Saturday, May 18, 2013

They Just Don't Get It

One of the areas where Marco Rubio is betraying this nation in his amnesty proposal with the Gang of Eight is the issue of non-immigrants, e.g. aliens admitted to the United States for certain specific purposes such as employment, tourism, and business.  Approximately 40% of the illegal alien population in the United States is those who enter legally in a non-immigrant category  but then overstay the period of admission.  Rubio claims that he is dealing with it in his amnesty scheme, but again he lies, and the Senate Judiciary Committee just showed how feckless his claims of having a proposal that is tough on enforcement.

USA Today May 14, 2013 by Alan Gomez 
A Senate Committee Rejected A Proposal To Collect Fingerprints Of Foreigners Leaving U.S. 
WASHINGTON — A Senate committee debating a sweeping immigration law Tuesday rejected a proposal from a Republican senator to collect the fingerprints of foreigners departing from the United States as a way to locate foreigners who stay beyond their time limits. 
Senators voted on a wide range of issues Tuesday, including closer monitoring of student visas following the Boston Marathon bombing, the use of drones along the southwest border, work visas for highly-skilled immigrants and the total number of immigrants allowed into the country. But members of the so-called Gang of Eight senators who drafted the immigration bill dodged a major bullet when the Senate Judiciary Committee voted down the proposal to fingerprint all departing passengers... 
The proposed overhaul requires that the Department of Homeland Security complete a system to collect the biographic information — such as name and date of birth — of all people leaving the country. 
Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., proposed amending the bill to require Homeland Security to also check the biometric data — such as fingerprints and iris scans — of people leaving the country so the government knows exactly who is leaving and, more importantly, who has remained in the country in violation of their visas. 
Sessions said the program, which has been mandated by Congress several times starting in 2001, was the most effective way to know who's in the country illegally.



Unfortunately though, both Rubio and Sessions are wrong on the mechanics of dealing with the overstay issue and, importantly, the real issue of aliens who violate the terms of their admission.

First, the real problem is that neither the U.S. Department of State who issue visas at American diplomatic posts abroad, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which inspects arriving aliens and determines if they are admissible to the United States, are performing well on the issues of visa issuance and admission of aliens, respectively.

It is clear that too many aliens are issued a non-immigrant visa, subsequently admitted, and finally decide to not leave when the period of admission is reached.  If there are 11-20 million illegal aliens, then 4-9 million of those illegal aliens were screened by a consular officer at an American embassy or consulate and subsequently interview by a legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service Immigration Inspector or Customs Inspector, or later by a CBP Officer.  While many more millions are admitted but adhere to the conditions and period of admission, it is abundantly clear that there is a major problem in the process.

That, of course, is what leads to the problem of aliens who overstay, but the Kabuki theater that Rubio and Sessions are going through is not of much significance if the aliens are already here. Most never leave or only leave occasionally, not establishing a discoverable pattern that shows they are living here.  Others, however, frequently attempt to use a non-immigrant visa or the Visa Waiver Program to appear to be following the law by repeatedly entering and exiting the country as their date of admission come close.  This is a subgroup of illegal aliens to whom it is important to be in their minds legal in the United States by not overstaying a period of admission.  Of course they also always violate the conditions of their admission by working or using welfare illegally, but in their minds their date of admission is the keystone in their minds of being "legal."  Those aliens are quite easy to catch and CBP can, with some easy screening, catch those persons as the pattern of their travel is discoverable given improvements to the computer systems that track travel.  But in the end, most illegals who are admitted then overstay their period of admission don't travel much.  Any exit system, as it is currently called, is for the most part closing the barn door after the horse has left.

Secondly, however, both Rubio and Sessions are fighting over the two least efficient manners of doing what is really called not an exit system, but departure control.  Rubio wants to match names to airline and vessel passenger lists, while Sessions wants the aliens to be photographed and fingerprinted when departing.  Neither are committed to having the aliens go through what almost every other country does, that is inspect all departing persons, whether that is by air, sea, or land crossing.  Almost all nations inspect all departing persons and that, while also the most expensive method, is also the most effective method of departure control.  It is also the way to catch those aliens who abuse the non-immigrant visa system.  It would also, when implemented on the border with Mexico, catch the illegal alien population that travels quite freely over the border, either with border crossing cards, non-immigrant visas, or just jumps the border.

While expensive, this system where CBP would inspect departing persons just as it inspects arriving persons, can be implemented by a user fee, just as a user fee funds the inspection of persons arriving by air or sea.  In fact it can be easily implemented on the land borders as well.  Many of the bridges connecting the United States with both Mexico and Canada are built with private funds and managed by an authority or private corporation for profit.  Fees are collected by a toll system similar to toll bridges and motorways currently in the United States.  Such as system can be imposed on border crossers, $5.00 per pedestrian, $10.00 per non-commercial private motor vehicle, and $20.00 fee for small commercial carriers like taxis and mini-buses, with large busses charged $50.00.  Combined with a mirroring of the arrival charge for departures at sea and airports, CBP could soon be inspecting every departing person, and catching before departure many living illegally in the United States.  It would also serve as an intelligence gathering point for examination of suspicious persons leaving, such as Tamerlin Tsarnaev.  

But more importantly, departure control by physical inspection by an officer of the United States, is a symbol of a commitment to border security.  Merely checking names or having private contractors  unmanned check out kiosks take photos and fingerprints of departing aliens is insufficient and very easy to manipulate.  If just checking out at a kiosk as in the Sessions plan is implemented, all an alien has to do is check-in with no luggage and never board the aircraft.  An alien could create a record of departure with just the cost of a ticket to enter the secure departure are, check-in at the kiosk where a photo and fingerprints are taken, then all that alien has to do is walk out of the arrivals area.  Since the alien has no luggage, the airline will depart without the passenger and be happy to have sold a ticket.  The alien wins with a record of his departure.  

In any event Sessions' kiosk system can't work on the land border nor will Rubio's use of the name matching system.  That is a huge gaping hole which can only be solved with a system of CBP inspecting all persons leaving the United States.  In any event, CBP has increasingly started to check southbound traffic leaving for Mexico to intercept cash and guns heading to the cartels, so formalizing the system with a fee and building the necessary infrastructure would be an improvement for both the United States and Mexico.

I am very disappointed in Senator Sessions, though it might only be that he does not realize what is needed.  As said before, too many people talk about immigration but few know much about it.

In reality though, neither the Democrat Party, the Slave Power, nor the Drug Lords want departure control.  It would throw a wrench in the system.  So don't expect Rubio to stand up to any of those power centers.  Expect him to continue to facilitate all three.

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