SEPTEMBER 17, 2007
Four months after illegal immigrants were caught plotting a deadly attack on a New Jersey Army base they easily accessed, a dozen illegal aliens have been arrested for working inside a Texas military installation.
The May plot on New Jerseyâ??s Ft. Dix exposed a serious security flaw that federal officials vowed to correct yet clearly havenâ??t. Because background checks are seldom conducted on civilians who regularly enter U.S. military bases, several illegal aliensâ??some with criminal pastsâ??frequently accessed Ft. Dix to plan the attack.
Evidently, little has changed in the way of background checks for those who regularly enter U.S. bases. This week, twelve illegal immigrants were arrested at Ft. Bliss in El Paso because authorities finally discovered that they lacked proper work permits.
The men were construction workers at Ft. Bliss and Biggs Army Airfield and were employed by four subcontractors that supposedly verified all workersâ?? identification and immigration status. Either the illegal aliens furnished false documents or the construction company did a poor job checking.
The bottom line is that about 650 employees from that same construction company work at Ft. Bliss daily and could very well represent a serious security threat. In the Ft. Dix plot, at least half of the terrorists were in the country illegally and simple checks could have discovered their immigration status as well as their criminal pasts.
The scare motivated several New Jersey lawmakers to push for legislation requiring criminal background and immigration checks on a federal database for all civilians seeking entrance to military bases. They claim to have proposed similar legislation after 21 illegal aliens were arrested for working at Ft. Dix in 2003 but the Department of Defense discouraged it and the law never passed.
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