December 2009


Detroit Terrorist Attack Highlights Lax Immigration Policies

In a near catastrophic event last week, the thwarted attack on Northwest flight 253 serves as a reminder for our elected officials – immigration policies are national security policies. The Obama administration and Congress must enforce our immigration laws to adequately protect our national security.

Full implementation of common sense immigration polices are vital to ensuring the safety of not only air passengers, but of all U.S. citizens. However, instead of strengthening identification requirements, the Department of Homeland Security recently extended the deadline for states to comply with REAL ID. REAL ID is the federal law requiring that driver’s licenses and other government issued identity documents meet certain security standards to ensure that they are not abused by terrorists and other criminals. This postponement effectively terminates implementation indefinitely and is the direct result of DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano’s support of PASS ID, which would repeal many of the key national security and immigration enforcement provisions established by REAL ID and recommended by the 9-11 Commission.

PASS ID will essentially re-establish many of the security and immigration loopholes that allowed the 9/11 hijackers to carry out their attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

New Asylum Detention Policy Jeopardizes National Security

On Wednesday, December 16, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that it will stop detaining aliens seeking asylum as “part of ICE’s ongoing immigration detention reform efforts.” Under the new policy, aliens who show up at the U.S. border without proper documentation but claim asylum will immediately be eligible for parole into the U.S. if they have a credible fear of persecution or torture and are not considered a danger or flight risk.

Under current ICE policy, aliens who come to United States without documentation and request asylum are detained until immigration officials have determined whether the alien’s asylum claim is legitimate. This process sought to promote national security by giving federal officials time to screen asylum applications before releasing applicants into the general public.

Federal officials began to take detention of asylum applicants more seriously after discovering that immigration officers cleared Ramzi Yousef into the country after he entered the United States at JFK airport on September 1, 1992, without travel documents and applied for asylum. He then began organizing the first attack on the World Trade Center and fled the country after the blast.

According to FAIR Director of Special Projects Jack Martin, the policy is “irresponsible because it rewards illegal entry” and “dangerous because there is no check on the identity of the traveler.” Martin concluded that the revisions would serve as “a green light to Al Qaeda.”

Democratic Support for Amnesty Bill Grows

As the Obama administration continues to dismantle meaningful immigration enforcement, Democrats in Congress are flocking to Rep. Louis Gutierrez’s mass amnesty legislation. The recent breaches in our national security call into question the feasibility of doing background checks on 13 million illegal aliens. It’s a shear impossibility and would dilute valuable law enforcement resources from the mission of homeland security.

See if your congressman is co-sponsoring the House Democrats amnesty bill H.R. 4321 by going to http://www.steinreport.com/archives/013052.html

The above is a press release dated December 30 from Federation for American Immigration Reform, 25 Massachusetts Avenue – Suite 330 Washington DC, 20001, Office 202-328-7004. Contact Bob Dane 202-328-7004 or Dustin Carnevale 202-328-7004. for details of the above. Email: media@fairus.org. Founded in 1979, FAIR is the oldest and largest immigration reform group in America. FAIR fights for immigration policies that enhance national security, improve the economy, protect jobs and wages and establish a rule of law that is recognized and enforced.

The federal opposition says the arrival of another boatload of asylum seekers shows that Australia has become a favoured destination for people smugglers. A boat carrying 11 suspected asylum seekers was intercepted near the Ashmore Islands off northern Australia late on Monday by Border Protection Command.

Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison says the continuing arrival of boat people is putting the assessment system under too much pressure. “The government’s indifference and weakness, both in their border protection policies and the decisions they’ve taken, have ensured that Australia has become a magnet for people smugglers,” Mr Morrison told ABC radio on Tuesday. “So we’re now left with a situation where we have Christmas Island full, boats arriving pretty much at will and this must be putting extraordinary pressure on the processing systems that need to be undertaken under such overcrowded conditions.”

The latest suspected asylum seeker arrivals will be taken to nearby Christmas Island for questioning and to undergo security, identity and health checks.

The interception comes only days after the federal government rejected claims overcrowding in detention facilities on Christmas Island had forced it to move 30 Afghan asylum seekers to Melbourne for processing. It is the 59th asylum seeker boat to have been intercepted in Australian waters so far this year.

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I have mixed feelings about this. There is no doubt that the Hmong are genuine refugees — unlike the majority who make that claim — but they seem in general to be very egocentric and contemptuous of the rights of others (See here and here) — so are very low on acceptability as immigrants. I don’t blame the Thais

Thailand has sent army troops with shields and batons to begin evicting 4000 ethnic Hmong asylum-seekers from Thai camps and send them back to Laos despite strong objections from the US and rights groups who fear they will face persecution. Under tight security, an initial group of Hmong – many of them children – was driven out of the camp in covered military trucks, each manned by several soldiers. Journalists kept at a distance from the camp could see the convoy as it left. Thai authorities said the first batch would include 448 people.

Washington called for the eviction to stop. “The United States strongly urges Thai authorities to suspend this operation,” US State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said in a statement, noting that the UN and Thailand in the past had deemed that many of the Hmong in this group were “in need of protection because of the threats they might face in Laos”.

The Hmong, an ethnic minority group from Laos’s rugged mountains, helped US forces during the Vietnam War. Many Hmong fought under CIA advisers during the so-called “secret war” in Laos before it fell to the communists in 1975.

The Hmong claim they have been persecuted by the Lao government ever since. More than 300,000 Laotians, mostly Hmong, are known to have fled to Thailand since 1975. Most were either repatriated to Laos or resettled in third countries, particularly the US – but Washington has said it has no plans to resettle more Hmong.

The Thai government claims most of the Hmong are economic migrants who entered the country illegally and have no claims to refugee status, and says it has assurances from Laos that the Hmong will be well-treated. The group was being held at a camp in northern Thailand that the government wants to close.

The Thai army’s co-ordinator for the operation, Colonel Thana Charuwat, said 5000 soldiers, officials and civilian volunteers were involved in the eviction. He said the troops carried no firearms and that their shields and batons met international standards for dealing with situations where people were being moved against their will. Two dozen trucks could be seen heading towards the refugee camp yesterday.

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Zogby Survey Finds Religious Leaders and Members at Odds

In contrast to many national religious leaders who are lobbying for increases in immigration, a new Zogby poll of likely voters who belong to the same religious communities finds strong support for reducing overall immigration. Moreover, members strongly disagree with their leaders’ contention that more immigrant workers need to be allowed into the country.

Also, most parishioners and congregants prefer more enforcement to cause illegal workers to go home, rather than legalization of illegal immigrants, which most religious leaders prefer. The survey of Catholic, mainline Protestant, born-again Protestant, and Jewish voters used neutral language and was one of the largest polls on immigration ever done. Among the findings:

Most members of religious denominations do not feel that illegal immigration is caused by limits on legal immigration, as many religious leaders do; instead, members feel it’s due to a lack of enforcement.

* Catholics: Just 11 percent said illegal immigration was caused by not letting in enough legal immigrants; 78 percent said it was caused by inadequate enforcement efforts.

* Mainline Protestants: 18 percent said not enough legal immigration; 78 percent said inadequate enforcement.

* Born-Again Protestants: 9 percent said not enough legal immigration; 85 percent said inadequate enforcement.

* Jews: 21 percent said not enough legal immigration; 60 percent said inadequate enforcement.

Unlike religious leaders who argue that more unskilled immigrant workers are needed, most members think there are plenty of Americans to do such work.

* Catholics: 12 percent said legal immigration should be increased to fill such jobs; 69 percent said there are plenty of Americans available to do such jobs, employers just need to pay more.

* Mainline Protestants: 10 percent said increase immigration; 73 percent said plenty of Americans are available.

* Born-Again Protestants: 7 percent said increase immigration; 75 percent said plenty of Americans are available.

* Jews: 16 percent said increase immigration; 61 percent said plenty of Americans available.

When asked to choose between enforcement that would cause illegal immigrants to go home over time or a conditional pathway to citizenship, most members choose enforcement.

* Catholics: 64 percent support enforcement to encourage illegals to go home; 23 percent support conditional legalization.

* Mainline Protestants: 64 percent support enforcement; 24 percent support legalization.

* Born-Again Protestants: 76 percent support enforcement; 12 percent support legalization.

* Jews: 43 percent support enforcement; 40 percent support legalization.

In contrast to many religious leaders, most members think immigration is too high.

* Catholics: 69 percent said immigration is too high; 4 percent said too low; 14 percent just right.

* Mainline Protestants: 72 percent said too high; 2 percent said too low; 11 percent just right.

* Born-Again Protestants: 78 percent too high; 3 percent said too low; 9 percent just right.

* Jews: 50 percent said it is too high; 5 percent said too low; 22 percent just right.

Discussion

Most major denominations agree that illegal immigrants must be treated humanely. But the leadership often goes much further and takes the position that illegal immigration is caused, at least in part, by not letting in enough legal immigrants. They then call for increases in the number of workers and family members allowed into the country. For example, early this year, the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) issued a resolution stating that, “Due to the limited number of visas, millions have entered the United States without proper documentation.” The NAE then calls for increases in the number of immigrant workers allowed in.

The Catholic Church states that the law must be reformed so that more “laborers from other countries can enter the country legally.”

The Episcopal Church adopted a resolution in July of this year stating that, “Immigrants are filling the jobs that go unwanted and unfilled by U.S. citizens.” The resolution makes clear more immigrant workers need to be allowed in legally.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in November 2009 adopted a document that states illegal immigrants do jobs that “citizens often will not do” and that legal immigration should be increased to meet, “the annual need for foreign workers.”

A Commission of the Union for Reform Judaism argues that limits on immigration contribute to illegal immigration, and calls for legislation that “Increases the number of visas allowing unskilled laborers to work in the U.S.”

Most parishioners believe that enforcing the law and improving the wages and working conditions of unskilled workers to attract more Americans is the best way to deal with illegal immigration. The huge divide between leaders and members means that if there is a full-blown immigration debate next year it will be all the more contentious, with Jewish and Christian leaders on one side of the issue, their members on the other, and elected officials in the middle.

Methodology

Zogby International was commissioned by the Center for Immigration Studies to conduct an online survey of 42,026 adults. Zogby used its online panel, which is representative of the US population. Zogby International weighted the data slightly to more accurately reflect the U.S. population. Zogby conducted the survey from Nov 13 to 30, 2009. The margin of error for the three Christian groups is +/- 1.1 percent and +/- 2.4 percent for likely Jewish voters.

The above is a press release dated Dec. 29 from from Center for Immigration Studies. 1522 K St. NW, Suite 820, Washington, DC 20005, (202) 466-8185 fax: (202) 466-8076. Email: center@cis.org. Contact: Steven Camarota, (202) 466-8185, sac@cis.org

By Jonah Goldberg

Understandably, the White House is trying very hard to get out in front of the would-be Christmas bomber story. The head of the Department of Homeland Security isn’t helping. I watched her on three shows and each time she was more annoying, maddening, and absurd than the pevious appearance. It is her basic position that the “system worked” because the bureaucrats responded properly after the attack. That the attack was “foiled” by a bad detonator and some civilian passengers is proof, she claims, that her agency is doing everything right. That is just about the dumbest thing she could say, on the merits and politically.

I would wager that not one percent of Americans think the system is “working” when terrorists successfully get bombs onto planes (and succeed in activating them). Probably even fewer think it’s fair that they have to take off their shoes, to endure delays and madness while a known Islamic radical — turned in by his own father — can waltz onto a plane (and into the country). DHS had no role whatsoever in assuring that this bomb didn’t go off. By her logic if the bomb had gone off, the system would have “worked” since it has done everything right.

Napolitano has a habit of arguing that DHS is a first-responder outfit. Its mission is to deal with “man-caused-disasters” after they occur. It appears she really believes it. If the White House wants to assure people that it takes the War on Terror seriously (a term Robert Gibbs used this morning, by the way), they could start by firing this patently unqualified hack.

SOURCE

Fire Napolitano, Cont’d

More reax, from a reader:

Jonah,

I had the same reaction. I also have noticed Gibbs and others claim that his name was on a watch list data base of 550,000 names. They make it sound like this is a monumental task to query a match. When I make a purchase using a credit card, I swipe my card and within seconds that information is accessed from a data base of millions and my purchase is approved. Now that the US government is in the banking business, what’s their excuse?

And, from another reader:

Jonah,

I most wholeheartedly agree with your calls for Napolitano to be fired. I have had repeated correspondence with my Congressman (Burgess – TX 26th) in the past on that subject, and Congressman Burgess has repeatedly called for her to step down, so far with no avail. I did write Congressman Burgess and both my Senators again with a renewed call for her to resign.

I do think Gibbs’ use of the term “War on Terror” represents a concession on the part of the Obama Administration that it realizes this war is far from over, and maybe they are starting to understand that these people hate all Americans, and not just George Bush.

Maybe it’s just wishful thinking on my part. Nonetheless, it’s becoming abundantly clear to everyone that this administration must seriously change its amateurish ways or there will soon be a lot of Americans who have to pay with their lives.

SOURCE

Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC) is asking their more than 30,000 national supporters to contact their members of Congress today to demand immediate Congressional investigations to determine why the Department of Homeland Security is continuing to give valid U.S. visas to millions of people on the terrorism watch lists, including the Detroit Flight 253 bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.

ALIPAC called for the termination or resignation of Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano earlier this year, when it was discovered her department was instructing police officers to scrutinize Americans concerned about popular issues such as illegal immigration, taxes, and government spending as possible domestic terrorists. Napolitano’s “advisories” to police were based on strange Internet blogs and political sources, instead of traditionally accepted law enforcement methods.

“At this time the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government under Bush, and now Obama, appears consistent in efforts to jeopardize the security, prosperity, and freedoms of the American public,” said William Gheen. “Existing laws passed by Congress requires Homeland Security and Immigration Services to screen and reject all visa applicants on the terrorism watch lists. The Detroit bomber was just the latest proof that millions of visa applicants are not being properly checked, despite earlier revelations about this problem. That is why we are calling on Congress to investigate and correct this situation immediately.”

On 8/23/2006, Sara A. Carter of the Washington Times revealed a major scandal with evidence that 75 percent of applicants for immigrant benefits such as green cards, work visas, and a host of other documents, were not being screened against terrorism watch lists or being denied when they were found on the lists. According to sources from inside DHS and USCIS, millions of immigration documents were issued to people that had not been checked against the lists.

See: Terrorist screening missed 75% of time Green card and visa applications — http://www.alipac.us/article1459.html

ALIPAC is encouraging the public to renew calls for the dismissal of Janet Napolitano, along with demands for Congressional hearings to investigate those responsible for the massive and systematic disregard for existing immigration and national security laws passed by Congress.

“Janet Napolitano has been busy trying to pass Amnesty for illegal aliens and casting suspicion on American citizens who are fed up with Government corruption and failures, instead of doing the job of protecting Americans against terrorist threats,” said Gheen. “Each day the evidence all around us grows that the Executive Branch of the U.S. government has been compromised and hijacked by political interests that are not empowered by the Constitution.” said Gheen. “Giving aid to militant enemies of the United States at a time of war is an act of Treason, and we need Congress to find out who the traitors are and how many thousands of visas these government employees have given to people on the terrorist watch lists. Those thousands of visa holders who are currently in the U.S. and on the terrorism lists need to be located and removed immediately! Those who are responsible for issuing the visas should be fired and possibly charged with crimes. All new visa applicants must be properly screened.”

Americans for Legal Immigration PAC has the archive materials which show the prior disregard of the terrorism watch lists, as well as revelations that TSA has cleared illegal aliens to work in airports, U.S. air marshals have been ordered not to hinder illegal aliens flying into the U.S. in large groups, and illegal aliens have been cleared to work on commercial jet aircraft engines. This latest scandal involving the U.S. visa issued to the terrorism suspect from Detroit is only the latest in a large pattern of high level government officials betraying the American public on numerous laws designed to protect the American public.

SOURCE

For the first time in 10 years the number of immigrants to Israel has risen this year, according to Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky and Immigration and Absorption Minister Sofa Landver. In 2009, 16,244 people immigrated – a 17 percent jump over last year’s 13,859.

The number of immigrants from English-speaking countries has also increased by 17 percent this year, from 4,511 to 5,294, said Eli Cohen, the director-general of the agency’s aliyah department. “After 10 years during which we saw less and less immigrants, now we see an increase,” said Sharansky yesterday at a press conference at the Jewish Agency’s Jerusalem headquarters. “This year there were more immigrants from the former Soviet Union, more immigrants from the United States, from Britain and from South Africa – there’s an increase from almost everywhere.”

The largest number of new immigrants still comes from the former Soviet Union, where the numbers increased by 21 percent from 5,867 to 7,120.

Sharansky and Landver attributed the climb to what the Jewish Agency calls its “Red Carpet” program, which includes so-called aliyah fairs for new arrivals during which they are assisted with their initial absorption, such as opening bank accounts, choosing health care providers, etc.

The numbers presented at yesterday’s press conference include four planeloads of immigrants who are scheduled to arrive in Israel this week, but exclude Ethiopians who moved to Israel this year, as they did not immigrate according to the Law of Return but based on a special law, called the Law of Entrance.

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