Terrorist attacks mandate immigration reforms

Our nation has endured a terrible tragedy. The human suffering is immense; the damage extensive. Suddenly, the most prosperous and powerful country in the world is more vulnerable than we ever thought. One reason is the relatively free access foreign nationals have to the U.S. At least seventy-five individuals connected to the recent terrorists attacks have been detained on immigration violations. Our land borders are too porous and offer an open invitation to anyone who wants to harm us. As a result, our immigration policy will change. Talk of more open borders will subside. Theoretical and utopian views will give way to more realistic and practical approaches. On one hand, we should resist the urge to overreact. On the other, we should hasten to enforce laws and pass new ones that will make our country safer. Some examples: * Strengthen border security. Hire more border patrol agents and customs personnel. Consider using the National Guard in a backup capacity. * Monitor those who enter on temporary tourist or work or student visas to make sure they depart as expected. More than one-third of all illegal aliens entered legally but overstayed their allotted time. * Prohibit granting asylum to those who have ties to terrorist organizations. * Make it easier to gather evidence on suspected terrorists. Non-citizens are not always entitled to the same constitutional rights as citizens. * Expedite the deportation of illegal aliens who have committed crimes. Increase the deportation of other illegal aliens rather than ignore them or release them repeatedly. * Explore requiring Social Security cards and certain immigration documents to have biometric identifiers, such as fingerprints, so they can’t be used fraudulently. * Don’t allow immigrants who became eligible to be admitted legally to adjust their status while in the U.S. They should apply from their home country where embassy personnel can conduct a background check and, if necessary, deny them a visa. * Reconsider allowing illegal aliens to “regularize” their status and become legal. We need to give those who have violated our immigration laws more scrutiny, not a free pass. Immigration laws must be better enforced and new ones implemented. The threat is not only from incoming missiles but also from inbound terrorists who can take advantage of a weak immigration system. Congress should respond immediately to protect the public’s safety.

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