June 3, 2008, - 9:39 am
Don’t Believe the Hype: DHS NOT Clamping Down on Visa Waiver Immigrants; Chertoff Makes it Even Easier for Terrorists to Get to U.S.
By Debbie Schlussel
When you hear news of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael “Serpenthead” Chertoff’s announcement, today, that he’s getting tough on those for whom he got limp–millions of wannabe travelers to the U.S., including Islamic terrorists from all over–don’t believe him. It’s more BS from the Department that’s made you less safe, not more so.
For a few years now, on this site and elsewhere, I’ve repeatedly decried the absurd Visa Waiver program, which allows residents of allied countries–27 of them, so far–to avoid obtaining a visa to get into the U.S.
As I’ve frequently noted, the Visa Waiver program allows, for instance, extremist British Muslims–because they are residents of our “Western” ally, Great Britain–to travel into the U.S. without undergoing the usual strict background check and in-person questioning process with a U.S. official, required to get a visa. This makes it very easy for terrorists to get into our country from any of the 27 nations thus far admitted into the Visa Waiver program. Even as he repeatedly claims he’s concerned about European Muslims, rife with terrorists, Michael “Serpenthead” Chertoff continues to expand the Visa Waiver program.
And several members of Congress have also complained about this, too.
So, to “address” our concerns about Chertoff’s ridiculous program, the Department of Homeland Security announces, today, that it’s about to “get tough” and “clamp down” on visa-free visitors from foreign nations.
DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE. In fact, not only is DHS NOT clamping down, it has introduced a new, expensive bureaucracy, which won’t make you any safer.
DHS’ new “strict” program is the mere requirement that visitors from Visa Waiver countries “register” online with the Department of Homeland Security at least three days before their arrival.
We already know how backlogged all sub-agencies within DHS are. Do you think that within three days, anyone from Homeland Security will actually do a rigorous or even basic background check? The thousands of aliens–many with terrorist ties–whose applications for citizenship are quickly rubberstamped every day, after an average combined background check and application scrutiny of less than six minutes. Do you think DHS will be more efficient with a three-day deadline and hundreds of thousands of requests in queu? Dream on.
That was the reason we had the visa process in the first place. Those requesting to visit this country went through the more strict State Department background check–which has access to far more terrorist databases and is far more thorough than the checks currently done at DHS’ Citizenship and Immigration Services agency. And visa applicants had to go to a U.S. Embassy and have a personal interview with a U.S. official.
Thanks to Chertoff, for 27 nations–from which you can be sure terrorists will choose to travel to the U.S.–that’s no longer the case. No interview, no strict, timely background check.
Now, that will be replaced by an online “registration” three days before Mohammed comes from London to Dearbornistan to plot with his Hezbo buddies, or Ahmed comes from Birmingham to New York to meet up with his Al-Muhajiroun co-conspirators.
Oh, and here’s what this “registration” includes: name, date of birth, passport number. As you can see, it’s hardly “getting tough.” It’s the same info now required from passengers on a form upon their arrival in the country. So, how, exactly, is this “stricter” than what is already in place with these Visa Waiver “visitors”? Filling out a few basic pieces of info three days before is “tightening” the Visa Waiver program?
Then, there is the scary part of this new measure that not only doesn’t “tighten” the Visa Waiver program, but makes it even MORE LENIENT.
The online “registration” will be valid for two years. That means that if Mustapha registers to come to the U.S. on June 3, 2008, but gets involved with an Al-Qaeda offshoot in leeds the following month, and then decides to come to the U.S. in January 2009, he won’t have to re-register or be subject to any new scrutiny for the entire two years. And he can come and go to and from America multiple times during that two-year period, without a second look from American authorities. Absurd. Why are we giving aliens from Islamic terror-hotbeds a two-year window to come to our country, with virtually no scrutiny?
And finally, even the three-day advance registration requirement is a sham. If necessary, a Visa Waiver country resident who needs to come to America at the last minute can also register at the last minute, according to DHS officials. Think they’ll be doing a background check at the last minute when Hamida says she must come to Tampa for her cousin’s funeral? Think again.
All of this is rife for exploitation from people like Richard Reid, the Shoe Bomber, who came here from Britain, a Visa Waiver country, and who had no criminal record. He’d have escaped scrutiny under this new phony “tightening,” which is actually a loosening.
Get this straight: The Visa Waiver program is not being tightened. It’s being loosened. We are not getting tough on who is coming into our country.
And that’s why they are here. And their ranks continue to grow unchecked. George Bush had 6.5 years after 9/11 to get tough, and Michael Chertoff had a lot of those years, too.
And they failed. Our borders are more wide open than they’ve ever been.
Thanks, guys. Heckuva job.