One of the quickest ways to discover which philosophy is guiding a federal official is to learn his or her stance of re-establishing "interior enforcement" in this country. That is, do they support the Immigration and Naturalization Service using all the tools now available to them through law to detect, detain and deport illegal aliens who have crossed the border and moved into the interior of the country?
And do they show openness to new ideas and funding to help the INS further disrupt the illegal immigration industry?
NumbersUSA testified before the House Subcommittee on Immigration about some of the steps that Congress and the INS can take to beef up interior enforcement and begin to turn the tide against mass illegal immigration. (Read testimony)
In closing, the testimony noted that the chairman of the Commission on Immigration Reform, the late Barbara Jordan, testified before this committee on Feb. 24, 1995. She said:
"Credibility in immigration policy can be summed up in one sentence: Those who should get in, get in; those who should be kept out, are kept out; and those who should not be here will be required to leave."
Roy Beck, executive director of NumbersUSA, went on to testify:
"This committee's oversight task is an incredibly important and challenging one because the INS currently is making virtually no effort to ensure that those who should not be here are required to leave.
"And because of that lack of interior enforcement, our amplified efforts on the border to ensure that 'those who should be kept out, are kept out' are failing. Around the world, the word is out: if you can succeed in evading the U.S. Border Patrol on your way in, and if you do not commit an aggravated felony once you travel a few miles into this country, you have virtually no chance of ever being forced to leave. With that kind of incentive, would-be illegal aliens around the world will do almost anything--including risking dying in the desert--to outmaneuver our Border Patrol.
"The general spirit of lawlessness in which so many communities find themselves tends to create a cycle of behavior that only moves the communities further toward anarchy. A leader of one group of citizens lamented that quiet homeowners after repeated frustration with the INS turned to the streets in public demonstrations outside their general experience: 'Citizens are forced to the streets to protest their own government because of its constructive abandonment of its duties to its citizens. Citizens are arrested while illegal aliens go about their business freely and act contrary to the law, with impunity.'
"On the border, citizens have drawn national news coverage for taking up arms and taking the law into their own hands as they defend their property from an invasion of sometimes a hundred illegal immigrants a day. These developments presage darker impulses that could be stirred. The abandonment of the enforcement of the law by the INS fans the embers of vigilantism that seem never to be fully extinguished in the spirits of human beings seeking a society of order over disorder.
"If this committee does not find a way to help the INS re-institute credible interior enforcement, the amount of money provided in the INS budget is of no particular consequence--except for the amount of the taxpayers' dollars that are being wasted."