Saturday, May 21, 2005

EQUAL TIME: Mark Krikorian calls 'Secure America' the last stand of the open borders lobby

Problem offered as solution in new 'old' plan

Like the telemarketer who bilks a widow then comes back in different guise to "help" her get her money back, the anti-borders crowd that created today's immigration crisis is offering as a solution the policies that got us in this mess in the first place.

The essence of the John McCain-Ted Kennedy bill is the same as the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act: amnesty up front for millions of illegal aliens and paltry promises of future enforcement - promises that will quickly be abandoned.

But in 1986, many people didn't know that yet. There was a sense then that the law was a grand bargain - closing the back door by prohibiting the employment of illegal immigrants (for the first time ever), but tying up prior missteps with an amnesty.

The proposed amnesty in McCain-Kennedy works this way: The former illegal aliens are re-labeled legal workers; after six years of indenture, payment of some fines, criminal and security background checks and an English and civics test, they (and their families) get green cards.

This is similar to how the last amnesty worked, except for the term of indenture; the 1986 law amnestied those who entered the country before a certain date, about four years prior to the law's passage. Thus McCain/Kennedy is prospective amnesty, as opposed to retrospective amnesty.

The guest worker part of the bill provides for 400,000 new foreign workers a year, with an escalator clause if businesses snap up the cheap, docile labor faster than expected. These "temporary" workers would have to serve only four years of indenture before they, too, would get green cards. To accommodate them, legal immigration quotas would rise nearly half-million a year.

The enforcement sections of the bill are laughably thin. The part on border security is almost a parody of a Washington cop-out: It orders up yet another "National Strategy for Border Security." How about picking a previous strategy and just enforcing it?

Plus there's an advisory committee, two coordination plans, and various reports and programs and partnerships. It's like John Kerry going duck hunting: He's wearing the right outfit, but he's obviously insincere.

And the interior enforcement provisions seem intended to actually hobble enforcement. Though the law provides for a system to verify employment eligibility, it instructs the Social Security Administration to reinvent the wheel rather than expanding on the successful pilot system the immigration service has been developing for over a decade.

The job of auditing firms for compliance with the immigration law would also be taken away from immigration agents, and given instead to the Labor Department, perhaps the only agency even less capable of doing its job. And the bill specifically says it does not give state and local cops any new authority to enforce immigration law.

The public is becoming increasingly concerned about immigration. The issue is seldom among the top two or three issues for voters, but that seems to be changing. Recurrent reports of terrorists and super-violent gang members exploiting our broken immigration system are finally getting people's attention.

The way the Minuteman Project border-watch program in Arizona resonated on talk radio, its spread to other states, and its adoption by politicians as California Gov. Schwarzenegger are all signs the McCain/Kennedy amnesty bill may well be the last gasp of the anti-borders crowd.

Mark Krikorian is executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington. He wrote this for the Star. Contact him at

The Minutemen's success

By Steven Camarota and Mark Krikorian

Last month's border-watch program in Arizona called the Minuteman Project is likely to be only the first of many such efforts by frustrated Americans. Its endorsement by many congressmen, and especially by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, virtually guarantees that more private citizens will volunteer to help monitor our neglected border with Mexico in an effort to shame Washington into action.
What have we learned from the initial effort in Arizona?
First of all, we can safely dismiss the scare tactics of opponents of immigration enforcement. From the ACLU "observers" sent to intimidate the Minutemen, to the Mexican government's lies about "immigrant hunters," to President Bush's shameful smear of these volunteers as "vigilantes," every prediction of extremism has proven false. The Minutemen (and Minutewomen) were exactly what they claimed to be — responsible patriots simply reporting illegal crossers to the Border Patrol. These ordinary people, untrained in the ways of political theater, nonetheless showed themselves to be sober and disciplined, guarding the integrity of their efforts against fringe elements and never succumbing to the provocations of their opponents. We should be proud to live in a country that produces such citizens.

Friday, May 20, 2005's Koran Desecration Problem

by Daniel Pipes

As the Koran-flushing-in-Cuba episode becomes old news, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) has helpfully found a way to keep Koran desecration in the public eye. It does so – and I draw on MPAC's two press releases (here and here), plus reports from the Associated Press and Los Angeles Times – by promoting the story of one Azza Basarudin, who bought a copy of the Koran, Oxford University Press edition.

A doctoral candidate at the University of California at Los Angeles specializing in Middle East studies, Basarudin ordered the volume in early May from Bellwether Books, a used book store in McKeesport, Penn. that distributes its wares via She opened the Koran on arrival and says she found written on the inside cover a profanity along with "Death to all Muslims." Basarudin recalls her response:

I dropped the book because I didn't know what to do. I was paralyzed after 9/11 — I couldn't leave my house for a couple of weeks — and I realized that fear was coming back. I couldn't even go near this book for a couple of days. I feel like I'm being violated all over again because I'm a Muslim.

Basarudin asked MPAC, Los Angeles' contribution to the radical Islamic lobby, for assistance. It agreed and duly contacted Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, to whom it laid down the usual Islamist strictures: an investigation, a public condemnation, "a policy of zero tolerance toward this type of behavior," and (of course) financial support for MPAC.

Amazon at first only apologized for "distress caused by incident," so MPAC turned up the heat by holding a press conference on May 18 (at the Islamic Center of Southern California, no less).

The publicity worked. Patty Smith, director of corporate communications for Amazon, responded by calling the matter "appalling" and distanced her company from it. She noted that the Koran was purchased from Bellwether Books, not Amazon itself. She explained, "This was not our inventory, it was nowhere in our order or fulfillment process. It was a used book purchased through a third party." Still, she apologized, offered Basarudin reimbursement, a gift certificate, and promised to fire any employee who defaces Korans. She also ­– the kicker – indefinitely suspended Bellwether from selling Korans through Amazon and said that if the problem recurred, Bellwether would be banished from Amazon.

That meant Richard Roberts, owner of Bellwether, had to respond, and he did, denying that his employees defaced the book and pointing out that used books frequently have markings. He explained how the staff gives a cursory check to the four hundred books it sends out each day without closely inspecting them. He apologized to Basarudin, said any employees found desecrating the Koran would be fired, and offered to replace the book. He also promised to assign, in the Los Angeles Times's wording, "a quality-control officer to rigorously check incoming and outgoing books."

The head of MPAC responded unenthusiastically to these concessions: "We are gratified to learn that has suspended its relationship with Bellwether, but they have a responsibility to loudly condemn such hateful rhetoric and take pro-active measures to enhance educational programs that foster religious tolerance." MPAC instructed its acolytes to contact Amazon and urge it decisively "to resolve this case and ensure it is not repeated." That meant:

Publicly condemn such desecration of a sacred text with hateful speech targeting Muslims,
Terminate relations with Bellwether Books …,
Support and fund educational programs that foster religious tolerance.

Azza Basarudin and her Koran.

Comments: This incident, far quieter than the Newsweek flap, is in its own way no less instructive or important.

(1) MPAC did not mention that the customer in question, Azza Basarudin, 30, is an Islamist affiliated at one time with the Islamic Institute of Human Rights, headed by Wissam Nasr. (Nasr now heads the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) office in New York.) For an example of her thinking, note above, how she presents 9/11 not as an occasion when Muslims violated Americans but when Americans violated Muslims. In other words, this is no average customer.

(2) MPAC also neglected to mention that Basarudin bought a used Koran, not a new one. Used books buyers do not normally expect vendors to clean their purchases of markings by former owners.

(3) Is it pure coincidence that this Koran episode is so perfectly times to follow the Newsweek and Guantánamo controversy? One can't but wonder if Basarudin, like at least seven other U.S. Muslims, is faking her own persecution. Or if, like its colleague CAIR, MPAC stokes anti-Muslim hate even where it does not exist.

(4) If Muslims succeed in requiring that Korans undergo inspection for impurities before being sold, booksellers might well cease handling Korans.

(5) The idea that a Muslim has the right, without proof, to accuse a non-Muslim of blasphemy, as Basarudin and MPAC have done, brings to mind the notorious anti-blasphemy laws in force in Pakistan. There, as the World Council of Churches explained in 2000, those laws "have become a major tool in the hands of extremists to settle personal scores against members of the religious minorities particularly Christians." In the United States, the blasphemy accusation serves as the basis for a Jesse Jackson-like corporate shakedown (note MPAC's demand for Amazon to fund its programming).

(6) That Amazon suspended Bellwether from selling Korans via Amazon is a symbolic punishment rather than a substantive one, but it matters nonetheless. Can one imagine any other book's defacement leading to such a penalty?

(7) This episode is yet another instance of Islamist organizations relentlessly seeking special privileges for Islam. At a time when American Catholics must endure "art" that consists of the crucifix in urine and a Virgin Mary made in part of elephant dung, why should American Muslims be indulged in their exquisite sensibilities? As Stephen Schwartz keeps repeating, if Islam is to flourish in America, it must adapt to America.

(8) Amazon should answer MPAC firmly in the negative, reinstituting Bellwether's right to sell Korans at Amazon, making no public condemnations, and not giving money to MPAC. If you agree with this conclusion, let Patty Smith at Amazon ( know your thoughts.

Fool Me Twice, Shame on Me

The McCain/Kennedy amnesty.

By Mark Krikorian

The McCain/Kennedy amnesty bill has been unveiled, and it’s the same hoax we’ve fallen for before.

Like the telemarketer who bilks a widow and then comes back in a different guise to charge a fee to “help” her get the original money back, the anti-borders crowd created today’s immigration crisis and is now offering as a solution the very policies that got us in this mess in the first place.

Ordinarily the introduction of one more bill wouldn’t warrant much attention on Capitol Hill. Each year, congressmen introduce thousands of pieces of legislation, often merely to spark discussion on an issue or placate a noisy constituency. Few ever make any progress.

But the McCain/Kennedy bill (called the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act) has a good deal of muscle behind it, and in any case is the only amnesty-guestworker bill that will have a significant coalition pushing it. Yesterday’s press conference included not only senators McCain and Kennedy, but also Brownback and Lieberman, plus Republican representatives Flake and Kolbe from Arizona, and Illinois Democrat Gutierrez. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce backed it, as did the National Restaurant Association, the Service Employees International Union, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the National Immigration Forum, as well as writer Tamar Jacoby.

The essence of the bill is the same as the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act: amnesty up front for millions of illegal aliens in exchange for paltry promises of future enforcement — promises that will quickly be abandoned. But in 1986, many people didn’t know that yet. There was a sense then that the law was a grand bargain — closing the back door by prohibiting the employment of illegal immigrants (for the first time ever), but tying up the loose ends of prior policy missteps with an amnesty.

But in the words of the old Russian saying, fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

The amnesty part works this way: The former illegal aliens are re-labeled as legal workers; after a six-year period of indenture, payment of some fines, criminal and security background checks, and an English and civics test, they (and their families) get green cards. This is similar to how the last amnesty worked, except for the term of indenture; the 1986 law amnestied those who had already entered the country before a certain date, some four years prior to the law’s passage. Thus the McCain/Kennedy proposal is a prospective amnesty, as opposed to the 1986 measure, which was a retrospective amnesty.

The guestworker part of the bill provides for 400,000 new foreign workers a year, with an escalator clause if businesses snap up the cheap, docile labor faster than expected. These “temporary” workers would have to serve only a four-year period of indenture before they, too, would get green cards. To accommodate them, legal immigration quotas would be increased by close to half a million a year.

The enforcement sections of the bill are laughably thin, making the amnesty-in-exchange-for-enforcement claim even less plausible than it would be otherwise. The part on border security is almost a parody of a Washington cop-out: It orders up yet another “National Strategy for Border Security” (how about picking one of the previous strategies and just enforcing it?), plus an advisory committee, two coordination plans, and various other reports and programs and multilateral partnerships. It’s like John Kerry going duck hunting: He’s wearing the right outfit, but he’s obviously insincere.

And the interior enforcement provisions seem intended to actually hobble enforcement. Though the law provides for a system to verify employment eligibility, it instructs the Social Security administration to reinvent the wheel rather than simply expand on the successful pilot system the immigration service has been developing for over a decade. The job of auditing firms for compliance with the immigration law would also be taken away from immigration agents, and given instead to the Labor Department, perhaps the only agency even less capable of doing its job. And the bill specifically says that it does not give state and local cops any new authority to enforce immigration law.

Despite the long list of interest groups behind the legislation, the McCain/Kennedy amnesty’s odds aren’t good. John Cornyn, chairman of the Senate’s immigration subcommittee, doesn’t like it, and the Senate recently defeated a more narrow amnesty proposal from senators Craig and Kennedy (funny how that name keeps popping up). On the House side, there’s a new pro-borders majority among Republicans, energized by their victory with the Real ID Act, that will fight the amnesty tooth and nail. And the White House is uttering sweet nothings, standing back out of concern that supporting this bill, which is an amnesty even by the president’s slippery definition, could cause a “read my lips”-style blowup among conservatives.

Perhaps most important, the public is becoming increasingly concerned about immigration. The issue is seldom among the top two or three issues for voters, but that seems to be changing. Recurrent reports of terrorists and super-violent gang members exploiting our broken immigration system are finally getting people’s attention. The way the Minuteman Project border-watch program in Arizona resonated on talk radio, its spread to other states, and its adoption by prominent politicians like California Gov. Schwarzenegger are all signs that the McCain/Kennedy amnesty bill may well be the last gasp of the anti-borders crowd.

Center for Immigration Studies.

Immigrant Job Gains and Native Job Losses 2000 to 2004

Testimony Prepared for the House Judiciary Committee
Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims

Steven A. Camarota
Director of Research, Center for Immigration Studies

This testimony is drawn directly from a Center’s October 2004 report entitled A Jobless Recovery? Immigrant Gains and Native Losses.


Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee: Thank you for inviting me to testify on the impact of immigration on the labor market during the recent economic slow down. My name is Steven Camarota, and I am Director of Research at the Center for Immigration Studies, a non-partisan think tank here in Washington.

Prior to the economic slowdown that began in 2000, I had generally assumed that the primary impact of immigration would have been to reduce wages and perhaps benefits for native-born workers but not overall employment. An important study published in 2003 in the Quarterly Journal of Economics showed that immigration reduces wages by 4 percent for all workers and 7 percent for those without a high school education.1 A significant effect to be sure.

However, after a careful examination of recent employment data, I have become increasingly concerned that immigration may also be reducing employment as well as wages for American workers. A study by the Center for immigration Studies published last year shows that between March 2000 and March 2004 the number of unemployed adult natives increased by 2.3 million, but at the same time the number of employed immigrants increased by 2.3 million.2 By adults I mean persons 18 and older. About half the growth in immigrant employment was from illegal immigration. And overall the level of new immigration, legal and illegal, does not seem to have slowed appreciably since 2000. By remaining so high at a time when the economy was not creating as many new jobs, immigration almost certainly has reduced job opportunities for natives and immigrants already here.

Of course, it would be a mistake to assume that every job taken by an immigrant is a job lost by a native, but the statistics are striking. And they should give serious pause to those who want to legalize illegal aliens instead of enforcing the law and reducing the supply of workers. Not only did native unemployment increase by 2.3 million, but we also found that the number of working-age natives who said they are not even looking for work increased by 4 million. Detailed analysis shows that the increase was not due to early retirement, increased college enrollment, or new moms staying home with their babies.

Our analysis also shows little evidence that immigrants only take jobs Americans don’t want. For one thing, immigrant job gains have been throughout the labor market, with more than two-thirds of their employment gains in jobs that require at least a high school degree. However, it is true that immigration has its biggest impact at the bottom end of the labor market in relatively low paying jobs typically occupied by less-educated workers. But such jobs still employ millions of native-born workers.

In job categories such as construction labor, building maintenance, and food preparation, immigration added 1.1 million adult workers in the last 4 years, but there were nearly 2 million unemployed adult natives in these very same occupations in 2004. About two-thirds of the new immigrant workers in these occupations are illegal aliens. Those arguing for high levels of immigration on the grounds that it helps to alleviate the pressure of tight labor markets in low-wage, less-skilled jobs are ignoring the very high rate of native unemployment in these job categorizes, averaging 10 percent in 2004.

Not only is native unemployment highest in occupations which saw the largest immigrant influx, the available evidence also shows that the employment picture for natives looks worst in those parts of the country that saw the largest increase in immigrants. For example, in states were immigrants increased their share of workers by 5 percentage points or more, the number of native workers actually fell by about 3 percent on average. But in states where the immigrant share of workers increased by less than one percentage point, the number of natives holding a job actually went up by 1.4 percent. This is exactly the kind of pattern we would expect to see if immigration was adversely impacting native employment.

Of course, businesses will continue to say that, "immigrants only take jobs Americans don’t want." But what they really mean is that given what they would like to pay, and how they would like to treat their workers, they cannot find enough Americans. Therefore, employers want the government to continually increase the supply of labor by non-enforcement of immigration laws.

I would argue forcefully that one of the best things we can do for less-educated natives, and legal immigrants already here is strictly enforce our immigration laws and reduce the number of illegal aliens in the country. We should also consider reducing unskilled legal immigration.

This would greatly enhance worker bargaining power vis-a-vis their employers and would result in lower unemployment rates and increased wages and better working conditions for American workers, immigrant and native alike.

Jihad by Satellite

By Steven Stalinsky

Rep. Steven Rothman, a Democrat of New Jersey, and Rep. Joe Knollenberg, a Republican of Michigan, yesterday sponsored a MEMRI briefing on Arab and Iranian satellite channels available in America. Their broadcasts have the potential to incite viewers to jihad and contain messages of hate against Jews and Christians. As the content of such programming is exposed, it is hopeful that the Federal Communications Commission - which answers directly to Congress and the mission of which includes regulating international television in America - would consider legal proceedings against American companies that air Arab and Iranian TV channels spewing hatred.

Programs on these channels include statements clearly directed at Americans. During an official Friday sermon on August 27 aired on Sudanese TV, for example, a preacher stated that Jews engineered the attacks of September 11, 2001. He cited a quote fabricated by the Nazis and inaccurately attributed it to Benjamin Franklin: "The malaria microbe known as the Jews, which the U.S. carries in its stomach, will kill it sooner or later." He added, "These Jews hasten America's death. The U.S. must be aware. We offer this advice via the TV channels."

Similar Nazi falsehoods have resurfaced of late on other Arab and Iranian TV stations available in America, such as Al-Jazeera and Al-Manar. Tuning into those channels can be strikingly similar to watching Nazi propaganda. Programming includes shows devoted to distortions in Jewish religious texts, "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," Jewish corruption throughout history, and the blood libel. On a UAE/Saudi channel Al-Majd program of March 22, 2004, the secretary-general of the Islamic Action Front Party of Jordan, Sheikh Hamza Mansour described the "sick psychological nature" of the Jews, adding that they make "matzoth out of innocent children's blood."

In August on Saudi Arabia's MBC TV, Saudi Sheikh Abd al-Qader Hammad said, "From the day civil strife began in Islam, the Jews were behind it. There is no evil in the world that the Jews are not behind. Search in the depths of history ... and you will find the finger of the Jews behind it."

"Jewish treachery is the nature of this race. It runs in their blood and passes from generation to generation," 'Adnan abu Al-Qattam said in an official Friday sermon that aired on Bahrain TV July 30. "The Jews proved to history ... they are a corrupting people ... History clearly attests to their... despicable behavior," he said. He then cited a Koranic verse calling Muslims "to kill Jews."

Saudi professor Walid al-Shuzi explained that according to Islam and the Koran, Muslims "have a duty to hate Jews and Christians," during an Al-Majd TV broadcast of March 18.

Mr. al-Shuzi's topic? "So-called" anti-Semitism.

"The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" is often cited as proof of the Jews' evil nature. A Danish cleric, Nabel Shaker Al-Taleqani, appeared on Iran's Al-'Alam TV on October 30. While speaking of Jewish involvement in terrorism, he said, "Go back to the book 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.' We must return to the 24 protocols, to these secret documents." The secretary-general of the Islamic Universities' Association, Dr. Ja'far Abd Al-Salim, cited "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" on Al-Manar TV on April 22, 2004. Mr. Al-Salim said it proved that Zionist-Jews "main goal is to humiliate the human race." He also said that only Jewish companies make drugs and pornography. Egypt's Al-Ahzar Sheikh Muhammad Al-Mussayar appeared on Iqraa TV on July 12 to speak about a global campaign against Islam and the need to "confront our enemies ... expose their secret beliefs" - which he said are laid out in "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion."

Arab and Iranian TV also leap to prove the vileness of the Jews through distortions of religious texts such as Talmud and also the Torah. Prominent Muslim religious figures are not above taking this tack. For example, the leading Palestinian Authority religious figure, Mufti Ikrima Sabri, appeared on Al-Majd TV on February 20. During the program he said, "Anyone who studies 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion' and specifically the Talmud will discover that one of the goals of these protocols is to cause confusion of the world."

These examples are but a few of the dozens that appear on satellite TV beamed daily into America. There is no doubt that such programming ought not be accessible in America.

Mr. Stalinsky is the executive director of The Middle East Media Research Institute

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Ten Points for a Successful Presidential Candidate

By Mark Krikorian

National Review

The next presidential election may be years away, but potential candidates are already staking out positions on issues that should figure prominently. One of these is certain to be immigration, and one likely candidate for 2008 is already working to develop a tough, pro-enforcement image.

Unfortunately, that candidate is Hillary Clinton.

Her grade of F from Americans for Better Immigration, a group lobbying for stricter immigration rules, hasn’t stopped her from dropping comments to reporters like “I am, you know, adamantly against illegal immigrants,” and “People have to stop employing illegal immigrants.” Of course, the only reason Hillary thinks she has a chance of outflanking the GOP on the right is that the president’s immigration policies are terrible. It is therefore an opportune time to outline an immigration agenda for the 2008 presidential candidates. Here is a ten-point package, which includes both measures that a candidate should pledge to undertake on his own, and legislative changes that he should promote, as president.

1. Unambiguous commitment to enforcement. No candidate for chief executive can be taken seriously unless he enunciates a clear and unequivocal determination to execute the immigration law, whatever it happens to be. Presidential contenders don’t come out and say they oppose enforcement, of course, but experience shows that’s exactly what they mean when they offer the usual mealy-mouthed generalities.

It’s not just a matter of pledging to pursue specific policies; rather, given the long history of government-ignored lawbreaking, the whole enforcement environment needs to change. A strong candidate will promise to end the climate of impunity for border-jumping, and illegal employment, and fake documents, and immigration fraud. In other words, apply to immigration the lessons of “broken windows” policing, learned from New York and elsewhere. (Under this policing, you crack down on all infractions, no matter how small, to reduce crime overall.) Equally important, the
candidate should pledge that when the inevitable complaints come in from the many beneficiaries of illegal immigration, the White House will support those charged with enforcing the law, rather than hanging them out to dry, as has been the practice up to now.

2. No Hobson’s choice. Comprehensive enforcement is a tactic; a candidate also needs to articulate a strategy for success. This entails rejecting the false choice between mass roundups and amnesty. Since everyone agrees that mass roundups like the ill-named Operation Wetback of the 1950s aren’t going to occur, the anti-enforcement camp says that amnesty, and an unending stream of “temporary” workers, is the only alternative.

But a third way, and the only workable approach, is to use consistent, across-the-board enforcement as part of a strategy of attrition, causing fewer illegals to come and more of those already here to leave, so that the total illegal population declines from year to year, instead of continually rising. This is the same approach that worked so well with welfare reform, where the GOP rejected the Democratic vision of ever-growing welfare rolls, but didn’t just throw all the recipients out on the street. A long-term, strictly enforced policy can stem the tide of immigration without resorting to mass roundups and without throwing in the towel with mass amnesty.

3. Take amnesty off the table. Amnesty should not even be a legitimate topic for discussion until after we regain control of the immigration system. Terms like “legalization,” “normalization,” and the ever-popular “phased-in access to earned regularization” are simply euphemisms for amnesty, i.e., giving legal status to illegal aliens. Having an amnesty at the front end of any immigration initiative guarantees failure. In 1986, nearly 3 million illegals were legalized, while promises of enforcement to prevent future illegal immigration were quickly abandoned. As a result, today’s illegal population is twice as large as it was before the 1986 amnesty.

There is one kind of amnesty, however, that a presidential candidate could endorse — one modeled after parking-ticket or tax amnesties, giving illegal aliens 90 days to get right with the law by leaving the country. Those who left would face no penalty if they later applied to immigrate or visit; those who did not leave would be, when caught, barred permanently from future reentry.

4. No illegal workers. Employment is the chief draw for most illegals to the United States, and denying them jobs must be the centerpiece of any attrition strategy. Although the employment of illegal aliens was prohibited by Congress in 1986, opponents of that bill neutered it by disallowing any workable verification system. Several voluntary online pilot programs for employers to check their employees’ statuses were subsequently authorized, and have proven popular with businesses, but they expire in 2008. A pro-enforcement candidate should pledge not only to renew the programs, but also to make them a universal, mandatory part of the normal hiring process.

A candidate should also pledge an immediate, simple fix that would help deny employment to illegals. The IRS and the Social Security Administration should be instructed to stop accepting fake Social Security numbers or numbers that don’t match the employees’ names — most, if not all, of these cases are illegal aliens using fake or stolen numbers. For nearly 20 years, the two agencies have been facilitating illegal employment by looking the other way, and refusing to notify employers of fake numbers. (They cite privacy concerns and a lack of jurisdiction as grounds for staying quiet.) The one exception that proves the rule is a Social Security initiative that sent 1 million “no match” letters to employers in 2003; it was so effective in revealing illegal aliens that business and ethnic lobbying groups, which adamantly oppose any tightening of immigration rules, had the administration shut it down. Ending this absurd situation — immediately, right after the parade on January 20, 2009 — must be a top priority for a pro-enforcement candidate.

5. Work with states and localities. The nation’s 700,000 state and local police encounter immigration violators every day in the course of their duties. Some jurisdictions prohibit police from working with federal immigration authorities, while others that do try to turn over illegal aliens in their custody are often rebuffed by the feds, who point to a lack of resources. A presidential candidate should promote better cooperation by supporting legislative measures such as the CLEAR Act, which aims to systematize the relationship between local law and federal immigration officials, as well as administrative measures, like encouraging immigration-law training for police, and enforcing the federal ban on local “sanctuary” policies that prohibit police from using immigration law as a tool to fight crime. The point is not to turn cops into immigration officers, but to give local authorities enhanced law-enforcement abilities and to make sure that, when illegals come their way, local police can turn them over to the feds.

6. Document security. Ensuring that documents are legitimate and are issued only to the deserving is an indispensable tool of immigration enforcement. Congress may already have begun to deal with this by the next election, since it is now considering a bill that would set minimum standards for state driver’s licenses. But perhaps even more problematic than inconsistent license rules is the spreading acceptance of consular registration cards, chiefly Mexico’s “matricula consular” card, which functions as an illegal-alien ID; when accepted by U.S. jurisdictions as a valid ID for everything from bank accounts to air travel, it represents a de facto amnesty. (Anyone in the U.S. legally will have at least some form of U.S.-issued identification, whether a Social Security card or a travel visa.) The administration has been sending mixed messages about the matricula consular, with the FBI highlighting its security risks while the Treasury department explicitly approves its use by banks. Any candidate claiming to support immigration control must send a clear message that such documents have no validity in the United States.

7. Check in/check out. The administration is slowly phasing in the US-VISIT program, which will track the arrival and departure of foreign visitors. Unfortunately, a decision was made to exempt from the program nearly all Mexicans and Canadians. Since these countries account for the vast majority of foreigners coming here (85 percent), such a policy is clearly a violation of Congress’s intent in mandating this check-in/check-out system in the first place. A pro-enforcement candidate must pledge to end these exemptions.

8. Streamline legal immigration. The Department of Homeland Security is choking on immigration. There is a bewildering array of legal-immigration categories, extending far beyond the goals of admitting world-class geniuses, nuclear families of Americans, and people certain to be persecuted if they return home. A sign of the system’s dysfunction is that some 4 million people are on waiting lists to immigrate under one category or another, often with decades-long waits in store — and the list never gets any shorter. In fact, it might be more accurate not even to call it “legal” immigration, since so many in the queue are already living here illegally and are merely using the system to launder their status from illegal to legal.

We can’t expect the Augean stables to be cleaned overnight. But at a minimum, a candidate who is serious about reforming immigration can pledge to end the legal-immigration program’s two most egregious elements: the visa lottery and the admission category for adult brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens. The lottery was concocted as a way to give green cards to Irish illegal aliens who did not meet the criteria of the 1986 amnesty, but has morphed into an immigration program that benefits regions it was never intended to, like Africa and the Middle East; it has no constituency, no
rationale, and survives mainly out of inertia. As to the second, there’s no “family unification” argument justifying immigration rights for naturalized immigrants’ adult siblings, who have their own families and their own lives. This category is responsible for some of the worst backlogs and is also largely responsible for endless chain immigration — an immigrant brings his brother, whose wife then brings her sister, and so on.

Any change of this kind would have to pass Congress. But there are administrative measures a future president could take to introduce some rigor into the “legal” immigration system, chief among them a new approach to immigration fraud. Both the written rules and management practice now send the clear message to our immigration adjudicators here and to our visa officers overseas that fraud should not be a serious concern. (For example, immigrants are not punished for lying on some parts of the application, provided it doesn’t affect the final decision.) The result is predictable: a profusion of fraud, from bogus family relationships to fake home-country diplomas. A new environment of zero tolerance for lies is an essential part of any effort to have the immigration law taken seriously again.

9. “Temporary” visas. These visa programs are among the most offensive. Roughly one-third of the illegal-alien population — some 3 million people — are believed to have come in on “temporary” visas and then never left. In addition, perhaps one fourth of each year’s “new” permanent immigrants already live here on temporary visas, even though they swore to our consular officers that they had no intention of staying.

The different types of visas are designated by letters (F for students, H for workers, etc.), and they’re proliferating at such a rate that we’re almost out of letters, with Congress inventing T, U, and V visas in the past few years to bring the total number to over 20 — excluding the numerous sub-categories. And, naturally, the numbers are rising much faster than the growth of our economy or any other yardstick. In just a four-year period in the late 1990s, the number of B visas for tourists and business travelers grew 26 percent, J visas for foreign exchange (or rather “foreign exchange,” since many are really here to work) went up 40 percent, intracompany transferees (the L visa) jumped 51 percent, and the H category skyrocketed 116 percent.

The issue is large and complicated — that is to say, it is not conducive to extensive discussion in a political campaign. But a candidate who is genuinely interested in reasserting control over the immigration system must commit to certain principles: “Temporary” should actually mean temporary, and the visa system should never be used to bypass American workers or to create a market-distorting dependency on guest workers. As a first step, a candidate should pledge to oppose any expansion of numbers or categories pending a bottom-up reexamination of the rationale and functioning of the entire system.

10. Actively discourage dual citizenship. A new citizen swears that “I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen.” Of course, like everything else in immigration policy, this no longer means what it says. Dual citizenship — what Teddy Roosevelt called “a self-evident absurdity” — is now formally acknowledged by the federal government. Almost all immigrants presently come from countries that permit some form of dual citizenship, for a total potential number of at least 50 million, and, pragmatic considerations aside, dual citizenship undermines the very principle of U.S. citizenship — that one’s entire “allegiance and fidelity” is to the United States.

No conservative presidential candidate can let this stand. There are a number of immediate, symbolic measures that could reinforce the exclusivity of American citizenship; my favorite is to prepare a list of newly naturalized citizens each quarter, deliver it to the embassy of the immigrant’s original country, and inform that government that these people are no longer their concern.

But beyond symbolic gestures, a candidate should offer legal proposals as well. The problem here is not dual citizens who do nothing with their other citizenship — or are unaware that they even are citizens of another country — but those who take advantage of their dual status. The old practice of
stripping U.S. citizenship from a person who commits an “expatriating act” (e.g., voting in a foreign election) was struck down by the Supreme Court in 1967 and is not worth reviving. Instead, expatriating acts should simply be reclassified as federal offenses; thus, if an American citizen, native-born or immigrant, were to run for office in a foreign country — or serve in the government, or vote, or just use a foreign passport while traveling — he would remain secure in his American citizenship, but would be subject to civil and/or criminal penalties.

Immigration isn’t a natural phenomenon like the weather. It is a government program, and the reforms suggested above represent conservative goals for any government program: order, fairness, predictability, transparency, and consequences for those who break the rules. Not only are these recommendations sensible, they are also very popular with the public. It is an ideal issue for solidifying the Republican base and for reaching out to Reagan Democrats. Politicians often make the mistake of thinking there’s a risk in supporting tight controls on immigration, because the people they most frequently hear from are lobby groups or members of the elite, but immigration is an issue where the gap between public and elite views could not be wider. The true risk is in not addressing immigration. As David Frum wrote in these pages at the end of last year, “Immigration for Republicans in 2005 is what crime was for Democrats in 1965 or abortion in 1975: a vulnerable point at which a strong-minded opponent could drive a wedge that would shatter the GOP.”

The silent majority on immigration is becoming increasingly restive and vocal, and this issue will only intensify as the next election approaches. Aspiring GOP candidates should capitalize on the current disquiet and seize the political high ground before their opponents beat them to it. Anyone desiring conservative support, and the Republican nomination, would be wise to adopt the above plan. It would be a shame to have to get used to saying “President Clinton” again. Wouldn’t it?


Mark Krikorian is Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies.

Key Note Address of Under Secretary Stuart Levey

California & Florida Bankers Associations’
Business Leaders Luncheon

I would like to thank Janet Lampkin (CBA CEO) and the California Bankers Association and Alex Sanchez (FBA CEO) and the Florida Bankers Association for the opportunity to speak with you today.

Your organizations are vitally important to this nation's efforts to combat terrorist financing and financial crime, and it is a pleasure for me to be speaking before you.

I have the honor of serving as the first ever Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence at the Department of the Treasury. My job is to marshal Treasury's resources to combat national security threats, such as proliferation and terrorism, and to safeguard our financial system from terrorist financing and money laundering. Many facets of my role, I am sure, are important to your institutions – that is, oversight of both the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which administers the Bank Secrecy Act, and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which administers U.S. sanctions imposed upon terrorists, drug kingpins and rogue countries.

Before I begin my remarks today, I would like to take a moment on behalf of both Secretary Snow and myself to thank you for the terrific support you and your institutions have provided us in our efforts. Before I came to Treasury, I worked at the Justice Department for the Deputy Attorney General. I knew then of the assistance financial institutions all over the country were giving to help make our country safer. Since I have come to Treasury, I have seen many more examples. I want you to know that we appreciate your assistance and great corporate citizenship very much. The partnership between the government and the financial industry established after September 11th must continue to grow as we make our country safer.

In some ways, our partnership has been codified in the USA PATRIOT Act in which the Congress recognized a new national security paradigm brought about by 9/11: information is key to the security of the nation. There are many critical provisions in the PATRIOT Act, but perhaps the most important ones deal with information sharing. The PATRIOT Act broke down walls that prevented the sharing of information between law enforcement and the intelligence community. Significantly for those of us here today, the PATRIOT Act provided us new tools to share information both between the government and financial institutions and among financial institutions themselves. These tools – when used effectively – can add immeasurably to our national security for one key reason: financial information, unlike some other types of intelligence, is highly reliable and valuable to identifying, locating and disrupting terrorist networks and others that mean to do us harm.

I am often asked how we are doing in the fight against terrorist financing. It is a difficult question, because, frankly al Qaida and other terrorist groups do not publish financial statements. Instead, we must rely on various proxies to give us a sense of our progress. In my mind, the most useful of these proxies is the intelligence information we receive. While I am limited in what I can say about it, I can tell you that the information we have been receiving lately is encouraging. We have seen intelligence suggesting that terrorists are having trouble raising, moving and storing money. We are also seeing terrorist groups avoiding formal financing channels, and instead resorting to riskier and more cumbersome financial conduits like bulk cash smuggling. Because of aggressive action by the Departments of Treasury and Justice and other agencies to shut down corrupt charities and to hold individuals who fund terrorism personally accountable as terrorists – just like terrorist operatives – we are seeing that once willing donors are being deterred from sending money to terrorist groups.

We have also used financial information to identify and disrupt terrorist networks and operations. Most importantly, we have indications that terrorist groups like al Qaida and Hamas are feeling the pressure and are hurting for money. During this same time period, we have also made our financial system's infrastructure more resilient. In short, through our partnership, we have made a difference.

I am keenly aware that this partnership has meant significant investment on your part. The Bank Secrecy Act and the burden that it places on financial institutions have gotten a great deal of attention recently. I think that attention is healthy and appropriate. Those of us charged with responsibilities in this area realize there are problems that must be resolved. We want to do a better job defining your obligations and helping you meet them, and we need to hear your ideas about the implementation of the Act for us to do this correctly. We have no desire to impose unnecessary burdens on industry and we certainly do not have all of the answers in Washington.

In the spirit of that candid dialogue, I would like to make a couple of points to keep in mind as we discuss the compliance burdens being placed upon you.

First, the threat against us continues to be real. The enemy we face is motivated, patient and ruthless. Our terrorist enemies do still want to attack us and they are very focused on our economy and financial systems in particular. We know that al Qaida targeted our nation's financial sector on September 11th with the attack on the World Trade Center, and the financial sector continues to be a favored target. We are reminded of this on a regular basis. Just last month, indictments were handed down in New York charging Issa al-Hindi and two others with conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction and providing material support to terrorists. According to the indictment, they conducted surveillance of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB) headquarters in Washington, the Prudential Financial headquarters in New Jersey, and the New York Stock Exchange Building and Citigroup Centre in New York. I am sure that you find this as chilling as I do. I am sure you will recall the heightened threat level in August of 2004 in response in part to these matters. The further we get from September 11, 2001, the harder it may be to keep our sense of urgency, but we must never let our guard down.

It is not just terrorism that we have to guard against. Many national security threats have a sophisticated financial underpinning that we can work together to degrade, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction for example. We must stay vigilant and continue to improve our capabilities to identify and act on financial information.

The second item I would like to address is the assertion made by some that the BSA reports you file are useless or at the very least unused. This is, quite frankly, a myth. To the contrary, the importance of these reports cannot be overstated. I had lunch last week with the terrorist financing section of the FBI, and they were shocked when I mentioned this assertion was being made. They were able to show me statistics suggesting that BSA data is by far the most valuable source of leads in terrorism investigations and in other sophisticated investigations being conducted by the Bureau.

I am constantly receiving examples of criminal investigations initiated by BSA reporting. Each of the federal law enforcement agencies routinely reviews suspicious activity reports, often with dedicated SAR review teams. Recently, the Drug Enforcement Administration, conducting a routine SAR review by zip codes, followed leads that uncovered a violent street gang using a money remitter to move drug proceeds both domestically and internationally. Also recently, the FBI, using SAR analysis, initiated an investigation that resulted in federal felony charges filed against seven people associated with an organization that purported to be a charity raising money for needy people in the Middle East. Four people have already pled guilty and are cooperating with the ongoing investigation.

The list of such cases is virtually endless. I hope you are as pleased as I am that the SARs and CTRs your institutions have been filing are so valuable, and understand that we take them very seriously.

We are also well aware that we need to do better on our end of the partnership, and you should know we are committed to doing that. I believe that Bill Fox, FinCEN's director, has demonstrated that he is committed to meeting you halfway in this partnership and to engage in the open dialogue I mentioned before. Let me just say a few words about how we are trying to do better.

First, we have recognized that there is a need for a single, clear voice about what is expected from the industry. We have heard the complaints about conflicting and mixed messages from various agencies, and we are taking steps to do something about it. We are now acting to coordinate the bureaucracies with responsibilities under the Bank Secrecy Act to ensure that we are implementing the BSA in a reasonable and consistent way that achieves the Act's policy goals. FinCEN is doing an outstanding job in endeavoring to direct and harmonize the government's guidance on BSA compliance. As the administrator of the Bank Secrecy Act, FinCEN must ensure that when one of the delegated examiners takes action, it is consistent with the policy goals of the BSA. Also, FinCEN must ensure that policy set in Washington translates into action by the line examiners. The federal banking regulators have shown great commitment and cooperation in working with FinCEN to bring coherence to the enforcement of the BSA. We are starting to see a change already.

I have also begun a dialogue with the Department of Justice to see what can be done to improve coordination with respect to prosecutorial decisions to seek, or even to threaten, criminal charges under the Bank Secrecy Act. I know this is something the industry is very concerned about, and I think we will be seeing significant improvements in the very near future.

Finally, we are making it a high priority to improve the flow of information to the private sector. Section 314 of the USA PATRIOT Act envisioned a robust flow of sensitive information to the private sector – a flow that we are working to create. In the past few weeks FinCEN has finalized a secure web site that can be used for this purpose, and we will now endeavor to make that real. This is a critical step because it will enable us to help you help us in identifying the types of suspicious activity that pose real dangers.

We are also working hard to ensure that your counterparts all over the world are being asked to do their part in this fight. International cooperation in combating money laundering and terrorist financing is more important than ever. As this audience well knows, the U.S. financial system does not exist as an island, which is why I spend a great deal of my time reaching out globally, working with multinational organization and regional bodies, and bilaterally with other countries to encourage the adoption of fundamental anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing policies and procedures.

One of the most significant advances we have seen in recent weeks is foreign banks adopting OFAC's Specially Designated Nationals, or SDN, list even for transactions that do not touch the U.S. This is a momentous event in terms of multiplying the effects of our domestic sanctions authorities. In countries that lack the infrastructure to establish sanctioning bodies like OFAC, we are working directly with the private sector at the invitation of national governments and central banks. Our goal is to engage the private sector as our partners against money laundering and the financing of terrorism just as we are doing here at home.

Our continued success requires building bridges across governmental departments, between the regulatory agencies and to you, the private sector. It is a big project and it is ongoing. We are keenly aware of the mixed messages you have received and the growing pains we have all endured. However, I want to leave you with the thought that our efforts against terrorist financing and to protect our national security are a shared responsibility.

The old paradigm of governments defending their citizenry from outside threats vanished on 9/11. The threats to our security are no longer purely external, but can come from within, and require that we all think about the threat differently. In short, the government cannot do it alone. We need your help. We will work tirelessly to fulfill our obligations in this partnership. Working together, we have made great progress, and only by working together can we build upon that success.

Thank You.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

by Daniel Pipes and Sharon Chadha

Should you read Unequal Protection: The Status of Muslim Civil Rights in the United States 2005, an annual report issued last week by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), you'll learn how the Muslim experience in America is worsening. Specifically, the number of "anti-Muslim hate crimes in the United States" has gone up dramatically: from 42 cases in 2002, to 93 cases in 2003, to 141 in 2004.

This news prompted headlines in the mainstream media. "Muslims Report 50% Increase in Bias Crimes," announced the New York Times; "Crimes, Complaints Involving Muslims Rise," broadcast the Washington Post; and "Muslims Cite a Rise in Hate Crimes," echoed the Los Angeles Times. That these leading newspapers treated the CAIR study as a serious piece of research served as an important endorsement.

But CAIR is part of the Wahhabi Lobby, so (unlike the mainstream media reporters) we thought it a good idea to take a closer look at the report. We examined in detail some "examples of anti-Muslim hate crime reports received by CAIR in 2004," on p. 43, plus some "samples" on p. 53 and discovered a pattern of sloppiness, exaggeration, and distortion:

CAIR cites the July 9, 2004 case of apparent arson at a Muslim-owned grocery store in Everett, Washington. But investigators quickly determined that Mirza Akram, the store's operator, staged the arson to avoid meeting his scheduled payments and to collect on an insurance policy. Although Akram's antics were long ago exposed as a fraud, CAIR continues to list this case as an anti-Muslim hate crime.

CAIR also states that "a Muslim-owned market was burned down in Texas" on August 6, 2004. But already a month later, the owner was arrested for having set fire to his own business. Why does CAIR include this incident in its report?

CAIR lists the March 2005 lawsuit filed by the Salmi family for the firebombing of their family van as one example of a hate crime reports it received in 2004. However, the crime named in the lawsuit occurred in March 2003, was already reported by CAIR in 2003, and should not have been tabulated again in the 2004 report.

CAIR reports that "a home-made bomb exploded outside of the Champions Mosque in the Houston suburb of Spring, Texas," staking its claim on eyewitness reports that on July 4, 2004, "two white males" were seen placing the bomb. We inquired about the incidents and found that Spring's sheriff department could not locate any police files about an explosion. Further inquiries to the mosque and an e-mail to CAIR both went unanswered. There is scant evidence that any crime even occurred.

CAIR notes that "investigators in Massachusetts are still investigating a potential hate-motivated arson against the Al-Baqi Islamic Center in Springfield." However the case was long ago ruled a simple robbery, news that even CAIR's own website has posted. The Associated Press reported on January 21, 2005, that prosecutors determined the fire was set by teen-age boys "who broke into the Al-Baqi mosque to steal money and candy, then set the fire to cover their tracks." The boys, they clarified, "weren't motivated by hatred toward Muslims."

CAIR describes what happened to a Muslim family in Tucson, Arizona: "bullet shots pierced their home as they ate dinner in October 2004" and two months later their truck was smashed and vandalized. But the only evidence that either incident was motivated by hate of Muslims is the Dehdashti family itself, not the police. Detective Frank Rovi of Pima County Sheriff's Department, who handled the shooting investigation, said that according to the neighbors, the desert area by the Dehdashti house was often used for target practice. Neither incident was classified as a hate crime and both cases were closed by February 2005, long before the CAIR report went to press.

Of twenty "anti-Muslim hate crimes" in 2004 that CAIR describes, at least six are invalid – and further research could likely find problems with the other fourteen instances.

Nor is this the first unreliable CAIR report; earlier ones were just as bad. Speaking about the 1996 CAIR report, terrorism expert Steven Emerson noted in congressional testimony that "a large proportion of the complaints have been found to be fabricated, manufactured, distorted or outside standard definitions of hate crimes." The 1996 report included the arrest of Musa Abu Marzouk, a Hamas leader, and the trial of Omar Abdul-Rahman, the blind sheikh and ringleader of the foiled "Day of Terror" plot to blow up New York City landmarks.

Even more absurdly, CAIR classified as an American hate crime the shooting of Ahmed Hamida in Jerusalem on February 26, 1996, as he fled after driving his car into a crowd of Israeli civilians, killing one and injuring twenty-three others. One wonders why the killing of a terrorist in Israel would be classified as an American issue; more of CAIR's sloppiness?

Indeed, very little of what CAIR asserts checks out. CAIR's significant inaccuracy has potentially great consequence. Note what happened after Newsweek reported in its May 9 issue that the Koran had been desecrated at the U.S. military prison in Guantánamo, Cuba. Protests raged in the Muslim world, including demonstrations that turned violent in Afghanistan and killed at least sixteen people. Newsweek eventually retracted the story, but a bit late. Had things turned out otherwise, CAIR's erroneous report could have provoked similar violence.

The staff at CAIR does not divulge to us its reasons for not retracting at least the provably false incidents embedded in its inflated "hate" figures, but we can think of two reasons: to scare its constituency, thereby raising more money; and to put the American public on the defensive, thereby winning more privileges for Islam, such as the 2000 U.S. Senate resolution inveighing against the "discrimination and harassment" suffered by the American Muslim community.

But why do journalists report the results of CAIR's survey – as though it came from a source without a viewpoint bias, as though past studies had been reliable, as though its polls are scientific, as though it has not been party to threats against an American Muslim dissident, and as though it has not protected Osama bin Laden's image, as though five of CAIR's staff and board members have not already been associated with terrorism, and as though it is not named as a defendant in 9/11 terror lawsuit?

One wonders what it will take for old media to ignore CAIR's unreliable research and instead start reporting the words of Steven Pomerantz, a former chief of the FBI's counterterrorism section, that CAIR's activities "effectively give aid to international terrorist groups."

The Real Lesson of Newsweekgate

By Robert Spencer

When in April EBay offered a consecrated host for sale, imagine if Catholics had rioted and seventeen people were killed.
The media would have been full of stories about the dark side of the “Christian Right.”

Imagine if, when Muslims desecrated the Tomb of Joseph in Nablus in 2000, destroying it with hammers, rampaging Jewish mobs had killed dozens of Palestinians.

The establishment media response would again have inundated us with stories about the heroic Palestinians and their Israeli oppressors.

Neither of those things really happened. But seventeen people have been killed and hundreds wounded in riots by Muslims since Newsweek published its story about an American interrogator flushing a Qur’an down the toilet at the detention center at Guantanamo Bay.

And yet the media establishment seems preoccupied only with the fact that Newsweek, in publishing a false story that it has since retracted, has done a very bad thing. And that the Bush Administration must do something to calm tempers and soothe feelings in the Islamic world.

There is no excusing Newsweek’s irresponsibility in this. But this is not really a story about media bias or carelessness at all. There is a much larger story that is getting hardly any attention at all. The gorilla in the living room that no one wants to notice, is that flushing a Qur’an down the toilet should not be grounds to commit murder.

This aspect of the story is being ignored by spokesmen on both the Left and the Right. After the initial reports of rioting, Juan Cole sputtered, “Whatever goddam military genius came up with the bright idea of flushing the Koran down the toilet at Guantanamo should be court-martialed, and Bush had better get out there apologizing before this thing spirals further out of control.” On the other side of the political spectrum, Paul Marshall wrung his hands in National Review: “Even if Newsweek publishes a full retraction, the damage is done. Much of the Muslim world will regard it merely as a cover-up and feel reconfirmed in the view that America is at war with Islam.”

Neither Cole nor Marshall, however, made any moral judgment about the rioters. Marshall was furious with Newsweek: “It would be charitable to think that if Newsweek had known how explosive the story was it may have held off until it had more confirmation. If this is true, it is an indication that the media’s widespread failure to pay careful attention to the complexities of religion not only misleads us about domestic and international affairs but also gets people killed.” Cole, for his part, directed his anger at the Bush Administration: “As a professional historian, I would say we still do not have enough to be sure that the Koran desecration incident took place. We have enough to consider it plausible. Anyway, the important thing politically is that some Muslims have found it plausible, and their outrage cannot be effectively dealt with by simple denial. That is why I say that Bush should just come out and say we can’t be sure that it happened, but if it did it was an excess, and he apologizes if it did happen, and will make sure it doesn’t happen again (if it did).”

Neither one says anything whatsoever about a culture that condones — celebrates —wanton murder of innocent people, mayhem, and destruction in response to the alleged and unproven destruction of a book.
The question here is one of proportionate response. If a Qur’an had indeed been flushed, Muslims would have justifiably been offended. They may justifiably have considered the perpetrators boors, or barbarians, or hell-bound unbelievers. They may justifiably have issued denunciations accordingly. But that is all. To kill people thousands of miles away who had nothing to do with the act, and to fulminate with threats and murder against the entire Western world, all because of this alleged act, is not just disproportionate. It is not just excessive. It is mad. And every decent person in the world ought to have the courage to stand up and say that it is mad.

I suspect that even Juan Cole and Paul Marshall, somewhere in the back of their minds, know that it is mad too. But why don’t they say so? Because Rule #1 in the establishment (Left and Right) view of this present conflict is that it has nothing to do with Islam. To bring a moral judgment to bear upon Muslim people, or to explore the ways in which Islam fuels the conflict, is therefore absolutely forbidden.

This kind of analysis, dominant as it is in the media, does the Western world an enormous disservice. The reaction to the Newsweek story in the Muslim world only shows how critical it is that the elements of Islam that give rise to fanaticism and violence be examined and confronted. Lives are at stake. But Cole and Marshall, and many others like them on both the Left and the Right, can’t see this necessity through the enveloping fog of political correctness.

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch; author of Onward Muslim Soldiers: How Jihad Still Threatens America and the West (Regnery), and Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World’s Fastest Growing Faith (Encounter); and editor of the essay collection The Myth of Islamic Tolerance: Islamic Law and Non-Muslims (Prometheus). He is working on a new book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) (forthcoming from Regnery).

Transcripts of Fox News Interviews With Steven Emerson:

1. Fox News The O'Reilly Factor, 5/16/05
2. Fox News Dayside w/ Linda Vester, 5/17/05

May 16, 2005

BILL O'REILLY: "Impact" segment tonight, the trial of accused terrorist helper Sami Al-Arian began today in Tampa. He's charged with a variety of federal offenses. And you may remember "The Factor's" investigation of him in 2001, where we spotlighted his fund-raising for killers.

There is also an interesting twist to the story. Al-Arian may have been helped by The St. Petersburg Times newspaper. That's the same newspaper we believe is in the tank for Brad King, the prosecutor who will not charge three adults who may have helped the killer of 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford.

Joining us now from Washington is terrorism expert Steve Emerson, who was investigating Al-Arian very early and ran up against The St. Petersburg Times.

You know, you were the first one, I think, to pinpoint that Al-Arian was helping terrorist groups, Islamic jihad primarily, kill people, by raising money and propaganda efforts. And every turn, St. Petersburg Times contradicted you and helped Al-Arian, correct?

STEVEN EMERSON, INVESTIGATED SAMI AL-ARIAN'S TIES WITH TERROR GROUPS: No, not only did they help Al-Arian, they helped his brother-in-law. And they consistently downplayed, denigrated, and actually tried to neutralize the government's case, I think, Bill, by a pattern of such overwhelming intellectual dishonesty that it really, I think, now requires some type of internal investigation.

Let me add one thing, however. In a quote that I was quoted in this morning's New York Sun paper, I should have added one thing. There was one reporter at The St. Petersburg Times who tried and successfully was able to turn around the reporting for the time that she was there. Mary Jacoby.

But she was beaten back. And ultimately the reporting reverted back to its same intellectual dishonesty.

O'REILLY: Now what is the problem with this paper? They're sympathetic to Al-Arian, who I believe will be convicted of terrible crimes and may serve life in prison. They're sympathetic to the three people who enabled this terrible killer to, you know, snuff out the life of a 9-year- old girl.

Is it ideology there? Is it incompetence? What's going on at The St. Petersburg Times?

EMERSON: Well, I think that in the case at least of misreporting the Al-Arian Islamic jihad episode for years, it was definitely an aversion to facts and an unwillingness to report what really -- in the evidence that was coming out from the courts and what was available in the public record.

Look, when the reporters refer to five radical Islamic conferences where the top terrorists in the world are attending, and they referred to them as "political conferences for simple discussions of politics and legitimate topics" were basically exchanged, you know something is wrong because the record shows that these were terrorist conferences.

I think that they were co-opted. That's the term used by the FBI in their internal memo in 1996. Ideologically, I think they fell in love with the "victims" to the point that one of the reporters actually referred to the suspects in the Islamic jihad case in the same way that the Jews were the victims of the Holocaust. What an obscene comparison.

O'REILLY: Yes. I mean, there's something very wrong with that newspaper. And as you mentioned, the FBI did actually discuss that the newspaper's support was very questionable -- very questionable.

Now this was before 9/11. Do you think they have changed their tune? I don't think so because they attacked me when I investigated Al-Arian. And -- but maybe they've changed their tune toward terrorism. Have they?

EMERSON: Well, there was just a piece the other day called "Growing Up Al-Arian." And it was these -- a tear-jerker piece focused on Al- Arian's family.

And the bottom line was that he was made to be this poor victim. And his family was suffering because here's this father, who is in isolated jail serving, you know, a -- at least waiting to be tried, a trial starting today.

They made him to be such a victim, not in just this one article, but since 1995. The question is why.

O'REILLY: Yes, that's...

EMERSON: And I don't really have a full answer to that.

O'REILLY: Well, we're trying to get at this guy. Paul Tash is the publisher. He doesn't respond to direct questions.

We know that paper is very far left, The St. Petersburg Times. Historically it has been that way. It looks like they're anti-Israel. Anything that I say, they're against.

I think that's what's going on there, but I'm not sure.

Real quick, do you think Al-Arian's going to get convicted? Jury selection began today. Do you think he's toast?

EMERSON: I think the evidence is pretty overwhelming. And despite his -- the efforts of his defenders, Bill, I don't think they're going to succeed. The wire taps are absolutely incontrovertible.

O'REILLY: Right.

EMERSON: The wire transfers are amazing. This guy was involved directly as...

O'REILLY: They got him.

EMERSON: ...the head of the network in the United States.

O'REILLY: All right. Mr. Emerson, thanks as always. One footnote. As we said, the head guy at the St. Pete Times, Paul Tash, issued a statement denying any wrongdoing by his newspaper, but in my opinion, there is something very, very wrong there.

May 17, 2005
Dayside with Linda Vester

MIKE JERRICK (substitute host): Have the arrests of several terrorists in Pakistan reported to be top Al-Qaeda leaders and aides to Osama bin Laden crushed the terrorist network? Steve Emerson is a terrorist analyst and Executive Director of The Investigative Project. And Steve, you know where this report is coming from. It's the Pakistani's Interior Minister saying, 'Oh my gosh, we got a couple of top guys in Al-Qaeda that we've kind of broken this network, especially in Pakistan', do you believe it?

STEVEN EMERSON: Usually these types of reports come when there's an appropriations bill for foreign aid.

JERRICK: There you go.

EMERSON: The bottom line is there's no way you could declare this type of victory, it's too premature. This is a war that is not going to be won this year, or next year or in the next 10 years. And the fact of the matter is bin Laden still remains at large and so does Ayman Al-Zawahiri as well as five other members of the top 20 leaders of the Al-Qaeda network.

JERRICK: So, what was your opinion when you heard of the two guys, Al-Yemini and Al-Libbi? Are they really that high up on Al-Qaeda's list?

EMERSON: Remember that there are people coming up on the list who are basically being forced up as the people ahead of them are being taken out or they're being arrested. So people who were number 15, or number 20, or number 25, are suddenly becoming number five. Reality is that these are victories, there is no doubt about that. And the victories have greater resonance and they may still -- if they can pursue the active leads and roll up others, and that clearly was the result of the arrest last year of Khan in Pakistan when they looked at his computer. The only question whether they are going to get any closer to bin Laden. They were saying within the Muslim world, and are basically given safe haven or are not really scrutinized by the host regimes despite what those regimes are saying in terms of cracking down on the Islamic fighters. Saudi Arabia clearly would rather have these guys fighting against the Americans in Iraq then launching attacks on their own soil.

JERRICK: You got to weigh in on this "Newsweek" article. Islamic extremists looking for any reason to demonstrate and burn the American flag. How important do you think this story is, I mean it's getting so much coverage?

EMERSON: Look I'm going to play the anti-conventional wisdom here. I don't think the problem is "Newsweek," I think the problem is the militant Islamic conspiratorial culture that is pervasive that believes anything and anything said anytime about the evil intent of the Crusaders or the Americans or Christian world or Jews. And The fact remains as a friend of mine, Andy McCarthy wrote in the National Review Online today in a brilliant article, the fact remains that is this issue crystallizes a major problem we face: a fanatical culture that is unfortunately pervasive and exists beyond just Afghanistan or Pakistan that we have not come to terms with, and suddenly we believe somehow that this is a legitimate reaction to a report. If that report, as you know, was true, what would we be saying? That it wasn't justified? The fact remains that these types of incidents show that there's a conspiratorial fanatical culture that we have not yet acknowledged the existence of.

JERRICK: And so the President says, 'Newsweek you need to come out with a very aggressive campaign to rectify this problem', what could be done to possibly rectify the damage?

EMERSON: I'm sorry, but that's absolutely, you know, illogical. The reality is that nothing "Newsweek" does or even the United States does -- the whole PR campaign at the State Department, I would rather them take that money and put it into something in the United States. Nothing is going to convince the vast majority of people in that part of the world if they get all their information from al-Jazeera, from the Islamic radical schools, from their own leaders, from their own web sites that constantly re-enforce the notion that the West is out to get them. That is what bin Laden has been saying for 15 years and they are getting variants of that message. Nothing that "Newsweek" does or the U.S. Government does is going to change that. And we have to deal with that and we have to understand this is an implacable enemy.

JERRICK: Good to see you again.


McCarthy Weighs in on Newsweek Fiasco--Reminds us it's Militant Islam

The Smug Delusion of Base Expectations
Count me out of the Newsweek feeding frenzy.

Andrew C. McCarthy

We're in the grips of a pathology. And it's not media bias.

Here's the late-breaking news (you'll want to be sitting down for this): The mainstream media is ideologically liberal and instinctually hostile to George W. Bush, U.S. foreign policy, and the American military.

No kidding. Really. If you want to throw the off-switch for the cognitive part of your brain — as many conservatives seem only to happy to do this week — then, by all means, that is the story you want to run with in this latest media scandal.

Newsweek, in reckless pursuit of a scoop that might score the daily double of embarrassing the Bush administration while heaping more disrepute on the Left's favorite punching bag, Guantanamo Bay, falsely reported a martial toilet-flushing of the Koran. Oops, I'm sorry, I mean the Holy Koran — after all, I don't want to be left out of the new, vast right-wing "we can be just as nauseatingly pious as they can" conspiracy.

The false report, according to the New York Times, instigated "the most virulent, widespread anti-American protests" in the Muslim world since...well, since the last virulent, widespread anti-American protests in the Muslim world — particularly in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where at least 17 people have been killed.

That's right. The reason for the carnage is said — again and again, by media critics and government officials — to be a false report of Koran desecration. The prime culprit here is irresponsible journalism.

Is that what we really think?

Here's an actual newsflash — and one, yet again, that should be news to no one: The reason for the carnage here was, and is, militant Islam. Nothing more.

Newsweek merely gave the crazies their excuse du jour. But they didn't need a report of Koran desecration to fly jumbo jets into skyscrapers, to blow up embassies, or to behead hostages taken for the great sin of being Americans or Jews. They didn't need a report of Koran desecration to take to the streets and blame the United States while enthusiastically taking innocent lives. This is what they do.

The outpouring of righteous indignation against Newsweek glides past a far more important point. Yes, we're all sick of media bias. But "Newsweek lied and people died" is about as worthy a slogan as the scurrilous "Bush lied and people died" that it parrots. And when we engage in this kind of mindless demagoguery, we become just another opportunistic plaintiff — no better than the people all too ready to blame the CIA because Mohammed Atta steered a hijacked civilian airliner into a big building, and to sue the Port Authority because the building had the audacity to collapse from the blow.

What are we saying here? That the problem lies in the falsity of Newsweek's reporting? What if the report had been true? And, if you're being honest with yourself, you cannot say — based on common sense and even ignoring what we know happened at Abu Ghraib — that you didn't think it was conceivably possible the report could have been true. Flushing the Koran down a toilet (assuming for argument's sake that our environmentally correct, 3.6-liters-per-flush toilets are capable of such a feat) is a bad thing. But rioting? Seventeen people killed? That's a rational response?

Sorry, but I couldn't care less about Newsweek. I'm more worried about the response and our willful avoidance of its examination. Afghanistan has been an American reconstruction project for nearly four years. Pakistan has been a close American "war on terror" ally for just as long. This is what we're getting from the billions spent, the lives lost, and the grand project of exporting nonjudgmental, sharia-friendly democracy? A killing spree? Over this?

In the affirmative-action context, conservatives have written trenchantly about the "soft bigotry of low expectations" — the promotion of a vile dependency-ethos that says "you don't need to strive for better," as a result of which many people who might, don't. Our cognate sense of the Islamic world has become the smug delusion of base expectations.

Someone alleges a Koran flushing and what do we do? We expect, accept, and silently tolerate militant Muslim savagery — lots of it. We become the hangin' judge for the imbeciles whose negligence "triggered" the violence, but offer no judgment about the societal dysfunction that allows this grade of offense to trigger so cataclysmic a reaction. We hop on our high horses having culled from the Left's playbook the most politically correct palaver about the inviolable sanctity of Holy Islamic scripture (and never you mind those verses about annihilating the infidels — the ones being chanted by the killers). And we suspend disbelief, insisting that things would be just fine in a place like Gaza if we could only set up a democracy — a development which, there, appears poised to empower Hamas, terrorists of the same ilk as those in Afghanistan and Pakistan who see comparatively minor indignities as license to commit murder.

"Minor indignities? How can you say something so callous about a desecration of the Holy Koran?" I say it as a member of the real world, not the world of prissy affectation. I don't know about you, but I inhabit a place where crucifixes immersed in urine and Madonna replicas composed of feces are occasions for government funding, not murderous uprisings. If someone was moved to kill on their account, we'd be targeting the killer, not the exhibiting museum, not the "artists," and surely not Newsweek.

I inhabit a world in which my government seeks accommodation with Saudi Arabia and China and Egypt, places where the practice of Christianity results in imprisonment...or worse; in which Jews have been driven from almost every country in the Middle East, and in which the goal of destroying their country, Israel, is viewed by much of the globe as legitimate foreign policy; and in which being a Christian, an animist, or the wrong kind of Muslim in Sudan is grounds for genocide — something the vaunted United Nations seems to regard as more of a spectator sport than a cause of action.

In my world, militant Muslims, capitalizing on the respectful deference of others, have been known tactically to desecrate the Koran themselves: by rigging it with explosives, by using it to secrete and convey terrorist messages, and, yes, even by toilet-flushing parts of it for the nuisance value of flooding the bathrooms at Guantanamo Bay. Just as they have used mosques as sanctuaries, as weapons depots, and as snipers' nests.

There's a problem here. But it's not insensitivity, and it's not media bias. Those things are condemnable, but manageable. The real problem here is a culture that either cannot or will not rein in a hate ideology that fuels killing. When we go after Newsweek, we're giving it a pass. Again.

— Andrew C. McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor, is a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Bahraini Author and Journalist: The Proponents of the Suicide Ideology Have Taken Advantage of Global Communications

In an article that appeared in the Saudi daily Al-Yawm, titled "The Globalization of Islamic Suicide" author and journalist Sawsan Al-Sha'er wrote that the extremist Islamist groups are taking advantage of global communications to recruit suicide bombers, and predicted the spread of the suicide bomber phenomenon to Britain as well. The following are excerpts from the article:(1)

"The Proponents of the Suicide Ideology Have Taken Advantage of Global Communications"

"One of the most conspicuous manifestations of globalization is communication technology, which has made communication between people easy, available, cheap, and accessible to all, large and small, with no need for a license or oversight, via open skies and without geographical or political borders.

"The proponents of the suicide ideology have used global communications in the best possible way, taking advantage of all available and accessible means for disseminating their ideology and writings, with no borders or obstacles to prevent them from doing so.

"Evidence of this is the effectiveness of recruitment of suicide bombers in all Islamic areas, with no need for central leadership to carry out the recruitment, or for a base to take them in. They carry out their suicide operations in many areas on all continents, with no political borders...

"All that is needed for recruiting [suicide bombers] is mass communications, to spread the Islamist slogan. Today, the centers for recruiting [suicide bombers] are no more than websites or satellite television channels, to which the youth connect from internet cafis, scattered throughout our Arab world, that have boosted the still-active traditional recruitment centers concealed in the mosques in far-flung villages.

"Further, perpetrating [suicide attacks] needs no leadership. Any group  even if it is small and limited in capability, and with primitive means  can carry out what it sees fit, as did the group that recently [perpetrated] the recent attacks in Cairo.

"I myself have visited many Jihad websites, and I have seen the extent of the degradation of the minds and lives of the youth, and I see how adults are profiteering from them. Things became worse when the websites began disseminating emails with murderous pictures and ideas that turn a man into a ticking bomb  as if these websites are stores selling weapons without [restriction] by laws or regulations...

The Recruitment Centers are Heard From Preachers' Pulpits and Satellite Channels - Can We Then Ask Where These Murderers Come From?

"...In the Islamic section of a Bahrain paper, one writer published a series of over 20 articles, over the course of an entire year, in which he called on the youth to wage Jihad, cursed the [Arab] regimes and governments, and claimed that in today's societies there is apostasy and sin ... and all this happened within earshot of and before the eyes of the paper's editor-in-chief and director  without them doing a thing to prevent the crime of selling this murderous weapon. This selling is still continuing, and the paper is still raking in the profits.

"The public recruitment centers do not need to call on the youth directly to commit suicide bombings  it is enough for them to create the enemy, and the enthusiasm of the youth takes care of the rest. The pulpits of our mosques are disseminating propaganda to the point where those who hear it say 'Enough.' The teachers in our schools are suckling our children on hatred of the other, and so on and so forth. All these are recruitment centers selling licenses to murder, to anyone who wants...

"Imagine that all these various centers  spoken and heard from the preachers' pulpits or on the satellite channels, and written in books or [posted] on websites  sell licenses [to murder]. Can we then ask where these murderers come from?...

"The sellers of licenses to kill have effectively taken advantagae of global communications to serve their purposes. And why not? After all, their activity is not subject to legislation or oversight... After we read about three English youths of Asian background breaking into one of the mosques in London to prevent the worshipers from voting in the [recent] elections, on the grounds that [Muslims] should not vote in these elections, expect the English 'Islamist' version of exploding suicide bombers soon.

"This is the globalization of the suicide culture."

(1) Al-Yawm (Saudi Arabia), May 12, 2005.

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) is an independent, non-profit organization that translates and analyzes the media of the Middle East. Copies of articles and documents cited, as well as background information, are available on request.

MEMRI holds copyrights on all translations. Materials may only be used with proper attribution.

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI)
P.O. Box 27837, Washington, DC 20038-7837
Phone: (202) 955-9070
Fax: (202) 955-9077


Monday, May 16, 2005

This Week's Palestinian Authority Sermon: We (Muslims) Will Rule America; Israel is a Cancer; Jews are a Virus Resembling AIDS; Muslims Will Finish Th

To view this Special Dispatch in HTML, visit

The following are excerpts from this week's official Friday sermon on Palestinian Authority (PA) TV.(1) The preacher is Sheik Ibrahim Mudeiris, a paid employee of the PA. To view the sermon visit .

"Allah has tormented us with 'the people most hostile to the believers'  the Jews. 'Thou shalt find that the people most hostile to the believers to be the Jews and the polytheists.' Allah warned His beloved Prophet Muhammad about the Jews, who had killed their prophets, forged their Torah, and sowed corruption throughout their history.

"With the establishment of the state of Israel, the entire Islamic nation was lost, because Israel is a cancer spreading through the body of the Islamic nation, and because the Jews are a virus resembling AIDS, from which the entire world suffers.

"You will find that the Jews were behind all the civil strife in this world. The Jews are behind the suffering of the nations.

"Ask Britain what it did to the Jews in the early sixth century. What did they do to the Jews? They expelled them, tortured them, and prevented them from entering Britain for more than 300 years. All this was because of what the Jews did in Britain. Ask France what it did to the Jews. They tortured them, expelled them, and burned their Talmud, because of the civil strife the Jews wanted to spark in France, in the days of Louis XIX. Ask Portugal what it did to the Jews. Ask Czarist Russia, which welcomed the Jews, who plotted to kill the Czar - so he massacred them. But don't ask Germany what it did to the Jews. It was the Jews who provoked Nazism to wage war against the entire world, when the Jews, using the Zionist movement, got other countries to wage an economic war on Germany and to boycott German merchandise. They provoked Russia, Britain, France, and Italy. This enraged the Germans toward the Jews, leading to the events of those days, which the Jews commemorat today.

"But they are committing worse deeds than those done to them in the Nazi war. Yes, perhaps some of them were killed and some burned, but they are inflating this in order to win over the of the media and gain the world's sympathy. The worst crimes in history were committed against the Jews, yet these crimes are no worse than what the Jews are doing in Palestine. What was done to the Jews was a crime, but isn't what the Jews are doing today in the land of Palestine not a crime?!

"Look at modern history. Where has Great Britain gone? Where has Czarist Russia gone? Where has France gone - France, which almost ruled the entire world? Where is Nazi Germany, which massacred millions and ruled the world? Where did all these superpowers go? He who made them disappear will make America disappear too, God willing. He who made Russia disappear overnight is capable of making America disappear and fall, Allah willing.

"We have ruled the world before, and by Allah, the day will come when we will rule the entire world again. The day will come when we will rule America. The day will come when we will rule Britain and the entire world  except for the Jews. The Jews will not enjoy a life of tranquility under our rule, because they are treacherous by nature, as they have been throughout history. The day will come when everything will be relived of the Jews - even the stones and trees which were harmed by them. Listen to the Prophet Muhammad, who tells you about the evil end that awaits Jews. The stones and trees will want the Muslims to finish off every Jew."

(1) Palestinian Authority TV, May 13, 2005.

For more information on the subject: See "Palestinian Authority Sermons 2000-2003," December 26, 2003,

*MEMRITV Clip No. 647, "Sheik Ibrahim Mudeiris in a PA Friday Sermon: Muslim Prisoners Are Forced to Convert to Christianity in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine,"

*MEMRI TV Clip No. 608, "Palestinian Authority Friday Sermon: The Time Has Come for the 'Great Jihad,'"

*MEMRI TV Clip No. 563, "Sermons on Palestinian TV,"

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) is an independent, non-profit organization that translates and analyzes the media of the Middle East. Copies of articles and documents cited, as well as background information, are available on request.

MEMRI holds copyrights on all translations. Materials may only be used with proper attribution.

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI)
P.O. Box 27837, Washington, DC 20038-7837
Phone: (202) 955-9070
Fax: (202) 955-9077


FAIR Legislative Update

May 16, 2005

In this update:
President Signs REAL ID into Law!

New Guestworker Amnesty Legislation Hangs a "For Sale" Sign on Citizenship

McCain/Kennedy Expected to Unveil New Guestworker/Amnesty Legislation

Minuteman Vows to Continue Efforts

Border Patrol Ordered to Keep Arrests Down in Arizona

House Hearing Praises Dreier Social Security Bill

Recent Floor Statements

Upcoming Events

President Signs REAL ID into Law!
Congratulations on a job well done! Last Wednesday, President Bush signed the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act containing the REAL ID provisions into law, making it Public Law 109-13.

This new law will help keep driver's licenses out of the hands of illegal aliens and the terrorists among them, will close dangerous loopholes in our asylum laws, will bolster border security, and will increase funding for immigration enforcement.

This significant victory would not be possible without your tremendous efforts. You sent the message home to Congress with countless phone calls, faxes, and emails. Many of you even met with your legislators in person to stress the importance of enacting these homeland security/immigration enforcement reforms. You gave it your all, and we succeeded! Thank you.

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New Guestworker Amnesty Legislation Hangs a "For Sale" Sign on Citizenship
Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA) reintroduced his military on the border bill on April 28 with 34 original cosponsors. H.R. 1986 would authorize the Secretary of Defense to assign members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps to assist the Department of Homeland Security in the performance of border protection functions.

Help build support for putting troops on the border! Send FREE faxes from our web site urging your legislators to cosponsor H.R. 1986.

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McCain/Kennedy Expected to Unveil New Guestworker/Amnesty Legislation
On May 12, Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Representatives Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) introduced companion guestworker amnesty bills, S. 1033 and H.R. 2330.

The text of this legislation is not yet available, but here's what we've learned this legislation entails.

Millions of currently resident illegal aliens would be permitted to buy guestworker status for a fee of $1,000. After the first three year term they could apply for three year extensions (for another $1000), and in the meantime, apply for green cards. After six years they would be eligible for permanent residency, which could ultimately lead to full U.S. citizenship.

New foreign workers would be permitted to buy three year renewable visas for $500, provided they can find an employer that will hire them. They too could apply for green cards after three years, and ultimately U.S. citizenship.

This bill creates a new H-5A visa category which permits 400,000 new guestworkers each year.

Nothing in the legislation prevents employers from continuing to hire illegal aliens. In fact, the sponsors of this legislation recently stated that they didn't think employers should be punished for hiring illegal workers.

Selling citizenship to illegal aliens and new foreign workers is NOT a legitimate immigration policy.

Once the details of this legislation become clearer we will update you further and request your assistance in opposing this outrageous guestworker amnesty by sending free faxes through our website to your legislators expressing strong opposition to S.1033 and H.R.2330.

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Minuteman Vows to Continue Efforts
Minuteman organizer Chris Simcox told members of the House Government Reform Committee that Americans are tired of waiting for the government to secure the borders and that he and others with continue their efforts to stem the tide of illegal aliens crossing the border illegally. Simcox said Congress should put the National Guard or U.S. military troops on the border, and increase the border patrol to deal with illegal aliens, drug smugglers, and terrorists crossing the border. Read more.

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Border Patrol Ordered to Keep Arrests Down in Arizona
The Washington Times reports that U.S. Border Patrol agents have been ordered not to arrest illegal aliens along the 23-mile section of the Arizona border monitored last month by Minuteman volunteers. More than a dozen border patrol agents, who wish not to be identified, said orders relayed by Border Patrol supervisors at Naco, AZ made clear that arrests were not to go up because an increase in apprehensions there would prove the effectiveness of the Minuteman project.

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House Hearing Praises Dreier Social Security Bill
The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration held a hearing last week on H.R. 98 by Rep. David Dreier (R-CA), which would upgrade Social Security cards by making them tamper resistant, machine readable and would require employers to verify social security numbers of all employees. The bill would also steeply increase fines for employing illegal aliens.

The hearing was a start toward drawing badly needed attention to the fact that we need to strengthen enforcement of employer sanctions laws that have been on the books for 19 years now.

Visit our Stein Report for comments by FAIR's Director of Government Relations on the hearing.

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Recent Floor Statements

On May 11, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) commented on Securing America's Borders And Combating Illegal Immigration
On May 11, Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA) commented on Correcting The Enrollment Of H.R. 1268
On May 9, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) commented on the Conference Report On H.R. 1268, Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act For Defense, The Global War On Terror, And Tsunami Relief Act, 2005
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Upcoming Events

The Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Citizenship and the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security will hold a joint hearing on "The Need for Comprehensive Immigration Reform: Strengthening Our National Security." When/Where: May 17, 2:30PM, 226 Dirksen Senate Office Building.
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