Magazine article Insight on the News

Dismissing the Dangers of Illegal Immigration. (Fair Comment)

Magazine article Insight on the News

Dismissing the Dangers of Illegal Immigration. (Fair Comment)

Article excerpt

The Wall Street Journal editorial page is a reliable beacon of truth and common sense--except when it conies to immigration. The open-borders zealotry of the newspaper's editorial writers has led to positively Clintonian rationalizations for undermining the rule of law and endangering national security.

In an Aug. 1 editorial, "The GOP's Immigration Fumble," the Journal writes about the recent pandering of House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.) before the National Council of La Raza in Miami. The editorial staff isn't upset that Gephardt and his fellow ethnic exploiters want to reward massive law-breaking by granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. Nooo, the Journal is upset with conservatives who oppose cravenly abandoning U.S. immigration laws in exchange for support from Hispanic voters.

The editorial attacks "a minority of restrictionist Republicans" and "a sympathetic conservative press" for fighting the extension of the Section 245(i) program, which President George W. Bush unsuccessfully crusaded for in the spring and which he, Gephardt, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and La Raza continue to push for today.

The recently expired program lets certain foreign applicants for legal permanent residency pay a $1,000 fee to process their paperwork in the United States instead of returning to their native countries for greater scrutiny of their criminal backgrounds. This allows applicants to bypass a 1996 federal law barring illegal aliens from re-entering the United States for as many as 10 years. To downplay the criminal nature of most of the program's beneficiaries, the Journal claims it "applied only to immigrants who entered the country legally on a visa that had expired or was about to."

That is an outright falsehood. As an Immigration and Naturalization Service information sheet (available on the Web at publicaffairs/questsans/life245iq&a. htm) states, those covered by the provision include not "only" those applicants whose visas expired--a category that covers the likes of illegal visa overstayers such as Sept. 11 hijackers Hani Hanjour, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Satam al-Suqami--but also individuals who:

* entered the United States illegally (such as New York subway-bombing conspirators Gazi Ibrahim Abu Mezer and Lafi Khalil or millennium-bombing conspirators Ahmed Ressam, Abdelghani Meskini and Abdel Hakim Tizegha);

* worked in the United States illegally (such as several of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers);

* failed to maintain continuously lawful status (for example, Sept. …

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