Sunday, February 8, 2009

What's Working and What is not.

Dr. Janet Napolitano
Secretary of Homeland Security
Department of Homeland Security
Washington, D.C.

Dear Madam Secretary:

This is a follow up to my earlier letter regarding immigration issues. I understand your department is undertaking a review of which DHS policies and procedures are working and which are not. If the number of illegal aliens in this country and the number intercepted at or near the borders each year is any measure of their effectiveness, as a whole, they have to be considered a failure. This, of course, presumes that our people and our government are really interested in securing our borders and restoring our national sovereignty. Here is one citizen’s assessment of what is working and what more needs to be done.

I. The 287(g) program is very effective and has resulted in the apprehension of innumerable illegal aliens and hardened criminals. It should be continued and expanded to all 50 states. We need to target the locations and communities where the illegal alien criminals live and prey on the local populace using whatever means are both legal and effective. We must secure the cooperation and full-fledged support of the locals in these communities in identifying illegal aliens, those who support them, and the hardened criminals in their midst. The much-maligned Sheriff Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona is one of the few local law enforcement officers who have been effective in apprehending these criminals and, in the process, reducing the ranks of other illegals. I hope he will keep up the good work and you can find a way to encourage others to do likewise.
II. The legal immigration backlog needs to be pared down by letting all applicants know that America cannot accommodate everyone who wishes to come here. We are a mature, fully-developed nation with declining natural resources, environmental problems, and grave financial circumstances all of which will be exacerbated by a rapidly growing population. Therefore, we must reduce legal immigration to the much lower historical levels of a few years ago and focus the quotas on those who have the most potential for helping us to remain competitive in an increasingly competitive world. Those with advanced degrees or proven innovative, entrepreneurial, and inventiveness skills must be given the top priority for legal immigration. If applicants do not meet those criteria, their applications should be disapproved. All of our embassies should be directed to implement this policy change immediately. We are long past the time when we can afford to allocate quotas on a nationality basis.
Advocates for an increase in the current unacceptable level of legal immigration do our country a great disservice. Families should apply as a unit so that the admission of one applicant does not multiply into many. Chain immigrations should be limited to the children and spouses of those who have earned citizenship.
III. A lot of lip service is given to border security but little is being done to make this objective a reality. It requires not only major improvements in border infrastructure, staffing, and the rules of engagement but continuous and vigorous internal enforcement based on E-verification of work status. Without internal enforcement those crossing the border illegally will assume that if they can escape the immediate environs of the border they will be home free or, what is even worse, that the Congress will again grant amnesty to the millions of illegals who are already here as it did in 1986. The result of the 1986 amnesty was 12 million new illegals so we know that approach does not work. Even if some unenforceable conditions like the need to learn English, pay back taxes, etc. are imposed, that will not alter the incentive by the prospect of yet another amnesty sometime in the future.
IV. Southbound gun smuggling is symptomatic of our porous borders. Until we find a way to reduce cross-border traffic to a level that makes the Border Patrol’s job possible, there is no possibility of stopping illicit gun, human, and drug trafficking in either direction. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that extremely large numbers of people and vehicles streaming across the border daily is the antithesis of border security. No cross-border work commutes should be permitted even for American citizens since they compound the traffic problem. One has to wonder about those who work in the U.S. but live in Mexico. How can we be sure they are paying taxes as required by law?
V. American communities can never be secure as long as millions of aliens stream across our borders every year, trashing the landscape, and creating new criminal enterprises. I’m sure you are well aware of all the unsanitary trash accumulating in the layups in Southern Arizona and in other places like Ramsay Canyon that used to be a pristine nature preserve. The prisons in California are full of Mexican miscreants, the schools are overburdened with children whose first language is Spanish, and hospitals and emergency rooms have closed because they could not survive under the onslaught of the uninsured illegals. That state has already earned a new name, “Mexifornia.”
VI. We badly need a biometric ID with imbedded fingerprints, photo, age, and other identifying characteristics for all of our citizens who live near the border so the illegals can easily be sorted out without too much hassle. All trailers should be disconnected at the border and reconnected to American tractors after careful inspection. It would be so easy for a terrorist to smuggle a dirty bomb into the U.S. in one of those trucks, it is almost laughable.
VII. Immigration detention facilities have gotten a bad name because of a few bad apples who abuse their authority to prey on peaceful detainees. Let’s make sure these miscreants are removed as quickly as possible and punished to the full extent of the law. Also, let’s do better background checks on the detention center potential hires so this type of behavior can be minimized.
The detainees must be given the supplies and equipment they need to keep their living areas clean and sanitary. This is their responsibility.
Illegal aliens who are detained in these facilities should be processed much more quickly so they can be repatriated without long stays in detention facilities. This requires more immigration judges assigned at these centers or at locations along the routes to the detention centers. There should be enough of them to enable a decision within 24 hours with only a week for any appeal. Justice delayed is justice denied.
The criteria for a successful deportation appeal should be rigid and few. Family separation should never be a part of those criteria. Those who are being repatriated must take their minor children with them, regardless of citizenship, or be judged guilty of child abuse.
Successful appeal criteria could include: evidence of efforts to learn English, payment of all applicable taxes, absence of any zoning violations, assimilation, non-fraudulent proof of presence in the U.S. for more than 5 years, good citizenship, community testimonials from fellow workers who are citizens, etc.
Detention facilities are a sine qua non of border security and internal enforcement. Regardless of where illegals are apprehended they must be not be released. Returning them immediately back across the border merely enables them will try again often within the same day. They will be ultimately successful at a 97% rate. Able male detainees should spend six months working on border infrastructure at minimum wage before they are fingerprinted, DNAed, photographed, and admonished that if they return, they will do hard time. Private contractors who run the detention centers should be paid on the basis of their throughput rather on a capitation basis. That would give them an incentive to move detainees quickly out of the centers and back to their homelands.
We should include in the training of National Guard troops everything they need to know to do an effective job at the borders. They can then be given the same authority as the Border Patrol to apprehend and detain border violators. We have no way of knowing who among the border violators is a real or potential felonious criminal or terrorist. Therefore we should deploy the National Guard along the borders periodically to help the Border Patrol do a thorough job of detection and apprehension.

Respectfully submitted,


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