Comprehensive Immigration Reform: Background Checks Require a Reality Check

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By Michael W. Cutler

Mike is a Senior Fellow with CAPS and retired INS Senior Special Agent. During his 30-year career with the INS he rotated through all of the squads within the Investigations Branch. He was assigned to the Unified Intelligence Division of the DEA and for 10 years was assigned, as an INS Senior Special Agent, to the Organized Crime, Drug Enforcement Task Force. He has testified at numerous hearings conducted by committees and subcommittees of the House and Senate and provided testimony to the 9/11 Commission.

He hosts "The Michael Cutler Hour" on USA Talk Radio Fridays at 7 p.m. (EST) and is frequently interviewed by broadcast media on various aspects of immigration issues, especially the nexus to national security.

The writer's views are his own.

September 20, 2013

In the wake of the mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard on September 16, 2013, that resulted in the death of 13 people, including the gunman, President Obama, as reported by ABC News on September 17, 2013, said:

The fact that we do not have a firm enough background-check system is something that makes us more vulnerable to these kinds of mass shootings.

The President called for more stringent background checks for those who purchase firearms but ignores the current lack of integrity to the background checks being conducted in conjunction with the immigration benefits program, including the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that compromises national security and community safety.

In point of fact, if our government ultimately enacted Comprehensive Immigration Reform, millions of participating illegal aliens would not even be subjected to in-person interviews. There would be no resources to do the most rudimentary field investigations to substantiate information contained in their applications.

On September 3, 2013, I joined Congressman Lou Barletta (R-PA) on the campus of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida, at a town hall meeting on illegal immigration. Talk show host Marc Bernier moderated the discussion.

When I raised concerns about the all-but-worthless “background checks” that are being touted by the administration, moderator Bernier was incredulous and asked Congressman Barletta, who is a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, about my concerns. Barletta substantiated my statements and noted former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano admitted to him that there would be no in-person interviews of the millions of aliens who would participate in Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

Although you would never know it to listen to the President and advocates for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, America's borders and immigration laws exist for two primary purposes, to protect American lives and the livelihoods of American workers.

Aliens enter the United States covertly because they know that they belong to one or more categories of excludible aliens as delineated in Title 8, United States Code, Section 1182, including aliens who suffer dangerous communicable diseases or who suffer from extreme mental illness and are prone to violence or are sex offenders, aliens who have been previously deported, are convicted felons or are fugitives from justice. Additionally, aliens who are human rights violators, war criminals, spies and terrorists are also deemed excludible, as are aliens who would become public charges or work illegally, thereby displacing Americans in the workforce or causing wages or working conditions to be adversely impacted.

The true identities of these aliens, including their countries of citizenship, their actual dates of entry and their ultimate goals in entering the United States surreptitiously, are known only to them.

Illegal aliens who have never been fingerprinted in the United States and who lie about their identities, using readily available documents to substantiate their false identities, easily pass the background checks required by USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services). Yet this gaping hole in the immigration system is being ignored.

The 9/11 Commission Report addressed the importance of the immigration inspections process conducted at ports of entry and made recommendations about providing vital information to inspectors to protect America and Americans and noted that immigration fraud enabled terrorists to hide in plain sight.

None of these enhancements to the inspections process matters when aliens evade the vital inspections process. The lack of integrity in the immigration benefits program is being ignored, and a massive amnesty program would only exacerbate this vulnerability.

It is no less important to keep criminals and terrorists out of the United States and off the streets of our towns and cities as it is to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the insane.

It is not “Anti-Immigrant” to be Pro-American!

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