Code Orange: Diminishing the Terrorist Threat to America (2005)
America remains under threat and vulnerable to attacks by international terrorists. While progress has been made since September 11, 2001, to tighten visa issuance procedures and enhance intelligence cooperation in preventing international terrorists from entering the country, this makes it more likely that the continuing vulnerability of our borders to illegal entry will be exploited in the next terrorist attack against us. The additional resources that have been allocated to border control since 9/11 are only making a dent in the problem because nothing has been done to deter thousands of foreigners from attempting illegal entry every day in response to the job magnet that draws them here. Only when the assault on our borders is diminished by denying jobs to illegal workers will we be able to gain effective control over our borders.
The measures recently adopted in the 9/11 Intelligence Act and in the Real ID Act will be beneficial if they are fully enforced, but important changes such as new driver’s license standards are not due to be implemented until the end of 2007 and their implementation faces strong opposition. Efforts to end sanctuaries abroad for international terrorists must be accompanied by efforts to end sanctuary policies in the United States that may facilitate terrorist operations.
Additional measures are needed to strengthen both border security and security in the interior of the country. Measures that improve security in the interior of the country will assist in gaining control over the border, and greater border control will facilitate the process of diminishing the illegal alien population living in the interior of the country. Granting amnesty to those now living illegally in the country is not a solution to the terrorist threat, and it likely would aggravate the threat by diverting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) resources from their primary responsibilities and encourage increased illegal entry by persons attracted by the hope of benefiting from recurring amnesties.
On this fourth anniversary of the tragic and horrific September 11, 2001, attacks on our country, we offer in the memory of the innocent victims of those attacks our considered recommendations for lessening the threat of further attacks. The recommendations below address conditions that exist today. They include a call to enforce the law where it is not being enforced, identification of efforts to undermine reform measures already due to be implemented, and for new reform measures that are needed to turn the tide on our continued vulnerability to terrorists.
The measures that are identified are all necessary components to weaving a fabric of security. Failure to take a holistic approach to national security will perpetuate our vulnerability in the same way that it is impossible to control the border today as long as interior immigration law enforcement is slighted.
Gaining Greater Border Security
- Increase the deterrent capability of the Border Patrol.
- Make additional resources available to the tribal police in border areas to assist them in their efforts to control illegal passage across their lands.
- Strengthen secondary interception of illegal border crossers.
- Combat the growing ‘Other Than Mexican’ problem by aggressively implementing expedited removal of these illegal aliens.
- Construct or lease sufficient detention facilities to detain apprehended illegal entrants.
- Declare an immigration emergency if the surge in illegal entrants continues to be in excess of detention capacity.
- Require U.S. citizens to present a U.S. passport or other secure U.S. Government-issued identity documents to re-enter the United States.
- Expand the US-VISIT entry-exit database tracking system of foreign visitors so that it is comprehensive.
- Require entering Canadian visitors to present secure identity documents.
- Restrict remote electronic entry-exit data collection at land ports of entry to persons with valid U.S.-issued entry documents.
- End the Visa Waiver Program.
Gaining Greater Interior Security
- Reduce the camouflage for potential terrorists provided by illegal aliens by reducing their number through verification of work eligibility documents.
- Encourage communities that have adopted sanctuary policies that shield foreigners who are illegally in the United States to reverse those policies.
- Develop greater state and local law enforcement cooperation with DHS.
- Increase the interior enforcement capability of DHS to respond to reports and other leads identifying aliens illegally in the country.
- Require all foreigners admitted for a period in excess of six months to be registered in a database that tracks their status and whereabouts.
- Use the US-VISIT database system to demonstrate that persons in violation of their entry permit will be located and deported.
- End federal recognition of foreign-government issued identity documents other than passports.
- Resist efforts to weaken the REAL-ID Act driver’s license standards or timetable and further tighten breeder document standards.
- Withhold asylum until persecution claims are investigated as thoroughly as possible by U.S. authorities abroad.
- Work permits should not be issued to any foreigners illegally in the country.
The full report is available in pdf format.