ILLEGAL ALIEN WORKERS CREATE UNEASINESS FOR US MILITARY
Hundreds of illegal aliens working as laborers, mechanics, construction workers and language instructors have been nabbed at military installations including naval bases around the country this past year. Government officials are fearful that security and safety for the stateside military has been dramatically compromised.
The vast majority of these illegals are not employed directly by the military but by private-sector contractors, as part of a continuing effort by the Pentagon to outsource many routine nonmilitary related functions thereby freeing up the US servicemen and servicewomen to concentrate on combat and other military functions.
Security experts contacted by this writer fear that the hiring of illegal aliens could make US military bases more vulnerable to compromised security including vulnerabilities such as sabotage, espionage and out-and-out terrorist attacks.
US officials claim they are not certain as to the motive of these illegal immigrants, but they are worried about the ease with which they are able to gain access to restricted facilities.
Many of these immigrant workers are even in possession of security identification cards which allow them access to these otherwise secure facilities.
In the aftermath of the 9-11 terrorist attacks, the Immigration and Naturalization Service and then the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have focused on military facilities, airports, nuclear power plants and other critical infrastructure facilities. In the past year, they have arrested hundreds of illegal immigrants at military installations around the country in states such as California, North Carolina, New Jersey and others.
There is no evidence any of them had any links to terrorists, although investigations are continuing, according to investigators, and they are not ruling out anything suspicious.
Recently, federal agents captured three foreign language instructors at Fort Bragg. During the summer months, ICE officials arrested more than 70 construction workers who lacked documentation at Camp Lejeune, a Marine base, and they nabbed 49 illegal immigrants at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina. Illegal aliens were also apprehended at military bases in Florida and Idaho.
Some of them were detained and eventually deported, while government officials conceded they released many of the illegals back into the general US population. A disturbingly large number of the illegal workers were able to obtain employment using stolen or forged identification documents.
Another concern of security directors are those illegal immigrants working for military contractors but not on the bases. Such arrests have included hundreds of illegal immigrants hired to prepare field rations -- Meals Ready to Eat or MREs -- by a Texas company that admitted falsifying their employee records.
In North Carolina, the military paid contractors almost $900 million this year and last to perform non-combat related functions at Fort Bragg, Camp Lejeune and Seymour Johnson. As part of the Pentagon's goal of transformation of the US military services, outsourcing is likely to increase. Some contractors provide the military with civilian instructors in such disciplines as marksmanship, information management and medical care.
At Fort Bragg, the three foreign language instructors worked at a school run by the Army Special Operations Command, giving them access to US Rangers and Green Berets, although the instructors were not considered a security threat even if they had ill intentions.
The illegal alien instructors worked B.I.B. Consultants. Under Pentagon regulations, it is the responsibility of the contractor to verify an employee's citizen or immigration status in order for them to work in the United States, and the company's management claimed its background investigations of the three instructors came back clean. Part of the background check process consists of asking for a driver's license and a Social Security card, however these are the easiest forms of identification for illegals to fraudulently obtain.
The Pentagon and immigration officials are considering procedures to employ in order to increase the effectiveness of background checks and verification of identity documents.
© 2005 Jim Kouri- All
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Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country.
He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores.
The illegal alien instructors worked B.I.B. Consultants. Under Pentagon regulations, it is the responsibility of the contractor to verify an employee's citizen or immigration status...