The 1993 World Trade Center attack proves amnesty doesn't work

Article author: 
Jon Feere
Article publisher: 
The Hill
Article date: 
6 March 2015
Article category: 
Our American Future
Article Body: 
Though it received little coverage, Feb. 26 marked the 22nd anniversary of the 1993 World Trade Center attack. Since the attack happened at the hands of immigrants welcomed into the country by the federal government, it is worth remembering that the attack could have been prevented through careful enforcement of immigration laws and that the attackers were empowered by the 1986 amnesty.
Despite claims from amnesty advocates, there is little evidence that national security benefits from mass legalization programs aimed at rewarding foreigners who clandestinely enter the United States or overstay a visa. But there is evidence that such programs risk national security on account of the fact that the government does not seem to have the capacity to adequately vet applications.
It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens were able to fraudulently obtain amnesty through 1986's Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), the comprehensive amnesty that was supposed to put an end to illegal immigration but was never really enforced with any gusto. The fraud was so significant that The New York Times called the amnesty "one of the most extensive immigration frauds ever perpetrated against the United States Government."
One of the beneficiaries was illegal alien Mahmud Abouhalima, who overstayed a tourist visa and then falsely claimed to be an agricultural worker even though he worked as a cab driver... The legal status he acquired as a result of the 1986 amnesty is what made his training by al Qaeda possible...
If the former example shows why amnesty can facilitate terrorism, the case of Mohammed Salameh — who rented the truck used in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing — shows why an amnesty does not prevent terrorism. Salameh's application for the 1986 amnesty was denied. But because the government did not deport failed amnesty applicants, he continued to live and work in the United States illegally and ultimately took part in the attack.
In sum, IRCA only helped terrorists and did nothing to hinder those involved in the 1993 attack.
Politicians promoting amnesties like 2013's failed Senate bill or President Obama's unilateral and unpopular Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) (and his planned, but currently blocked, expansion of the amnesty to illegal immigrant parents) have not made the case that the United States would be any better at vetting applications...
Judicial Watch exposed the fact that the federal government could not even handle doing background checks for the few hundred thousand DACA applicants in 2012. The Obama administration decided to resort to "lean and light" background checks. Today, over 600,000 people have obtained DACA status and have received travel documents, Social Security accounts, work permits and other benefits. But Obama's latest plan would expand the number of beneficiaries to 4 to 5 million people by changing the terms of DACA and extending similar benefits to illegal immigrants who have children in the United States...
It is important to remember that background checks will likely not uncover crimes committed in other countries...
On top of this, many working illegal aliens engage in a range of crimes from Social Security fraud to ID theft, but because the federal government rarely prosecutes illegal aliens for these crimes, DACA applicants can honestly claim a clean record...