U.S. borders have become more porous following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists attacks and the incorporation of immigration enforcement agencies within the Department of Homeland Security, according to an in-depth report in today’s edition of Time magazine.
According to the cover story, illegal immigration into the U.S. has accelerate in the last year, since President Bush proposed a temporary worker program that amounts to a limited amnesty program that would allow millions to remain in the U.S. legally.
This year, according to the report, some 3 million more illegal aliens will enter the country—“enough to fill 22,000 Boeing 737-700 airliners, or 60 flights every day for a year.”
It’s the largest wave of illegal immigration into the country since 2001, according to the report, and illegal immigration now represents triple the number of immigrants who enter the country legally.
“The next time you pass through an airport and have to produce a photo ID to establish who you are and then must remove your shoes, take off your belt, empty your pockets, prove your laptop is not an explosive device and send your briefcase or purse through a machine to determine whether it holds weapons, think about this: In a single day, more than 4,000 illegal aliens will walk across the busiest unlawful gateway into the U.S., the 375-mile border between Arizona and Mexico,” begins the report, “Who Left the Door Open?” “No searches for weapons. No shoe removal. No photo-ID checks. Before long, many will obtain phony identification papers, including bogus Social Security numbers, to conceal their true identities and mask their unlawful presence.”
While the vast majority of these illegal immigrants are Mexicans, a growing number come from other countries, including those with large populations hostile to America, reports Time.
From Oct. 1, 2003, to Aug. 25 of this year, the Border Patrol estimates that it apprehended 55,890 people who fall into the category described officially as “other than Mexicans,” or OTMs.
“With five weeks remaining in the fiscal year, the number is nearly double the 28,048 apprehended in all of 2002,” says the report. “But that’s just how many were caught.”
Interviews with local law-enforcement officers and residents report encounters with immigrants from Afghanistan, Egypt, Iran and Iraq.
“Law-enforcement authorities believe the mass movement of illegals, wherever they are from, offers the perfect cover for terrorists seeking to enter the U.S., especially since tighter controls have been imposed at airports,” reports Time.
The report notes Americans overwhelmingly want to crack down on illegal immigration, but the government doesn’t seem to want to fix the problem.
“Bush has reaffirmed his pledge for an immigration policy that would provide worker’s permits for aliens who find jobs, and John Kerry has promised to propose legislation that would lead to permanent residence for many illegal-alien workers,” reports Time. “Neither candidate has called for imposing serious fines on the people who encourage illegal immigration: corporate employers.”
Even those caught violating the border multiple times are not punished, according to the report.
“When the crowds cross the ranches along and near the border, they discard backpacks, empty Gatorade and water bottles and soiled clothes,” reports Time. “They turn the land into a vast latrine, leaving behind revolting mounds of personal refuse and enough discarded plastic bags to stock a Wal-Mart. Night after night, they cut fences intended to hold in cattle and horses. Cows that eat the bags must often be killed because the plastic becomes lodged between the first and second stomachs. The immigrants steal vehicles and saddles. They poison dogs to quiet them. The illegal traffic is so heavy that some ranchers, because of the disruptions and noise, get very little sleep at night.”