As President Bush has warned us, this is a new kind of war.
He is doing a good job of the military and diplomatic legs of the U.S. response to terrorism, but it's up to citizens to insist that the response on the homeland front be effective and constitutional.
So far, it's not clear that the actions to improve our internal security, either by Congress or the administration, are moving in the right direction or moving fast enough. Here is a checklist of the actions that should be taken immediately:
-- We must immediately close our borders to all illegal aliens and deport those who are in the United States, including the millions who are illegally in this country on expired visas. It is a default of duty that our government hasn't made this a regular practice and there is no time to delay in starting now.
Since the Zogby Poll reported Sept. 16 that 77 percent of Americans do not think our government is doing enough to control our borders or screen foreign visitors, why are Congress and the administration dragging their feet?
-- We must increase the Border Patrol to any extent necessary to keep guards on duty 24 hours a day at all crossing points and provide military backup as needed. The U.S. Constitution, Article IV, section 4, states: "The United States ... shall protect each of [the States] against invasion."
-- We must completely overhaul visa procedures to require full disclosure about the applicant's identity, employment, destination, health, travel plans and U.S. guarantors.
-- We should require all legal aliens to carry an ID card with fingerprints, report their residence and travels, and enter the information on a database to track their travels in this country and flag the date of their visa expiration.
-- No visas of any kind should be issued to countries of suspected terrorists or countries that refuse to repudiate terrorists, and the State Department, which is responsible for the lax issuance of visas, must be monitored. Our government should keep a database of all illegal aliens who are deported and make them ineligible for reentry.
-- We should put a moratorium on the granting of all student and worker visas until a system is in place to track the aliens in this country and assure that they report to the educational institution or corporation claimed as the reason for entry.
-- We should forbid colleges and universities that receive federal funding from giving free tuition, student loans or in-state tuition rates to aliens. We have too many American students who need this type of assistance.
-- All airport security personnel, as well as pilots, should be required to be U.S. citizens.
-- The safety instructions given to flight crews to be passive and cooperative with hijackers should be rescinded immediately and replaced with instructions and training in how to overpower and outmaneuver hijackers.
-- The mug shots of the 22 most wanted terrorists, plus the 19 hijackers, all fit an identifiable profile. The airlines should be given legal immunity for refusing to board anyone they think may pose a danger.
-- States should repeal laws that allow illegal aliens to get driver's licenses and the states that are currently toying with this bad idea should deep-six it. Driver's licenses should be issued only to citizens and legal residents, who can pass the driver's test in English.
-- We should put a moratorium on all immigration for at least a year. We certainly should not admit any refugees from the current conflict as there is no way to know the good guys from the potential bad guys.
-- We should review naturalizations of the past five years to detect fraud or criminal records as a basis for revocation of citizenship. Revoke the citizenship of any naturalized citizen who violates the oath to renounce allegiance to another country by asserting dual citizenship or holding public office in a foreign country.
-- We should not use terrorism as an excuse to promote measures that simply increase the power and budget of Big Government or place more controls over the actions of law-abiding Americans.
The law must make a clear distinction between citizens and aliens.
Encourage your member of Congress to introduce legislation to achieve any of these goals or to support the bills already in the hopper. Current bills worthy of support include Sen. Kit Bond's, R-Mo., bill to require foreigners to carry ID cards., Sen. Bob Smith's, R-N.H., bill to allow airline pilots to carry guns, and Rep. Tom Tancredo's, R-Colo., bill to put a one-year moratorium on immigration.