' Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.
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Jewish World Review Nov. 29, 2005 / 27 Mar-Cheshvan 5766

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.

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Secure America

http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | President Bush is a man on a mission this week. He is seeking to reinvigorate his leadership and rehabilitate his public standing by addressing an issue of enormous import to the country and of no less concern to its citizens: the insecurity of our borders and the dysfunction of our immigration policies.

It remains to be seen whether Mr. Bush will benefit politically from his visits to border states and meetings with those charged with protecting them and the rest of us from illegal aliens — many of whom are looking for economic opportunity, but some of whom may well be terrorists. More importantly, whether the country will benefit from the President's current, intense focus on immigration-related issues will depend on whether he agrees with the following ten principles:

1. The purpose of U.S. immigration policy is to benefit the citizens of the United States.

2. Since immigration policy can profoundly shape a country, it should be set by deliberate actions, not by accident or acquiescence, with careful consideration to ensure that it does not adversely affect the quality of life of American citizens and their communities.

3. Immigration policy should be based on and adhere to the rule of law. Immigration laws must be enforced consistently and uniformly throughout the United States.

4. Non-citizens enter the United States as guests and must obey the rules governing their entry. The U.S. government must track the entry, stay, and departure of all visa holders to ensure that they comply fully with the terms of their visas or to remove them if they fail to comply.

5. The borders of the United States must be physically secured at the earliest possible time. An effective barrier to the illegal entry of both aliens and contraband is vital to U.S. security.

6. Those responsible for facilitating illegal immigration shall be sought, arrested, and prosecuted to the full extent of the law and shall forfeit any profits from such activity. This applies to smugglers and traffickers of people, as well as to those involved in the production, procurement, distribution, or use of fraudulent or counterfeit documents.

7. U.S. employers shall be given a simple and streamlined process to determine whether employees are legally eligible to work. Employers who obey the law shall be protected both from liability and from unfair competition by those who violate immigration law. The violators shall be subject to fines and taxes in excess of what they would have paid to employ U.S. citizens and legal residents for the same work.

8. Those who enter or remain in the United States in violation of the law shall be detained and removed expeditiously. Illegal aliens shall not accrue any benefit, including U.S. citizenship, as a result of their illegal entry or presence in the United States.

9. No federal, state, or local entity shall reward individuals for violating immigration laws by granting public benefits or services, or by issuing or accepting any form of identification, or by providing any other assistance that facilitates unlawful presence or employment in this country. All federal and all law-enforcement agencies shall cooperate fully with federal immigration authorities and shall report to such authorities any information they receive indicating that an individual may have violated immigration laws.

10. Illegal aliens currently in the United States may be afforded a one-time opportunity to leave the United States without penalty and seek permission to reenter legally if they qualify under existing law. Those who do not take advantage of this opportunity will be removed and permanently barred from returning.

These principles are contained in a platform called the "Secure America" Pledge. The pledge has been endorsed by more than thirty organizations concerned with the national interest and the threat posed to it by insecure borders and illegal immigration. The hope is that every serving or would-be office-holder in the country will be asked whether they support the Secure America principles, starting with the President of the United States.

By so doing, the voters can establish at last whether they are supporting candidates who will represent their commonsense views on such things as:

  • the need to secure our borders — starting with a fence along the U.S.-Mexico boundary (see www.WeNeedaFence.com) and the augmentation with military personnel of those who patrol it to prevent futher millions from entering this country illegally every year;

  • the imperative of cracking down on employers who hire illegal aliens;

  • ensuring that we are at least as rigorous about monitoring who comes into and leaves this country as are video rental stores and credit card companies about the status of their products;

  • calling on all law enforcement agencies to support the mission of our sorely overstretched immigration authorities; and

  • dramatically tightening up on visa procedures, not least by abandoning the "visa lottery" that amounts to playing Russian roulette with terrorist applicants.

If George W. Bush can now embrace such principles and pledge to work for their implementation in the foregoing ways, he has an excellent chance of securing anew the the support of the American people. Without this commitment, he is unlikely to do so — and, worse yet, he will be unable to fulfill his first duty, which is to secure America.

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JWR contributor Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. heads the Center for Security Policy. Comments by clicking here.


"War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World"  

America has been at war for years, but until now, it has not been clear with whom or precisely for what. And we have not been using the full resources we need to win.

With the publication of War Footing, lead-authored by Frank Gaffney, it not only becomes clear who the enemy is and how high the stakes are, but also exactly how we can prevail.

War Footing shows that we are engaged in nothing less than a War for the Free World. This is a fight to the death with Islamofascists, Muslim extremists driven by a totalitarian political ideology that, like Nazism or Communism before it, is determined to destroy freedom and the people who love it. Sales help fund JWR.


© 2005, Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.