After Osama bin Laden's hijack squadrons invaded our skies a
year ago, America's military responded. Operation Enduring Freedom launched
on Oct. 7, 2001. President Bush deployed thousands of troops to combat
terrorist forces in the Middle East. By Memorial Day, dozens of men who
dedicated their lives to our country returned to their families in
They were doing what needed to be done.
The same cannot be said on the domestic front. One year after
the attacks, officials in both major parties continue to be paralyzed by
political correctness and bureaucratic sclerosis. They have yet to come to
grips with the reality of homicidal America-haters lurking at our
doorstep -- evildoers whose main tactic is to infiltrate our country and
kill us. Our immigration system remains gutless, clueless, senseless and
While young soldiers boldly took up arms overseas to protect
their fellow Americans, leaders in Washington took meager baby steps to
shore up our borders against foreign invaders. Congress gave the INS more
money, sprinkled a few hundred more agents on the front lines, tossed in
some boats, cameras, night goggles and pepperball guns, and renewed
long-delayed efforts to track legal aliens entering the country.
Meanwhile, long stretches of our borders remained unpatrolled.
In Pembina, N.D., our border was guarded by a 12-foot steel barricade with a
hopeless warning that reads "Avoid Heavy Penalty" and asks intruders to
check in when they see the nearest guards. President Bush and Prime Minister
Jean Chretien of Canada announced new programs this week to make travel
between the two countries even faster. "Stop times will be reduced from a
few minutes to seconds, and that's important," Bush explained.
Responding to demands that America provide better travel
amenities to immigration outlaws entering from the south, INS commissioner
James Ziglar erected water stations and "rescue beacons" -- 30-foot-tall,
solar-powered towers equipped with alarm buttons so illegal aliens could
summon help. The same week that Ziglar announced the plan, federal agents
arrested two Egyptians who allegedly tried to smuggle in Middle Eastern
immigrants through the U.S.-Mexico border.
While our guardians in Washington pledged "Never again," they
openly assured millions of immigration outlaws that they would not be
arrested -- and championed another amnesty program of the very kind that has
been exploited by al Qaeda in the past. State and local governments further
rolled out the welcome mat by adopting or retaining pro-illegal alien
measures, from driver's licenses to taxpayer-subsidized education to
sanctuary laws, which can all be exploited to ease a foreign terrorist's
path to destruction.
From the loose and open borders crowd came pledges of patriotism
and cooperation, followed by the same old obstructionist complaints about
tightening our immigration policies: Too fast. Too costly. Unnecessary.
Congress ignored our broken deportation system, leaving tens of
thousands of illegal aliens and potential terrorists to roam free and game
our criminal-friendly, backlogged immigration court system and obscure
The State Department continued issuing visas to tourists and
businessmen from al Qaeda magnet countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and
Yemen, as if September 11 never happened. Citizens of official state
sponsors of terrorism (such as Iraq, Syria and Libya) aren't eligible for
nonimmigrant visas but can still participate in the Diversity Visa "green
card" lottery giveaway.
Inside the INS, little changed. The agency continued its
longstanding policy of retaliating against whistleblowers and promoting
life-long civil servants with mile-long titles. Rank-and-file agents and
inspectors continued to feel pressure to support the travel industry's need
for speed over safety. Apathetic officials turned away illegal aliens
rounded up by bail bondsmen and local police. Ziglar resigned, but one of
his chief deputies, Stuart Anderson -- a longtime advocate of lax borders --
While Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta's minions
roughhoused grandmothers and ransacked bottled breast milk, millions of
foreigners waltzed into the country without even having to bother to get
visas. Fraud-ridden State Department policies such as the Transit Without a
Visa and Visa Waiver Program (exploited by alleged "shoe bomber" Richard
Reid and indicted "20th hijacker" Zacarias Moussaoui) continue to put
foreign travelers' comfort and airline profits over American citizens'
More than 3,000 dead and 365 days later, this is where we stand
today: While our uniformed men and women carry the Stars and Stripes in
battle overseas against the terrorist hijackers' al Qaeda brethren,
politicians and bureaucrats continue to wave the white flag at home. Until
Americans, native-born and naturalized alike, demand that our government
live up to its constitutional duty to provide for the common defense, we
will remain in a shamefully perilous state of surrender.