DECEMBER 21, 2010
While the Obama Administration is busy controlling the American diet and bringing “environmental justice” to the inner city, it’s failing miserably to protect the nation from terrorists by allowing millions of travelers to enter the U.S. without proper identification.
For more than a year and a half, the Homeland Security agency charged with safeguarding the country’s borders has blown off a crucial measure that requires all travelers to provide a passport or secure identification before entering the United States. The security rule, known as the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, was implemented at the recommendation of the 9/11 Commission to protect the U.S. from another terrorist attack.
As of June 2009 all American, Canadian, Mexican and Bermudian citizens must provide a passport or other secure identification that establishes the traveler’s nationality and identity before entering the U.S. More than 18 months later, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers are not enforcing the law, which was passed by Congress in 2004 as part of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act.
In the first eight months after the law took effect, 2.3 million travelers failed to provide proper paperwork at U.S. land ports of entry, according to a Homeland Security Inspector General report made public this week. It turns out that CBP, which claims to protect the American public against terrorists and the instruments of terror, never really intended to enforce the law even though it’s received $365 million in the last two years to do it.
CBP internal policy divulged by auditors only requires travelers who provide “improper paperwork” multiple times to undergo added inspection. In fact the agency has not yet finalized the operating procedures its officers will use to verify the identity and citizenship of noncompliant travelers, according to the Homeland Security Inspector General. CPB officials claim that “other priorities” have precluded them from completing the operating procedures.
Checkpoints in Texas have the country’s lowest compliance rate, with more than 1.1 million people—one out of ten—arriving without proper identification.
Investigators state the obvious by writing that, until the document requirement is fully enforced, CPB, also known as “America’s frontline”, continues to “incur risk” that travelers falsely claiming to be citizens of the four countries will be admitted into the U.S. CBP officials say they are “evaluating methods” to enforce the security measure though they expressed concern about scrutinizing the “legitimate” traveler who is “uninformed, forgetful or impoverished.”
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