For years, we immigration reform patriots have warned that border security equals national security.
If Washington can't (or won't) bar the door to Juan the tomato picker and Diego the drug smuggler, how can authorities possibly hope to keep out terrorist thugs and sharia revolutionaries?
An already bad national security situation got enormously worse October 7 when a judge stepped in to free foreign jihadists held in Guantanamo. District Judge Ricardo Urbina ordered the military to release 17 Chinese Muslim Uighur prisoners captured in Afghanistan.
Furthermore, Urbina insisted the prisoners be brought to his chambers, apparently so they could be liberated on his courthouse steps. Perhaps he has a colorful photo-op in mind.
If that scenario isn't bad enough, Washington is unwilling to send the Uighurs back home to China because they might be badly treated there.
What good is effective border control if judges give the house keys to sworn enemies?
The White House appealed Judge Urbina's ruling. As a result a three-judge panel temporarily blocked the Uighurs' release…for the time being.
At this writing, the Uighurs are still behind bars in Gitmo. But it looks likely they will be settled refugee-style with fellows of their ethnic group, some number of whom reside in northern Virginia near the capital.
Get that? They were born in China. They were captured in Afghanistan. Now they're coming here.
Needless to say, sympathetic church people from Tallahassee have volunteered to take some Uighurs in their city as well.
For those curious about this latest bit of enforced diversity, the Uighurs are a Muslim Turkic people from central Asia. Many live in the Xinjizng Uighur Autonomous Region in China, where Beijing apparently regards them as an ethnic separatist threat to Communist rule.
The landmark legal decision that propelled the courts into a new role was the 2008 Boumediene case, in which the Supremes overturned years of precedent to give aliens the same rights in court that citizens have.
The Powerline blog remarked about Boumediene:
"What Warren Court liberals did for the common American criminal, the Court's current liberals are in the process of doing for foreign terrorists captured or held by American forces around the world."
The Uighurs' new "right" to release stems directly from this court decision, which effectively took an area of national security from the political realm and moved it to the courts. Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, author of Willful Blindness, about his prosecution of the blind sheik Omar Abdel Rahman for terrorism, commented about this aspect of Uighur case on CNN October 12.
"And we're also seeing that when you allow your national security issues to be delegated to courts, which is a vast departure from our founding idea, which is that national security decisions are the most decisions made by a political community, they're made to be made by the political branches, not by the courts, this is what you see when you have your most unaccountable officials making these very important decisions.
"And it actually seamlessly, I think, fits into a lot of our other discussion because here you have government colliding with itself to fairly well. We have a treaty that says that you can't send people back to a country where you have reason to believe that they'll be persecuted, which is why we can't send these—repatriate these guys back to China.
"We have two statutes that say if you have received paramilitary training, or you have been involved in the promotion of terrorism, which there is indication that these guys have, the government says they're a threat to the Chinese, not to us. But under our law, they shouldn't be allowed to be brought into the United States. It's actually a violation of congressional statutes. And you have a federal judge who thinks he's not limited by any law whatsoever. So you have all these things combining in a perfect storm. And what it means to the American people is less security."
With release looking like a done deal, the Associated Press has developed pro-Uighur spin so Americans won't be fearful of terrorists turned immigrants.
"A Chinese Muslim locked up at Guantanamo Bay may soon be granted an improbable wish: To move to the United States.
"Statements over the years by the Uighurs held at Guantanamo since 2002, reviewed by the Associated Press, indicate they consider America an ally but are angry they have been imprisoned for so long." [Some at Gitmo see US as ally, Associated Press, October 9, 2008]
It's hard to imagine that seven years of imprisonment have made Uighurs feel more positive about their American "ally". But the MSM has aligned itself with the pro-terrorist left, who remain in denial about the deadly intent of our enemies.
Here's more puffery from the AP about some Americans' new neighbors, fresh from Gitmo:
"For centuries, hospitality to weary travelers has been part of the Uighur culture. The Uighur land in what is now the far western province of China carried merchants traversing the famed Silk Road.
"So in many ways it was only natural for Elshat Hassan, 46, of McLean, to open his home to the most weary of his countrymen. He plans to host one of 17 Uighurs who have been detained by the U.S. for nearly seven years at Guantanamo Bay.
" 'They will be free, finally,' Hassan said of the detainees, describing plans to prepare a traditional meal for Uighur guests: polo, a pilaf consisting of rice, lamb, carrots and onions.'"
For good measure, the story concludes by observing that:
"The detainees' supporters in the Uighur-American community say Uighurs are staunchly pro-American." [D.C. Uighurs wait to take in Gitmo detainees, By Matthew Barakat, Associated Press, October 10, 2008]
The liberal press has also focused its lofty attention upon the alleged suffering of the prisoners.
A New York Times editorial, The Rule of Law in Guantanamo (October 11, 2008) was particularly arrogant and all knowing:
"A federal judge in Washington has struck an important blow for the rule of law by ordering that 17 detainees be freed from Guantánamo Bay. But the Bush administration is fighting the ruling to avoid having the case become an open window into the outlaw world of President Bush's detention camps. [...]
"They are not enemy combatants, legal or illegal, nor are they terrorists. Their detention — along with the detention of others held at Guantánamo without charges or real hearings — has gravely injured the nation's tradition of due process and its international standing."
Keep in mind that at least 30 detainees released from Gitmo have returned to terrorist activity. They are a rough bunch, and not the oppressed victims imagined by the NYT.
Of course, dangerous foreigners are released into American communities all the time, sometimes as a result of the home countries' refusal to accept their criminal or terrorist people back.
In fact, Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) and Rep. Michael Castle (R-DE) wrote legislation earlier this year to deal with this recalcitrance. Here's part of a press release from Rep. Dent [April 10, 2008]:
"As of February 11, 2008, eight countries—Laos, Iran, Eritrea, Vietnam, Jamaica, China, India, and Ethiopia—are refusing to repatriate [I.E. Receive the repatriation of] a total of over 139,000 aliens. More than 18,000 of them are convicted criminals who have been released back onto American streets. The AIR Act would suspend all pending visa applications from those countries until they agree to repatriate our deportees. The legislation would also direct the State Department to withhold funds under the Foreign Assistance Act to countries that persist in this refusal. "
However, in this instance China will take its people back and has said that it might try them on terror charges but would not torture them.
Washington has encouraged an enormous amount of Chinese trade which requires a substantial element of trust, misplaced though it may be. We receive billions of dollars worth of Chinese products, including food and medicine. But the government will not accept China's assurance that it won't mistreat 17 Uighurs. That's odd indeed.
And why is it more important for Washington to protect foreigners and potential terrorists from the Chinese than to guard the safety of American citizens?
Does the State Department fear an outcry from all dozen Uighur-Americans?
Even Senator Lindsay Graham, notoriously the friend of all immigrants, introduced a bill that would prohibit the release of detainees into the U.S.—the Enemy Combatant Detention Review Act.
Turning the Uighurs loose in Tallahassee and Virginia would be the worst precedent imaginable: any unaccountable judge could endanger American national security on a judicial whim.
With more Democrats likely in our future, the settlement of the Uighur terrorist-immigrants could be the first in a long series of inappropriate kumbaya responses to a determined and patient enemy. This will only encourage the jihadists to believe that America is too liberal to defend itself against the Islamic onslaught of terror and immigration, like Europe.
And even apart from the security threat, are the Uighurs assimilable? Will they contribute to the well-being of native-born Americans?
Of course, these questions have not occurred to immigration enthusiasts. They have never met a foreigner they don't want to import.
The Uighurs should not be brought to America. If we don't want to send them to China, they could be sent back to Afghanistan, where they were captured
After all, we know Afghanistan is safe—we invaded it to make sure.
Brenda Walker (email her) lives in Northern California and publishes two websites, LimitsToGrowth.org and ImmigrationsHumanCost.org. As part of her ongoing self-education program about diversity, she is happy to now be able to spell and pronounce Uighur (WEE-gur).