The DACA Sword of Damocles
A solution worse than the problem is hanging over America's head.
On Sunday morning, July 22, 2018, Congressman Steve Scalice, the Republican Whip in the House of Representatives was interviewed on Fox News about the Republican agenda, particularly in light of the upcoming midterm elections. He understandably touted the booming economy, plans to create more jobs and then, in response to the question of “protecting the DACA recipients” he expressed determination to secure the border and “protect DACA recipients.” He bemoaned the refusal of the House Democrats to join with the Republicans to protect those supposedly “young” illegal aliens.
My immediate thought, “Not again!”
The original effort of the “Gang of Eight” to pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform, employed the scam that since we cannot deport the millions of illegal aliens who are present in the United States America should first secure the border (with Mexico) and then get the millions of illegal aliens “out of the shadows.”
On May 5, 2005 I testified at a hearing conducted by the House Immigration Subcommittee on the topic, New “Dual Missions” Of The Immigration Enforcement Agencies.
Republican Congressman Lamar Smith, a former Chairman of that subcommittee, participated in that hearing. His prepared testimony laid to waste the argument that there were too many illegal aliens to deport them all. Here is the relevant segment:
In other words, we make it very, very easy in many, many ways for individuals to stay here who are here illegally. That is not the right signal to send if we are, in fact, serious about reducing illegal immigration in America.
To the question that we hear asked so frequently, well, we have ten million people in the country illegally. What are we going to do, deport them all? No. There’s an alternative to that and there’s an alternative to gradual amnesty or immediate amnesty, depending on who is proposing it, and that is enforcing immigration laws. And if we enforced immigration laws alone, that would discourage many people from coming and would discourage those who are here from staying.
All that would lead to a reduction in the number of people who are in the country illegally, which, by the way, is far more than ten million. Ten million refers to the number of people who are here permanently. If you today took a head count of the number of people in the country illegally, it would probably be closer to 20 million because there’s a lot of people who are here only for a month or two or three.
That’s how serious the problem is, and if the Administration were serious, we wouldn’t be sending these mixed signals, in my judgment.
There are two additional points to be made about creating a massive legalization program. First of all, only aliens willing to come out of the “shadows” would do so. There were no resources to hunt down illegal aliens who had outstanding criminal warrants. Consequently the bad guys would remain in the shadows.
Additionally, on June 22, 2007 I wrote an Op-Ed for the Washington Times, Immigration bill a ‘No Go’ in which I suggested renaming Comprehensive Immigration Reform the “Terrorist Assistance and Facilitation Act.”
I was concerned that should such legislation be enacted, the huge number of illegal aliens would preclude in-person interviews and/or field investigations. This would create an open invitation to immigration fraud.
Let’s remember, when aliens run our nation’s borders, and enter without inspection and without vetting, no record of their entry is created.
There would be no way to verify the dates of entry for those aliens or even verify their true identities. This would make determining their possible criminal or terrorist backgrounds and affiliations nearly impossible to determine.
The report, 9⁄11 and Terrorist Travel focused on immigration-related vulnerabilities that the terrorists had exploited. Immigration fraud was of extreme importance.
Here are two significant quotes from the report:
Once terrorists had entered the United States, their next challenge was to find a way to remain here. Their primary method was immigration fraud. For example, Yousef and Ajaj concocted bogus political asylum stories when they arrived in the United States. Mahmoud Abouhalima, involved in both the World Trade Center and landmarks plots, received temporary residence under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers (SAW) program, after falsely claiming that he picked beans in Florida.”
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Terrorists in the 1990s, as well as the September 11 hijackers, needed to find a way to stay in or embed themselves in the United States if their operational plans were to come to fruition. As already discussed, this could be accomplished legally by marrying an American citizen, achieving temporary worker status, or applying for asylum after entering. In many cases, the act of filing for an immigration benefit sufficed to permit the alien to remain in the country until the petition was adjudicated. Terrorists were free to conduct surveillance, coordinate operations, obtain and receive funding, go to school and learn English, make contacts in the United States, acquire necessary materials, and execute an attack.
Further, as more aliens succeeded in gaming this program, more illegal aliens would be encouraged and emboldened to follow suit. The already overwhelmed Adjudications Officers of USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) would have little choice but to approve virtually all of the applications that would be flooding the USCIS inbox.
USCIS would implode and with it, shred whatever integrity the immigration system might still have, thus dealing a mortal blow to national security.
Then-Senator Jeff Sessions liked my commentary so much that he quoted me, with attribution, from the floor of the U.S. on three separate days during the highly contentious floor debate, urging his Senate colleagues to take my warning to heart.
Senator Sessions subsequently credited my Op-Ed and his ability to quote it during the debate, as critical in helping to defeat Comprehensive Immigration Reform.
In Congress, however, defeated bills may be given CPR. New life was breathed into that terrible bill by essentially renaming it the DREAM Act, (DREAM Act is an acronym for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act).
The obvious hypocrisy of the immigration anarchists who bristle at the term “Alien” concocted the acronym DREAM which contains the word “Alien.” Apparently the desire to link this bill to the American Dream was that strong.
The biggest difference with this “new and improved” DREAM Act was that it was marketed as a means of providing lawful status to illegal alien children who were brought to the U.S. prior to their 16th birthdays, so that they would not be punished for their parents’ crimes. (The sort of crimes that today the Trump administration was trying to combat through the “Zero tolerance” policy.)
The DREAM Act scam was designed to sound reasonable. All scams are designed to sound reasonable. The compliant media dutifully reported that aliens under the age of 16 would be protected from deportation.
What has been rarely, if ever reported, however, is that aliens as old as 35 years of age could apply to participate in the program if they claimed to have been present in the U.S. since before they turned 16.
Once again, fortunately, enough members of Congress saw through the scam and voted it down.
On June 15, 2012 President Obama stood in the White House Rose Garden and said that “since Congress failed to act” by not passing the DREAM Act he was going to Act and thus created DACA (Deferred Action- Childhood Arrivals).
I addressed the Obama con job in my Op-Ed for Fox News on June 17, 2012, Obama Invokes Prosecutorial Discretion to Circumvent Constitution and Congress. I stated that what President Obama claimed was his use of “prosecutorial discretion” should actually be referred to as “prosecutorial deception.”
DACA was essentially the DREAM Act which itself was a reworked version of Comprehensive Immigration Reform or, as I have to come to refer to it, “The Terrorist Assistance and Facilitation Act.”
And now, the House Republican Whip, Steve Scalice is now determined to turn a succession of con jobs, and one that was most recently foisted on Americans by President Obama, into law!
As for the notion of “securing our border” without question the U.S./Mexican border must absolutely be secured.
However, our nation has 50 “border states” not just the four states along the U.S./Mexico border. Any state that lies along our northern border is also a border state as are those states that have international airports or have access to America’s 95,000 miles of meandering coastline.
To underscore this fact consider that on January 16, 2018 the DOJ and DHS jointly issued a press release, DOJ, DHS Report: Three Out of Four Individuals Convicted of International Terrorism and Terrorism-Related Offenses were Foreign-Born.
This report included this paragraph which supports my concerns about the many ways that international terrorists and criminals may access the United States:
As mentioned above, in FY 2017, DHS encountered 2,554 individuals on the terrorist watchlist (also known as the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Database) traveling to the United States. Of those individuals, 335 were attempting to enter by land, 2,170 were attempting to enter by air, and 49 were attempting to enter by sea. Where consistent with the law, such individuals are denied entry into the United States, while in some cases law enforcement authorities are notified and can take appropriate action.
The time for playing politics with national security is over.