An Action Plan for Securing America's Borders

October 11
, 2001

In the wake of Sept. 11, Rep. Tom Tancredo, the courageous leader of the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus, has been telling his fellow legislators that if they do not take action to secure America’s borders, they are not lax.  They are culpable.

Prior to the tragedy, immigration arguments revolved around economics – a limitless labor pool for Big Business, or politics – a new constituency for Big Government.  Now, the immigration debate centers on a single theme:  security.  Shocked to sense by the realization that terrorists live among us, in the immediate aftermath of the attacks it seemed that Washington might get serious about securing our borders.

Senator Dianne Feinstein told the New York Times that she was considering a bill to impose a six-month moratorium on student visas. Ted Kennedy introduced legislation to set up a foreign student tracking system accessible by the State Department, INS, FBI and CIA.  We got an office of Homeland Security and an Attorney General who vowed, “America will not allow terrorists to use our hospitality as a weapon against us.”

But that was all we got.  President Bush’s boldest proposal was deportation of foreign nationals suspected of terrorist activities and tracking technology for foreign students.  His spokesman maintains that despite the threat posed by 11 million illegal aliens in our midst, amnesty “is not dead.”  Attorney General Ashcroft has set up a task force – no doubt aspiring hijackers are trembling now – that will bar members of 46 terrorist organizations from entering the U.S.  As for that new Office of Homeland Security, Director Tom Ridge has made no mention of immigration reform.

Washington’s commitment to inaction continues, but the mood of the country has shifted.  Seventy-six percent of voters believe their government is not doing enough to control the border.  Eighty-five percent think lax enforcement of immigration laws allows terrorists to enter easily.  Americans want real immigration reform.  And so do we.

TAC President Bay Buchanan is speaking with elected officials and private organizations to combine our best ideas into an agenda for action – both at the national level and at the grassroots.  Included in this month’s issue, you’ll find a preview of our plan.  Take this tool, read it carefully, pass it on to your friends, and work with us to spread the word.

Our bleeding borders are now front lines in the war on terror, and we will not know homeland security until we commit to dramatic immigration reform.   

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