Organ Pipe Park Tours Now Include Armed Guards

This is your outdoor vacation on open borders: armed guards currently accompany and protect nature enthusiasts visiting Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.

Organ Pipe is an infamous site of border crime, where Park Ranger Kris Eggle was murdered in 2002 by a Mexican drug smuggler. Even before that, in 2001 Organ Pipe was named as the most dangerous park for rangers in the national park system in a survey conducted by the Fraternal Order of Police.

Apparently the border area is no safer now than a decade ago, judging by the firepower needed to protect Americans exploring a desert parkland bordering crime-infested Mexico. DHS Secretary Napolitano has maintained that the border is “as secure now as it has ever been,” a statement which the facts belie.

Armed guards ensuring safety of Organ Pipe tours, Arizona Star, March 18, 2012

QUITOBAQUITO – It was a tour of public lands with splendid scenery, a glib guide – and lethal firepower on hand just in case.

The tour last week – to Quitobaquito Spring at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument south of Ajo – was guarded by federal officers armed with assault rifles and other weapons.


“It’s because of the perception that exposure to human and narcotics smugglers is a bad thing for the visiting public,” said Matthew Vandzura, chief ranger at the monument on the Mexican border.

Sardius Stalker, a seasonal park ranger who led last week’s tour, put it another way: “It’s like going into a bad neighborhood” where protection by “armed escorts” is essential.

A quick glance back in time can help explain the need for armed protection on a public park tour.

The Quitobaquito site – a natural oasis in the desert fed by a gushing spring – and many other parts of the 330,689-acre monument have been closed to the public without escorts for much of the past decade. Continue reading this article

Study: Mexico Is Becoming More Middle Class

I’ve been saying for years that Mexico is a wealthy country, with its consistent #14 score in national GDP rankings and assortment of billionaires like numero uno Carlos Slim.

Now a new study is out from the Wilson Center (Mexico: A Middle Class Society, Poor No More, Developed Not Yet), arguing that Mexico is becoming a middle class society. For example, the average number of years in school has increased since 1976, from 4.8 years to 8.3 years in  2006. Housing is becoming more spacious. Women account for 45 percent of the labor force. Additional young people are attending college, and family size has shrunk to a more economically manageable 2.3 kids.

The Washington Post even quoted a Mexican economist remarking “Mexico is now a middle-class country, which means we don’t have any excuse anymore.”

Now if only Mexico would react accordingly to its new economic improvement and end its demands for handouts and open borders from America. Right, that’ll happen.

Mexico’s middle class is becoming its majority, Washington Post, March 17, 2012

QUERETARO, Mexico — A wary but tenacious middle class is fast becoming the majority in Mexico, breaking down the rich-poor divide in a profound demographic transformation that has far-reaching implications here and in the United States.

Although many Mexicans and their neighbors to the north still imagine a country of downtrodden masses dominated by a wealthy elite, the swelling ranks of the middle class are crowding new Wal-Marts, driving Nissan sedans and maxing out their Banamex credit cards.

The members of this class are not worried about getting enough to eat. They’re worried that their kids are eating too much.

“As hard as it is for many of us to accept, Mexico is now a middle-class country, which means we don’t have any excuse anymore. We have to start acting like a middle-class country,” said Luis de la Calle, an economist, former undersecretary of trade in the Mexican government and the co-author of a new report called “Mexico: A Middle Class Society, Poor No More, Developed Not Yet.”

The stereotype is no longer an illegal immigrant hustling for day labor outside a Home Depot in Phoenix. The new Mexican is the overscheduled soccer dad shopping for a barbecue grill inside a Home Depot in booming Mexican cities like Queretaro. Continue reading this article

Norway: Future Islamization Is Calculated

In another report about Islam’s conquest-by-immigration of Europe, the estimate is that Oslo, Norway’s capital city, will be half “immigrant” by 2040. (The word “Muslim” seems to be verboten in politically correct Norway, but that is the meaning.) Islamic residents have shown little interest in assimilation and in some instances are downright unfriendly:

In response to the figures, Oslo’s current mayor thinks increased Islamic diversity is just fine:

Oslo mayor welcomes immigrant boom, The Local, March 14, 2012

Oslo’s mayor Fabian Stang has said he is unconcerned by statistics showing that immigrants will make up half of Oslo’s population three decades from now.

His reaction stood in stark contrast to that of Progress Party leader Siv Jensen, who immediately called for tighter restrictions on immigration when Statistics Norway published its projections on Tuesday. [. . .]

Easy for Mayor Stang to say. He’s an elite male riding around in the back of a limo, and is unlikely to be attacked by Muslim rape gangs, as young Norwegian women are.

Indeed, the Islamicized future created by Muslim immigration looks particularly dangerous for Scandinavian women, as noted by human rights activist Hege Storhaug during a Canadian speaking tour last year (see LTG’s blog Human Rights Advocate Discusses Muslim Immigration in Norway):

When asked about safety for women now that so many Muslims live in Scandinavia, she replied, “There is no doubt that the freedom, the level of freedom I had as a young woman, young women in Norway will not have, and don’t have actually today and they will not have it in the future, as far as I can see. So the freedom for women in Europe is going backwards.”

“Girls in school, they are mocked by Muslim boys and they dye their hair black, yes. Blondes are dying their hair black, that is correct. And some of them also move to other parts of Oslo to be let alone.”

More on the problem of Muslim violence against European women in this video:

Here’s the demographic item mentioned above:

Half of Oslo dwellers immigrants by 2040, The Local, March 13, 2012

Immigrants are set to make up almost half of Oslo’s population by 2040, according to Statistics Norway, new figures show, prompting an immediate call for more restrictive immigration policies from Progress Party leader Siv Jensen.

In less than 30 years from now, 70 percent of the Norwegian capital’s first and second generation immigrants will have their roots in countries outside the 30-member European Economic Area, Statistics Norway said.

The study, the first ever projection of immigration trends to be published in Norway, shows that the largest cities will also see the biggest upsurge in immigrant numbers.

Immigrants are defined in the statistics as either people who have either moved to Norway from another country, or the Norway-born children of two first-generation immigrants.

According to Statistics Norway’s most likely scenario, Oslo’s immigrant population will rise from today’s 28 percent to 47 percent in 2040. Continue reading this article

Sharia Invaders in Belgium Declare Their Intentions

In Brussels, the capital of Europe, hostile Muslims are pleased with their progress in implementing totalitarian misogynous sharia law. They got a foothold via immigration and use their polygamous families producing mass quantities of children as a force multiplier of population. Dale Hurd of CBN was on the spot asking tough questions of fundies who plan on Muslim Belgistan in the near future — and got undisguised answers about intent. Friends of Western Civilization are glum under the demographic bulldozer of jihadist diversity:

Muslim immigration is a form of national and cultural suicide. Why does America continue with welcoming likely enemies when the European disaster is so clear?

Belgistan? Sharia Showdown Looms in Brussels, CBN News, By Dale Hurd, March 15, 2012

BRUSSELS and ANTWERP — Brussels is the capital of Europe. But some are now calling it the Muslim capital of Europe.

The graffiti on a building in Belgium says it all: “Welcome to ‘Belgistan.” Muslims are still a minority in Belgium, but in the capital of Brussels, they’re already the largest religious group, comprising one-quarter of the city’s population.

In less than 20 years they’re expected to be the majority.


The most confrontational Muslim group here is Sharia4Belgium.

Many don’t take the small group seriously. But Sharia4Belgium head Fouad Belkacem, alias Abu Imran, sounded very serious when he told CBN News he expects Muslims to dominate Belgium and the world.

“The Sharia will dominate,” Imran said. “We believe Sharia will be implemented worldwide.” [. . .]

Sharia4Belgium is a public relations nightmare for those Muslim groups that try to play down their ties to radicalism and Sharia law.

Imran was completely open with CBN News, saying Islam and Sharia law are inseparable, and that democracy is evil.

“Sharia is Islam, to be clear,” he said. “There is no difference between Islam and Sharia, it’s just a name.”

“Democracy is the opposite of Sharia and Islam,” he said. “We believe Allah is the legislator. Allah makes the laws. He decides what is allowed and what is forbidden.”

CBN News asked Imran about self-described “democratic Muslims” who are against the extreme parts of Sharia law.

“That’s really funny when I hear someone say I was speaking to a ‘democratic Muslim,'” he replied. Continue reading this article

New Orleans Gets Alabama Alien Discharge

Attention! States with neighbors that have their own tough immigration laws: you will be stuck with the illegal alien fleebies if you are seen as a doormat.

Sadly, the “Big Easy” has seen an uptick of foreign pests because the city leaves aliens alone, and next-door Alabama has chased them out with its state enforcement. Louisiana did nothing to kick out the aliens who came to mooch jobs after the Katrina disaster, and they never left New Orleans. Some of the tribe like to call it Nuevo Orleans, to mark territory and announce they are pleased to occupy another American city.

Now more are coming from Alabama, illustrating once again that enforcement works.

New Orleans Draws Illegal Immigrants: Alabama’s Restrictive Laws Push Immigrants West, CNN, March 14, 2012

NEW ORLEANS (CNN) — Humberto Guzman drove big rigs in Alabama for two months. As an undocumented immigrant from Honduras, he feared being deported everyday.

“The police would come after us a lot,” Guzman said. “Where we parked was the problem because they always asked us for our papers.”

Last week, two more parts of Alabama’s tough immigration law, which makes it more difficult for illegal immigrants to live and work in the state, were blocked by a federal appeals court. Another piece, requiring schools to check the immigration status of students, was put on hold last year. The entire law is being challenged by the federal government and activist groups.

Anticipating the worst, around the beginning of the year, Guzman packed his belongings and headed for Louisiana. He was familiar with the state. In 2005, after Hurricane Katrina, illegal immigrants like Guzman flocked to the city. They came in droves, drawn by the high paying jobs.

“Louisiana is a state where [police] don’t bother you. Over [in Alabama], you can’t even eat in peace,” Guzman said of the reason why he chose to come to the state, instead of stopping in Mississippi on his drive-in from Alabama. “The governor from here has been very kind to us…and he’s Republican!” Continue reading this article

Santorum Supports Puerto Rican Statehood (with English)

What is it with Republican candidates and their odd fascination with Puerto Rican statehood? Mitt Romney expressed support for the proposal in January while speech-making in Miami, and Gingrich was a statehooder back when he was Speaker and was launching his habit of hispandering politics.

The idea is an uninformed, foolish hope to entice “hispanics” to become attracted to the Republican party. But Puerto Ricans are their own unique tribe and have little in common with Mexicans who are the majority of Spanish-speakers in the US. Republicans cheerleading the statehood issue will not convince amnesty-obsessed Mexicans to go conservative. Mexicans are culturally inclined toward big government and fit better with Democrats, despite all the silly talk of hispanics being “natural conservatives.”

Rick Santorum pinned a tail on the Puerto Rico statehood donkey, but with a major proviso — that a future state would have to embrace official English. That’s no small requirement when 95 percent of Puerto Ricans are Spanish speakers. Unsurprisingly, the Puerto Ricans think the condition of accepting America’s English language is a rude affront to their hispanic culture.

Furthermore, Puerto Rico admitted as a state would be a Trojan horse of eventual official Spanish bilingualism in the United States, and must be avoided.

Santorum: Puerto Rico Must Adopt English If It Wants Statehood, NPR, March 14, 2012

Rick Santorum waded into a controversial issue today when he gave an interview to El Vocero, one of the biggest newspapers in Puerto Rico.

The issue? The island’s primary language.

The paper asked the former Pennsylvania senator if he would back Puerto Rican statehood if Spanish along with English remained its official languages.

“Like any other state, there has to be compliance with this and any other federal law,” Santorum told the paper. “And that is that English has to be the principal language. There are other states with more than one language such as Hawaii but to be a state of the United States, English has to be the principal language.”

Univision News reports that the language question has been long simmering. Univision points out that this is yet another issue that could put the GOP in a harsh light for the Latino electorate and could also complicate Republican politics in the state. Continue reading this article

Deluxe Detention Center Opens in Texas

Last year the federal government announced its plans for deluxe detention facilities for invasive foreigners (see Coming Soon from Obama: Illegal Alien Detention Centers with Continental Breakfasts).

That future is here, with a spiffy new detention center opening soon in Texas, and ICE honchos recently invited the media for a tour to show how much the agency had rolled over for Raza’s demands of cushy treatment for lawbreakers. (Actually, a comfy detention center opened last year in Florence, Arizona, so the new one is not unique.)

Below, the courtyard of the Karnes County Detention Center has picnic tables with gazebos providing shade from the hot sun of south Texas.

Our tax dollars at work!

Notably, ICE official Gary Mead remarked, “It was never our authority or our responsibility to punish people or correct their behavior.”

Whoa, isn’t it the government’s job to impose negative reinforcement on lawbreakers? Why should illegal aliens stop invading America when they are treated like hotel guests? The detention center (with a soccer field and gym) is certainly nicer than their home digs.

Punishment is absolutely warranted for foreign job thieves. Sheriff Joe Arpaio does a good job of making invaders feel unwelcome, as shown below.

Trying To Make Immigrant Detention Less Like Prison, NPR, March 14, 2012

Just off the side of the road in rural southern Texas is a large beige building that looks a lot like a prison. Fences and tall walls mark the outside. Inside, the doors slam and people sit in control booths at the end of long concrete hallways.

But just a little farther into the facility, the door opens to a courtyard in the center of the complex, and there, things begin to change. There’s a soccer field, a pavilion and a gymnasium. There’s also a walk-up pharmacy and commissary. All of it is guarded by officers in polo shirts.

This is the federal government’s new plan for immigrant detention — facilities built to make detention feel less like prison.

“It was never our authority or our responsibility to punish people or correct their behavior,” said Gary Mead, who is in charge of enforcement and removal operations for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “Our authority is only to facilitate removal. So we have to treat them very differently than how the state prison system or county jail system would treat people in their custody.”

The facility is empty now, but within a month as many as 600 immigrant detainees will fill the rooms that line the courtyard. They will sleep eight to a room with a private bath, and they will be allowed to move about the facility largely unescorted.

This place is three years in the making, and it’s a significant departure from ICE’s other facilities, which critics charge are excessively harsh and lacking sufficient oversight. This facility is for low-level detainees — immigrants who have been picked up in sweeps or those seeking political asylum. For the most part, they are nonviolent people who haven’t committed any crimes, except for overstaying a visa or crossing the border illegally.

Some will be deported quickly. Others will stay for months or longer as they press their cases in an often lengthy court process.

In the meantime, Gary Mead says, they will have access to the facility’s library and can have daily visits with family — a marked contrast to other facilities.

“We have listened to and heard stakeholders across the spectrum in terms of the need to reform our system,” Mead said. “We took them seriously, and that’s what we’re doing.” Continue reading this article

France: Sarkozy Polling Up after He Promises Immigration Reduction

It’s funny how immigration enforcement has become something of a third rail in politics, where candidates fear to tread, but when politicians really want votes, they pipe up with statements favoring law and borders.

Hey, a message of tough immigration enforcement worked to get John McCain reelected to the Senate after tacking Mexican and pro-amnesty during his Presidential campaign.

In France, President Sarkozy has been gaining ground by suggesting that family-reunification immigration by decreased by half along with other crackdown measures, according to recent polling.

French voters may favor less Muslim immigration after years of street violence (even in small towns) like the Grenoble car-burning shown below.

France’s Sarkozy vows to get tough on immigration, Washington Post, March 11, 2012

PARIS — President Nicolas Sarkozy, running from behind for reelection, pledged Sunday to pull France out of Europe’s 25-nation visa-free zone unless border controls are tightened to prevent illegal immigrants from sneaking in to find jobs.

The pledge, at a boisterous rally with 80,000 supporters in a Paris suburb, marked the latest in a series of campaign promises designed to appeal to conservative and nationalistic French voters by choking off long-controversial legal and illegal immigration into France.

It was part of a no-holds-barred effort by Sarkozy to raise his standing with voters before the two-round ballot scheduled for April 22 and May 6. The president, finishing a first five-year term, has been running steadily behind his main adversary, Francois Hollande of the Socialist Party, in months of polling, leading his followers to worry out loud that he could lose.

In the pressure cooker of the campaign, immigration repeatedly has flared as an emotional issue in a country already uncomfortable with more than 5 million Muslims — many are French citizens, others fresh arrivals — who live here legally or under the radar and are increasingly visible in a society deeply rooted in Christian tradition.

The latest flareup involved halal meat, or meat prepared according to Islamic tradition. The far-right National Front candidate, Marine Le Pen, attracted attention by saying it was being widely sold to unknowing French families. Sarkozy at first dismissed the claim as frivolous. But then, sensing an opening to gain right-wing votes, he demanded that all meat be labeled with the method according to which the animal was slaughtered.

In the same vein, Sarkozy promised last week to cut by half the number of immigrants allowed into the country under rules designed to bring families together. The Interior Ministry, headed by a close Sarkozy lieutenant, Claude Gueant, reported in January that 12,613 residence permits were granted in 2011 for family reunification, down 14 percent from the previous year. Continue reading this article

Scott Gardner Act Is Re-Introduced in Congress

I was sorry to hear of Rep Sue Myrick’s announced retirement. She has been an outstanding leader on the issues of hostile Islam and defending the public from dangerous illegal aliens.

One of Rep Myrick’s signature bills has been the Scott Gardner Act, named after a North Carolina teacher (pictured) who was killed by a serial drunk-driving illegal alien in 2005. Scott’s wife Tina remains in a vegetative state since the hit-and-run crash. Their two children have effectively been made orphans. The drunk driver, Ramiro Gallegos, had five prior arrests but had not been deported.

Under the legislation, convicted illegal alien drunk drivers would be repatriated. As Rep Myrick has said, “You’re drunk, you’re driving, you’re illegal, you’re deported, period.”

Republican Myrick was joined by Democrat Congressman Mike McIntyre in submitting the Scott Gardner Act:

Scott Gardner Act reintroduced in Congress, News 14 Carolina, March 7, 2012

GASTON COUNTY–The tragic story of a Gaston County teacher killed by a drunk driver nearly seven years ago once again is front and center of a national controversy on illegal immigration.

Representatives Sue Myrick and Mike McIntyre re-introduced the Scott Gardner Act. The Act is named after a Mount Holly resident who was killed by a three-time convicted drunk driver who was in the country illegally in Brunswick County in 2005.

The Gardner Act would require an immediate arrest and deportation for any illegal immigrant convicted of drinking and driving. Critics of the bill say it would only encourage racial profiling. That’s part of the reason the three previous versions never made it into law.

“To think that he would be allowed to go back on the highway again, and again, and again, and again, and again is outrageous and it cost cost Gardner his life, wife in vegetative state, kids don’t have parents,” said Rep. Mike McIntyre.

Family members are not impressed that it has taken such a long time for action to be taken. In response to the Gardner act being re-introduced, Gardner’s mother, Emily Moose said in a statement: The family as a whole is disgusted the Federal government has not done anything after several years of watching people suffer and die. They are disheartened the Federal government now wants to do something to stop this crime.

The bill needs to be voted on by the Subcommittee on Immigration policy and enforcement before moving on for further consideration.

Illegal Alien Gets Short Sentence for Killing Missouri Mother and Daughter

It’s sad to see lax plea deals arranged in serious cases where deaths are involved, but that was the reason behind the sentence of only 15 years in the drunk-driving crash that took the lives of Diane Bronson and her daughter Anna. The two were killed in a head-on smash-up with illegal alien Mexican Felix Solano-Gallardo who was driving in the wrong lane for an estimated 14 miles and had a blood alcohol level of twice the legal amount. An earlier news report noted that Solano-Gallardo could have gotten a sentence of up to 35 years.

Below, Diane and Anna Bronson were killed as they drove to meet family members for a Fourth of July celebration.

The video below mentions that the prosecution asked for 68 years imprisonment. Buddy Bronson, Diane’s husband and Anna’s dad, did not believe justice was served with such a lenient sentence.

Drunken driver sentenced to 15 years for killing Belton mom, daughter, Kansas City Star, March 09, 2012

A Jackson County judge sentenced a 19-year-old Mexican man Friday to 15 years in prison for driving drunk and killing a Belton woman and her 11-year-old daughter.

Felix Solano-Gallardo admitted in January that he was driving the wrong way on Interstate 435 near 63rd Street when he crashed into a car carrying Diane Bronson, 44, and her daughter, Anna Bronson.

He also admitted that his blood-alcohol level that day was more than twice the legal limit.

Solano-Gallardo could have received up to 30 years in prison under his plea agreement. He received two 15-year sentences, which will run concurrently.

Police said they believed Solano-Gallardo had been driving the wrong way for at least 14 miles because they think he ran a driver off of Interstate 70 into a concrete median near Harrison Street earlier. The victim told police the driver drove at him from one side of the highway to the other and appeared to be trying to hit him, police said.

At least nine motorists called 911 to complain about a wrong-way driver on I-70 or I-435 that morning. Continue reading this article

Primatologists: Chimps Enforce Social Cohesion with Police

There are various lessons one might glean from the recent research showing that chimp groups have members who act as police to settle squabbles and keep the social order. One educational takeaway might be that even primates are smart enough to promote group unity and not to celebrate diversity.

Previous research has shown that group identity among primates is strong, so this latest report is not surprising.

Interestingly, it’s high-status chimps that end up negotiating the guidelines of traditional behavior, something our own leaders might observe.

Chimpanzees Have Police Officers, Too, ScienceDaily, March 7, 2012

Chimpanzees are interested in social cohesion and have various strategies to guarantee the stability of their group. Anthropologists now reveal that chimpanzees mediate conflicts between other group members, not for their own direct benefit, but rather to preserve the peace within the group. Their impartial intervention in a conflict — so-called “policing” — can be regarded as an early evolutionary form of moral behavior.

Conflicts are inevitable wherever there is cohabitation. This is no different with our closest relatives, the chimpanzees. Sound conflict management is crucial for group cohesion. Individuals in chimpanzee communities also ensure that there is peace and order in their group. This form of conflict management is called “policing” — the impartial intervention of a third party in a conflict. Until now, this morally motivated behavior in chimpanzees was only ever documented anecdotally.

However, primatologists from the University of Zurich can now confirm that chimpanzees intervene impartially in a conflict to guarantee the stability of their group. They therefore exhibit prosocial behavior based on an interest in community concern.

The more parties to a conflict there are, the more policing there is
The willingness of the arbitrators to intervene impartially is greatest if several quarrelers are involved in a dispute as such conflicts particularly jeopardize group peace. The researchers observed and compared the behavior of four different captive chimpanzee groups. At Walter Zoo in Gossau, they encountered special circumstances: “We were lucky enough to be able to observe a group of chimpanzees into which new females had recently been introduced and in which the ranking of the males was also being redefined. The stability of the group began to waver. This also occurs in the wild,” explains Claudia Rudolf von Rohr, the lead author of the study.

High-ranking arbitrators
Not every chimpanzee makes a suitable arbitrator. It is primarily high-ranking males or females or animals that are highly respected in the group that intervene in a conflict. Otherwise, the arbitrators are unable to end the conflict successfully. As with humans, there are also authorities among chimpanzees. “The interest in community concern that is highly developed in us humans and forms the basis for our moral behavior is deeply rooted. It can also be observed in our closest relatives,” concludes Rudolf von Rohr.

Homeland Security Committee Considers Visa Overstays

Since an estimated 40 percent of illegal aliens are visa overstayers rather than unlawful border crossers, it would make sense for Congress to put some resources into that area.

In addition, overstaying visas has been a popular entrance style for terrorists from 9/11 to the present (e.g. the Moroccan aspiring jihadist Amine el Khalifi). In fact, more than 36 visa overstayers have been convicted of terrorism-related charges since 2001, so national security concerns should compel Congress to get serious about tracking foreigners in this country. Better late than never, we citizens may think.

With this background in mind, the House Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security held a hearing March 6 titled “From the 9/11 Hijackers to Amine el-Khalifi: Terrorists and the Visa Overstay Problem.”

Here’s a clip from the opening statement of Chair Candice Miller:

Note the positive mention of Secure Communities in the article following, a program which has received a lot of criticism from the open-borders gang.

System for tracking visa overstays is almost ready, Associated Press, March 6, 2012

The Department of Homeland Security is finalizing its plan for a biometric data system to track when immigrants leave the United States and will present it to Congress within “weeks,” a top department official told a House Homeland Security subcommittee Tuesday.

An exit system to track who is leaving the country and when has been sought since before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. DHS officials, including Secretary Janet Napolitano, have agreed with the need for such a program but previously have said it would be too costly.

John Cohen, the department’s deputy counterterrorism coordinator, did not discuss the cost in his testimony about the problem of immigrants who overstay visas. He said the department’s report to Congress will explain how DHS plans to better determine who has overstayed his or her visa.

The criminal case against Amine El Khalifi, 29, of Alexandria, accused in an alleged bomb plot against the U.S. Capitol, has renewed the debate about how the U.S. government – a decade after the terror attacks of 2001 – routinely fails to track millions of foreign visitors who remain in the country longer than they are allowed. El Khalifi was arrested in a parking lot, wearing what he thought was an explosive-laden suicide vest. He had been living illegally in the United States for 12 years.

The Obama administration doesn’t consider deporting people whose only offense is overstaying a visa a priority. It has focused immigration enforcement efforts on people who have committed serious crimes or are considered a threat to public or national security.

Mr. Cohen said improvements in how data from immigrants is collected and stored has made it easier for law enforcement to identify visa overstays and determine if they pose a threat to national security or public safety.

Rep. Candice S. Miller, Michigan Republican, who led Tuesday’s hearing, said El Khalifi “follows a long line of terrorists, including several of the 9/11 hijackers, who overstayed their visa and went on to conduct terror attacks.” His tourist visa expired the same year he arrived from his native Morocco as a teenager in 1999.

She said 36 people who overstayed visas have been convicted of terrorism-related charges since 2001.

“We have to recognize that we do have this problem,” Ms. Miller said. “The truth is, in the 40[th] percentile of all the illegal [immigrants] are in this country on expired visas. They came in right through the front door.”

El Khalifi, who is charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, never came to the attention of federal law enforcement agencies even after a series of minor run-ins with police in Northern Virginia from 2002 to 2006, including disobeying a traffic sign and speeding. Programs that could have identified him if he had been jailed by local authorities, including the Secure Communities program, which shares fingerprints from local jails with the FBI, were not in place at the time.

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