The 19 hijackers who seized American airplanes last week and flew them into history’s biggest and bloodiest terrorist attack slipped across U.S. borders easily enough. The FBI’s detention of some 75 others —some suspects, some only “material witnesses”—suggests that what may turn out to be a mammoth underground network of foreign terrorists, supporters, and collaborators may already exist in this country.
For that network, the ease with which the terrorists entered, and the bloodshed they have already perpetrated and may perpetrate in the future, the American people have to thank the open borders lobby—politicians who push for more immigration and fewer restrictions on entry, ideologues who insist that national borders and identities are obsolete, and Big Business, which demands a never ending flow of cheap labor, at the expense of American workers and the security of its own country.
The FBI reports that at least 15 of the 19 hijackers entered the United States on business or tourist visas. Their entry might have been halted had a computerized screening system of border crossers been in operation. Under that system, foreign criminals, terrorists and violators of visa laws would have been instantly detected. The system was mandated by Congress after suspected Palestinian terrorists, who had been issued visas without background checks, were arrested in New York in 1996 with bomb making equipment.
But the system wasn’t in operation. Because of action by one of the chief open borders advocates, former Sen. (now Energy Secretary)Spencer Abraham, the screening system was never established. Mr. Abraham, a fervent advocate of virtually unrestricted immigration, claimed it would cause traffic congestion at the Mexican border!
“I’m pleased that the budget negotiators agreed with us that we cannot allow our border to be turned into one big parking lot,” Mr. Abraham, then the chairman of the Senate immigration subcommittee, said at the time in 1998. Had the screening system been in place, some or all of the terrorists might have been nabbed, and information on them might have led to the others. Some 5,000 Americans or more might still be alive today. You can thank Mr. Abraham and his cronies that they’re not.
Other terrorists seem to have entered on visas that were legal enough but to have overstayed them after the visas expired. Virtually nothing is done today to apprehend or control aliens whose visas have expired; they constitute a vast subterranean subculture within American society. In addition, the names of two of the hijackers really were on a terrorist watch list but were not placed on it until after they had entered the country.
As for the borders themselves, both the Mexican and Canadian borders were closed immediately after the attacks last week—perhaps the greatest case of locking the barn door after the horse escapes in history. Of course, both the Mexican government and many open borders ideologues have long claimed the borders can’t be shut, that they’re just too long and too many people cross over. The closing of both of them again exposes the lies on which the open borders claims are based.
Rep. George Gekas, now chairman of the House immigration subcommittee, says we should and will have “more enforcement of the existing [immigration] laws [and] tightening of our borders.” That’s swell, but he also tells us that of course that doesn’t mean we can’t have amnesty. He told the Washington Post he saw no reason to drop from the House agenda a bill that would allow illegal aliens with family or business sponsors here to apply for permanent residency.
Well, of course not; dumping amnesty might interfere with business as usual. All week long Americans have been told that we must now, in the wake of the terrorist attacks, expect to enjoy less liberty, to be prepared to cut back on our constitutional rights, to place the needs for security over the luxury of personal freedom. But immigration and the “rights” of immigrants, including those who broke our laws to get here, can’t be touched, and no one questions the unchecked flood of immigrants into the country.
In effect, the national emergency in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks is actually inducing a kind of redefinition of the national identity itself. Constitutional rights are suddenly expendable, but immigration,“diversity,” the “right” to enter and remain in the country are untouchable.
There’s no doubt the mass immigration permitted and encouraged by ideologues and special interests for 30 years and the uncontrolled borders that go with it played a major role in allowing terrorists to enter this country and wreak mass murder. When the American people start demanding an accounting of who among us allowed terrorism to blossom here, those who demanded open borders at the expense of our workers, our culture, and our physical safety will be foremost in the dock.