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On the anniversary of 9/11, a more dangerous world and lax immigration policies leave the U.S. vulnerable to another attack, warns FAIR
Washington, DC, September 11 - Today, the nation marks the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that took the lives of some 3,000 Americans. In the 14 years that have passed, the world has become an even more dangerous place, while in many ways our defenses against another major terrorist attack have been weakened, warns the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
Al-Qaeda, which carried out the attacks of 9/11, remains operational in many parts of the world, while other radical Islamic terrorist organizations have emerged. All of these groups have vowed to strike the United States and have demonstrated the ability to inflict significant harm. Despite the clear dangers and explicit threats, our nation's lax immigration enforcement policies provide a soft underbelly for terrorist organizations to exploit.
"Fourteen years ago, al-Qaeda took advantages of many weaknesses to carry out its attack. Some of them have been corrected, but the most important factor – the ability for terrorists to remain in the United States illegally – is as bad, or worse, than it was in 2001," said Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
Among the glaring weaknesses in our immigration enforcement system that pose a threat to our homeland security in 2015:
Obama administration policies protect 87 percent of illegal aliens from enforcement. Under these policies, unless a potential terrorist is already on the government's watch list, his or her continued presence in the U.S. is protected by the administration.
A legislated biometric entry/exit system at all land, sea and air ports of entry has not been fully implemented. Thus, like the 9/11 terrorists who entered on visas and failed to leave the country, we still have no way of knowing who remains in the country illegally.
Our borders remain out of control. Only 40 percent of our southern border is under operational control, making it easy for terrorists and potentially weapons of mass destruction to enter our country without detection.
The Obama administration has reversed detention policies implemented under President Clinton intended to prevent people from gaining entry to our country by abusing the political asylum system.
Despite the growing presence of terrorist networks in Europe and other Western countries, we maintain the Visa Waiver Program which allows holders of EU passports to enter the U.S. without being screened by consular officials.
"The FBI and other law enforcement agencies, through their excellent work, have managed to thwart numerous attempts to carry out terrorist attacks in recent months. But no domestic intelligence agency can bat 1.000 indefinitely, especially when our weak immigration enforcement policies allow terrorists so many ways to infiltrate our country," warned Stein. "The Obama administration's politically driven effort to undermine immigration enforcement and Congress's tepid oversight are a potentially lethal combination.
"The commemoration of what took place 14 years ago provides a sobering reminder that global turmoil, and our own lax border and immigration policies, continue to pose a clear and present threat to our security," Stein concluded.
Founded in 1979, FAIR is the country's largest immigration reform group. With over 250,000 members nationwide, FAIR fights for immigration policies that serve national interests, not special interests. FAIR believes that immigration reform must enhance national security, improve the economy, protect jobs, preserve our environment, and establish a rule of law that is recognized and enforced.