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We’re safer than ever from terrorists?

September 20, 2016

The media are now contrasting the two major candidates’ views about combating immigration problems that may relate to terrorism.

In a nutshell, Hillary Clinton’s argument is “I know how to do this and I will be the voice of reason by continuing the current Obama policies.”  These policies include “providing better outreach and communication.”

Donald Trump is advocating for stronger responses and better tools to handle the problems.

In spite of CNN”s “creative” editing, Mr. Trump did not call for “racial” profiling.  He did make the point that profiling according to the type of person most likely to commit crimes and terroristic acts needs to be a bigger part of handling immigration as well as terrorism.

If that means certain groups have a higher incidence of profiling, that might be because those groups comprise the majority of illegal immigrants or terrorists.

Part of that strategy should be having accurate information on file.

Should he win the presidency, perhaps the first thing Mr. Trump should do is fix the snafus.

The next thing might be to upgrade the nation’s IT infrastructure to sometime in the 21st century and fire people who are just putting in their time until retirement.

Then he can worry about the wall. If we can afford a wall, we can afford hardware and software upgrades.

Deficiencies in enforcement contribute to the danger in our streets.

ABC News is reporting that 858 people, most of whom are from “countries of concern”  or were already on deportation lists for what is described as criminal behavior were mistakenly granted citizenship, per that agency’s inspector general.

Later reports put the number at some 1811 known cases.

OK, that’s not a lot of people in comparison to the number of people that have entered the country since the  ’90’s, but remember that’s just the ones the IG report has validated.

This problem apparently stems from the difficulty of converting the old paper records to digital ones, since some of the old records do not include fingerprints.

It isn’t just these 858 or 1811.The IG’s report lists as many as 315,000 persons who have deportation orders pending, many of them for criminal acts, but no fingerprints in the file. Of that amount, at least 148,000 haven’t been reviewed at all.

The problem began in the 1990’s when we were just beginning to build the network of interrelated databases we have now. The problems continued well into 2010, with only sporadic fingerprinting being included in the files.

That makes verifying the identity of a potential deportee next to impossible, and increases the chances that innocent people will be deported and the criminals will be left behind.

Every department of the Federal government that’s been in the news recently has said they don’t have modern systems and hardware to do their jobs adequately.

Maybe that’s true. If so, then there should surely be at least a discussion of putting nonessential spending (like annual parties, raises and bonuses) on hold until they have the tools and the right people necessary to use them.

There is also the problem of the Obama administration not even pursuing immigration or terrorism cases when they do get referrals.

Although Mrs. Clinton and President Obama  may think that ignoring or denying the problems promotes peace, in reality the exact opposite is true.

By now the public has heard one too many times about some bomber or shooter that “everybody” thought was acting strange, but nobody did anything about.

The upshot?

With no way to tell the good from the bad, it’s human nature to suspect everyone.

It’s hard to buy the argument that we are safer now than on 9/11, when we don’t even know what we don’t know.

Stick with the status quo?  Uh, maybe not.

From → op-ed

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