Rising Citizenship Requests Threaten National Security

Exclusive: Rising Citizenship Requests Threaten National Security Even More
Mike Cutler
Author: Mike Cutler
Source: The Family Security Foundation, Inc.
Date: February 27, 2007

The flood of requests for US citizenship is clouded by an overworked and understaffed USCIS as well as by ill-intended politicians who pervert language in an effort to fool us all. FSM Contributing Editor Mike Cutler explains.

Citizenship applications are skyrocketing in Southern California and across the nation, as green card holders rush to avoid a proposed fee increase, a revised civics test and possible changes in immigration law.

Applications filed in Los Angeles and six surrounding counties shot up to 18,024 in January from 7,334 in the same month last year, a 146% increase, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Nationwide, the number hit 95,622, up from 53,390, a 79% increase.

The jump both locally and nationwide is the largest in a decade, officials said. The numbers of applications first spiked last March with mass immigrant rights rallies and saw the most dramatic increase after the new year. So says the Los Angeles Times, in its article, Citizenship requests soar before changes.

The above-referenced article is worth considering for two basic reasons. First, it shows how the work level at USCIS continues to climb so that this beleaguered agency is akin to a dog that chases his tail and runs ever more quickly in circles in an effort to catch it.

The USCIS will never be able effectively to adjudicate all of the applications with which it needs to deal. The situation at USCIS is also of severe potential consequences given that the 911 Commission found the terrorists who attacked our nation, as well as those who may well be planning to attack our nation, utilize immigration benefit fraud either to enter our country and/or embed themselves in our country, hiding in plain sight until the day that they receive instructions to attack our nation and kill our citizens. Similarly, criminals have also become quite sophisticated and adept at gaming the immigration system.

The onslaught of applications for United States citizenship and for other benefits, such as applications to replace alien registration cards (“Green Cards”), the conferring of resident alien status and other such vital and sensitive requirements that have national security implications, means that the system will forever be forced to place speed over accuracy and security. Fraud will continue to flourish and our nation's security and the safety of our citizens and others who reside in our country will be severely compromised. And this is what is happening even without the insane Guest Worker Amnesty program advocated by the likes of our President and the “dynamic duo” of Senators McCain and Kennedy!

The second reason goes back to the fundamental flaw in the entire immigration debate, the use of language. I have written often about this but the LA Times article makes it clear that we need to remind ourselves just how central to the issue of immigration language has become. Consider the quote that appears near the end of the article:

Increased citizenship could influence politics nationally and locally if the new citizens register to vote and get to the polls, said Leo Chavez, a political anthropology professor at UC Irvine.

As more immigrants vote, it will be harder to attack immigrants, Chavez said. They will be the constituency.”

The term “alien” as I have noted innumerable times is not a pejorative. It is not the contemporary equivalent of the dreaded “N” word. The term “Alien” is a legal term that is part of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The INA is that body of law that deals with the admission of aliens into the United States and their continued presence in our country. It includes the requirements an alien must meet before becoming a resident alien or a United States citizen. It also establishes the ground for the exclusion or deportation of aliens from the United States. In brief, the INA is the body of law that determines whether or not an alien present in the United States is legally or illegally present in our country. An “Illegal Alien” is illegal because he/she is in violation of one or more provisions of the INA.

The use of the term “Undocumented Alien” or simply “The Undocumented”, as used often by Senator Kennedy to describe illegal aliens, does not provide clarity to the argument but serves intentionally to obfuscate the issues. This is the tactic of those who know that the law and commonsense oppose what they are so desperate to achieve. The quote above makes no sense unless Professor Chavez is advocating for illegal aliens or resident aliens to vote in the United States. (Incredibly there are those who do advocate such lunacy!) The point is that once an immigrant naturalizes and becomes a United States citizen, he is as much an American citizen as is any other citizen of the United States. Naturalized citizens hold the “keys to the kingdom” in their hands. They may take any job including any elected position with the exception of President of the United States. That is precisely why the naturalization process is so critical to the safety of our citizens and the security of our nation.

For the record, while I am absolutely opposed to the illegal entry of aliens into our country and am opposed to those aliens who enter our country through the inspection process only to commit violations of law that subsequently render them deportable, I am in favor of those aliens who play by the rules, abide by the laws, enter our country legally and share in and contribute to the increasingly elusive “American Dream.” Simply stated, there is a world of difference between immigrants and illegal aliens, it is the difference between a houseguest and a burglar!

Lead, follow or get out of the way!

FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Michael Cutler is a Fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies and a well-respected authority on immigration and border security issues.