The Wall Street Journal's immigration foul

Posted: Aug 02, 2002 12:00 AM
The Wall Street Journal editorial page is a reliable beacon of truth and common sense. Except when it comes to immigration. The open borders zealotry of the newspaper's editorial writers has led to positively Clintonian rationalizations for undermining the rule of law -- and endangering national security. In an Aug. 1 editorial, "The GOP's Immigration Fumble," the Journal writes about Democrat Dick Gephardt's recent pandering before the National Council of La Raza in Miami. The editorial staff isn't upset that Gephardt and his fellow ethnic exploiters want to reward massive law-breaking by granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. Noooo, the Journal is upset with conservatives who oppose cravenly abandoning America's immigration laws in exchange for support from Hispanic voters. The editorial attacks "a minority of restrictionist Republicans" and "a sympathetic conservative press" for fighting the extension of the Section 245(i) program, which President Bush unsuccessfully crusaded for in the spring and which he, Gephardt, Tom Daschle and La Raza continue to push for today. The recently expired 245(i) program lets certain foreign applicants for legal permanent residency pay a $1,000 fee to process their paperwork in the U.S. instead of returning to their native countries for greater scrutiny of their criminal backgrounds. This allows applicants to bypass a 1996 federal law barring illegal aliens from re-entering the U.S. for up to 10 years. To downplay the criminal nature of most of the program's beneficiaries, the Journal claims that 245(i) "applied only to immigrants who entered the country legally on a visa that had expired or was about to." That is an outright falsehood. As an Immigration and Naturalization Service information sheet about 245(i) (available on the web at states, those covered by the provision include not "only" those applicants whose visas expired (a category that covers the likes of illegal visa overstayers such as Sept. 11 hijackers Hani Hanjour, Nawaf al Hazmi and Satam al Suqami), but also individuals who: -- Entered the United States illegally (such as New York subway bombing conspirators Gazi Ibrahim Abu Mezer and Lafi Khalil or Millennium bombing conspirators Ahmed Ressam, Abdelghani Meskini and Abdel Hakim Tizegha); -- Worked in the United States illegally (such as several of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers); -- Failed to maintain continuously lawful status (for example, Sept. 11 hijackers Mohamed Atta and Marwan al Shehhi); -- Entered under the Visa Waiver Pilot Program (such as alleged shoe-bomber Richard Reid and alleged 20th hijacker Zacarias Moussaoui); or -- Entered as foreign crewmen (for example, the fugitive Pakistanis who jumped ship in Norfolk, Va., earlier this spring and remain on the loose). The Journal disingenuously casts the 245(i) program as a compassionate matter of "family reunification" for hard-working "undocumented immigrants" from Mexico. But the editorial is silent on the dangerous family members who have slipped through the cavernous cracks of America's illegal alien amnesty programs. Egyptian brothers Mahmud Abouhalima and Mohammed Abouhalima, both here on expired visas, won amnesty under a farmworker program after cooking up bogus claims. They went on to participate in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Section 245(i) beneficiary Hashem Mohamed Hadayet entered with a tourist visa in 1992, "only" overstayed for five years, and then applied successfully for legal permanent residency under 245(i) when his wife hit the Diversity Visa lottery jackpot (another immigration abomination that benefits illegal aliens). He went on to gun down two people at the El Al Israel Airlines counter at Los Angeles International Airport on July 4. And Rabih Haddad, an illegal visa overstayer from Lebanon who helped found the Global Relief Foundation, a Muslim charity shut down by the Bush administration because of suspected terrorist ties, is being held pending deportation but hopes to stay here with his family -- despite his immigration violations -- based on 245(i) applications he filed on the last day of eligibility last year. Through his assistant, editorial page editor Paul Gigot would only say to me this week: "The editorial speaks for itself." Yes, the perilous intransigence of the bipartisan open borders lobby speaks volumes about our unwillingness to get serious about illegal immigration. No doubt al Qaeda's invaders are listening. And laughing.