How many of y’all remember the name Mohammed Atta? I do, because he was one of the 9-11 conspirators and once traveled the streets of the city of Plantation. That’s where the West family move after my twenty-two years of military service in 2004. It was there that Atta was pulled over on a traffic stop, but let go. Later, he and his fellow conspirators would purchase their flight tickets in the beachside town of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea. The majority of these men had invalid student visas. If there’s one thing we should’ve learned it was better controls on our issuance and tracking of student visas — especially from countries on the terror watch list or those that harbor terrorist groups within their borders.
But we haven’t learned a doggone thing.
As reported by the Washington Free Beacon, “The Department of Homeland Security remains unable to accurately report the number of aliens who illegally overstay their visas into the country more than 12 years after the agency was ordered to employ a tracking system to monitor these individuals, according to a new government oversight report that is highly critical of the department’s efforts.
More than 12 years after DHS was ordered to implement a biometric system to track the number of aliens who leave the United States when their visas expire, the agency is still in the planning stages and has failed to meet its mandated requirement, according the Government Accountability Office, which has been tracking the department’s progress since 2004.
“DHS had not yet fulfilled the 2004 statutory requirement to implement a biometric exit capability or the statutory requirement to report overstay estimates, and as of January 2016, DHS has planning efforts underway but has not yet met these requirements,” the GAO concluded in a new report released this month.”
One thing we know for sure — if there’s a perceived “crisis,” the response is always to create a new government agency. I kinda had to chuckle listening to a GOP presidential candidate state that we needed a new government agency for cyber warfare. The reason why I laughed is because the Department of Defense already has US CYBERCOM (Cyber Command) responsible for cyber attacks against the United States — hmm, how would you grade their performance?
Even more disconcerting is that just last week the US SAFE Act was blocked in the US Senate – thanks, Harry Reid. It appears that Reid, the Senate Democrats, and Obama don’t think we have a problem with “displaced persons” entering the United States and the security threat posed. Perhaps they need only gaze across the Atlantic to Europe.
So we have a government organization that after twelve years still hasn’t implemented a system to validate and verify folks who are here illegally by overstaying their visas. Now, this has nothing to do with race and xenophobia, this is about people not respecting our laws, our sovereignty and exploiting our gaps.
Ask yourself, what would happen in the private sector if an organization failed to implement new measures of performance and effectiveness? Yep, they’d go belly up — not the case with a government agency. You know what, DHS has no problem tracking all the ammunition and weapons they’ve been buying up. The question has to be asked, what are the measures of effectiveness for government? And let’s consider during the same corresponding twelve years, how much has the budget of the DHS increased?
“The report comes amid disclosures by senior DHS officials that the agency is investigating just 0.05 percent of more than 6 million visa overstays that occurred during the past 20 years.
More than half a million aliens overstayed their temporary visas in the United States in 2015 alone, with more than 482,000 of those individuals believed to still be residing illegally in the United States, according to a separate report issued this month by DHS.
While DHS has a reasonable sense of potential visa overstays, it is not taking any action because they “do not meet [Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s] overstay enforcement priorities,” according to the GAO report.
Immigration officials use a federal identification system to determine the number of aliens who entered the country but who are not on record as having left. Most of these individuals are not under investigation.”
Could the next Mohammad Atta or Tashfeen Malik be lurking out there in those shadows? The problem is that folks are going into those shadows and DHS seemingly doesn’t want to follow them there. And what are the costs? Simple, the American taxpayer funds those who’ve disobeyed our laws. The American worker loses job opportunities. The American citizen is threatened in places called “sanctuary cities” where those who’ve overstayed their permission to be on our land now squat.
My recommendation? Homeland Security easily could have been an addition function under the Department of Defense — after all, US Northern Command (NORTHCOM) and NORAD kinda have that mission. The Transportation Security Agency should have been delegated to the states and cities and the airport authorities with guidance issued from the federal government. Don’t ya wish you were the person who came up with the gray bin concept — big time bankroll. Then again, since Obama released the mastermind of the “shoe bomb” from GITMO, we’re gonna still be taking off our shoes for a while.
Also, y’all remember the TSA failed security tests –what were the consequences of the 90 percent failure rate on the ability to detect violations in the security screening system? Those who say the government cannot be run as a business are misguided. The reason why the government operates as it does, with rampant failures, is because it doesn’t have to generate capital. it just raise taxes and makes more bureaucracy. This is yet another philosophical reason why the 2016 presidential election is so important for the future of America.
Somebody has to institute measures of effectiveness for the federal government — and implement consequences.