residency, citizenship, and work permits, and away from
criminal or other investigations. In the late 1980s, for example, the
INS refused to join an FBI task force against Haitian drug trafficking
in Miami, fearing criticism for “Haitian-bashing.” In 1997, after
Hispanic activists protested a much-publicized raid that netted
nearly two dozen illegals, the Border Patrol said that it would no
longer join Simi Valley, California, probation officers on home
searches of illegal-alien-dominated gangs.

The disastrous Citizenship USA project of 1996 was a luminous case of
politics driving the INS to sacrifice enforcement to “benefits.”
When, in the early 1990s, the prospect of welfare reform drove
immigrants to apply for citizenship in record numbers to preserve
their welfare eligibility, the Clinton administration, seeing a
political bonanza in hundreds of thousands of new welfare-dependent
citizens, ordered the naturalization process radically expedited.
Thanks to relentless administration pressure, processing errors in
1996 were 99 percent in New York and 90 percent in Los Angeles, and
tens of thousands of aliens with criminal records, including for
murder and armed robbery, were naturalized.

Another powerful political force, the immigration bar association,
has won from Congress an elaborate set of due-process rights for
criminal aliens that can keep them in the country indefinitely.
Federal probation officers in Brooklyn are supervising two
illegals—a Jordanian and an Egyptian with Saudi citizenship—who
look “ready to blow up the Statue of Liberty,” according to a
probation official, but the officers can’t get rid of them. The
Jordanian had been caught fencing stolen Social Security and
tax-refund checks; now he sells phone cards, which he uses himself to
make untraceable calls. The Saudi’s offense: using a fraudulent
Social Security number to get employment—a puzzlingly unnecessary
scam, since he receives large sums from the Middle East, including
from millionaire relatives. But intelligence links him to terrorism,
so presumably he worked in order not to draw attention to himself.
Currently, he changes his cell phone every month. Ordinarily such a
minor offense would not be prosecuted, but the government, fearing
that he had terrorist intentions, used whatever it had to put him in

Even where immigration officials successfully nab and deport criminal
aliens, the reality, says a former federal gang prosecutor, is that
“they all come back. They can’t make it in Mexico.” The tens of
thousands of illegal farmworkers and dishwashers who overpower U.S.
border controls every year carry in their wake thousands of brutal
assailants and terrorists who use the same smuggling industry and who
benefit from the same irresistible odds: there are so many more of
them than the Border Patrol.

For, of course, the government’s inability to keep out criminal
aliens is part and parcel of its inability to patrol the border,
period. For decades, the INS had as much effect on the migration of
millions of illegals as a can tied to the tail of a tiger. And the
immigrants themselves, despite the press cliché of hapless aliens
living fearfully in the shadows, seemed to regard immigration
authorities with all the concern of an elephant for a flea.

Certainly fear of immigration officers is not in evidence among the
hundreds of illegal day laborers who hang out on Roosevelt Avenue in
Queens, New York, in front of money wire services, travel agencies,
immigration-attorney offices, and phone arcades, all catering to the
local Hispanic population (as well as to drug dealers and
terrorists). “There is no chance of getting caught,” cheerfully
explains Rafael, an Ecuadoran. Like the dozen Ecuadorans and Mexicans
on his particular corner, Rafael is hoping that an SUV seeking
carpenters for $100 a day will show up soon. “We don’t worry,
because we’re not doing anything wrong. I know it’s illegal; I
need the papers, but here, nobody asks you for papers.”

Even the newly fortified Mexican border, the one spot where the
government really tries to prevent illegal immigration, looms as only
a minor inconvenience to the day laborers. The odds, they realize, are
overwhelmingly in their favor. Miguel, a reserved young carpenter,
crossed the border at Tijuana three years ago with 15 others. Border
Patrol spotted them, but with six officers to 16 illegals, only five
got caught. In illegal border crossings, you get what you pay for,
Miguel says. If you try to shave on the fee, the coyotes will abandon
you at the first problem. Miguel’s wife was flying into New York
from Los Angeles that very day; it had cost him $2,200 to get her
across the border. “Because I pay, I don’t worry,” he says

The only way to dampen illegal immigration and its attendant train of
criminals and terrorists—short of an economic revolution in the
sending countries or an impregnably militarized border—is to remove
the jobs magnet. As long as migrants know they can easily get work,
they will find ways to evade border controls. But enforcing laws
against illegal labor is among government’s lowest priorities. In
2001, only 124 agents nationwide were trying to find and prosecute
the hundreds of thousands of employers and millions of illegal aliens
who violate the employment laws, the Associated Press reports.

Even were immigration officials to devote adequate resources to
worksite investigations, not much would change, because their legal
weapons are so weak. That’s no accident: though it is a crime to
hire illegal aliens, a coalition of libertarians, business lobbies,
and left-wing advocates has consistently blocked the fraud-proof form
of work authorization necessary to enforce that ban. Libertarians have
erupted in hysteria at such proposals as a toll-free number to the
Social Security Administration for employers to confirm Social
Security numbers. Hispanics warn just as stridently that helping
employers verify work eligibility would result in discrimination
against Hispanics—implicitly conceding that vast numbers of
Hispanics work illegally.

The result: hiring practices in illegal-immigrant-saturated
industries are a charade. Millions of illegal workers pretend to
present valid documents, and thousands of employers pretend to
believe them. The law doesn’t require the employer to verify that a
worker is actually qualified to work, and as long as the proffered
documents are not patently phony—scrawled with red crayon on a
matchbook, say—the employer will nearly always be exempt from
liability merely by having eyeballed them. To find an employer guilty
of violating the ban on hiring illegal aliens, immigration authorities
must prove that he knew he was getting fake papers—an almost
insurmountable burden. Meanwhile, the market for counterfeit
documents has exploded: in one month alone in 1998, immigration
authorities seized nearly 2 million of them in Los Angeles, destined
for immigrant workers, welfare seekers, criminals, and terrorists.

For illegal workers and employers, there is no downside to the
employment charade. If immigration officials ever do try to conduct
an industry-wide investigation—which will at least net the illegal
employees, if not the employers—local congressmen will almost
certainly head it off. An INS inquiry into the Vidalia-onion industry
in Georgia was not only aborted by Georgia’s congressional
delegation; it actually resulted in a local amnesty for the
growers’ illegal workforce. The downside to complying with the
spirit of the employment law, on the other hand, is considerable.
Ethnic advocacy groups are ready to picket employers who dismiss
illegal workers, and employers understandably fear being undercut by
less scrupulous competitors.

Of the incalculable changes in American politics, demographics, and
culture that the continuing surge of migrants is causing, one of the
most profound is the breakdown of the distinction between legal and
illegal entry. Everywhere, illegal aliens receive free public
education and free medical care at taxpayer expense; 13 states offer
them driver’s licenses. States everywhere have been pushed to grant
illegal aliens college scholarships and reduced in-state tuition. One
hundred banks, over 800 law-enforcement agencies, and dozens of
cities accept an identification card created by Mexico to
credentialize illegal Mexican aliens in the U.S. The Bush
administration has given its blessing to this matricula consular
card, over the strong protest of the FBI, which warns that the gaping
security loopholes that the card creates make it a boon to money
launderers, immigrant smugglers, and terrorists. Border authorities
have already caught an Iranian man sneaking across the border this
year, Mexican matricula card in hand.

Hispanic advocates have helped blur the distinction between a legal
and an illegal resident by asserting that differentiating the two is
an act of irrational bigotry. Arrests of illegal aliens inside the
border now inevitably spark protests, often led by the Mexican
government, that feature signs calling for “no más racismo.”
Immigrant advocates use the language of “human rights” to appeal
to an authority higher than such trivia as citizenship laws. They
attack the term “amnesty” for implicitly acknowledging the
validity of borders. Indeed, grouses Illinois congressman Luis
Gutierrez, “There’s an implication that somehow you did something
wrong and you need to be forgiven.”

Illegal aliens and their advocates speak loudly about what they think
the U.S. owes them, not vice versa. “I believe they have a right . .
. to work, to drive their kids to school,” said California
assemblywoman Sarah Reyes. An immigration agent says that people he
stops “get in your face about their rights, because our failure to
enforce the law emboldens them.” Taking this idea to its extreme,
Joaquín Avila, a UCLA Chicano studies professor and law lecturer,
argues that to deny non-citizens the vote, especially in the many
California cities where they constitute the majority, is a form of

Yet no poll has ever shown that Americans want more open borders.
Quite the reverse. By a huge majority—at least 60 percent—they
want to rein in immigration, and they endorse an observation that
Senator Alan Simpson made 20 years ago: Americans “are fed up with
efforts to make them feel that [they] do not have that fundamental
right of any people—to decide who will join them and help form the
future country in which they and their posterity will live.” But if
the elites’ and the advocates’ idea of giving voting rights to
non-citizen majorities catches on—and don’t be surprised if it
does—Americans could be faced with the ultimate absurdity of people
outside the social compact making rules for those inside it.

But the non-enforcement of immigration laws in general has an even
more destructive effect. In many immigrant communities, assimilation
into gangs seems to be outstripping assimilation into civic culture.
Toddlers are learning to flash gang signals and hate the police,
reports the Los Angeles Times. In New York City, “every high school
has its Mexican gang,” and most 12- to 14-year-olds have already
joined, claims Ernesto Vega, an illegal 18-year-old Mexican. Such
pathologies only worsen when the first lesson that immigrants learn
about U.S. law is that Americans don’t bother to enforce it.
“Institutionalizing illegal immigration creates a mindset in people
that anything goes in the U.S.,” observes Patrick Ortega, the news
and public-affairs director of Radio Nueva Vida in southern
California. “It creates a new subculture, with a sequela of social
ills.” It is broken windows writ large.

For the sake of immigrants and native-born Americans alike, it’s
time to decide what our immigration policy is—and enforce it.