March 15, 2002

The documents approving hijacker pilots' student visas six months after the September 11th attacks are little more than superficial evidence of the gross mismanagement that has infected U.S Immigration and Naturalization Service.

According to a March 10, 2002 CBS 60 Minutes report, there are about 350 million annual visitors to the United States, and there are only about 9,000 employees in the INS, which is wrought with corruption and "complaints against half of its workforce." So, it seems perfectly understandable why there are millions of criminally questionable aliens running loose in America as the result of an agency, vital to our national security, that has been disabled by "systemic incompetence."

Clearly, terrorists' ability to enter the country without scrutiny and move around freely comes as no surprise, particularly when criminals and gangs from other countries are routinely admitted into the United States to prey upon our citizens with near impunity.

Rather than adding 30,000 air travel security employees to the federal payroll under the Department of Transportation, our so-called elected representatives should have been protecting our air, land and sea borders against terrorists and criminal aliens instead of perpetuating grossly ineffective bureaucracies that harass harmless citizens, honest immigrants and all but ignore the bad people.

Indeed, adding layers to rotten foundations can hardly increase homeland security until existing agencies are overhauled from the ground up, and managed by holding their feet to the fire.

However, our borders cannot be adequately protected by regular government employees, even with law enforcement powers, simply because they have more rights than responsibilities, which encourages incompetence and makes them vulnerable to corruption.

Instead, the United States military should be charged with protecting our borders, simply because they must answer to the no nonsense Uniform Code of Military Justice. Moreover, dedication, responsibility and duty to country are requirements of military service, absolutely.

Now, more than ever, securing America's borders is a matter of national defense.

Daniel B. Jeffs, founder
The Direct Democracy Center