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Recidivism and Politics

Michael Cutler
Senior Immigration Editor And Senior Special Agent Of The Ins (ret)

It is important to consider how the political process works or, more often than not, does not work.



Politicization of immigration compromises national security

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Politicization of immigration compromises national security

Michael Cutler
Senior Immigration Editor And Senior Special Agent Of The Ins (ret)

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[Comments] I generally write about issues that relate to immigration and border security. The issue of immigration is not a single issue but rather a singular issue because it impacts nearly every challenge and threat our nation confronts today. Everything from national security criminal justice and community safety to the economy and unemployment, healthcare and public health, education and the environment are getting hammered because of the long term failures of a succession of administration to truly secure our nation's borders and enforce our immigration laws.

In an effort to obfuscate the true significance of immigration and border security many politicians and so-called journalists often claim that immigration had nothing to do with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. In point of fact, nothing could be further from the truth! If you doubt this, The 9/11 Commission Report and the 9/11 Commission Staff Report on Terrorist Travel did an in-depth analysis of how the terrorists who attacked our nation on September 11, 2001 were able to enter the United States and embed themselves in our country as they prepared to launch the worst terrorist attack ever carried out on our soil.

The first paragraph from the preface of the 9/11 Commission Staff Report on Terrorist Travel states that:

It is perhaps obvious to state that terrorists cannot plan and carry out attacks in the United States if they are unable to enter the country. Yet prior to September 11, while there were efforts to enhance border security, no agency of the U.S. government thought of border security as a tool in the counterterrorism arsenal. Indeed, even after 19 hijackers demonstrated the relative ease of obtaining a U.S. visa and gaining admission into the United States, border security still is not considered a cornerstone of national security policy. We believe, for reasons we discuss in the following pages, that it must be made one.
And a paragraph under the title "Immigration Benefits" found on page 98 says that:

Terrorists in the 1990s, as well as the September 11 hijackers, needed to find a way to stay in or embed themselves in the United States if their operational plans were to come to fruition. As already discussed, this could be accomplished legally by marrying an American citizen, achieving temporary worker status, or applying for asylum after entering. In many cases, the act of filing for an immigration benefit sufficed to permit the alien to remain in the country until the petition was adjudicated. Terrorists were free to conduct surveillance, coordinate operations, obtain and receive funding, go to school and learn English, make contacts in the United States, acquire necessary materials, and execute an attack.
Clearly a political agenda has been the motivation behind these patently absurd assertions about immigration so it is important to consider how the political process works or, more often than not, does not work.

In discussing politics and political campaigns political scientists, journalists and other supposed "experts" often invoke the concept of the "power of the incumbency." The point that they are making is that a sort of political inertia favors those who hold a public office. However, in the real (non-political) world, employees of a company may have some claim to their jobs but only if they do their jobs well. Employees who fail abysmally to "earn their keep" are likely to find themselves on the unemployment line. Why should it be any different for politicians who work for us, "We the People?"

In considering how politicians are able to get re-elected to their respective jobs even when they don't deserve to have those jobs, I came up with the concept of the recidivist politician.

Recidivism is defined by the online Merriam-Webster Dictionary as: "a tendency to relapse into a previous condition or mode of behavior; especially : relapse into criminal behavior."

Most often we associate the term recidivism with criminals. A convicted felon who serves the jail sentence that is imposed upon conviction for committing the crime(s) he is charged with and then is released back onto the street and commits additional crimes is said to be a recidivist.

Think about politicians who fail to represent their constituents but then win re-election only to once again fail to truly represent the majority of those they were elected to represent. Is this not an example of a different sort of recidivism?

Parole boards convene periodically to determine if a prisoner should be paroled, thereby being permitted to leave the confines of the prison in which he (she) is serving his jail sentence. Prisoners who seek such freedom try their best to convince the parole board that they are worthy of being released back into society. They do whatever they can to provide an image that they have "reformed" and no longer pose a threat to public safety. In keeping with this concept, prisons are often referred to as "correctional facilities" because the supposed goal of the incarceration of a criminal is two-fold, to remove the criminals from our midst and to modify their behavior.

We the People also convene periodically when there are elections, to vote for (or against) those politicians who purport to represent us or promise that if elected, they will represent us.

What is unfathomable is how any politician who openly decries the enforcement of our immigration laws can be elected to hold a public office. The immigration laws are utterly blind as to race, religion or ethnicity of those who fall under the jurisdiction of the immigration laws. The only distinction that the immigration laws of the United States makes is to differentiate citizens from non-citizens. Under the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) that all-encompassing body of laws that regulate the entry and presence of foreign nationals in the United States, an alien is defined simply as being- "Any person who is not a citizen or national of the United States."

There is no insult in that definition, only clarity.

The intentions of the immigration laws can be distilled down to a half dozen words- "Protect American lives, protect American jobs." It is inconceivable that any politician could openly oppose either critically important goal and yet, there are politicians on the local, state and federal level who enthusiastically not only decry the enforcement of the immigration laws but back plans that would provide unknown millions- indeed, perhaps tens of millions of illegal aliens with the authority to remain in the United States and even be placed on a "Pathway to United States citizenship!"

In point of fact, President Barrack Obama has openly called for such a program and has issued various policy directives to employees of DHS (the Department of Homeland Security) or as I have come to refer to that inept and beleaguered agency, the Department of Homeland Surrender to not seek to arrest or remove (deport) aliens who violate our nation's borders and immigration laws unless they have been convicted of committing felonies!

What is being ignored by the President and others who eschew the enforcement of our immigration laws is just how important those laws are.


Title 8, United States Code, Section 212 is contained within the Immigration and Nationality Act, and enumerates the various categories of aliens who are statutorily ineligible to enter the United States, will provide a clear prospective as to the intention and extreme importance of our nation's immigration laws. Among the categories of aliens who are supposed to be kept out of the United States are aliens with dangerous communicable diseases, aliens who suffer serious mental illness and are prone to violence, aliens who are convicted felons, aliens who fugitives from justice in other countries, aliens who are human traffickers and drug smugglers, aliens who are war criminals and aliens who have committed human rights violations. Also aliens who are engaged in terrorism and espionage are among those who are, by law, supposed to be prevented from entering our country.

When aliens evade the inspections process that is supposed to prevent the entry of aliens who belong to one or more categories of excludible aliens it must be presumed that they do so because they could not meet the requirements to be lawfully admitted into the United States. Furthermore when aliens run our borders and evade the inspections process, no record is made of their entry into our country.

Even when the only reason an illegal alien enters our country is to take a job, damage is being done to our nation and to our fellow Americans who are unemployed and losing their homes to foreclosure. Nearly every week news reports are issued that announce the latest unemployment rate and the number of new jobs that have been created. Usually the number of newly created jobs numbers in the tens of thousands. Consider that if there are millions of illegal aliens who are working in violation of laws in the United States that the jobs that they are taking could be taken by American workers if the administration would only enforce the immigration laws that are already on the books!

With all of the talk about the need to create jobs, why is no one demanding that the administration liberate jobs? Currently there are about 7,000 agents working for ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). More than half of them are working on investigations into violations of customs laws which have nothing to do with immigration. To put this into proper perspective, the TSA (Transportation Safety Administration) has more than 60,000 employees. I do a considerable amount of traveling and certainly don't want to wind up with a window seat on a de facto cruise missile if hijackers were to commandeer and airliner I am a passenger on. However, isn't it remarkable that the TSA goes into "Red Alert" if a four year old girl attempts to hug her grandmother after she has been screened? Isn't it incredible that an airport will go into a full scale lockdown if some 90 year old passenger with eyeglasses that are thick enough to stop a bullet from a .357 inadvertently opens a wrong door and airliners are brought back to the gate, passengers and baggage may have to be pulled off airliners and flight schedules go to hell as the impact of this mishap ripples throughout the system while each and every day unknown thousands of illegal aliens whose true identities, backgrounds, intentions in coming here are unknown and unknowable and yet, Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of Homeland Security (Surrender?), issues yet another press release or stands before yet another news conference and claims that our borders are secure!

Election Day is rapidly approaching!

Remember, only you can prevent political recidivism!


Michael Cutler

Michael Cutler, Senior Immigration Editor And Senior Special Agent Of The Ins (ret): I think it is absolutely essential that I explain who I am. I also feel it is important to explain why I have embarked upon a mission to provide insight about our nation's many failures in securing the United States borders. My opinions are based on thirty years of experience with the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Beyond my professional experience, I'd also like you to understand that who I am as a human being is a foundation for my opinions as well. Why is immigration... (more...)