Amnesty Would Worsen Compromised Immigration System
Tue May 2, 2006 03:10

Amnesty Would Worsen Compromised Immigration System

This past Tuesday (April 25), CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight Show featured Michael Maxwell, the former Director of Security and Investigations for Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and NumbersUSA's Rosemary Jenks, who both explained why any increase in immigration through an amnesty, a temporary worker program or the provision of more green cards would further compromise an already badly compromised national security situation. CLICK HERE to see a transcript for the Lou Dobbs Show... Media reports quote Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) as saying the full Senate will probably take up a compromise bill during the week of May 15 and pass a bill before Memorial Day recess. Please check out the NumbersUSA Vote Day Action Page for updates throughout the week, including the new chart describing the incredible numerical impacts of the bills under consideration.

Rosemary Jenks and Michael Maxwell on the Lou Dobbs Show
April 25, 2006

DOBBS: Michael Maxwell says fraud and loopholes in our immigration enforcement agencies can be exploited by terrorists. Maxwell served as director of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Office of Security and Investigations. After he briefed Congress on potential threats to our national security, he says management in his agency made his life a living hell, and he's since resigned.

Michael Maxwell and his attorney, Rosemary Jenks, join us here tonight. Thank you for being here.


DOBBS: Michael, let's turn first -- you said to the House Subcommittee on International Terrorism, the integrity of the U.S. immigration system has been corrupted. The system is incapable of insuring the security of our homeland. How bad is it?

MICHAEL MAXWELL, FORMER IMMIGRATION OFFICIAL: It's as bad as you want to let your imagination wander. Every major process, the citizenship process, the asylum process, the refugee process is rife with loopholes that you can drive a truck through. The system can be gamed.

DOBBS: You believe that the issue is the potential for the terrorists to take advantage of the system. Is that correct?

MAXWELL: Absolutely. Absolutely. We know they are embedding here in society. The Assistant Secretary Julie Myers on the 5th of last month -- or of this month, just before my testimony, came out and said exactly that, that terrorists are embedding in our society and they are using the legal immigration system to do it.

DOBBS: You allege there are -- could be hundreds of cases of criminal activities, including bribery, sale of documents, extortion and fraud by employees of the Citizenship and Immigration Service. Why aren't these people being investigated right now, and why is there so much pressure being applied on you, apparently, by the Federal Bureau of Investigation when that time could be better spent going after the issues that you've raised?

MAXWELL: Sure. Well, anytime that allegations are raised against senior members of any administration, that they are corrupt, it would be embarrassing for those investigations to be, you know, to be looked into. So, we can't...

DOBBS: It would also be derelict of the United States government not to investigate those allegations, would it not?

MAXWELL: Absolutely. It's absolutely derelict. And, you know, at one point we had 528 criminal complaints that we needed to investigate, and slowly those were whittled away by senior management. Upwards of 200 of them are now missing.

JENKS: And by whittled away, he means destroyed, essentially. Taken away...

DOBBS: The documents destroyed?

JENKS: ... and they're gone. The files are gone.

MAXWELL: Correct.

DOBBS: Now, these are criminal complaints against employees of the Citizenship and Immigration Service.

MAXWELL: That's correct.

DOBBS: Which you investigated.

MAXWELL: Correct.

DOBBS: Well, how do they explain this?

JENKS: They don't. They just disappeared, and who is going to complain?

DOBBS: What does the director of Immigration Services, who six -- just about six months ago said it would be impossible for this agency to oversee an amnesty program or a guest worker program, suddenly says it wouldn't be entirely possible now? He's had a conversion?

MAXWELL: Right, well, certainly in my testimony I made it perfectly clear that the current immigration system can't handle the workload that we have now, and I would be awfully concerned about putting another 10, 15, 20 million people into that pipeline, and being willing to tell the American people that we can secure national, you know, national security. It just can't be done.

DOBBS: How is the FBI harassing you?

JENKS: Let me take that, if I can.


JENKS: We were actually warned early on in this process by senior leadership of ICE, senior special agent at headquarters...

DOBBS: Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

JENKS: Right. That Mike himself was being investigated by the FBI. We have cooperated 100 percent with the bureau, with the inspector general, with the GAO. We have provided documents to all of them voluntarily. And, yet, we are hearing that they may be investigating Mike as a retaliatory investigation. We certainly hope it's not true, but that is what we are being told.

DOBBS: Is there any senator, Michael, Rosemary, who is standing up for you? Is there any congressman standing up for you, to -- and saying, this is not the way the American government is supposed to work? Let's make the American work -- American government work for the people?

JENKS: We have had tremendous support in Congress. Senator Grassley on the Senate side has been great. Congressman Royce, Tancredo, Lamar Smith, Steve King. There have been several on the House side that really have -- have stood up and done the right thing. And you can imagine who they are, because they are the ones who always stand up and do the right thing on this immigration issue. But they've been great.

DOBBS: Michael, your thoughts, as we conclude here. Should, in your judgment, should the Citizenship and Immigration Service, should ICE, be considered by the American people to be capable of handling an amnesty program, a guest-worker program, as they have now at least proposed, and is this country -- what would it take, how long would it take, to make this country safe from the threat of terrorism?

MAXWELL: It's perfectly clear that the system now can't handle the work we have now. So, again, I have to come back and say that any notional program that this administration is thinking about puts this nation at risk. The current system is so flawed and so vulnerable that you can literally drive trucks through the vulnerabilities. And senior leadership knows that. These vulnerabilities have existed for years, in some instances, and we have plenty of documentation to support the fact that they just refuse to change the system.

DOBBS: Michael Maxwell, Rosemary Jenks, thank you both for being here, and we'll obviously continue to carefully report what you're doing, and we appreciate your patriotism and look forward to talking to you soon.

JENKS: Thank you, Lou.

DOBBS: Thank you both.

MAXWELL: Thank you, Lou.
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NumbersUSA Capitol Hill Office
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Washington, DC 20003 is a non-profit, non-partisan, public policy organization that favors an environmentally sustainable and economically just America. It opposes efforts to use federal immigration policies to force mass U.S. population growth and to depress wages of vulnerable workers. is pro-environment, pro-worker, pro-liberty and pro-immigrant. Activists in the network are Americans of all races and include many immigrants and the spouses, children and parents of immigrants.

Illegal Immigration

Census 2000 results indicate that there between 8 and 11 million illegal aliens living in the United States in 2000. The Center for Immigration Studies has reported that Census Bureau stats show that 700,000 to 800,000 new illegal aliens were settling in the U.S. during the late 1990s and that around 1 million settled in the most recent year of record. Far more than that enter illegally each year, but there is a lot of back and forth. The 1 million represents illegals who truly settle in for at least a couple of years, and usually much, much longer.


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