A group of former Border Patrol Agents convened on Monday to warn U.S. senators that the current immigration bill would compromise national security if signed into law.
Chairman of the National Association of Border Patrol Officers Kent Lundgren said, “First and most dangerous, is the fact that there will be no meaningful criminal or terrorist record checks of the applicants. If the amnesty passes, we will legalize them despite what past history they may have. Despite what the Administration and Congress say about record checks to ease voters’ minds, they are lying about it.”
Under the current bill, those who entered the country illegally would be eligible to obtain a “z visa” if certain requirements are met. The z visa is described as a legal, renewable, identification card that could be issued without requiring its holder to first return to their home country. In order to get a z visa, applicants must undergo a full background check.
The bill only gives government officials a single business day to determine if the applicant is a criminal. If nothing suspicious turns up within 24 hours, the applicant would immediately be given a probationary z visa that would be valid for up to six months after the official z visa is issued.
According to varying estimates, there are between 12 million and 20 million illegal aliens currently living inside the United States. All of them would be able to apply for the z visa under the Senate bill.
At the National Press Club, Lundgren explained: “There is no way that record checks can be done on that many people in a limited time frame. And the provision that [background] checks must be completed within 24 hours would be laughable if it were not so outrageous, told obviously to deceive.”
“And, it makes no mention of foreign criminal record checks, which are simply an impossibility,” Lundgren added. “There won’t even be an attempt made there.”
The bill also allows illegal-alien gang members to sign a “renunciation of gang affiliation” that would clear the applicant of past gang affiliation and help them obtain a visa. Another provision shelters illegal aliens who have defied a court ruling to leave the country. If the illegal alien, called an “absconder” in this context, could prove leaving the United States “would result in extreme hardship” to the absconder or immediate family, the criminal alien would be permitted to apply for a z visa.
Lundgren said these provisions would benefit members of the notorious terrorist gang Mara Salvatrucha 13, commonly known as MS-13, which is largely made up of illegal aliens from El Salvador and Honduras.