Immigration and Threats Posed by ISIS

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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 17, 2014

Mark Twain once said, “Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” Unfortunately, this quote could be used by terrorist organizations that, contrary to the claims of the administration, are alive, growing and seeking our demise.

During the last presidential campaign, the Obama administration simplistically claimed, “Bin Laden is dead and GM is alive” as a campaign slogan. The administration refused to use the word terrorists and terrorism. The harsh reality is that while artful use of language may help win elections and convince (deceive) the American people to accept what should be unacceptable “solutions” to problems, semantic games do not actually solve problems or protect America or Americans from the threats posed by terrorist groups, such as ISIS, and transnational criminal organizations.

While the president and politicians from both the Republican and Democratic political parties have found all sorts of bogus excuses to implement Comprehensive Immigration Reform, the reality is that failures of the immigration system imperil national security and public safety, and present a host of other threats and challenges for America.

Bowing to pressure of their constituents, some politicians, who, not atypically, attempt to be in two opposing positions on the same issue simultaneously, have demanded that the border be secured first to prevent the entry of terrorists. These are the very same politicians who have been openly supportive of providing “DREAMERS” with lawful status, pathways to citizenship for illegal aliens who join the military and a host of similar proposals that would do irrevocable damage to national security.

Obviously our borders must be truly secured to prevent the entry of aliens engaged in terrorism or aliens who would otherwise be problematic for America. However, while the southwest border must be secured, so too we must understand that terrorists can and have gained entry into the United States through ports of entry by committing visa fraud. They may enter by stowing away on ships or running the northern border. We are, indeed, a country of 50 border states.

On September 3, I was a guest on the NewsMax-TV program, "America’s Forum" hosted by JD Hayworth, to discuss yet another troubling story about yet another screw-up by DHS, an agency I have long referred to as the Department of Homeland Surrender.

The focus of my interview was that DHS conceded that some 6,000 foreign students of “particular concern” had gone “missing” in the U.S. ABC News reported on this in its report, “Lost in America: Visa Program Struggles to Track Missing Foreign Students.”

Politicians who declare “border security” as a prerequisite for implementation of a program to provide lawful status for unknown millions of illegal aliens are almost entirely focusing on the southwest border, blithely neglecting the other means by which terrorists may enter the U.S. and the findings and recommendations of the 9/11 Commission and its staff of federal agents and attorneys.

They also are ignoring common sense. When President Obama took to the airwaves on the evening of September 10, 2014, just one day before the 13th anniversary of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, he talked about the need to prevent terrorists from finding “safe haven” anywhere in the world.

In reality, the failures of the administration to truly secure our borders and enforce our immigration laws, while providing lawful status and official identity documents for hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens without having the capacity to interview them or conduct field investigations – along with the practice of creating “sanctuary cities” and “sanctuary states” around the U.S. – provide just such “safe havens” for international terrorists and transnational criminals inside the U.S.

Combat soldiers wear camouflage to conceal themselves on the battlefield. Tanks, ships and aircraft have also been painted with colors and patterns that mask their presence. Of late, stealth technology has been incorporated in combat aircraft and the newest naval vessels.

Terrorism has been aptly described as “asymmetrical warfare.” Terrorists are enemy combatants who act as soldiers who need to get behind “enemy lines” in order to carry out their deadly attacks. To them, the borders of the nations they seek to attack are the enemy lines. The camouflage that they don in order to conceal themselves and their movements around the world are false identities.

On September 5, 2014, I was a guest on Neil Cavuto’s program that aired on the Fox Business Network. The starting point for our conversation was the exceptionally high unemployment rate in California and the role that illegal immigration plays in this issue. (Reportedly one in ten workers in California is an illegal alien.) During our conversation I noted that Californians for Population Stabilization has been hammering this issue and others related to failures of the immigration system.

However, Neil quickly moved the discussion to the nexus between the failures of the immigration system and the threat of terrorism.

The website, GOPthedailydose.com posted a video of my interview on Neil's program.

I end my commentary by quoting an important paragraph from page 98 of the “9/11 Commission Staff Report on Terrorist Travel:”

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.

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