Dr. Palmer Morrel-Samuels conducted a study for the INS that about 1% of the people coming thru controlled border crossings are carrying fake documentation that is allowing them to enter the country illegally.
Commissioned by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, the study concluded that between 2.95 million and 5.45 million illegal aliens cross undetected every year into the country through guarded ports of entry — with about one in every nine illegal aliens being detained.
The total does not include an estimated 3 million to 5 million illegal aliens who annually cross into the United States through unguarded areas along the border.
Morrel-Samuels calculates based on the percentage of illegals his team was able to detect in longer interviews of people who were already approved for entry. It is by no means certain that his team was able to detect all such illegals in the longer interviews. So he may well be underestimating the number of illegals who are being approved for entry by INS workers.
An INS manager claims the Morrel-Samuels study is not an indication that large numbers of terrorists are entering the country illegally. Michael Cronin would have us believe that the INS is much better at detecting terrorists than at detecting other illegals.
But Michael D. Cronin, INS assistant commissioner for inspections, said since the September 11 attacks the agency has "designed and calibrated" a border inspection system at the 300 guarded ports of entry that is designed to identify "persons of highest interest to us," including terrorists and other major criminals.
"Our highest focus are high-risk individuals, and that program is working," Mr. Cronin said. "I'm not going to suggest that illegal aliens are not getting through, but we are focused on counterterrorism and the identification of major criminals. And these folks are going to be caught."
I find the INS defense of their performance to be implausible. They are probably doing ethnic profiling to reduce the number of people that they look at closely in their search for potential terrorists. The ethnic profiling is certainly going to drastically cut down on number of people that they will look at closely. But even if we assume that all terrorists fit the INS profile it seems unlikely that the INS inspectors are taking enough time or even have enough tools in terms of computer systems to discover all the fake documentation.
Terrorists could still sneak in the country illegally without going thru controlled border points. Plus, terrorists could also get legal documentation by inventing a plausible reason for why they want to visit. Morrel-Samuels says half a billion people enter the US per year to visit. The INS would have to have an incredibly low error rate in order to be able to keep out all terrorists.
Morrel-Samuels was interviewed by Bill O'Reilly. Most of the interview is not too enlightening because, of course, O'Reilly isn't keen on letting his guests articulate very many complete thoughts. But Morrel-Samuels does manage to complete some sentences.
DR. PALMER MORREL-SAMUELS, CONDUCTED STUDY FOR THE INS: It is that as the study shows, a far greater number of people are slipping into the country through the ports of entry than we had previously suspected.
O'REILLY: So we previously suspected 13 million illegal aliens are here. You mean there's more than that?
MORREL-SAMUELS: Well, every year, the study suggests, about 4 million new travelers come into the country through the ports of entry, not by wading across a river in the middle of the night with a backpack, but by simply presenting documents to an inspector at a port of entry.
O'REILLY: That are bogus.
MORREL-SAMUELS: Well, in some cases they are. Actually we sampled about 5,000 travelers who had already been approved for entry into the country, and we tapped them on the shoulder before they left the inspection area, and we asked them if they'd be willing to cooperate -- and they all were willing to cooperate -- and go through a brief reinspection.
And, during that reinspection, which lasted about 20 minutes, we found that about 1 percent -- slightly less than 1 percent -- 1 percent of the people who had been approved for entry actually should not have been given approval, and...
You might be wondering whether prospective illegal aliens and prospective terrorists will hear about this latest report and decide that their chances of getting into the US are higher than they thought. Well, The Hindu of India and in The Daily Times of Pakistan are reporting this story.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2002 December 08 08:02 PM Immigration Border Control|