Accuracy in Media

After the capture by federal authorities of six alleged Muslim terrorists, three of whom were illegal aliens, charged with planning a terrorist attack on the Fort Dix military base in New Jersey, Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was quoted by ABC News on May 10, 2007, as saying, “I think it would be a real tragedy if we tried to make this immigration debate one dealing with terrorism.”

Reid thinks it would be a tragedy if the debate over immigration addressed how potential terrorists enter the United States?  Isn’t the purpose of an immigration bill to regulate and restrict who enters this country? Shouldn’t it be a given that terrorists are to be kept out of the U.S.? 

On one level, Reid’s statement might be seen as a gaffe or misstatement. Politicians make them occasionally. But in light of the Fort Dix case, his statement must be seen as far worse. It should be viewed as designed to ignore a problem that continues to pose a mortal danger to every American. That’s why the Senate’s amnesty legislation has to be derailed before politicians make a bad situation even worse. 

Nevertheless, Reid got away with this shocking statement because the media, like the Democrats, President Bush and some Republicans, have a blind spot on how America’s immigration policy has facilitated the entry into the U.S. of people who want to kill us.

We should recall the facts about the so-called “Fort Dix Six.” They included Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer, 22, from Jordan; Eljvir Duka, 23, Dritan Duka, 28, and Shain Duka, 26, all from the former Yugoslavia and ethnic Albanians; Serder Tatar, 23, from Turkey; and Argon Abdullahu, 24, from the former Yugoslavia and an ethnic Albanian. Abdullahu is charged with helping the Dukas illegally obtain firearms. Only Shnewer was a U.S. citizen, Tatar and Abdullahu were described by the Post as being “legal residents,” and the three Duka brothers were all residing in the U.S. illegally. 

The Star Ledger reported on May 10, 2007, that “The Duka family entered the United States illegally through Mexico in October 1984,” including the three brothers’ mother and father, Zurata and Ferik Duka. 

Senator Reid’s statement about separating the immigration debate from terrorism represents a break with reality. Why isn’t he held accountable by our media for this blindness? 

Although three of the Fort Dix Six were illegal aliens, they were not uncovered by the U.S. immigration system, the Patriot Act, the FBI, or the CIA. According to the May 9 Washington Post, the would-be terrorists were “undone after attempting to have jihad training tapes copied onto a DVD.” The paper noted that “Had they not offered up an alleged jihadist video to be duplicated at a nearby Circuit City, they might never have been spotted.”

It should not have come down to the terrorists’ stupidity that led them to be caught. The fact is that the Duka brothers would never have had the opportunity to train in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania, or film their training, if it were not for a broken U.S. immigration system. And all this only six years after 9/11, when terrorist attacks carried out by foreign nationals, here both legally and illegally, killed nearly 3,000 Americans. 

The 1993 World Trade Center bombings and September 11th should have prompted an immediate overhaul of our badly broken immigration system, but Reid doesn’t want the terrorist threat to get in the way of allowing millions of illegal aliens to stay in the U.S. and making a large number of them U.S. citizens and Democratic Party constituents. Short-term political gain trumps keeping America safe. 

In the Fort Dix case, American soldiers and civilians were needlessly put in danger and almost killed because our government refuses to enforce our immigration laws. 

Hundreds could have been killed and/or wounded, and the blame would have fallen on President Bush, both political parties and both Houses of Congress. Our immigration system is broken, but so is our government. We have a federal system of government unable or unwilling to protect and defend our borders. 

While the Dukas had evaded immigration authorities for 23 years, they had not avoided the New Jersey police. They had been stopped dozens of times a year for speeding, illegal passing and driving without a license. In addition, on May 10, the Washington Post reported that Dritan Duka pleaded guilty in 2000 to possession of drug paraphernalia and Shain Duka to possession of marijuana. 

The article continued that “Only one brother had a driver’s license, and only briefly. But they drove anyway and were ticketed regularly by Cherry Hill police?” In fact, “The three had their driving privileges suspended-meaning they could not even apply for a license-54 times in less than a decade.” 

Incredibly, the Post reported that “William Kushina, a Cherry Hill Police Department spokesman, said the department could do nothing about serial unlicensed driving except continue to issue tickets and suspend privileges.” 

The incompetent enforcement of our immigration laws at the federal level is also evident at the local level. Meanwhile, the American people remain vulnerable to attack. Illegal aliens, including potential terrorists, seem to break laws at will, confident they will never be caught, or if they are, never deported. 

In this case, it was a clerk at Circuit City that prevented what would have been a massive attack on a U.S. military base on U.S. soil. Thankfully, an individual with a conscience saved the day. Our government at many levels failed us. But now the federal government wants to give amnesty to even more illegal aliens on American soil-who may be potential terrorists.  

The fact that illegal aliens were planning a deadly attack on American soldiers and on U.S. soil at a military base is lost on supporters for amnesty for illegals. ABC News reported that Democrats, for instance, “reject the argument” that the Duka brothers or Abdullahu prove anything. 

Sadly, this is an old story of the government providing amnesty to illegal aliens and ignoring the consequences. Our government never learns, essentially guaranteeing another terrorist attack. 

According to a Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) report from September 2005, “of 94 terrorists who operated in the United States between the early 1990s and 2004, including six of the September 11th hijackers?about two-thirds (59) committed immigration fraud prior to or in conjunction with taking part in terrorist activity.” But they stayed in the U.S. anyway. The September 2005 CIS report discloses that, in 1983, “9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM)?enrolled first at Chowan College, a Baptist school in Murfreesboro, North Carolina, and then at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro. There, one of his classmates was Ramzi Yousef’s brother, who himself later became an al-Qaeda member while Yousef planned the 1993 World Trade Center and Bojinka plots with KSM.”

In a report entitled “The Open Door, How Militant Islamic Terrorists Entered and Remained in the United States, 1993-2001” the CIS reported that “Past amnesties for illegal aliens have facilitated terrorism. Mahmud Abouhalima, a leader of the 1993 Trade Center bombing, was legalized as a seasonal agricultural worker as part of the 1986 amnesty.” 

The report says that Mohammed Salameh, another conspirator in the 1993 Trade Center bombing, “applied for the same amnesty as Abouhalima and was denied” but “continued to live and work in the United States illegally and ultimately took part in the 1993 attack.” 

The bottom line is that illegal alien amnesty bills help terrorists kill Americans.

The September 2005 CIS report also states that “The 1986 amnesty program was fraudulently used five times in attempts to establish residency. One terrorist, Mir Aimal Kansi, sought amnesty under the 1986 law for illegal entrants. Four others, three convicted for their roles in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and one in the 1993 Landmarks case, sought amnesty under the Special Agricultural Workers Program. Three who sought amnesty under this program attained it.”

Nevertheless, Senator Reid, with White House support, wants to push a similar amnesty bill. The new bill includes all the same enforcement provisions that were included in the 1986 bill but never carried out. The only difference between then and now is there are now more illegal aliens in this country. There were less than 3 million illegal aliens in the U.S. in 1986. But, depending on estimates, there are now between 12 and 20 million illegal aliens in the U.S. 

So here’s the question: if five terrorists used the 1986 Amnesty bill in attempts to establish residency, what happens now that there might be ten times as many illegal immigrants in this country? Could there be 20 terrorists illegally living in the U.S. right now who could be granted amnesty by a new “comprehensive immigration reform” bill? Could there be 50? 100? Or More?

Voting in favor of an amnesty bill under these circumstances is tantamount to turning a blind eye to terrorists on American soil plotting to kill Americans. Why do we tolerate the spectacle of our government officials putting our lives at risk? 

Let’s build the fence and identify and isolate the illegal aliens. Then, at the very least, let’s immediately deport those with terrorist ties before they try to kill us again. This is the only “immigration reform” that makes any sense. 

Why can’t Bush, Democrats and Republicans agree on that? Why do they insist on putting us all in danger? And why won’t the media do their jobs and insist on a solution that will protect America from another terrorist attack?

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