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By Alan Caruba
August 23, 2002

More than 2,000,000 documents filed by immigrants, everything from 200,000 change of address forms, 300,000 applications for citizenship, to requests for benefits, are sitting in a warehouse outside of Kansas City, Missouri. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) has been unable to process them. Let us officially declare this government agency a disaster zone.

Let us also take notice that our immigration policies contributed to 9-11. Further, it should be stated that our immigration policies are putting pressures on this nation-its taxpayers-to function effectively, given that we are engaged in a war on terrorism while also having to maintain our educational and health systems, to name just two.

It is now a cliché that the failure to effectively screen foreign visitors, particularly Saudis, contributed to 9-11, but did you know that since then, 50,000 new visas have been granted to visitors from the Middle East and other nations that are home to Islamic extremists? The National Security Entry-Exit System, scheduled to begin in October, is intended to slow down the traffic in tourists and terrorists from the Middle East.

It will comfort to you to know that all those apply for visas must be reviewed by the Consular Lookout and Support System (CLASS) that utilizes information from the FBI, foreign governments, and other sources to determine if the applicant is a possible member of a terrorist organization, has a criminal record, et cetera.

Then, of course, there are the 5,000 terrorists that intelligence agencies estimate are already here; that number was reported by Bill Gertz in a July edition of the Washington Times. Of the investigations initiated by the FBI, so far only three men have been linked to al Qaeda. That leaves only 4,997 others to worry about.

The number of Middle Eastern immigrants represents a sevenfold increase over 1970. In that year, only 15% were Muslims. By 2000, an estimated 75% were Muslim. These immigrants set up their own Islamic schools and Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, says that 80% of these schools, as well as their mosques and newspapers, subscribe to a militant version of Islam. There will be an estimated 2.5 million Muslims living in America by 2010. Says Pipes, "In its long history of immigration, the United States has never encountered so violent-prone and radicalized a community as the Muslims who have arrived here since 1965".

As if potential terrorists weren't a concern in itself, many of our nation's hospitals are feeling the financial burden of having to treat illegal immigrants. The US Comptroller General David Walker of the General Accounting Office acknowledges that "hospitals are inundated with thousands of illegal immigrants seeking medical care." Who pays for it? David Ray, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), correctly notes that "The only person getting the short end of the stick in this whole bargain is the taxpayer and disadvantaged Americans who rely on public health centers to stay alive." Illegal immigrants "are showing up for free health care and then going home." FAIR estimates that the national cost incurred by illegal aliens for Medicare and Medicaid is $3.7 billion. This especially affects border States with Mexico and others like Florida.

Immigration right now is a no-win situation for the United States that cries out for swift and major changes. There's the obvious issue of national security that is being ignored and then there are the costly financial pressures being put on our health, educational and criminal justice systems. The answer is a moratorium while this nation is in a virtual state of war with militant Islam and a wholesale invasion of illegals from Mexico.

The facts speak for themselves. The July 15 edition of Insight carried an article, "Immigration Surges in U.S." by Stephen Dinan. "The United States is accepting immigrants at a faster rate than any other time since the 1850s, according to Census 2000 figures release in June." The current 11.3 million foreign-born residents represent a 57 percent increase over figures from the 1990 Census.

Our borders, for all intents and purposes, do not exist. We are no safer today from terrorists than on September 11, 2001 and there is no political will, from the White House to Congress, to do anything about it. Worse, there are continuing legislative efforts to weaken our current immigration system.

Immigration, enshrined in our nation's history, has become a high-risk game that has already cost us the lives of more than 2,800 innocent people on 9-11 and may well cost many more. The failure to assert any control over our current immigration policies is costing US taxpayers billions while undermining our health care and educational systems. Any way you look at it, this nation is in peril so long as nothing is done to correct the system and assert the inviolability of our borders.

© 2002 Alan Caruba - All Rights Reserved

Alan Caruba writes a weekly column, "Warning Signs", posted at the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center.