Guest Editorial


Why should enforcing immigration laws be subject to dispute?

Special interest groups exploit cheap workers and fraudulent voters

What is impossible for me to understand is how the enforcement of our immigration laws has become such a controversial and divisive issue.  In my view, the immigration laws have goals that should be the goals of every American leader and every American citizen.  Those goals, as I noted in my commentary today, are to save American lives and to save American jobs.

Our immigration laws are utterly and totally blind as to race, religion and ethnicity.  While those of us who favor the enforcement of our immigration laws and the securing of our nation's borders as being "Anti-Immigrant", nothing could be further from the truth!

Those same immigration laws enable more than 1.1 million immigrants from countries across our planet to legally immigrate to the United States each and every year!  They are issued Green Cards to signify that they are, indeed, lawful immigrants and are, as of the day that they are granted lawful immigrant status, placed on the pathway to United States

The controversy about immigration is an artificially created controversy contrived by those who seek to gain from the importation of cheap and exploitable labor.  It is also in the best interests of unscrupulous politicians to portray immigration enforcement and border security as being race-based.  This is an example of the age-old strategy of divide and conquer!
You may be startled to find out just how many people and organizations are literally and figuratively "making out like bandits" because of the massive number of aliens being enticed into our country!

As the saying goes:  "Follow the money!"

The reason that employers intentionally hire illegal aliens is to exploit them!  There is nothing magical about the work illegal aliens do, it is just that they are vulnerable to exploitation.  To link the plight of illegal aliens with the Civil Rights Movement that addressed the outrageous treatment of black American citizens is insane and trivializes landmark legislation that addressed a series of moral wrongs committed by our nation when segregation and other examples of insanity passed for "business as usual" in the South!

Additionally, it is important to remember what history should have taught us.  The Amnesty of 1986 provided nearly 4 million illegal aliens with lawful status (the estimates of the number of illegal aliens who would avail themselves of the amnesty program was fewer than 1.5 million).

Those of us who worked at the INS came to believe that there were two reasons for the huge underestimate of the numbers of aliens who would participate in the program.  First of all we believed that the politicians intentionally down-played the numbers to help them "sell" the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) that provided amnesty to those millions of illegal aliens.  Second, we believed that many aliens actually entered the United States after the cutoff date that the law established by which time the aliens had to have entered the United States in order to be eligible to participate in the program.

Fraud permeated the entire program.  I participated in a number of investigations into the fraud issue which, as it turned out, had severe national security implications.  Several of the terrorists who attacked our nation at the World Trade Center in 1993 had made false claims in order to acquire lawful status in the United States as an embedding tactic, enabling them to hide in plain sight as they went about their preparations to plant explosives in the garage of the World Trade Center complex.

Furthermore, once those aliens were granted lawful status they approached their employers and demanded that they no longer be exploited. They demanded that they be paid prevailing wages with the sort of benefits that are customary and required by our labor laws.  In many instances, these newly legalized aliens were fired by the unscrupulous employers who simply hired the next wave of illegal aliens, leading us to where we are today!

The solution to the presence of millions of illegal aliens in our country is not to offer to put them on a pathway to citizenship, which would create a national security nightmare and entice God knows how many million more illegal aliens to run our borders with the hope and expectation that ultimately they will some day also be offered amnesty, but to provide greater resources to effectively enforce the immigration laws. It is time for the citizens of our nation to make certain that our nation's leaders, on all levels, come to terms with the fundamental fact that the purpose of our immigration laws is to protect our nation and our citizens from aliens whose presence has the potential to have a serious adverse impact.
Ignoring those laws exposes our nation and our citizens to a variety of serious threats and challenges ranging from national security and criminal justice and public safety to the economy, the environment, healthcare and education!

For far too long our citizens demonstrated apathy, which emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups.

It is therefore understandable that the politicians of both parties are greatly concerned about the demonstrations currently sweeping our nation just as did the creation of the Tea Party.  I am encouraged that more and more of us are not willing to simply sit on the sidelines anymore!

I also believe that the original purpose of our nation's immigration laws need to be be brought "front and center" to make certain that if such aliens do succeed in entering our country, that our nation has the resources, integrity and dedication to do everything possible to make it impossible for such aliens to function within our country so that even if they are not apprehended, they will find it pointless to remain in the United States.

As I have noted on a number of occasions, "No one would break into the amusement park if they could not get to go on the rides and no one remains in the amusement park at the end of the day when they shut down the rides and turn off the lights!"

If our government's failures to secure our nation's borders and effectively enforce our immigration laws concern you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional Representative.  This is not only your right, it is your obligation!

Published with permission: Michael Cutler is a Retired Senior Special Agent with the Immigration and Naturalization Service