Exclusive: Illegal Aliens Akin to Burglars in the Night

by MICHAEL CUTLER January 24, 2009
When individuals enter our nation with out undergoing the mandated inspections process that this effort to avoid the CBP (Customs and Border Protection) inspectors, it is not the equivalent of a motorist who fails to pay a toll before crossing a toll bridge – it is comparable to someone breaking into a home in the dead of night.
While the majority of illegal aliens who run our nation's borders are simply seeking to attempt to get a job, a significant percentage of those illegal aliens may well be intent on violating other laws in the United States. Some may be fugitives from justice in their own country or in another country. Others may have already been deported from our country for having committed felonies and are seeking to return to the United States covertly to continue their criminal "careers" here.
This article from the CBP website chronicles how 11 criminal aliens where apprehended as they joined other would-be illegal aliens, while this article deals with a United States citizen who was identified as being the subject of an outstanding criminal warrant when she sought to enter the United States through the inspections process.
When advocates for open borders make light of the presence of illegal aliens in our country, it is important to remember that the inspections process – which illegal aliens often avoid – is designed to protect our nation and our citizens from the potential harm that such aliens may pose to our nation.
At the very least, an illegal alien who seek unlawful employment, does harm to our nation's already weakened economy. This is not a "victimless crime."
Here is something for you to consider when pondering the impact of illegal aliens who work in the United States. In fact, this also applies to foreign workers who succeed in obtaining "temporary" work visas: When an American citizen or resident alien receives a paycheck, he is likely to spend, save or invest that money in the United States. This is how our economy is supposed to grow – moving money through the economy, providing economic opportunities for our citizens, our lawful immigrants and our nation.
Foreign workers have a different goal for their earnings. They are intent on sending that money back to their families in their home countries. Each and every year, tense of billions of dollars are wired or otherwise sent from the United States to other countries. Last year, it was estimated that more than $40 billion was wired from the United States to Latin America and the Caribbean by aliens – most of who are believed to have been living and working in the United States illegally. Additional money was otherwise sent to Latin America and the Caribbean. Still more money was sent, in one way or another, to Europe, Asia, Africa and elsewhere by foreigners working in the United States.
Meanwhile, our nation's "leaders" talk about providing approximately a $1,000 "economic stimulus" check to American families to stimulate the economy. This is not the sort of money that will keep a family facing foreclosure from losing their house. These Americans need steady employment with a paycheck that will enable them to be economically self-sufficient.
This requires that our nation finally secure its borders from the entry of illegal aliens. It means that the emphasis must be on making the economic success of the citizens of our nation the priority of our government. With all of the talk about the need to do things differently, I hope that the issues on the list of President Obama's "change we can believe in" will reflect the way our nation used to do business: aliens who might displace – or harm – American workers were kept out of the United States.
Back in 1997, I gave testimony at a Senate subcommittee hearing entitled “Visa Fraud and Immigration Benefits Application Fraud.” The impetus for the hearing was an attack on the CIA by a Pakistani national, and the first World Trade Center bombing, both having taken place in 1993. Then-committee chairman Lamar Smith, who is now the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, had invited me to testify at that hearing and asked me a question I recall to this day: if there was an issue that I could identify as a former immigration inspector, as a former immigration examiner and as an INS senior special agent (my position at the time of that hearing).
I told him that there was a very serious problem with imposters, and that we needed to use biometrics – whether they be fingerprints or some other sort of bio metric identifier – that could quickly help INS personnel to identify an individual that they encountered.
Believe it or not, back then, in 1997, there was no quick way to determine the identity of people the INS arrested. We had occasionally used the resources of the DEA and the FBI to quickly identify individuals we arrested, but we did this on a very sporadic basis and often found that the electronic fingerprint system enabled us to identify all sorts of fugitives, yet the INS had no such capability back then. This was another example of why I often used to say that the INS was the agency that refused to take itself seriously.
I was certainly gratified that within about a year, the INS made its first tentative forays into electronic fingerprinting, although initially they did not use all ten fingers and the system was not, at first, linked to other criminal databases. Today of course, ICE and CBP have this vital technological capability and it is extremely effective.
The point is that no matter the challenge, with a bit of ingenuity and determination, nothing is impossible. We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era.  The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Michael Cutler is a Fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies and a recognized authority who addresses the implications of immigration on national security and criminal justice. Feedback: editorialdirector@familysecuritymatters.org

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