Phi Beta Cons

Will the Immigration Bill Protect Us from Terrorists?

Before the immigration bill was adopted in the Senate, Kris Kobach, a professor of law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, warned that it would “handcuff” local and state police in the War on Terror. The bill, he wrote, “would limit local police to making arrests only for criminal violations of immigration law, not civil violations”–a dangerous provision given that “[all] of the 9/11 hijackers immigration violations were civil, not criminal. So police officers would have no power to arrest such terrorists.” 9/11 hijacker Ziad Jarrah, for example, violated civil law by not changing to a student visa when he entered flight school. What other such “hidden surprises” (Kobach’s phrase) lurk in this bill? The matter needs to be thoroughly explored. We need assurance that the enforcement of this new immigration bill does not endanger our national security.

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