MAY 1, 2013
11 million illegal aliens would undergo less vigorous screening process
WASHINGTON, DC – While amnesty advocates are exploiting the horrific Boston Marathon attack as justification for quickly passing an amnesty, the Center for Immigration Studies finds that the failed FBI background checks of terrorism suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev indicate that the government does not have the capacity to adequately vet the backgrounds of 11 million illegal aliens, and that an amnesty might actually facilitate terrorism.
The FBI reportedly spent part of 2011 and an unknown amount of resources investigating Tsarnaev’s ties to terrorism after an apparent alert from Russian intelligence officials. The FBI said it “did not find any terrorism activity, domestic or foreign” after interviewing Tsarnaev, his family, his neighbors, and checking his travel records and Internet activity.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and his allies are arguing that because terrorists may be living in the United States illegally, passage of the Schumer-Rubio amnesty would benefit national security.
But the background checks in the Schumer-Rubio bill will be much less vigorous than the background check conducted by the FBI on Tsarnaev. The bill’s background check provision does not require face-to-face interviews with immigration officials. No provision requires an applicant’s neighbors or family members to be interviewed, and an applicant’s Internet activity certainly will not be analyzed. Even with face-to-face interviews, the 1986 amnesty still resulted in massive amounts of fraud.
The fraudulently amnestied aliens included 1993 World Trade Center bomber Mahmud Abouhalima who used his new status to travel freely to and from the Middle East to pick up terrorist training. Had immigration law been enforced, he would have never received travel documents and instead would have been removed from the country as an illegal alien visa-overstayer, potentially preventing the attack.
Within six months of passage of the Schumer-Rubio bill, illegal aliens would be entitled to driver’s licenses, travel documents, Social Security accounts, and a significant number of state-level benefits.
View the Senate bill, CIS Senate testimony, and commentary