2002 December 03 Tuesday
Immigration Control And Asymmetrical Warfare

Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies discusses the national security needs for immigration control: in this essay "Asymmetrical Warfare and Immigration". (my emphasis added in bold)

Furthermore, the border security bill mentioned above is quite modest in scope. Hailed as a great advance, the law in fact merely lifted some of the more ridiculous limitations on the INS's ability to do its job and mandated reforms that won't bear fruit for years, if ever. And even the revival of long-ignored immigration-control tools, such as alien registration and change-of-address requirements, often come at the expense of efforts that would deliver more bang for the buck but which are politically problematic. One such measure would be to roll out the experimental system already developed by the INS that allows employers to verify a new hire's work eligibility. Though less comprehensive than attempting to track all changes of address, such a system would give the INS much more reliable information as to the daytime whereabouts of the large majority of aliens. Of course, it would also significantly limit illegal immigration, and thus is unacceptable to interest groups that benefit from the status quo.

Because of this ambivalence about immigration controls, we remain vulnerable to attack. The vast majority of visa applicants are still never interviewed by U.S. consular officers; there is no significant enforcement of immigration laws within the country; efforts to use the military in a support role to supplement the Border Patrol have been rebuffed; and worst of all, government at all levels is blurring the distinction between legal and illegal residents by providing illegal aliens with driver's licenses, offering them in-state college tuition discounts, and encouraging financial institutions to open bank accounts for them using identifications issued by foreign governments.

This lack of seriousness about the security imperative of immigration control is particularly troubling because it applies not only in this war but also in any future war the United States is likely to fight. In a sense, immigration control is to asymmetrical warfare what missile defense is to strategic warfare. There are other weapons we must use against an enemy employing asymmetrical means more effective international coordination, improved intelligence gathering and distribution, special military operations but in the end, ineffective immigration control leaves us naked in the face of the enemy.

It is a characteristic of modern technology that it allows very small numbers of people to inflict enormous damage and death on large numbers of people. This characteristic will become much more amplified the more that technology advances. Immigrant populations that contain even 1% of very angry elements motivated and organized by a hostile religious ideology or other ideology are an enormous national security risk.

More from the Center of Immigration Studies on terrorism and immigration here.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2002 December 03 11:37 AM  Immigration Border Control


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