Be Careful What You Wish For

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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.

November 16, 2011

Russell Pearce was the force behind the controversial Arizona Immigration Law, SB 1070.  He was the President of the Arizona State Senate and because of his outspoken position on the need to enforce immigration laws on the state level, he drew fire from a number of well funded organizations that oppose the enforcement of our nation's immigration laws.

The government of Mexico was certainly opposed to Pearce's valiant efforts to do the job the government of the United States won't do, secure our borders and enforce our immigration laws.  Mexico is the recipient of more than $20 billion each and every year in remittances wired from the United States to Mexico and receives even more money in other ways as well.  In fact, the money wired to Mexico from its citizens who are living and working illegally in the United States represents the second largest source of income for the Mexican economy!

So many illegal aliens from Mexico now live and work in the United States that whenever there is a presidential election in Mexico, the candidates for that presidency campaign inside the United States!

By exporting its citizens, the Mexican government also helps to prevent insurrection by the young able-bodied men who work in the United States.  The drug trade likely results in money flowing into the coffers of corrupt politicians in Mexico and most likely, the United States as well.

Therefore the leaders of Mexico have a number of very important incentives to make certain the border that is supposed to separate the United States from Mexico remain is ineffective as mere speed bumps.

Interestingly, Mexico does take one border seriously, the border that separates Mexico from Guatemala.  Mexico has erected a fence along that border while demanding that the United States does not build a border along the U.S./Mexican border!  I have a theory as to why Mexico wants to block the flow of illegal aliens from Guatemala and other Latin American countries into Mexico- I suspect that they don't want those illegal aliens to make their way to the United States where they will compete with illegal aliens from Mexico for jobs in the United States!

This past week, Senator Pearce lost his seat in the Arizona State Senate because of a recall election- the goal of the open borders advocates because of his position on illegal immigration and his leadership in leading the charge where SB 1070 was concerned.  While members of the immigrant community in Arizona and elsewhere across our nation may be celebrating the outcome of this election, I would like to provide my perspectives that are not based on hunches but are based on my having served as an INS Special Agent for roughly 26 years and as an Immigration Inspector for 4 years.

My real-world experience has provided me with a unique perspective where the hotly contested issue of immigration law enforcement is concerned.

Before celebrating the outcome of this recent defeat suffered by Senator Pearce, people- especially in the immigrant communities of the United States need to understand what is really at stake.

Senator Pearce's action, in conjunction with other political leaders of Arizona, was taken to fill a void created by the ongoing failures of the federal government to secure the border that is supposed to separate the United States from Mexico and enforce our nation's immigration laws from within the interior of the United States.

The failures of the federal government to enforce the immigration laws and secure our borders heavily impacted Arizona and those who live and visit Arizona.  According to published statistics, prior to the passage of SB 1070, Phoenix, the capitol of Arizona suffered a kidnapping or home invasion virtually every day!  Most of these crimes involve drug-related crimes and aliens- often illegal aliens who are directly or indirectly connected to the drug trade.

The political leadership found itself in an untenable situation- they could not stand by and watch crime, especially crimes involving violence and members of the immigrant community soar into the stratosphere and not take action.  That action was to enact immigration laws that paralleled the federal immigration statutes.

Gene Kranz, Flight Director for NASA's manned space program during the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs wrote a book that memorialized NASA's incredible achievement of returning the 3 Apollo 13 astronauts back to earth after their service module experienced a massive explosion halfway to the moon.  His book was titled, "Failure Is Not An Option."  For Senator Russell Pearce and his political colleagues, if a book was to be written about the situation that drove them to enact SB 1070, you could say that the title of that book could be, "Failure To Act Was Not An Option!"

I was proud to provide an extensive declaration in support of SB 1070 when the United States Justice Department resorted to the extremely unusual measure of filing a lawsuit in order to prevent SB 1070 from being implemented.

While opponents of secure borders and immigration law enforcement have worked tirelessly to combat these important measures by claiming that the motivation for seeking to secure our nation's borders and enforce our nation's borders was xenophobia, bigotry and racism, in reality, our nation's immigration laws are utterly and totally blind as to race, religion and ethnicity.

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) is the all-inclusive body of laws that address the entry of aliens into the United States and their continued presence in our country.  The INA establishes the requirements for an alien to acquire lawful immigrant status and even become a United States citizen via the naturalization process.  Those laws also define categories of aliens who are to be prevented from entering the United States or deported from the United States when foreign nationals violate terms of their admission into the United States.

Aliens who are admitted into the United States generally fall into two categories, immigrants and nonimmigrants.  Immigrants are provided with an Alien Registration Card also known as a "Green Card."  They are permitted to work and remain permanently in the United States and are eligible to seek to become naturalized citizens when they meet certain additional requirements.  Nonimmigrants are admitted for a defined period of time for a variety of visas issued in conjunction with lawful purposes such as tourists, students, journalists, diplomats and those who have various categories of work visas.

The guiding principle behind these laws is to protect America and Americans from aliens whose presence would create problems.  This includes aliens who have dangerous communicable diseases, aliens who suffer mental illness and are prone to violence.  Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, aliens who are convicted felons, are members of violent gangs, engaged in human rights violations, have committed war crimes, or engage in human tracking, alien smuggling, narcotics trafficking, money laundering, prostitution, espionage and terrorism are among the categories of aliens who are supposed to be prevented from entering our country.

The immigration laws are also supposed to prevent foreign workers from entering our country if they would displace American and lawful immigrant workers or have an adverse impact on the wages and working conditions of American workers.

Most Americans who are surveyed are adamant about their desires that our nation secure its borders and enforce its immigration laws simply as a way of defending our nation against the entry and infiltration of terrorists and criminal aliens including the members of the extremely violent Mexican drug cartels and transnational gangs such as MS-13.

The most likely victims of transnational gangs are the members of the immigrant communities of the same ethnicity as the gang members.  This does not only apply to the gangs from Latin America but from gangs from across this planet.  It applies to the Russian mob, Jamaican drug posses, Asian Organized Crime and all of the others.  This is not conjecture on my part, but what I observed during my career at the INS where I spent half of my career engaged in conducting narcotics investigations in conjunction with the NYPD and various other city and state police departments, the DEA, FBI, ATF, US Marshals Service and other federal law enforcement agencies and even with law enforcement agencies of foreign governments including the Israeli National Police, the Royal Canadian Police, British Customs and the Japanese National Police.

Consider the fact that most of the home invasions and kidnappings in Arizona involved narcotics and members of the immigrant community.

While Arizona was the first state to enact its own immigration laws, it has been joined by other states such as Indiana and Alabama and South Carolina.  Even cities and towns have taken to seeking to enact laws and ordinances that parallel the federal immigration laws.  Hazleton, Pennsylvania also enacted ordinances in an effort to address the serious problems that are related to the influx of large numbers of criminal aliens.  I was pleased to be the final expert witness at the federal trial that resulted when the ACLU filed a lawsuit against that beleaguered city.  Today Lou Barletta, the former mayor of Hazleton who was the force behind the Hazleton ordinances is now Congressman Lou Barletta who was elected because of his leadership in this matter.

Often the news media refer to those who push for open borders and oppose the enforcement of our immigration laws as being “Pro-Immigrant.”  This makes as much sense as saying that a person who places cheese on a mousetrap is a compassionate "animal-rights activist" who is simply trying to feed hungry mice!

Most of those who push for open borders do so seeking personal gain and all of them know that illegal aliens will, more often than not, face horrific exploitation in the United States by unscrupulous employers and others and will all face violence at the hands of criminals who have entered the United States to be able to ply their criminal “trades” in the United States.

Lawful immigrants have generally come to the United States seeking freedom- freedom from crime and the freedom to live their lives in peace.  That freedom and security can only be achieved by enforcing our nation's immigration laws and securing our nation borders.  Russell Pearce demonstrated true leadership in leading the charge to get SB 1070 enacted.  I hope that if he decides to run in the next election that commonsense prevails and that he is returned to his seat in the Arizona State Senate or, perhaps will be elected to the United States Congress. where he can continue to demonstrate leadership to effectively deal with the immigration crisis that is doing such profound harm to our nation in so many ways- and not just in Arizona!

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