BORDER SECURITY IS NATIONAL SECURITY
Yet GOP leaders will still withhold the funds for a wall along the U.S./Mexican border.
April 21, 2017
by Michael Cutler
On April 9, 2017 The Hill reported that Democrats were winning the fight over the wall.
The Democrats have been adamant about preventing the construction of that wall. Therefore if they are winning then America and Americans are losing.
As this report noted:
Despite President Trump’s request for more than $1 billion to fund the Mexican border wall this year, GOP leaders are expected to exclude the money in the spending bill being prepared to keep the government open beyond April 28.
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) says the choice is pragmatic and the money will come later.
But the issue has become a political thorn in the side of GOP leaders who are facing pushback from Republicans voicing concerns over the diplomatic fallout, the disruption to local communities and the enormous cost of the project, estimated to be anywhere from $22 billion to $40 billion.
With Democrats united against new wall funding, it’s unlikely the Republicans have the votes to get it through and prevent a government shutdown.Ever since I have spoken out about the issue of immigration and national security, including during my appearances at Congressional hearings and when I provided testimony to the 9/11 Commission, I have been clear that simply building a wall along the U.S./Mexican border would not solve the immigration crisis.
However, I have come to compare the wall along that problematic border to the wing on an airplane. Without a wing and airplane certainly would not fly, however, a wing by itself would go nowhere.
In other words, that border must be made secure and other deficiencies in the immigration system must simultaneously be effectively addressed including, of course, the vital issue of the effective enforcement of our immigration laws from within the interior of the United States.
The 9/11 Commission determined that multiple failures of the immigration system enabled not only the terrorists of September 11, 2001 but other terrorists, as well, to enter the United States and embed themselves as they went about their deadly preparations.
We have seen similar patterns in the terror attacks that have been attempted and/or successfully carried out in the United States in the years following the attacks of 9/11.
The preface of the official report, “9/11 and Terrorist Travel - Staff Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States” begins with the following paragraph:
"It is perhaps obvious to state that terrorists cannot plan and carry out attacks in the United States if they are unable to enter the country. Yet prior to September 11, while there were efforts to enhance border security, no agency of the U.S. government thought of border security as a tool in the counterterrorism arsenal. Indeed, even after 19 hijackers demonstrated the relative ease of obtaining a U.S. visa and gaining admission into the United States, border security still is not considered a cornerstone of national security policy. We believe, for reasons we discuss in the following pages, that it must be made one."
To go from the philosophical perspective to the pragmatism of the real world, on April 12, 2017 ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) posted a news release, Foreign national extradited and pleads guilty to human smuggling conspiracy that included these three paragraphs:
Sharafat Ali Khan, 32, a Pakistani citizen and former resident of Brazil, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to smuggle undocumented migrants into the United States for profit before U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton of the District of Columbia. Kahn was extradited to the United States from Qatar on July 13, 2016. Judge Walton scheduled Khan’s sentencing hearing for July 6, 2017.
According to admissions in the plea agreement, between March 2014 and May 2016, Khan and other co-conspirators organized and arranged the unlawful smuggling of large numbers of undocumented migrants to the United States. For their smuggling operation, Khan admitted that he and his co-conspirators used a network of facilitators to transport undocumented migrants from Pakistan and elsewhere through Brazil and Central America and then into the United States by land, air or sea travel. Khan further admitted that he was responsible for managing safe houses for the migrants and arranging a network of associates in other countries to serve as escorts during different legs of the smuggling route. Khan also admitted that voyage included harsh conditions that caused a substantial risk of serious bodily injury or death – including lengthy foot hikes with little food and water through the Darien Gap, a dangerous tropical forest area in Panama.
HSI New York investigated this case, with assistance from HSI Brazil, Mexico, Panama and Washington, D.C. field offices, the South Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force, FBI-Miami, the Human Smuggling Cell, the U.S. Department of State's Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) in Brazil, the Brazilian Federal Police and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s National Targeting Center. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs provided significant support with the defendant’s extradition and foreign legal assistance requests. The Justice Department thanks the Government of Qatar for their assistance with the extradition in this case. Senior Trial Attorney Michael Sheckels of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard DiZinno of the District of Columbia are prosecuting the case.
On April 12, 2017 the Washington Times reported about this case in an article, Sharafat Ali Khan smuggled terrorist-linked immigrants, that began this way:
Federal authorities wrangled a guilty plea Wednesday from a Brazilian man who ran one of the Western Hemisphere’s more flagrant alien smuggling operations, sneaking dozens of illegal immigrants from terrorism-connected countries into the U.S. from 2014 to 2016.
Sharafat Ali Khan specialized in smuggling illegal immigrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh over to the West, where they would be staged in Brazil before being sent north to try to penetrate the U.S.
One of the men Khan helped smuggle into the country was an Afghan who authorities said was involved in a plot to conduct an attack in the U.S. or Canada and had family ties to members of the Taliban.
Neither the ICE news release nor the Washington Times article reported on the fact that the Tri-Border region of Brazil hosts terror training camps.
While there was no mention of that the smuggling operation had an involvement in that dangerous region of Brazil, the fact that the smuggler had resided in Brazil and that he and the illegal aliens he smuggled into the United States are citizens of countries that are associated with terrorism had first landed in Brazil on their way to the United States, certainly raises this disturbing possibility.
To gain a better understanding of the threats posed by this region of Brazil, it is important to read a paper, Islamist Terrorist Threat in the Tri-Border Region that was published by Jeffrey Fields, Research Associate, Center for Nonproliferation Studies.
While some politicians who oppose the construction of the wall seek political “cover” by advocating the use of technology on the U.S./Mexican border, especially drones, in reality drones are costly and all but essentially worthless.
On January 6, 2015 the Washington Post published an article, U.S. surveillance drones largely ineffective along border, report says that was predicated on an audit performed by the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security on the use of drones by Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Nearly on year later, on November 2, 2016, the New York Times reported, Drones, So Useful in War, May Be Too Costly for Border Duty.
Although it has been said that there is no need to state the obvious, perhaps where the issue of drones is concerned, what should be obvious is not obvious.
Drones cannot make arrests. It would be far more effective and less costly to fly Border Patrol agents in helicopters than to deploy unmanned drones to surveil the border. airborne agents onboard helicopters who spot illegal aliens entering the United States can land and take the illegal aliens into custody.
Additionally, if agents on the ground are attacked, drones can only provide images of the incident so that other agents can head to the location to back up the agents who are under attack.
Border Patrol agents on helicopters can land immediately and come to the aid of their embattled colleagues.
Similarly, sensors may help agents identify the entry of illegal aliens as they enter the United States, but the it will again require Border Patrol agents to have to respond to arrest them.
A secure wall can prevent those illegal entries in the first place.
It must be presumed that politicians who take issue with these points do so because they want to keep that human tsunami of illegal aliens and possibly narcotics, coming across our borders.
It has been said, “Elections have consequences.” We the People need to instruct our elected representatives that the way that they vote on legislation and funding have consequences for them.
L.A. MAYOR GARCETTI’S MESSAGE TO SMUGGLERS: “THE COAST IS CLEAR” Are America’s 95,000 miles of coastline less important than our land borders? March 28, 2017
For years mayors of cities across the United States have declared their cities to be “Sanctuary Cities” that would gladly shield illegal aliens from detection by immigration law enforcement officers.
On March 23, 2017 Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was quoted as stating:
In Los Angeles, we don’t separate children from their families because it’s inhumane. In Los Angeles, we don’t demonize our hard-working neighbors just because they speak a different language or come from a different country. That’s un-American.
Of course our immigration laws have absolutely nothing to do with deporting (removing) aliens who speak a foreign language. The reasons that an alien becomes subject to deportation can be found in Title 8 U.S. Code § 1227 - (Deportable aliens).
Garcetti’s lies feed the outrageous false claim that proponents of effective immigration law enforcement are xenophobic racists.
If Garcetti wants to discuss “Un-American” conduct he should consider that our borders, including our nation’s coastline and our immigration laws, are our first and last line of defense.
If he wants to discuss how inhumane it is to “separate children from families” he should consider the plight of families that have lost loved ones, including children, toe crimes of illegal aliens.
On March 25, 2017 Fox News interviewed Don Rosenberg whose 25 year old law student son was killed by an illegal alien in San Francisco.
Garcetti has now promulgated a new set of restrictions on Los Angeles’ port police that exacerbate the immigration crisis for his city and for the entire country.
We will consider this new development shortly but let us first consider that the statements and policies promulgated by Mayor Garcetti and mayors of other “Sanctuary Cities” has served to entice aspiring illegal aliens from around the world to head for the United States, by whatever means are most convenient for them, to enter the United States.
This includes entering the United States without inspection by running our northern or southern borders, stowing away on ships or by surreptitiously gaining access, without detection to the United States along our nation’s 95,000 miles of coastline.
In point of fact, while there has been much attention paid to the lack of security to be found along the U.S./Mexican border, seaports and coastlines have been traditionally, indeed for millennia, vulnerable to smuggling activities.
In March 2016 it was reported that US agents nearly caught $194 million worth of cocaine in a narco submarine. The drugs were lost when, despite the efforts of Customs and Border Protection personnel, the boat sank in the Pacific Ocean off the California Coast. The news report claimed:
In 2012, 80% of the illegal drugs smuggled to the US came on maritime routes, and 30% of the illegal drugs delivered to US shores via the sea were carried on narco submarines, according to a 2014 study cited by Vice News.
Back on June 9, 1993 the New York Times reported, “SMUGGLED TO NEW YORK: The Overview -- 7 Die as Crowded Immigrant Ship Grounds Off Queens; Chinese Aboard Are Seized for Illegal Entry.”
Often aliens seek the “services” of alien smugglers also known as “Human Traffickers” who may help guide illegal aliens to evade the inspections conducted at ports of entry and the Border Patrol along unprotected sections of our land borders. They also may arrange for aliens to enter the United States without being inspected by concealing them on ships as stowaways.
Smugglers may work in conjunction with unscrupulous employers and hence coerce smuggled aliens into becoming indentured workers at various employment venues to pay their smuggling fees.
Sometimes this involves coercing young women into becoming prostitutes at brothels.
All too often these hapless aliens find that they can never earn enough money to fully pay off the smugglers. They become virtual slaves in the United States.
Additionally, often aliens who are smuggled into the United States are forced to become “mules,” becoming human “beasts of burden” carrying large quantities of narcotics on their person as they illegally enter the United States.
Smuggled aliens face extreme violence at the hands of the smugglers. In fact, because smugglers are so likely to rape young female aliens that many young women, who seek to be smuggled into the United States, take birth control pills beginning months before they make their attempts to run our borders to keep from getting pregnant.
In some instances, the services offered by alien smugglers enable terrorists and transnational criminals to enter the United States and other countries.
Aliens may also enter the United States through ports of entry via the inspections process and gaming the inspections process and/or the visa process and violate the terms of their admission as established by the specific visas they used to enter the United States.
In such instances alien smugglers / human traffickers may pay a critical role of providing documents or reaching out to corrupt government officials to procure documents and visas.
Page 61 of the official report, “9/11 and Terrorist Travel” contains this excerpt:
Exploring the Link between Human Smugglers and Terrorists
In July 2001, the CIA warned of a possible link between human smugglers and terrorist
groups, including Hamas, Hezbollah, and Egyptian Islamic Jihad.149 Indeed, there is
evidence to suggest that since 1999 human smugglers have facilitated the travel of
terrorists associated with more than a dozen extremist groups. With their global reach and connections to fraudulent document vendors and corrupt government officials, human smugglers clearly have the “credentials” necessary to aid terrorist travel.
My dad used to say that “Nothing is so good it could not be made better or so bad it could not be made worse.”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has found a way to make things worse; far worse and, not just for the beleaguered residents of his city of Los Angeles, but for the security of the United States and for safety of everyone in the United States.
Once aliens enter the United States by any means whatsoever, they are able to easily travel across the United States. Foreign criminals and terrorists can easily set up shop in any town or city they wish, with Sanctuary Cities being the most advantageous to them.
In addition to ordering that the LAPD will ignore violations of immigration laws, on March 21, 2017 the Los Angeles Times published a report, Port, airport police barred from enforcing immigration laws that must have been “music to the ears” of human traffickers, terrorists and transnational criminals” seeking to violate the borders of the United States for malevolent purposes.
Smugglers will find additional encouragement to head for Los Angeles now that Mayor Garcetti has proclaiming that Los Angeles Port Police, who patrol the harbors of Los Angeles will not cooperate with Customs and Border Protection.
Law enforcement officers who are encumbered by such restrictions prohibiting them from enforcing immigration laws, find themselves in a professional bind. They are aware of their oaths of office for which they risk their lives every day that they go on duty. They recognize that our Constitution and our laws are not to be treated as a menu at a restaurant where patrons may opt for the soup but not the salad.
The fact that a law enforcement officer may run afoul of outrageous and, in my judgement, illegal sanctuary policies may decide that the safest way to do their jobs is to minimize the possibilities that they may act in violation of the dictates promulgated by the mayors of Sanctuary Cities. The best way to accomplish this goal of professional/personal survival is to take the fewest actions while on duty.
This is consistent with the principle of “Big cases- big problems, little cases- little problems: No cases- No problems!”
As I noted in the conclusion of my testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 20, 2013 on the topic, “Building An Immigration System Worthy Of American Values,”
I want to make this clear: Law enforcement is at its best when it creates a climate of deterrence to convince those who might be contemplating violating the law that such an effort is likely to be discovered and that, if discovered, adverse consequences will result for the law violators. Current policies and statements by the administration, in my view, encourages aspiring illegal aliens from around the world to head for the United States. In effect, the starter’s pistol has been fired, and for these folks, the finish line to this race is the border of the United States.
Back when I was an INS special agent, I recall that Doris Meissner, who was at the time the Commissioner of the INS, said that the agency needed to be ‘‘customer oriented.’’ Unfortunately, while I agree about the need to be customer oriented, what Ms. Meissner and apparently too many politicians today seem to have forgotten is that the ‘‘customers’’ of the INS and of our Government in general are the citizens of the United States of America.
Clearly Mayor Garrett and mayors of other “Sanctuary Cities” need to be reminded who their constituents are and the true meaning of their oaths of office.
Garcetti and his “mayoral partners in crime” should read my previous article, “Opponents Of Border Security And Immigration Law Enforcement Aid Human Traffickers.”
Former INS Agent Michael Cutler: Illegal Immigrants Should Be Fearful; People Demanding Enforcement Are Not Haters
March 8, 2017
Across the state and country, activists are calling for curbs on immigration enforcement because it’s making illegal immigrants fearful.
But that’s the way it should be, says Michael Cutler, a nationally-recognized expert and retired senior special agent with the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).
“You should be fearful if you break the law,” said Cutler in an interview Monday with The Tennessee Star.
In Nashville, activists angered by President Trump’s enforcement plans have gone so far as to demand that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) leave the city. Students at Vanderbilt have insisted that the university be a sanctuary campus and Metro Nashville Public Schools say they intend to make illegal immigrant students and their families feel safe.
Cutler, who writes commentary on immigration issues, appears in TV interviews and hosts a show on Blog Talk Radio, said efforts to provide sanctuaries for illegal immigrants will make it harder for law enforcement to root out gangs, drug traffickers, terrorists and other criminals. Problems with crime and drug trafficking will worsen if immigration enforcers aren’t able to do their jobs, said Cutler, who blames loose borders for the reason “why heroin has never been cheaper and more plentiful.” Cutler said it makes no sense to spend vast sums of money on setting up screening at airports, only for people to then act as if immigrants sneaking across the border unchecked is no problem.
Cutler backs Trump’s contention that no immigrant is above the law. “We absolutely need to prioritize criminal aliens over non-criminal aliens, but you can’t ignore collateral arrests,” he said. If ICE agents come across other illegal immigrants while targeting priority cases, they are well within their rights to arrest them as well, Cutler said. “Randomness is a valid law enforcement concept,” he said, noting that those arrests sometimes help lead to higher priority ones.
As part of their promotion of amnesty, activists and politicians routinely say that illegal immigrants who are victims of crime are afraid to come forward because of their status. But Cutler says activists and the mainstream media are misleading the public by not acknowledging that protections already exist for crime victims.
“There are visas we give victims of crimes if they cooperate with police,” Cutler said, emphasizing that illegal immigrants with information about terrorist groups and drug traffickers are also protected. A big part of the problem, he said, is that immigrants are suspicious of police because of the experiences they’ve had with police corruption in their native countries.
In December, the MNPS school board passed a resolution that “asks the director of schools to increase and enhance partnerships with community based organizations and legal services organizations who can provide resources and support for families impacted by immigration enforcement actions and deportations.” According to the MNPS resolution, there are about 33,000 illegal immigrants in Davidson County. About 8,000 illegal immigrants in Nashville live with at least one U.S. citizen child under age 18, the resolution said. A Pew Research Center report shows there were about 130,000 illegal immigrants across Tennessee in 2012, up from an estimated 10,000 in 1990.
At the Feb. 28 school board meeting, MNPS teacher Genny Petschulat asked the board to be more detailed and proactive in following through with their resolution. She likened immigration enforcement to a natural disaster. “We prepare our staff to protect students in case of a fire, a tornado, a lockout, but staff are not prepared to keep students safe in case they suddenly lose their guardians or should be removed by ICE at school or on the way to and from school,” she told the board. Petschulat also asked the board to stop requiring immigrant parents to provide documentation of their children’s birth country “as these documents could be used to split families apart.”
Schools typically collect information about students’ birthplaces for their records but a 1982 Supreme Court ruling prohibits barring students from public schools because of immigration status. As a result, immigration enforcers have generally stayed away from schools. But activists are insisting that safe zones should include protections for students and their guardians anywhere near a school. Immigrants and school personnel in California were upset recently when a man was arrested about half a mile from a school after dropping off one of his children, according to the Los Angeles Times. ICE characterized the arrest as routine as the man was ordered deported in 2014, before Trump took office. A citizen of Mexico, the man had two criminal convictions, including one for a DUI. An ICE official who spoke to the Los Angeles Times said more arrests happen now on the street because fewer immigrants are opening their doors unless agents have a warrant and many jails have stopped cooperating with ICE requests to detain immigrants until agents arrive.
Cutler, the former INS senior special agent, said he is “pro-enforcement, not anti-immigrant,” noting that during his career he was involved in admitting thousands of immigrants, refugees and foreign students in addition to cracking down on fraud and criminal activity. He said the language surrounding immigration has become Orwellian, starting with former President Jimmy Carter using “undocumented” instead of “alien” and continuing today with activists saying that people who are pro-enforcement hate immigrants.
A longtime registered Democrat who considers himself a “labor guy” liberal, Cutler himself comes from a family of immigrants. His father’s parents came from Russia and his mother was born in Poland. Cutler’s maternal grandmother was killed in the Holocaust along with many of her relatives because they were Jews.
Cutler was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, where he still lives today, surrounded by people of different races and immigrants from all over the world.
“Why would I live in a city like New York if I were a xenophobe?” he said. “These allegations about xenophobia are insanity. We have to push back against that false narrative. It’s not accurate and it’s not fair. It’s a lie.”