February 16, 2009
Our nation's leaders
in government and in the private sector have made numerous errors as
they sought quick and simple solutions to daunting challenges. An news
article appeared in today's edition of the New York Times,
reports on plans of our military to enlist foreign nationals (aliens)
in our military. While this might help recruiters meet their quotas
of new enlistees, in my judgement, this decision is fraught with real
Let me, however, start out by saying that most people who want to immigrate
to the United States simply want to share the "American Dream."
Among those people were my mother who legally immigrated to the United
States several years before the onslaught of the Holocaust in Europe
which took the lives of 6 million Jews and a total of 13 million people
irrespective of their religious beliefs. Among those slaughtered were
many members of my mother's family, including her mother (my grandmother)
for whom I was named.
My dad's parents and many of his siblings also immigrated legally to
the United States shortly after the turn of the previous century.
Many of my friends' families were also the children of immigrants. My
concern is not that America permits aliens to immigrate to the United
States, my concern is that we have millions of illegal aliens currently
living in the United States whose identities, backgrounds, affiliations
and intentions are unknown and unknowable. Each day, thousands more
succeed in either running our nation's borders or entering the United
States through the inspection process and then, in one way or another
violate the terms of their admission.
Furthermore, I am concerned that even among the aliens who gain visas
to enter the United States for either temporary periods or for permanent
residence or enter the United States under the perilous Visa Waiver
Program, are those whose intentions are anything but benign and that
the State Department fails to adequately screen the bad players who
apply for visas. Often the pressure on the consular officers who adjudicate
applications for visas for the United States to approve the applications
to keep the lines and the applications moving, is no less severe than
is the pressure applied to the CBP (Customs and Border Protection) inspectors
to keep the lines of arriving aliens who seek to enter the United States
When you realize the magnitude of the challenge- each and every year,
more than one million aliens are granted resident aliens status and
even more aliens are provided with nonimmigrant ("temporary")
There have been many reports of naturalized citizens who parlayed their
newly acquired citizenship into positions of profound trust in our country
that enabled them to spy on the CIA, FBI and our military. Those positions
of trust also enabled such duplicitous individuals to gain jobs in companies
that were engaged in doing classified work for the military that had
national security implications.
Often aliens who seek to remain in the United States employ fraud schemes
to acquire resident alien status and even United States citizenship.
This tactic is employed in huge numbers by aliens simply seeking to
circumvent the immigration laws of the United States. There have been
numerous GAO reports concerning the frequency with which this ploy is
used by foreign nationals. A
summary of one such report can be found here.
(A marriage fraud is committed when two people agree to enter into a
marriage but to not live as husband and wife. The point to this arrangement
is for the United States citizen or resident alien, to receive a payment
of money or otherwise gain something of value if he (she) enters into
the marriage and then files an application with the United States government
to afford the alien spouse with resident alien status. The form that
is filed is the I-130 Petition.) This arrangement constitutes a criminal
conspiracy that enables the alien beneficiary to circumvent the immigration
laws of the United States and represents one of several such schemes
that are used by those aliens who wish to circumvent the immigration
I am quite familiar with the way that this plays out, because I was
not only a special agent of the former INS where we conducted investigations
into such suspected arranged marriages, but for a period of about one
year, from 1973 until 1974 I was assigned as an examiner to the unit
that conducted interviews to attempt to identify such fraud marriages.
Today those immigration officials are known as "adjudications officers.")
The story of Nada Nadim Prouty exemplifies such a situation. She was
a citizen of Lebanon who managed to enter the United States with a student
visa in 1988 and subsequently overstayed her authorized period of admission
into the United States. Her solution was to enter into a marriage fraud.
This plan worked for her. She was granted a green card that signified
that she had been given resident alien (lawful immigrant status). Green
card in hand she got a job as a waitress in her brother-in-law's restaurant
Several years later she filed an application for United States citizenship
and was naturalized. Now in possession of that newly minted naturalization
certificate and having much needed foreign language skills, she was
hired as an employee of the FBI. In fact, she was sworn in as an FBI
special agent! A couple of years later she left the FBI for a job at
the CIA. Both jobs being made possible by her having become a United
Ultimately it was determined that she had accessed databases on FBI
and CIA investigations into Hezbollah, a pernicious and sophisticated
terrorist organization. This is even more alarming when you realize
that her brother-in-law is now a fugitive, wanted for allegedly sending
millions of dollars to Hezbollah in Lebanon!
There was a news report of another naturalized citizen who managed to
parlay his naturalization certificate and fluency in Arabic and other
languages into a sensitive job with a subsidiary of Halliburton, Titan
Industries. His job was to serve as a contract employee translator at
a U.S. military base in Iraq. It was subsequently determined that he
had been spying on our military for none other than al-Qaeda!
I would love to
tell you his name, but the news reports indicated that he had used numerous
identities and even his true nationality had been unverifiable- but
he had been granted United States citizenship!
Additionally, speaking from my personal experience as a former INS special
agent, I can tell you that in the late 1970's, I assisted the NYPD and
the Office of Naval Intelligence (as it was then known) in a wide ranging
investigation of citizens of Panama, Jamaica and other Caribbean countries
who had lied about their immigration status to be eligible to enlist
in the U.S. Marine Corps and the Navy. In a number of instances, recruiters
knew about the lies that these enlistees committed on their applications,
but being under pressure to meet recruitment quotas, they became the
accomplices of these aliens.
All went along smoothly until a number of these individuals went AWOL.
It turned out that they had wanted to join the military to gain training
in weapons and tactics. They had chosen a career path that made good
use of this invaluable training- they stole high powered weapons and
trained in military tactics and strategy they committed violent bank
Hope is not a strategy! It is imperative that we not take the enlistment
of soldiers into the various branches of our military services lightly.
Enlistees are given training into weapons and tactics. They are given
the "play book" for our military. This is one of the ways
that the Zetas, the members of the Mexican military and law enforcement
who are challenging the powerful drug cartels for supremacy gained their
knowledge- we trained them when they claimed that they would assist
the United States in the interdiction of drugs flowing across our border
Additionally, members of the military are given access to military bases
and other secure strategic installations. The security badges and access
to facilities truly represent the "Keys to the Kingdom!"
It is certainly admirable that there are those whose commitment to the
United States is so great that they are volunteering to serve in our
military and go in harm's way for the security of our nation. My concern
is that with the ineptitude consistently demonstrated by State Department
in granting visas (all 19 terrorists who attacked our nation on 9/11
had been granted visas and entered the United States through the inspections
process) that the military must not presume that any alien who entered
the United States through a flawed program can be considered on face
value to be trustworthy!
This is yet another reason why immigration fraud must be effectively
addressed- yet I have yet to hear any member of Congress in either the
Senate or the House of Representatives even raise the issue of immigration
With all of the talk about an economic stimulus package, I would love
to hear that thousands of news special agents will be hired for ICE
(Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to create a system that possesses
real integrity. At present, there are only a relative handful of adjudications
officers and investigators who are attempting to create even an illusion
of integrity for that program.
The issue of a lack of integrity within the immigration bureaucracy
is nothing short of an integral part of national security and has been
a component of national security that has been all but ignored, even
as our nation attempts to secure itself against terrorist attacks nearly
seven and a half years after the attacks of September 11, 2001.
Our nation can
do better than this- indeed, it must do better!
The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened
elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American
citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes
to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much
that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely
must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!
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failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known
to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority
of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to the politicians.
W. Cutler graduated from Brooklyn College of the City University of New
York in 1971 with a B.A. in Communications Arts and Sciences. Mr. Cutler
began working for the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in
October 1971 when he entered on duty as an Immigration Inspector assigned
to John F. Kennedy International Airport. In August 1975 he became a Criminal
Investigator (Special Agent) for the INS at NYC.
He rotated through
virtually every squad in the Investigations Branch. From 1988 until 1991
he was assigned as the INS representative to the Unified Intelligence
Division (UID) of the DEA in New York. In 1991 he was promoted to the
position of Senior Special Agent and was assigned to the Organized Crime,
Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) which required that he work with
members of other law enforcement agencies including the FBI, DEA, ATF,
U.S. Customs and local and state police as well as law enforcement organizations
of other countries including Israel, Canada, Great Britain and Japan,
to conduct investigations of aliens involved in major drug trafficking
organizations. He retired from the INS in February 2002, after a career
that spanned some 30 years.
Cutler has appeared on numerous television and radio programs including
Lou Dobbs, Fox News, MSNBC and many other television and radio news-oriented
programs to discuss the enforcement of immigration laws.
would love to tell you his name, but the news reports indicated that he
had used numerous identities and even his true nationality had been unverifiable-
but he had been granted United States citizenship!