With all the commotion currently surrounding the topic ‘immigration’ recently, and the stated intent of the current president of the United States to focus on what he is terming ‘comprehensive immigration reform’, it’s worth while examining what the federal government is currently doing with the existing laws and what types of reforms are really needed. With that in mind, consider the immigration imbroglio as evidenced by the cases of Ms. Zeituni Onyango, Mr. Mosab Hassan Yousef, and Mr. Robert Krentz.
Ms. Zeituni Onyango
Ms. Onyango’s experience is one of interest. Her situation is clear– born in Kenya, she came to the United States in 2000 and had requested asylum in 2002, stating that she feared for her life due to violence in her homeland of Kenya. According to the United States Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), those seeking asylum must have a well-founded fear of persecution if returned to their home country. At Ms. Onyango’s first hearing in 2002, the immigration judge denied her asylum request (i.e., no credible evidence that she would suffer persecution upon her return to Kenya) and she was ordered deported. That order never happened– the executive branch under President Bush and then under President Obama failed to preserve the sovereignty of this nation. Now that Ms. Onyango’s nephew is the President of the United States, I think that she likely would be subject to greater persecution in Kenya and, in 2010, the best answer is to grant asylum. However, in 2004, this was not the case, and is an example of our broken immigration system, and evidence that our government failed to do its job.
Mr. Mosab Hassan Yousef
The second case in point is that of Mr. Mosab Hassan Yousef. Mr. Yousef is the son Sheik Hassan Yousef, a founding member of Hamas. Please remember that Hamas is a terrorist organization, is anti-American (that actually praised the 9/11 attacks that killed over 3000 lives), and works to end the existence of the state of Israel. Mr. Yousef behavior is what most American’s would consider heroic. In 1997, at great risk to his own personal safety, his belief that people were more important than ideology led him to become an agent of Shin Bet, the Israeli counterintelligence and internal security agency that battles terrorism inside Israel. He was so reliable in defeating Hamas’ violent attacks (including suicide bombings), that he was dubbed the ‘Green Prince‘ by the organization. In January of 2007, Mr. Yousef came to the United States, and at this same time, it became known in the West Bank that he had converted from Islam to Christianity. Mr. Yousef even had to courtesy to inform the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seven months after his arrival on a tourist visa that they had holes in system, and that he intended on seeking political asylum because of his past work for Shin Bet, his conversion from Islam and being labeled an Islamic ‘apostate‘, returning to the West Bank would be a certain death sentence. Knowing all of this, the federal government still took the stance that he should be deported because he was “a danger to the security of the United States” and “engaged in terrorist activity”. The government continued on this path until the last minute when they dropped the objections, without giving any explanation. Only when this case became known in the news did the government pay attention and only then did they acknowledge that they were wrong (although without explanation). This is an even more serious example of our broken immigration system– imagine if this had not been brought up in the news and Mr. Yousef had been deported.
Mr. Robert Krentz
The last case that I’d like to point out is even more tragic. Due to our unprotected souther borders, the Krentz family is mourning the death rancher Robert Krentz, who was murdered on his own property in southern Arizona along with his dog. According to the Tucson Citizen, Mr. Krentz was out on his all terrain vehicle checking water line fencing, while in conversation with his brother Andy via radio. Mr. Andy Krentz reports that the last words Robert Krentz uttered on the radio were “illegal alien”; that’s the non-euphemistic term that now is being referred to as “undocumented immigrant”. That evening, Mr. Krentz never came back to the ranch house– he was murdered by illegal aliens suspected of trafficking drugs into the United States. Mr. Krentz was used to dealing with illegals crossing his land, as it’s a very big problem in Arizona, even more so since California put up a fence on the Mexican border. So why is Mr. Krentz dead? Because the federal government has a long standing tradition of ignoring the importance of our immigration laws and does a meager job in support of those laws– both in monetary and moral support. At a time when Governor Jan Brewer (R) of Arizona, along with Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) are all asking the federal government to tighten up the border by sending troops to stop this hostile takeover of the sovereign lands of the United States, and what is our government’s response? Cowardly at best. The Obama Administration decides to concede our sovereignty to the drug smuggling criminals by putting up signs that say “Danger: Public Warning. Travel Not Recommended…Do Not Confront, call 911”, and then declares that, rather than enforce the law (which they obviously are not doing), it’s time to create another law and calls for ‘comprehensive immigration reform’. Again, another example of our very broken immigration system. It’s not the law that’s the problem, but the lack of enforcement by our government. These signs are indicative of the kind of commitment our federal government is willing to give. It’s somewhat ironic that the signs actually say, ‘Do Not Confront… call 911’, because that may be exactly what we get if we don’t confront the lack of border security enforcement and decide to ‘comprehensively reform’ our immigration laws. No confrontation of the illegal crossings, and we may actually have another 9/11 directly traceable back to the lackadaisical attitude our government has toward illegal border crossings.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line? Our immigration enforcement is broken– what we need is ‘comprehensive enforcement‘ of the current laws, not some ubiquitous reform that will not be reform, but rather remaking of the laws that ignore the problem we face today. If the government can’t do the simple things, like enforcement of current immigration law, what person in their right mind can adequately argue that the ethereal reform of the laws would fix the problem? Writing a law that says all the folks who crossed the border have been given amnesty is not fixing any problem– it’s simply absolving the government of dereliction of duty. We did this in 1986, and here we are again, just over two decades later. The immigration system has run amok, and we cannot afford to do the same thing we did in 1986, or anything like it– we need our government to enforce the law. How hard is that to comprehend? To get to any kind of reform of the statues, we need to see the current law enforced.