Since its inception last year, the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) has stopped 330 known foreign criminals and three known terrorists who attempted to come into the country at certain official ports of entry. In addition, the targeted registration of certain foreign nationals already in the country has resulted in the apprehension of 15 illegal alien felons.
Naturally, Sen. Teddy Kennedy, D-Afghanistan, wants to stop the Bush administration from using NSEERS to catch any more criminal aliens and illegal aliens who pose law enforcement threats to America.
Among the scumbags caught by the NSEERS program that Kennedy wants to eliminate:
- A Tunisian convicted of multiple drug-trafficking offenses, in addition to previous violations of immigration law;
- A national of the Dominican Republic convicted of aggravated assault and burglary on a prior visit to the United States and who had been deported after that prior visit;
- A Canadian with multiple narcotics convictions;
- An Iranian who had been convicted three times of assault with a deadly weapon and had been convicted twice of grand theft in addition to immigration violations;
- An Iranian twice convicted of child molestation;
- An Iranian who had been convicted of theft and narcotics possession;
- Two suspected al Qaeda operatives who were caught trying to enter the U.S. after their fingerprints matched ones lifted by our military officials from papers found in Afghanistan caves.
Late last week, as the Washington Post first reported, Kennedy slipped a sneaky provision into the Senate's omnibus appropriations bill that would have completely cut off funding for the national security registration system.
Kennedy's legislative sabotage would have also forced Attorney General John Ashcroft to turn over to the Senate appropriations committee sensitive information, including all documents: "used in the creation of the NSEERS program, including any predecessor programs; assessing the effectiveness of the NSEERS program as a tool to enhance national security; used to determine the scope of the NSEERS program, including countries selected for the program, and the gender, age, and immigration status of the persons required to register under the program; regarding future plans to expand the NSEERS program to additional countries, age groups, women, and persons holding other immigration statuses not already covered; concerning policy directives or guidance issued to officials about implementation of NSEERS, including the role of the FBI in conducting national security background checks of registrants . . . and explaining how information gathered during interviews of registrants will be stored, used, or transmitted to other Federal, State, or local agencies.''
Kennedy tucked this piece of pro-terror mischief into an amendment, sponsored by Arizona's GOP Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl, aimed at restoring funding for a larger foreign visitor tracking system. That entry-exit system was mandated in 1996 and is supposed to be in place by 2005. Congressional sources told me it was a "mistake" that the Kennedy language defunding NSEERS was included. They blamed haphazardness and confusion during last-minute negotiations for the appalling oversight.
Translation: Somebody screwed up.
Kennedy's opposition to NSEERS is well-known. He signed a letter last month, along with Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., and Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., demanding that the program be suspended.
Immigration lawyers, ethnic lobbyists and civil liberties extremists aligned with Kennedy have been up in arms over NSEERS, despite the fact that the program is in line with alien registration systems around the world-and despite the fact that not a single illegal alien has actually been kicked out yet as a result of being caught through NSEERS.
Yes, you read that right. Although the program has successfully barred new criminal alien threats from entering America, NSEERS cannot overcome the broken deportation system supported by Kennedy and Company. "No one has been deported yet," Justice Department official and NSEERS expert Kris Kobach noted at a press briefing earlier this month. That's because the shadowy immigration court system of hearings and endless appeals enables illegal aliens and criminal aliens to be bonded or paroled out of federal custody during the deportation process-and then disappear. (Read more at www.deportaliens.com, run by an anonymous Justice Department whistleblower.)
NSEERS is worthless if this catch-and-release system remains in place. Teddy Kennedy and his staff know this dirty little secret. Will the Republicans ever get on the ball and fight back?