October 4, 2006, - 10:26 am
By Debbie Schlussel
On this site, I’ve been very critical of Louis Farrakhan, now in his waning days. And given the racism and extremism of the Nation of Islam, I never thought there’d be a Farrakhan I liked.
But now there is: Sultan Farakhan (different spelling of surname), a courageous American (who, based on his name, is likely a Black Muslim).
Farakhan, an immigrant benefits application adjudicator for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), spoke out against the rubber stamping of terrorists’ and other criminals’ applications for green cards, work visas, American citizenship, etc. An estimated 75% of the 3 million applicant for those immigration documents over the last four years were NOT checked against the terrorism watch list.
Farakhan said he and other employees were made aware of this on August 11th, a day after the British plot to blow up U.S.-bound planes was announced. He was outraged and chose to go public to fix the problem.
Farakhan knew that by doing so he was risking his job. But he did so to bring attention to this outrage. Sadly, on Friday, he was, in fact, fired from his job at the National Benefits Center in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, one of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s largest application-processing centers. His crime: speaking out about this huge risk to our national security.
Sultan told Sara A. Carter of the San Bernardino County Sun and the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin:
“They are upset with the fact that I spoke out. I don’t understand why they want to keep the truth hidden, because this is about the national security of our country.
Going after me is a waste of time. They need to fix the system. I truly believe terrorists have slipped through … and they are here and waiting.”
Farrakhan was also fired for speaking out against bonuses of $500 that were given to CIS employees to rubber stamp applications for visas, green cards, citizenship, etc. to “get rid of the backlog”:
Farakhan — who according to USCIS evaluations had a nearly flawless performance record during his four years as a “term,” or temporary, employee — was one of hundreds of agency employees who received a $500 bonus Sept. 19 for helping reduce the agency’s application backlog. . . .
Farakhan spoke candidly to the Daily Bulletin in late August about a series of immigrant application processing and security failures at the National Benefits Center. Farakhan told the newspaper that numerous breaches at the center during the past four years — including countless applications that triggered terrorist and criminal “hits” in the computer system but were approved anyway — had rendered the system vulnerable to exploitation by foreign terrorists and criminals.
Farakhan, who requested whistle-blower protection from Congress last month, said many employees were not aware that a simple keystroke would have allowed them to fully check the background of applicants against the terrorist database, and that the push to quickly eliminate millions of backlogged immigration applications before an October deadline set by President Bush weakened national security checks inside USCIS.
Farakhan is not the only one complaining. My friend, Mike Maxwell (I interviewed him on the air when I recently guest-hosted on Sirius Howard 101), a patriotic, dedicated American resigned from his job–one of the top positions in USCIS, over this and other national security problems:
Mike Maxwell, who resigned Feb. 17 from his post as USCIS’ director of security and internal affairs, sought whistle-blower protection so he could speak candidly to Congress about security problems inside the agency.
Prior to Maxwell’s resignation, he had attempted to speak to congressional committees on numerous occasions, but said he was always accompanied by seven to 10 handlers — Department of Homeland Security officials who would determine what he could and couldn’t say to Congress.
Congressional representatives on two occasions last year asked the handlers to leave the room so Maxwell could speak freely. After those two incidents, Maxwell was forbidden to speak to Congress alone again, he said.
“There is not only a culture of corruption but a culture of fear they instill in employees,” Maxwell said. “If you want to blow the whistle, you’re going to be retaliated against.”
CIS agents tell me that one of the problems is that their agency will not give them access to the TECS NN16 database, which lists terrorists and similar malefactors. They tell me that even though the FBI will allow them to use the database, CIS brass won’t allow them to use it, claiming it is for “exclusive use by law enforcement.” Well, hello?, what about those checking, adjudicating, and approving people for temporary and permanent entry into the U.S.?
CIS rank and file tell me that they’re told only the “most egregious” cases can be turned down. One CIS employee says that means “like more than 7 DUIs and two murder convictions.” And even then, the referral process is so complex and dysfunctional, the cases just get “lost.”
Terrorists, hardened criminals, and deportable aliens? Let them in. Hard-working employees who care about America’s national security–like Sultan Farakhan and Michael Maxwell–out the door.
Wake up, America. Your government is working against you, more than 5 years after 9/11.
Tags: America, application-processing centers, backlogged immigration applications, Bush, Congress, countless applications, Daily Bulletin, Debbie Schlussel On, director of security and internal affairs, Exposing Terrorist, Federal Bureau of Investigation, immigrant application processing, Immigration Services, law enforcement, Louis Farrakhan, Michael Maxwell, Mike Maxwell, Missouri, National Benefits Center, President, rubber stamping, Sara A. Carter, Sultan Farakhan, Summit, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, United States, USD