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Colonization by Immigration

Homeland Security’s Alarming Message on Immigration-Terror Links

Do they even understand the problem they're facing?

BY CounterJihad · @CounterjihadUS | September 2, 2016

Two former Obama administration officials, Betsey Cooper and David Benjamin, published what is meant to sound like an authoritative rebuttal to the Donald Trump immigration speech.  Instead, it raises questions about whether the Obama administration even understands the dangers facing it on immigration and its link to terrorism.

Of course, in the wake of the Ben Rhodes scandal on the “Iran deal,” we can never be sure if the Obama administration’s allies are serious about what they put forward as ‘authoritative rebuttals.’  Just as with Rhodes’ management of the Iran debate, this may simply be an attempt to set up an echo chamber designed to prevent a real discussion of the risks.  However, if this article represents the real opinion of administration insiders, it shows an alarming failure to understand what is going on with immigration and terror.

Let us go through a few of the major errors of thought on display.  Number one:  Donald Trump, more than the failures of our system, is responsible for public concern.

The inescapable message is that the nation’s $25 billion-a-year immigration system cannot identify and keep out bad actors. And while the killings in San Bernardino and Atlanta have undoubtedly sharpened Americans’ fear of terrorist attack, Trump’s rhetoric is clearly having an impact: A Chicago Council on Global Affairs poll showed that 79% of Republicans favor limiting the flow of refugees and migrants and imposing stricter border controls to help prevent terrorism.

Indeed, major and obvious failures of the system ought to call into question the validity of the system.  It does seem that we are spending a vast amount of money on a system that does, in fact, fail to identify and keep out bad actors.  The response to this that strikes them as the “most obvious counter” is ridiculous:  that the real killers have gone through even more DHS vetting than ordinary refugees and immigrants.

The most obvious counter to Trump’s narrative is to note that not a single terrorism-related death since 9/11 was caused by foreign operatives coming into the country to cause violence—from Fort Hood to Orlando, the killings were all caused by citizens and green card holders.

Why should that make anyone feel better?  The process of getting a green card, or citizenship, is even more invasive than anything involved in getting a visa.  Indeed, the biggest problem of all is the one they merely wink at:

[R]adicalization is not a hereditary affliction—indeed, most parents of extremists have been aghast at their children’s deeds…

In fact, second-generation immigrants are more than twice as likely to become radicalized as their parents.  That being the case, it doesn’t matter how good your vetting of immigrants might be.  It is their children, perhaps not even yet born, who are most likely to turn against a Western system.  This problem has been carefully studied by numerous perfectly mainstream media outlets and scientists, and there is no good solution for it.

That a first generation of Muslim immigrants is often succeeded by a radical second generation has been documented by Foreign Policy, PBS, and by statisticians in Denmark.  The first generation came to America or to Europe for reasons they felt strongly enough to make the move.  They understood they were electing to move to a society that was less Islamic, and accepted the trade off.  Their children, born in the West, did not experience the realities that made their parents leave the old world.  They reject the laws and customs of their new society as being opposed to their Islamic identity.  The Danish statistics found that second-generation Muslim immigrants are 218% more inclined to crime than their parents’ generation.

If the children are the greatest threat, how can vetting the parents even help?  By the same token, if the green card system doesn’t work at identifying bad actors, let alone the process of obtaining citizenship, why should we have any faith in the visa system?  The whole system is a failure, not just the visa process.  Every part of the system of immigration has failed.

That said, the visa process is also a failure.  The visa system has two major problems, neither of which do they acknowledge.  The first one is that all the various steps that they talk about at such length require access to records that do not exist.  “Before prospective visa holders even arrive at a U.S. Embassy or consulate for an interview, their names, photographs, fingerprint and other data such as marriage licenses are first validated,” we are told.  Now, photographs and fingerprints can be validated in the absence of records by taking new ones.  How do you validate a “marriage license” from Syria right now?  Its records have been destroyed in the war, and its few remaining public officials are (a) too busy fighting a war to handle records requests, and (b) no longer in any sense an American partner, as we have long opposed the Syrian regime for waging chemical warfare on its own population.  They have no reason to help us, and even if they wanted to help us, they have no power to help us.

The vetting process on visas is thus completely worthless if there are no records that would identify someone as a problem, nor records against which we can check their claims.  The second problem, though, is that refugees admitted first to Europe won’t require a visa anyway.  Under the visa waiver program, anyone holding a passport from most European nations are admitted with no visa scrutiny at all.  All that happens in these cases is a reference to “Advance Passenger Information and Passenger Name Record information,” databases that depend entirely on what the refugees told their original country of refuge.

What is wrong is not that there isn’t a huge and expensive system with lots of box-checking steps.  What is wrong is that all those steps by all those bureaucrats have no connection to reality.  The connection between terrorism and immigration is undeniable.  It is only made stronger by the fact that the second generation turns out to be more often committed to terror than the original immigrants.  It is only made worse by the fact that the more thorough processes for green cards and actual citizenship show regular failures in identifying bad actors.

The system is a failure.  The only thing that is unclear is whether the Obama administration understands even that it has failed, let alone why it has failed.  We cannot begin to fix it until we acknowledge the problem.