Supreme Court ruling [Demore v. Kim,
PDF] last week that legal immigrants may be
held without bail pending deportation proceedings
and Attorney General John Ashcroft
claiming that illegal immigrants can be
held without bail, the situation for immigrants in
this country is not quite as rosy as it used to be.
Nevertheless, the federal
government still has managed to miss the point of the
very measures it is now imposing.
That point is that, if mass
immigration is really a threat to national security, it
needs to be ended.
Like many people, some government
officials seem to understand only part of this concept.
The New York Times last week quoted the general
counsel for the Justice Department, Kris Kobach, on the
progress of government-required registration of
immigrants from terrorist-supporting countries.
[Fearful, Angry or Confused, Muslim Immigrants Register, By
Rachel L. Swarns With Christopher Drew, NYT April
"I regard this as a
beamed Mr. Kobach.
awakened the country to the fact that weak
immigration enforcement presents a huge vulnerability
that terrorists can exploit."
Well, in the first place, "the
country" understands and has long understood the
dangers of mass immigration and especially of illegal
poll has shown for years; it`s not the country that
failed to understand this truth but the government
itself, which has consistently (and largely
deliberately) refused to
enforce existing immigration laws adequately or to
But in the second place, a tip of
the hat to Mr. Kobach for a brilliant but obvious
insight that immigration reformers have been trying to
explain to the government for
Mr. Kobach was quoted in the
context of a story about the trials and tribulations of
the immigrants who are registering (or not registering)
and the government officials who are carrying out the
program. Since October the government has been
registering immigrants from various
Arabic countries as well as immigrants from anywhere
if they seem "suspicious."
Since December, the feds have
registered immigrants living in this country from some
25 countries believed to support or "tolerate"
terrorism. So far, they have registered 130,000 male
immigrants and nabbed 11 suspected terrorists and more
than 800 criminal suspects and deportable convicts as
well as a whopping 9,000 illegal aliens.
That`s all terrific. Only
10,991,000 illegal aliens to go.
The latter figure points out the
absurdity of the whole program, for all the "great
success" that Mr. Kobach declares. The figures alone
tell us—again—what immigration reformers have been
saying for years—that
mass immigration imports thousands of criminals,
subversives, and general
deadbeats, especially when the government doesn`t
enforce the immigration laws.
It is impossible for the government
(or any government) to police or track this vast
To accomplish its immense quest to
register immigrants, the government, as the Times
reports, "has shifted staff from different
departments to focus on the program," but even that
desperate effort has not prevented all sorts of
predictable problems that rightly make law-abiding
immigrants upset: "confused and inconsistent
officials who sometimes denied them their right to legal
representation and, in rarer instances, mistaken arrests
and detention in filthy, overcrowded cells."
The government`s response is to
claim that such errors are "inevitable," and so
they probably are.
When you don`t enforce the
immigration laws you already have and refuse to
enact and enforce new ones and your country attracts
millions of immigrants,
legal and not, over the years, then of course when
you eventually wake up and start trying to figure out
who and how many have
invaded your country and to register them, it`s
"inevitable" there will be problems.
Yet it will probably take another
few decades to persuade the federal government of the
equally obvious insight that even all its Herculean
efforts to register all the immigrants it can find is
not what is needed to protect the country, let alone to
figure out that immigrants from Arabic countries are not
the only ones who may be involved in
What the government has done since
the Sept. 11 attacks to
screen [PDF] and
register suspicious immigrants is all well and good
and may actually have served to prevent terrorist
attacks as well as some common crimes.
But it also is slow, cumbersome,
inherently inefficient, sometimes just plain unjust, and
Wouldn`t it make a lot more sense,
if we all agree with Mr. Kobach that "that weak
immigration enforcement presents a huge
vulnerability that terrorists can exploit," to
say B and halt immigration entirely?
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
[Sam Francis [email
him] is a nationally syndicated columnist. A selection
of his columns,
America Extinguished: Mass Immigration And The
Disintegration Of American Culture, is now available
Americans For Immigration Control.]