Lax immigration policies responsible for Sept. 11, other terrorist attacks

There has got to be something weird in California’s drinking water.

In most states, when someone is caught doing something illegal, the judicial system punishes them with jail time, a fine or a mandate to do something (community service, leave the country or avoid contact with John Doe).

But the University of California’s Board of Regents decided last week to reward illegal immigrants by allowing them to pay in-state tuition. The same policy already is in place at California state university campuses and community colleges.

The Regents’ new policy requires illegal immigrants to apply to become legal citizens before they can pay lower tuition. They’re looking at this backwards. Those who are in our country legally and are California citizens should pay the lower in-state tuition. Those that are here illegally shouldn’t receive perks for breaking our laws.

The university is setting out a welcome doormat, inviting the rest of the world to illegally show up in California and get educated. At the same time, there are legal American citizens attending school in California who will be forced to drop out because they can’t afford the tuition.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service is clearly the root of this problem. If the INS did its job, there would be no illegal immigrants putting a strain on California’s taxpayers.

Our immigration policy has been spinning out of control for decades. According to The Washington Post, the number of illegal immigrants in the United States has increased from about three million in 1993 to about 10 million today.

When I visited my uncle, who lives in southern California, I saw yellow signs along the 16-lane freeway called freeway pedestrian warning signs. It said, “Caution,” across the top and then showed the figures of a man, woman and child running.

This sign doesn’t mean child abductors operate in this area. The signs warn motorists that the checkpoint about a mile up the road often causes vanloads of illegal immigrants to ditch their vehicle and flee. This illustrates the scale of the problem because they wouldn’t have special road signs if it didn’t occur on a regular basis.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform has a list of examples of major INS failures. The most obvious failure is the Sept. 11 attack, which was partly plotted by undocumented immigrants on US soil.

The Washington Post reported 15 of the 19 suspects in the hijackings were here on expired tourist or work visas. In fact, on Jan. 10, hijacker Mohamed Atta was allowed back into the country through the Miami airport even though his tourist visa had expired.

Sept. 11 wasn’t the first time illegal immigrants attacked the World Trade Center. Egyptians and Palestinians who took part in the 1993 attack came to the United States without visas. Due to lack of detention space, they were permitted to enter provisionally after asking for asylum.

According to FAIR, several Palestinians and Pakistanis were arrested in 1997 when police discovered they had bombs and a note indicating they planned to attack New York City’s subway system.

One had been caught three times trying to enter the country illegally from Canada and the Canadians refused to take him back on his third try. A judge ordered him to leave the United States in 60 days, but released him in the meantime. Another entered on a tourist visa but stayed on after it expired.

If Sept. 11 doesn’t cause the INS to finally get serious about solving our illegal immigration problem, nothing will.

According to The Boston Globe, a poll taken late last year found that 84 percent of Americans believe the United States should have tighter visa restrictions for foreign students and visitors.

It’s unfortunate that foreign exchange students probably will have a few more hassles to deal with when they come here. But the bastards who pulled off the Sept. 11 attacks took advantage of our fairly open borders, so we can’t afford to go back to a lax immigration policy.