Kenneth Palinkas, the head of the union that represents more 12,000 officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) bureau, says that terrorists from ISIS and other extremists are likely to try to exploit the immigration system that President Barack Obama has systematically weakened for over the past several years.
Palinkas, an immigration official himself, speaking on behalf of those other immigration officials, said it is a serious threat that ISIS “has already or will soon slip across our porous southern border” but also may “exploit” the weakened interior enforcement of immigration laws to get in and attack the U.S.
“The National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council represents 12,000 dedicated immigration caseworkers and adjudicators who are on the front lines in the fight to keep terrorists out of the United States,” Palinkas said in the statement, obtained by Breitbart News. The statement went on:
In addition to the extremely real and serious threat that ISIS has already or will soon slip across our porous southern border, it is also essential to warn the public about the threat that ISIS will exploit our loose and lax visa policies to gain entry to the United States. Indeed, as we know from the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, from the 9/11 terrorist attacks, from the Boston Bombing, from the recent plot to bomb a school and courthouse in Connecticut, and many other lesser-known terror incidents, we are letting terrorists into the United States right through our front door.
Palinkas said the immigration officials for the federal government that he represents are understaffed and don’t have the resources they need to effectively weed out terrorists. As a result, he said that people who may become terrorists and radicalized are already inside America. Palinkas said:
Unfortunately – and perilously overlooked in Washington – our caseworkers are denied the urgent professional resources, enforcement tools, and mission support we need to keep out those who are bent on doing us harm. In fact, this Administration has widened the loopholes that terrorists could use to gain entry to the United States through our asylum system. The Administration has also blocked our partners in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from enforcing visa overstays. The 9/11 hijackers got into the U.S. on visas and now, 13 years later, we have around 5 million immigrants in the United States who overstayed their visas – many from high-risk regions in the Middle East. Making matters more dangerous, the Obama Administration’s executive amnesty, like S. 744 that he unsuccessfully lobbied for, would legalize visa overstays and cause millions additionally to overstay – raising the threat level to America even higher. There is no doubt that there are already many individuals in the United States, on visas – expired or active – who are being targeted for radicalization or who already subscribe to radicalized views.
Judicial Watch, a government accountability and transparency group, found that senior officials from various law enforcement agencies warn ISIS is operating in Ciudad Juarez just on the other side of the border in El Paso, Texas, and plans to attack the U.S. from there. In a New York Times article this week, the Obama administration tried to push back on that idea, however.
“There is no credible intelligence to suggest that there is an active plot by ISIL to attempt to cross the southern border,” DHS officials told the Times in a “written statement” that uses “ISIL” instead of “ISIS,” a different acronym for the terrorists.
But Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton told Breitbart News that he’s confident Judicial Watch is right–and now the head of a union of immigration agents is confirming it.
“Our reporting has withstood the test of time and been confirmed – directly and indirectly – repeatedly by this administration,” Fitton said. “I encourage any American to read The New York Times today and decide for themselves if there is a threat. I can tell you that the civilian and military personnel doing the frantic work of protecting American lives from a terror attack on the border are pleased the word is out.”
Palinkas noted that the president’s changes in immigration policy that essentially prohibit immigration agents like the ones he represents from enforcing interior immigration laws mean that USCIS, the agency he works for, is like a “rubber stamp” for illegal immigration. He concluded:
Many millions come legally to the U.S. through our wide open immigration policy every year – whether as temporary visitors, lifetime immigrants, refugees, asylum-seekers, foreign students, or recipients of our ‘visa waiver program’ which allows people to come and go freely. Yet our government cannot effectively track these foreign visitors and immigrants. And those who defraud authorities will face no consequence at all in most cases. Our caseworkers cannot even do in-person interviews for people seeking citizenship, they cannot enforce restrictions on welfare use, and they even lack even the basic office space to properly function. Applications for entry are rubber-stamped, the result of grading agents by speed rather than discretion. We’ve become the visa clearinghouse for the world.