State of Insecurity: How State and Local Immigration Policies are Undermining Homeland Security (2003)
Two years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, conflicting state security policies have become the weakest link in the immigration-related dimensions of U.S. national security.
Despite the federal government’s increased push to tie immigration enforcement to national security, states continue to adopt policies that fly in the face of the goals of federal immigration law. Under pressure from foreign governments, some employers, and open borders activists, many states and local jurisdictions are offering safe harbor to illegal aliens.
The members of the next team of Al Qaeda terrorists who find entry into the United States will have an easy time obtaining false documents, because they are easily and inexpensively available to illegal aliens. They may even be able to obtain foreign ID cards that local jurisdictions are encouraging illegal aliens to obtain and use. If they fall into the hands of local authorities, they may be released back into society because of local policies that prevent notification of the immigration authorities. (Several of the 9/11 hijackers slipped unnoticed through the hands of local officials.)
While the federal government has not yet fully slammed shut the doors used for illegal immigration, it is the states and local governments that are rolling out the welcome mat for illegal aliens once they are here.
Unless the White House exerts much stronger leadership in the area of immigration controls, the state patchwork of inconsistent policies will continue to be a primary avenue used by foreign terrorists to exploit weaknesses in the national immigration control system. Congress must also act with an unswerving resolve to ensure strong, reliable immigration controls.
The full report is available in PDF.