The refusal to deal with Uncle Omar tells you everything you need to know about the emptiness and impotence of Washington's 9/11 platitudes.
"Omar" is Onyango Obama, the illegal alien deportation fugitive who is the long-lost Kenyan half-brother of President Obama's father. The president mentioned him in his best-selling book, "Dreams from My Father." But these days, he'd undoubtedly prefer to whitewash him out of the public eye. Last week, Uncle Omar was arrested for drunk driving in Framingham, Mass., and held on an immigration detainer.
The liquor store employee -- yes, he was apparently drinking the inventory that legal Americans weren't drinking -- nearly crashed into a police car and belligerently demanded to ring up the White House. Few in the neighborhood are laughing it off. Just two weeks ago, an illegal alien drunk driver with a mile-long rap sheet mowed down and killed a 23-year-old Milford, Mass., man.
Open-borders advocates will call Uncle Omar "harmless." But it turns out he's not only a repeat deportation absconder who has ignored two court orders to leave the country, but he is also a deadbeat who owes thousands in back taxes and a fraudulent Social Security card-holder who has managed to evade authorities for half a century.
The policy that allowed Omar to disappear is "voluntary departure" -- a security-undermining mechanism that allows illegal alien border-jumpers and visa-overstayers to simply deport themselves after going through the federal immigration court system. Omar lost his first case to stay in the country in 1989; he lost a second bid with the Board of Immigration Appeals in 1992.
Then, as 400,000 to 700,000 illegal alien deportation absconders have done over the past two decades, Omar simply thumbed his nose at the law again and treated his entry into America as an entitlement instead of a privilege.
Omar will now appeal any deportation proceedings a third time with the help of the same Ohio law firm that represented his illegal alien deportation fugitive sister, Zeituni Onyango. Aunt Zeituni arrived in the U.S. in 2000 on a temporary visa. Her asylum request was rejected in 2004. She defied the immigration court order to go back to Kenya, moved into Boston public housing, and hid with relatives for years before winning a second bid to stay in the country she's since trashed publicly numerous times.
As I reported exclusively in November 2008, when Aunt Zeituni's case exploded before Election Day, sympathetic Bush administration officials ordered immigration authorities across the country to halt all deportation enforcement actions until after the campaign season was over. An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) source familiar with Western field offices told me at the time: "The ICE fugitive operations group throughout the U.S. was told to stand down until after the election from arresting or transporting anyone out of the U.S. This was done to avoid any mistakes of deporting or arresting anyone who could have a connection to the election, i.e., anyone from Kenya who could be a relative. The decision was election-driven."
Now, we know there was at least one other Obama deportation fugitive hiding in plain view who benefited from the freeze.
More damningly, we know that both Republican and Democratic administrations continue to play politics with homeland security while paying lip service to the 9/11 dead.
After the attacks, DHS officials discovered the full danger that the vast ocean of deportation fugitives posed. Consider the case of Gazi Ibrahim Abu Mezer, a Palestinian bomb-builder who entered the U.S. illegally through Canada in 1996 and 1997. He claimed political asylum based on alleged persecution by Israelis, was released on a reduced $5,000 bond posted by a man who was himself an illegal alien, and then skipped his asylum hearing after calling his attorney and lying about his whereabouts. In June 1997, after his lawyer withdrew Mezer's asylum claim, a federal immigration judge ordered Mezer to leave the country on a "voluntary departure order." Mezer ignored the useless piece of paper. He joined a New York City bombing plot before being arrested in July 1997 after a roommate tipped off local police.
Countless jihadists have benefited enormously from lax enforcement of deportation orders and asylum loopholes. Jihad plotters Ramzi Yousef and Mir Aimal Kansi also exploited our catch-and-release system by invoking asylum and evading swamped authorities before plotting and executing jihadist attacks.
The post-9/11 absconder apprehension initiative has been decimated. The total number of apprehensions of illegal aliens by immigration enforcement agencies is less than half of what it was five years ago, according to the Center for Immigration Studies. And the White House is dispensing deportation waivers like Pez candy en masse.
"Always remember. Never forget." Words, just words.