I was pleased to have an opportunity to interview FOX News commentator Michelle Malkin via email. Michelle has appeared on The O’Reilly Factor, Hannity and Colmes, The McLaughlin Group, The Lehrer Report, and 20/20. Furthermore, her syndicated column is carried by 100 papers nationwide and her new book, Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists, Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores is currently ranked 9th on the bestseller list at Amazon.
John Hawkins: Do you believe that police departments should be involved in rounding up illegal aliens?
Michelle Malkin: They should cooperate with the INS. Sniper suspects John Muhammed and Lee Malvo would probably still be on the loose if the Bellingham police hadn’t called in the INS, which obtained Malvo’s fingerprints.
John Hawkins: Do you think we should use the military to control the Mexican border?
Michelle Malkin: Yes. Every measly “No Entry” sign should immediately be replaced with an armed National Guardsman–at least until 100,000 new Border Patrol and interior enforcement agents are trained and ready to be deployed.
John Hawkins: From the latest statistics I’ve seen, we have somewhere between 8-10 million illegal aliens in the United States. What do we need to do to get these people out the United States?
Michelle Malkin: We must develop an effective system of detention and deportation to rid our collective home of uninvited guests-and keep them out. Illegal aliens who have been ordered deported must not be allowed to run free. The voluntary departure option is an escape hatch that must be eliminated. This policy benefits no one but the aliens who eagerly volunteer to abuse our deportation system’s undeserved trust. Congress should amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to eliminate voluntary departure as an option during removal proceedings before an immigration judge. Moreover, federal law mandates that criminal aliens who re-enter the United States after deportation face up to 20 years in jail. Yet, the law is followed sporadically by United States Attorney’s Offices. Enforce the law. We also need to greatly expand INS detention capacity.
Every Border Patrol agent and INS investigator must be trained in, and have access to, the INS and FBI fingerprint systems, as well as all available lookout databases. Fugitives from deportation who are caught must face stiff prison terms, followed by immediate deportation, and permanent exclusion from our country. The number of visas granted to citizens from countries with a high number of illegal visa overstayers must be sharply reduced.
John Hawkins: Other than Tom Tancredo, I’ve seen very few politicians who have been willing to go after illegal immigrants although the polling data I’ve seen shows that the American people strongly favor strict enforcement of our immigration laws. Why do you think that is?
Michelle Malkin: As in many other cases, small but focused minorities trump dispersed,unorganized majorities (see Mancur Olsen’s classic book, “The Logic of Collective Action”).
John Hawkins: What steps would you recommend to reform the INS?
Michelle Malkin: The War on Terror will not be won if the generals are not prepared or willing to fight it. The current head of the INS is a man who freely joked after September 11 that “People who say I don’t have any experience in the area are absolutely right” and assured illegal aliens that it is “not practical or reasonable” to deport them. Such utterances can only have a negative effect on morale among experienced rank-and-file agents, inspectors, and investigators trying to enforce the law. Tough times require tough managers-and even tougher sanctions against boobs, frauds, and sellouts. Congress must pass a law allowing the Attorney General to fire at will INS employees who compromise our national security. Remove all supervisors involved in the Miami International Airport/Krome Detention Center scandal from sensitive positions. Aggressively prosecute fraud, misconduct, theft, and incompetence at the highest levels of the agency. Publish an annual list of INS officials convicted of criminal misconduct. Strengthen federal whistleblower protections. Reward agency truth-tellers with management positions in their fields of expertise; demote or fire supervisors who retaliate against them.
John Hawkins: Has our immigration system been improved significantly since 9/11? If so, how so? If not, why do you think we haven’t seen more progress?
Michelle Malkin: The system has improved in some minor respects. Information-sharing between the Immigration and Naturalization Service and State Department improved after the attacks. Operation Tarmac weeded hundreds of illegal aliens out of high-security clearance jobs at airports nationwide. The Visa Express program disappeared this summer after relentless criticism by National Review. New, but temporary, scrutiny for young, male visa applicants from Middle Eastern countries was introduced. Congress sprinkled a few hundred more border-patrol agents on the frontlines. Immigration officers also received a few more boats, cameras, night goggles, and pepperball guns. The Social Security Administration began cracking down on illegal alien workers with bogus identification.
On the other hand, temporary visas for Middle Eastern students, tourists, and businessmen remain plentiful; immigrant visas continue to be given away at random or for the right price; the borders remain porous; the welcome mat for illegal aliens is expanding; and the deportation system is in shambles. Despite strong public support for stronger controls, officials in both major parties continue to be paralyzed by political correctness and bureaucratic sclerosis. They have yet to come to grips with the reality of homicidal America-haters lurking at our doorstep – evildoers whose modus operandi is to infiltrate our country, then kill us. Our leaders have failed in one of their most basic constitutional responsibilities: to provide for the common defense.
John Hawkins: Do you believe that we should stop issuing visas to people from terrorist supporting nations like Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, etc, for the foreseeable future with only a few limited exceptions? Why or why not?
Michelle Malkin: Yes. Because our national security is more important than ensuring that a Yemeni tourist gets to go to Disneyland.
John Hawkins: In your opinion, how feasible would it be for a terrorist to sneak into the US with a nuclear weapon? Either across the Mexican border, the Canadian border, or by sea?
Michelle Malkin: A terrorist who has a nuclear weapon inside a suitcase would have no problem whatsoever smuggling it into this country, wither across the Mexican border, the Canadian border, or on a ship (e.g., traveling across the Great Lakes into Michigan from Canada). Unfortunately, no amount of border security can completely eliminate this threat.
John Hawkins: Speculate for us — what would be the consequences of having truly ‘open borders?’
Michelle Malkin: Our enemies would be able to drive or fly into our country at will, carrying weapons of mass destruction if they wished.
John Hawkins: According to Joel Mowbray at National Review, at least fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 terrorists should have been denied visas. First off, do you agree with Mowbray’s contention? Secondly, do you think it would be fair to say that if the State Department had simply enforced the laws we already have on the books that 9/11 would not have happened?
Michelle Malkin: Yes, and yes.
John Hawkins: Can you tell our readers a little bit about your new book,Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists, Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores.
Michelle Malkin: Invasion shows how every component of immigration enforcement has failed-from overwhelmed consular offices, to overwhelmed borders, to overwhelmed detention centers and deportation proceedings. I tell the buried stories of dozens of Americans who died as a result of lax immigration enforcement: grandmothers, teenagers, rookie cops and veteran troopers brutally murdered by criminal aliens on the loose. And I expose the shocking stories of torturers and other suspected war criminals who waltzed through our front doors along with foreign terrorists.
John Hawkins: Are there any political web pages that you enjoy and could recommend to our readers?
Thanks to Michelle for taking the time to do an interview with us. You can read more of Michelle’s work at her homepage.