In our latest Liberty Update, we highlight how even some elements of the Biden Administration's wasteful…
CFIF on Twitter CFIF on YouTube
Image of the Day: Biden Wants U.S. to Suffer World's Highest Corporate Tax Rate

In our latest Liberty Update, we highlight how even some elements of the Biden Administration's wasteful spending blowout that actually do constitute "infrastructure" are nevertheless terrible ideas -- his broadband plan chief among them.  Along the way, we note in passing how part of Biden's plan includes returning the U.S. to the inglorious status of imposing the developed world's highest and least-competitive corporate tax, which the Tax Foundation illustrates nicely:

 

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="659"] Biden Plan Imposes World's Highest Tax Rate Upon U.S.[/caption]

 …[more]

April 19, 2021 • 10:53 AM

Liberty Update

CFIFs latest news, commentary and alerts delivered to your inbox.
Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
Boston Terrorism: An Immigration Wake-Up Call Print
By Troy Senik
Monday, April 22 2013
Protecting national security means that immigration reform will have to be a matter of intelligence, not just enforcement.

Of all the people to feel sorry for in the wake of last week’s terrorist attack in Boston, members of the United States Senate surely don’t even merit inclusion towards the bottom of the list.

The carnage that played out in one of America’s great cities was the sort of achingly poignant tragedy that makes talk of pedestrian politics seem simultaneously small and crass. No one was shedding any tears for camera-hungry Congressmen who lost airtime to the most dramatic act of terrorism within the nation’s borders since 9/11.

Now that the week of trauma is behind us, however – with one perpetrator dead and the other in custody – it’s becoming clear that the Bay State bombing has added some weight to the boulder of immigration reform that certain members of Congress are attempting to push uphill.

Last week the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” in the Senate – the public faces of a comprehensive reform proposal – had to delay the release of their bill in the wake of the Boston attack. This week, they may have to begin rethinking the enforcement aspect of it entirely.

The cause for this reconsideration is the identity of the two Boston attackers, brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokar Tsarnaev. After the murderous duo’s identities became public late in the week, it didn’t take long for the media to discover that they were the children of Chechen refugees granted asylum by the United States. In a grim irony, the younger brother, Dzhokar, had been naturalized as a U.S. citizen on September 11, 2012 – the day of the terrorist assault on Benghazi and the eleventh anniversary of the devastating Al Qaeda attacks against New York and Washington.

This is where things get sticky for the would-be reformers. The “Gang of Eight” has made much louder noises than their forebears about knowing exactly who’s in the country. They pledge to build stronger border fencing where necessary, get 90 percent control of the southern border with Mexico and implement a “check in, check out” system to monitor foreigners who’ve overstayed legally issued visas.

Not that these pledges are exactly ironclad. As Ben Domenech noted in his daily news digest, The Transom, “When it comes to securing the border: The bill attempts to define “High Risk Sectors,” those portions of the border where apprehensions of illegals are above 30k annually. (This is rife for abuse – a local jurisdiction could qualify as high risk simply by stepping up enforcement and local infrastructure.) It sets a mark of 90% effectiveness for those sectors before further reforms happen, based on the number of illegals apprehended vs. the number crossing, gliding right past the fact that this number is impossible to know and therefore will be thoroughly manipulated by the bureaucrats tasked with finding it.”

The “check in, check out” system is equally problematic. As the Center for Immigration Studies’ Mark Krikorian noted in a recent piece for U.S. News, “Congress required the development of such an entry-exit system 17 years ago. In fact, the demand to complete the system has been reiterated by Congress a total of six times since the original requirement in 1996. Is the seventh time supposed to be the charm?” Not exactly a small concern when you realize that approximately 40 percent of the nation’s illegal immigrants are here not via unlawful border crossings but through expired visas.

Now, implausibility is the not the same thing as impossibility. If the federal government really could get a handle on traffic in and out of the country – if the Southwest border really could get 90% under control and the visa system could reliably be monitored – the country would no doubt be the better for it. More power to the reformers on that front.

Still, these trends underscore how precious little we know about who is in the United States and for what reasons. The case of the Tsarnaev brothers – both of whom were in the county legally – only furthers the case. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older of the two brothers, had been interview by the FBI in 2011 on the basis of his possible ties to terrorism. The Department of Homeland Security subsequently turned down his citizenship application as a result. Yet despite that fact, he was allowed to stay in the country – and even to reenter after recently disappearing to Russia for six months.

Protecting national security means that immigration reform will have to be a matter of intelligence, not just enforcement. It’s inadequate to deal in terms of broad categories instead of individual biographies (how many terrorists – who are disproportionately disposed toward the engineering profession – would be nominally eligible for high-skilled visas, for example?). In an age where some of our most lethal enemies don’t wear uniforms, it’s essential to know the identity of each and every individual seeking entry to the United States.

Compassion in our immigration system is a noble ideal – but unless it’s tempered with caution and circumspection, it will continue to leave the nation vulnerable to harm. Apart from any other concerns about economics, culture, or human rights, immigration reform has to concern itself first and foremost with our national security interests. Any plan that falls short on that front will deserve defeat.

Quiz Question   
How many times in U.S. history has Congress changed the number of justices comprising the U.S. Supreme Court?
More Questions
Notable Quote   
 
"[N]o one should be surprised that union efforts to organize workers at Amazon failed so miserably. But labor leaders and their Democratic allies have a solution they believe will keep those union dues and political contributions flowing: a bill designed to prop up labor unions by making it far easier to coerce unwilling workers into unionizing. It's called the 'Protecting the Right to Organize Act…[more]
 
 
—Andy Puzder, Pepperdine University School of Public Policy Senior Fellow, Attorney, and Former CEO of CKE Restaurants
— Andy Puzder, Pepperdine University School of Public Policy Senior Fellow, Attorney, and Former CEO of CKE Restaurants
 
Liberty Poll   

Do you believe that Washington, D.C. (formally the District of Columbia) should be granted statehood?