The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States finished its seventh public hearing last week in Washington, D.C. The headlines belonged to immigration inspector Jose E. Melendez-Perez who testified about barring a possible 20th 9/11 hijacker at the Orlando airport in August, 2001, sending him back to Dubai.
The commission also heard testimony from immigration non-enforcement luminaries James Ziglar and Doris Meissner–both disgraced Commissioners of the now abolished Immigration and Naturalization Service.
But the witness with the most significant message for real immigration reform did not speak at the seventh hearing. His written statement was offered into the record and posted on the Commission's web site instead.
If anyone cares to read it, the key to American immigration policy reform is summed-up in this statement by Peter Gadiel—a father who lost his twenty-three year-old son, James, in the World Trade Center's north tower.
"Our political system has created a code of immigration law that is Byzantine in complexity, and thus thwarts enforcement while favoring any and all immigrants no matter how baseless their cases may be."
"It is clear that there are too many in our government and in private industry who did not want to protect our borders. They all share in the responsibility for the attacks of September 11th and the deaths of 3,000 innocent people, one of whom was my son."
Shortly after September 11, 2001, I started a web site warning that America's deportation system for illegal aliens and criminal alien residents is broken beyond repair. This is largely due to an unknown federal agency: the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), and the neglect of any real immigration law reform by Congress.
In contributing to VDARE.com, I write about the nuts and bolts of immigration law that are simply not covered in the major media, or even in patriotic immigration reform circles.
In March, 2002, I wrote a critique ["What the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) Missed - How Alien Terrorists Exploited the EOIR"] analyzing an otherwise excellent CIS report. ["The Open Door – How Militant Islamic Terrorists Entered and Remained in the United States, 1993-2001"]
This is why I respectfully disagree with another 9/11 Commission witness, Jan Ting.
His suggestion of putting the EOIR under the control of Secretario Ridge and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) wouldn't make much difference—as long as the EOIR litigation bureaucracy continues to draw breath.
And as the DHS has already demonstrated, agency reshuffling won't solve any of the EOIR bureaucracy's inherent problems, brought to light by folks like Michelle Malkin and myself, who believe that this illegal alien briar patch should be abolished completely.
The 9/11 Commission also released a staff statement [PDF] at its seventh hearing, concluding that the 9/11 terrorists:
Not surprisingly, Americans are concerned why the 9/11 terrorists were never arrested for any of these immigration law violations.
But I am here to tell you that, under the current EOIR Immigration Court process for deportation—unless these foreign nationals were already being marked as a potential threat—the EOIR litigation bureaucracy wouldn't have slowed them down one bit!
By fully exercising their "rights" as illegal aliens in the system, the terrorists could have been released on an immigration bond, been paroled into the United States, remained on our shores, requested political asylum, and continued their murderous plans while their cases dragged on unresolved for years.
All of this bureaucratic delay and federal litigation is a full-employment act for the robed government lawyers of the EOIR, its appellate-level Board of Immigration Appeals, the regional circuit Courts of Appeals, and even the Supreme Court. The endless litigation is also a windfall for immigration lawyers and the Treason Lobby itself.
Congress' refusal to remedy a ridiculous system that systematically fails to deport aliens is even worse.