(Oct. 18) In what must be a new worlds record for historical revisionism, open border lobbyists from both the political left and right are fighting to remove critical immigration policy reforms from the final version of a bill that would implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. The House version of the legislation, H.R. 10, includes numerous provisions designed to minimize the possibility of terrorists taking advantage of loopholes in U.S. immigration law. Open border lobbyists are vigorously fighting to strip these provisions from the final draft as the House-Senate conference committee is meeting this week to hammer out the differences between their respective bills.
While the 9/11 Commission report ranks No. 1 on The New York Times nonfiction bestsellers (for the 11th week in a row), open borders advocates are mounting a massive disinformation campaign aimed at convincing Congress and the American public that the reforms included in H.R. 10 were not called for by the Commission. The immigration provisions of H.R. 10 correspond precisely to the failures noted by the 9/11 Commission and the recommendations they made to rectify the conditions that contributed directly to the ability of the terrorists to attack us on Sept. 11, said Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). To say that the 9/11 Commission did not call for sweeping reforms to U.S. immigration policy and immigration enforcement is an act of sheer audacity and falsehood.
Among the critical immigration policy reforms specifically called for in the 9/11 Commission Report are:
- Requiring the use of valid passports for all travel within the Western Hemisphere (p. 388).
- Detention of unauthorized aliens and enhanced interior enforcement (Staff Report p. 95)
- Improved document security, including uniform standards for drivers license issuance and barring the acceptance of foreign consular IDs (p. 390).
- Expedited removal of illegal aliens who have been in the U.S. less than five years (p. 384).
- Denial of asylum claims of individuals suspected of having ties to terrorist organizations (Staff Report pp. 98-99).
- Limiting judicial review of orders of deportation (Staff Report, p. 95 and p. 143).
FAIR has prepared a comprehensive analysis of each of the immigration reform provisions included in H.R. 10, citing the precise recommendations as they appeared in the Commissions report.
The 9/11 Commission did not limit the scope of its investigation to intelligence failures, and passing a reform bill that address only intelligence failures is tantamount to fixing the hole in sail while ignoring the crack in the keel, said Stein. 9/11 was a multifaceted failure of intelligence, bureaucratic turf wars, immigration policy and enforcement, and common sense that led to catastrophic consequences. For Congress to cave-in to special interest pressure and remove the immigration reform provisions of the bill and claim that the problem has been fixed would be an act of unprecedented irresponsibility. To deny that immigration reforms were even called for is simply an insult to the intelligence of anyone who has read the report.