For all the banalities visited upon us on the occasion of the first anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center, virtually no commentator has bothered to mention the most obvious loophole of all in the vast slice of bureaucratic Swiss cheese that constitutes the federal government's capacity to protect the safety of its citizens and the security of the country. We have had war and promises of more war, crackdowns on domestic terrorists and round-ups of thousands of unusual suspects. But mass immigration, like Old Man River, just keeps rolling along.
The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the main watchdog in Washington that barks about the immigration issue, this week released a report that awarded the federal leviathan the grade of "D" for its performance in immigration control. "While some progress has been made," the report concluded, "much of it has been spotty and haphazard, and many of the improvements won't be fully implemented for years." FAIR was mainly talking about essentially administrative and enforcement procedures intended to keep out dangerous, criminal and crazy immigrants. For obvious reasons, that has been a bit of a priority in the last year.
But the main problem of immigration is its sheer massiveness. This year, for the first time, more than one million immigrants actually became citizens, and there are millions more where they came from. More than 30 million immigrants have come to this country since 1970, accounting for about 70 percent of the population increase in those years. Then there are the illegal immigrants, whose numbers no one can count but whom various authorities are perennially surprised to find are considerably more than anyone had previously estimated. At last estimate, the number of illegals stood at 9 to 11 million "or higher," as the Washington Post reported last year.
The main way to deal with the massiveness of immigration is to reduce the numbers, which the government has not even tried to do in the last year. Leaving aside other issues such as whether immigrants assimilate, help or harm the economy, displace Americans from jobs, etc., the main problem for national security the immigrants represent lies in their numbers. With 9 to 11 million or more illegal aliens already here and 30 million legal aliens entering over the last generation, it's impossible to keep track of which ones are dangerous or how dangerous they are. That's why we keep reading about the FBI or other agencies busting terrorist suspects hither and yon — in some cases perfectly legal aliens or even citizens — whose presence and character no one knew about before.
The Center for Immigration Studies in Washington recently released a background study by its research director, Steven A. Camarota, that found, based on 2000 Census Bureau figures, that Middle Eastern immigrants to this country during the last 30 years have numbered about 1.5 million, of whom about 10 percent are here illegally. Middle Easterners — nowadays considered, perhaps unfairly, as the most suspect of the immigrant groups — have increased more than twice as fast as immigrants as a whole. In 1970, most Middle Eastern immigrants (85 percent) were Christians; today, 73 percent are Muslims.
A good many are also, no doubt, what is currently termed "Islamists" or Muslim radicals or just plain fanatics. Some are undoubtedly members or associates of Al Qaeda or similar terrorist groups and networks; others are probably just sympathetic to such groups and their causes, and not a few are willing to help them out to some degree, ranging from legal propaganda work to full-scale support for terrorist attacks.
But don't imagine that Muslims are the only immigrants who might endanger the country. In Northern Virginia, a band of happy warriors known as the "MS-13 gang" hailing from El Salvador practices the hobby of killing police officers at random. In August, the Washington Times reported, the gang sent some 20 members from California to Fairfax County to pick out a county cop at random and murder him. MS-13 has connections with the old sod in El Salvador as well as a nationwide organization in this country. A report from the Orange County (California) district attorney's office says MS-13 "has been responsible for the execution of three federal agents and numerous shootings of law enforcement officers across the country."
There are still terrorists in Afghanistan (as the attempt to assassinate President Karzai last week shows), as well as American troops to fight them. There may or may not be any terrorists in Iraq, but American troops will probably be fighting Iraqis in the near future. None of that accomplishes anything toward ending the real terrorist threat to this country that exists today, which comes almost entirely from the mass immigration that our government has allowed and refuses to reduce or control. Until it does, terrorism for Americans will remain as real as it was one year ago this week.
COPYRIGHT CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
September 12, 2002