The 9/11 Commission came to regard immigration fraud and visa fraud as the key means by which international terrorists enter the United States and embed themselves. Yet, these issues are seldom, if ever, discussed or reported on by the media or politicians- especially those politicians who are determined to foist a massive legalization program involving unknown millions of illegal aliens on the United States.
Immigration fraud and visa fraud have long been of great concern where issues of national security are concerned. In point of fact, on May 20, 1997 I participated in a hearing conducted by the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims on the topic, “Visa Fraud And Immigration Benefits Application Fraud.”
That hearing was predicated on two terror attacks carried out in 1993 by terrorists from the Middle East including those who had engaged in visa fraud and also filed fraud-laden applications for immigration benefits.
In January 1993 a Pakistani national, Mir Aimal Kansi, stood outside CIA Headquarters with an AK-47 and opened fire on the vehicles of CIA officials reporting for work on that cold January morning in Virginia. He killed two CIA officers and wounded three others.
Just one month later, on February 26, 1993 a bomb-laden truck was parked in the garage under the World Trade Center complex and detonated. The blast nearly brought one of the 110 story towers down sideways. Six innocent people were killed, over one thousand people were injured and an estimated one-half billion dollars in damages were inflicted on that iconic complex of buildings located just blocks from Wall Street.
The Clinton administration abjected refused the learn the lessons that should have been learned from those attacks thereby literally and figuratively leaving the door wide open for the terrror attacks of 9/11.
Since the attacks of 9/11 we have witnessed a long list of terror attacks and attempted terror attacks that involved foreign nationals who gamed the visa process and/or the immigration benefits program.
Just six months after the attacks of September 11, 2001, it was discovered that incredibly, two of the dead terrorist/hijackers had been granted authorization to change their immigration status to attend flight school in the United States. I testified at the Congressional hearing convened by the House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims on March 19, 2002 on the topic, “INS’S March 2002 Notification Of Approval Of Change Of Status For Pilot Training For Terrorist Hijackers Mohammed Atta And Marwan Al-Shehhi.”
This hearing was covered by C-SPAN. Every member of Congress should be required to watch that C-SPAN video. Virtually none of the promises made at that hearing by the indignant members of Congress at that hearing, to remedy the failures of the immigration system that were behind that glaring example of incompetence, have been effectively addressed- to this very day.
The Summer Edition of The Social Contract includes my article, “The 9/11 Commission Report and Immigration: An Assessment, Fourteen Years after the Attacks.” My article focused on the continuing failures of the government to address the myriad failures of the immigration system in violation of the findings and recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, with immigration fraud being a major issue.
The Clinton administration abjected refused the learn the lessons that should have been learned from those attacks, thereby literally and figuratively leaving the door wide open for the terrror attacks of 9/11.
On May 5, 2005 I testified before the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Claims and Border Security’s hearing on the topic,”New “Dual Missions” of the Immigration Enforcement Agencies.” The hearing focused on how the creation of the DHS by the Bush administration had hobbled efforts at effective immigration law enforcement especially from within the interior of the United States.
The Obama administration’s policies however, have wrecked havoc, in unprecedented ways, on the entire immigration system, undermining national security, public safety and the well-being of America and Americans.
Obama’s executive orders have provided hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens with lawful status without interviews or field investigations under the aegis of the DACA (Deferred Action- Childhood Arrival Program), virtually inviting fraud-laden applications to be filed by illegal aliens whose true identities may never be accurately determined.
And now we come to the arrest of individuals closely connected to the San Bernardino terrorists.
On April 28, 2016 three individuals were arrested and charged with participating in a marriage fraud while a fourth individual, Enrique Marquez Jr., currently in custody- charged with providing material support to the two terrororists who carried out the murderous rampage, has additionally been charged with participating in a marriage fraud conspiracy.
The arrest of these individuals was widely reported in the media. An AP report posted by WTVM about this case began this way:
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) – Three people with close family ties to the couple responsible for the San Bernardino terror attack were arrested Thursday in an alleged marriage-fraud scheme involving a pair of Russian sisters.
The accused include Syed Raheel Farook. His brother and sister-in-law, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, died in a shootout with police after killing 14 people and wounding 22 others on Dec. 2.
Also arrested in the marriage-fraud case were Syed Raheel Farook’s wife, Tatiana, and her sister, Mariya Chernykh. Prosecutors say Mariya’s marriage to Enrique Marquez Jr., the only person charged in the shootings, was a sham designed to enable her to obtain legal status in the U.S. after overstaying a visitor visa in 2009.
Marquez confessed to the scheme when authorities questioned him about the shootings, and he acknowledged getting $200 a month to marry Chernykh, according to his criminal complaint.
The report stated that there was no information indicating that any of these individuals had prior knowledge of the December 2, 2015 terror attack.
Inasmuch as the investigation is ongoing it would be premature to arrive at any conclusions about the relationships between the individuals charged with marriage fraud conspiracy and the terror attacks or what their ultimate goals and intentions might have been.
Additionally, as the New York Post reported about this case, “Their phony marriages were the basis for filling out immigration papers, obtaining bank accounts and driver’s licenses, officials said.”
On April 28, 2016 ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) issued a press release about this case under the title, “3 people tied to shooter in San Bernardino terrorist attack arrested on federal conspiracy, marriage fraud and false statement charges.”
Here is an important excerpt from that press release (Note: HSI is a division of ICE):
“Last year’s tragedy in San Bernardino showed yet again how our nation’s legal immigration system can be subverted and exploited by those intent on doing this country harm,” said Joseph Macias, special agent in charge for HSI Los Angeles. “As the second largest presence on the nation’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces, HSI special agents, in collaboration with their JTTF partners, are using their unique skills and authorities, including their immigration expertise, to pursue individuals and organizations that pose a threat to domestic security. As this case underscores, that vigilance extends to those whose actions directly or indirectly put our communities and our country at risk.”
Nevertheless, there is an abject shortage of ICE/HSI agents across our nation even though it is obvious that immigration is a major factor where international terrorists and transnational criminals are concerned.
It is my contention that the lack of resources dedicated to enforcing our immigration laws is not a matter of ineptitude but intentional. This was the theme of my April 19, 2016 article for FrontPage Magazine, “Immigration Failure — By Design – Doing the bidding of the Open Borders anarchists.”
Furthermore, as I noted in my March 18, 2016 article for FrontPage Magazine outrageously, managers at USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) the division of DHS, barred ICE agents from entering their offices the day after the terror attack at San Bernardino. These ICE agents, working with the JTTF, went to that office hoping to encounter Marquez who was scheduled to be interviewed with his “spouse” in conjunction with their immigration petition.
Inexplicably, the ICE agents were obstructed not assisted by DHS managers.
My article was entitled, “Are DHS Leaders Seeking an MVP Award From ISIS? – The day after the San Bernardino terror attack, why exactly did USCIS managers block a team of ICE agents from entering their facility?”
Where cranking out immigration benefits are concerned, it is clear that under the Obama administration the orders of the day amount to, “Damn the terrorists- full speed ahead!”
A final thought-
I has been widely reported that the allegations of marriage fraud were developed during the terror investigation. I cannot help but wonder if an investigation into the bona fides of the marriage in this case would have been independently initiated if that investigation would have uncovered the terror plot before the carnage of December 2, 2015.
Immigration law violations are not “victimless crimes.”
A version of this piece previously appeared on http://www.frontpagemag.com/