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America still welcomes terrorists, criminals, & other foreign menaces
The September 11 attacks have changed the ways Americans view the security and violence situation within their territory. Dramatic changes have been made in connection with security in the ports (land, sea and air); immigration laws; buying residency and citizenship, as well as visas. However, many experts assert that the security situation has worsened from where it had been before 9/11. Instead of reducing bureaucratic procedures and the loopholes associated with it and increasing the efficiency of the present workforce through accountability and checks and balances, the government has done exactly the opposite. This research paper is primarily focused on terrorism, and how we continue to allow it to happen to us. How the September 11 terrorists exploited U.S. immigration laws. How government officials sell residency & citizenship papers. How people from other countries are rushed through airport without proper screening because of corporate pressure. The paper also includes examples of how the United States actually has a history of training and educating the very people who end up terrorizing America.
Review of Related Literature
Flaws in the Immigration system
"The commission investigating the 9/11 attacks has concluded that immigration policies promoted as essential to keeping the country safe from future attacks have been largely ineffective, producing little, if any, information leading to the identification or apprehension of terrorists (Michael Janofsky, 2004)."
The above quote is sufficient evidence to prove that serious loopholes exist in the immigration system. Due to lack of communication and lack of will the people in charge for immigration and issuing temporary visas, the threat of foreign terrorist stepping foot on American has become an imminent reality. Steven Camarota (2002) writes, "The current immigration system has many points of weakness. It does not vigorously interview or carefully check the backgrounds of visa applicants. Nor does it enforce time limits on temporary visas. Fraudulent applications for green cards are often approved, and people in the country illegally are allowed to work, open bank accounts, and receive driver's licenses. The INS and consular officers are simply overwhelmed by the number of applicants they must process, and are stretched so thin that they cannot do their jobs. In addition, the nation's borders remain largely undefended (Steven, 2002)."
The terrorists have been using all means possible to enter America. Many of them have been successful as the institutions responsible to safeguard America from illegal aliens and corrupt individuals have not been performing their duties efficiently. Steven Camarota (2002) asserts, "In the wake of September 11, some observers have emphasized the mismanagement of temporary visas, such as those issued to students and tourists, because all of the 19 hijackers were originally allowed into the country on temporary visas (Steven, 2002)." He further writes, "In a very real sense, Foreign Service officers are America's other border patrol. It is they who determine, in most cases, who is allowed into the country. Of the 48 terrorists considered here, 41 had at some point been approved for a visa by an American consulate overseas. Though we cannot expect that in every case the visa-processing system will quickly identify the terrorist applicant and prevent him from getting a visa, the fact that so many terrorists made it through certainly suggests that there are significant problems in the system (Steven, 2002)." The inefficiency of the border patrol is also worth mentioning, as Steven Camarota (2002) reveals, "Lax border enforcement have also facilitated the entry of al Qaeda terrorists. The nation's ports of entry are the places where people traveling by land, sea, or air legally enter the United States. These entry points are staffed by immigration and customs inspectors. Of the 48 terrorists considered here, 45 of them had contact with an inspector at a port of entry (Steven, 2002)."
Problems also exists is the ways visas are issued to the foreigners as the people in charge are sometimes found to be too lenient or lacking credentials for the task they have been asked to perform. As an Ex-Foreign Service officer reveals, "State Department procedures call for supervisory review of refusals, but not issuances-thus, relatively inexperienced junior officers are trusted to issue visas but are second-guessed on refusals (As cited in Steven, 2002)." Steven Camarota (2002) further writes, "Visa officers are judged by the number of applications processed each day and by their politeness to applicants rather than on their thoroughness in screening applicants (Steven, 2002)."
Selling American Citizenship
United States of America is the world's only super power. The difference between America and the regional powers of the world is very large. The people who are citizens of America should consider themselves to be amongst the best of the world. However, the manner in which American citizenships and residencies are being offered to foreigners brings into question the intent and will of the American government in relation to national security. Serious flaws exist in many of the programs and institutions that execute them. For instance, one such program introduced by the Bush administration has been giving American citizenship to people who provide valuable information on terrorism. Bill Sammon and Jerry Seper (2001) reveal, "Under the new initiative, the Justice Department will provide immigration benefits to non-citizens who furnish information to help apprehend terrorists or stop terrorist attacks. The offer is available to all non-citizens in the United States or those who seek to enter the country (Bill Sammon, Jerry Seper, 2001)."
Commenting on this program, Mr. Ashcroft asserts, "For many people, a visa that provides a pathway to American citizenship is worth its weight in gold. It provides access to the freedoms and opportunities that define our nation (as cited in Bill Sammon, Jerry Seper, 2001)." President Bush while giving his opinion on this issue asserts, "Non-U.S. citizens who plan and/or commit mass murder are more than criminal suspects," Mr. Bush said. "They are unlawful combatants who seek to destroy our country and our way of life." The question that comes to mind is how the American government will gauge the true intent of the people they wish to give American citizenships on the basis of helping them in the war on terror. What if terrorists use this program to enter American soil and execute another 9/11? Who will be held responsible for such an incident?
Security at the Airports
It is worth mentioning here that while effective measures have been taken to ensure that proper scrutiny of all the air travelers (in billions each year) is conducted, the corporations are making it extremely difficult for these institutions to execute their duties in an effective way. As a result, people have been entering United States without proper screening and checking. This phenomenon is not a latest development, rather it has only aggravated. As an FAA report of 1990 reveals, "The worldwide terrorist threat against civil aviation persists. American interests also continue to be targeted by terrorist organizations and those countries supporting international terrorist activities. Civil aviation will continue to represent a very tempting target to criminals and terrorists because of its high visibility (as cited in William P. Stump, 1990)."
Bogdan Dzakovic can be considered to be United States most influential combatant in the war on terror. While appearing in front of the 9/11 commission, Dzakovic asserts, "not one person has been disciplined for mismanaging an agency [the FAA] that operated in a manner that was [according to the OSC] 'a substantial and specific danger to public safety,' contributing directly to the nearly 3,000 deaths on 9-11 as well as turning this country upside down. 'Instead of being held accountable, many of these same managers have been promoted within TSA and are key players in how TSA executes its missions. Those managers that didn't transfer to TSA are still with FAA, and are managing the FAA internal investigations/security mission and its hazardous materials mission in precisely the same way as it mismanaged its previous aviation security mission' (William F. Jasper, 2004)."
America supporting terrorists and dictators
America has been well-known for supporting terrorists and dictators all over the world. During the 1970's, both Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden had become a major influence in the internal matters of Iraq and Afghanistan respectively. Both Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden had been extremely cruel and oppressive not only against their enemies but also against the people of Iraq and Afghanistan respectively. They had fought wars with their neighbors with the sole purpose to serve the American Interest.
Throughout their adventures, the Americans together with France, Britain and Germany had encouraged and supported Saddam and Osama by giving arms, ammunition and aid to them so that they can better serve their purpose. Furthermore, it had been America, which had encouraged both Saddam and Osama to fight wars against Iran and Soviet occupation, respectively, by providing them with America's top military advice-givers, as well as, satellite images and intelligence
Subsequently, it was in 1990's, when Saddam had aggravated the American annoyance and displeasure by attacking Kuwait…[continue]
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