La vida

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MICHAEL W. CUTLER, FORMER INSPECTOR, EXAMINER AND SPECIAL AGENT, IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE, HEARING BEFORE THE COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY, U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 109TH CONGRESS, SECOND SESSION, SEPTEMBER 1, 2006 A nation’s primary responsibility is to provide for the safety and security of itscitizens and yet, for reasons I cannot begin to fathom, the members of the Senate who voted for S. 2611 are seemingly oblivious to the lessons that the disastrous amnesty of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) should have taught us. That piece of legislation led to the greatest influx of illegal aliens in the history of our nation. Fraud and a lack of integrity of the immigrationsystem not only flooded our nation with illegal aliens who ran our borders, hoping that what had been billed as a ‘‘one time’’ amnesty would be repeated, but it also enabled a number of terrorists and many criminals to enter the United States and then embed themselves in the United States.

nation’s kindness, weakness, gaming the immigration system to enter our country and then, hide in plainsight, among us. As I recall, when IRCA was proposed, one of the selling points was that along with amnesty for what was believed to have been a population of some 1.5 million illegal aliens would be a new approach to turn off what has been described as the ‘‘magnet’’ that draws the majority of illegal aliens into the United States in the first place, the prospect of securing employment in the UnitedStates. In order to accomplish this important goal, IRCA imposed penalties against those unscrupulous employers who knowingly hired illegal aliens. My former colleagues and I were pleased to see that under the employer sanctions of IRCA, the unscrupulous employers of illegal aliens would be made accountable, or so we thought. We were frustrated that we had seen all too many employers hire illegalaliens and treat them horrendously. They paid them sub-standard wages and created unsafe, indeed hazardous working conditions for the illegal aliens they hired, knowing full well that these aliens would not complain because they feared being reported to the INS [Immigration and Naturalization Service, now U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)]. Meanwhile the employer would not face anypenalty for his outrageous conduct. Finally, it seemed that the employer sanctions provisions of IRCA would discourage employers from hiring illegal aliens and would also make it less likely they would treat their employees as miserably as some of these employers did. Of course, we now know that the relative handful of special agents who were assigned to conduct investigations of employers whohired illegal aliens made it unlikely that employers would face a significant risk of being caught violating these laws and that they would face an even smaller chance of being seriously fined. Furthermore, the way that the amnesty provisions of the

A notable example of such a terrorist can be found in a review of the facts concerning Mahmud Abouhalima, a citizen of Egypt who entered theUnited States on a tourist visa, overstayed his authorized period of admission and then applied for amnesty under the agricultural worker provisions of IRCA. He succeeded in obtaining resident alien status through this process. During a five year period he drove a cab and had his license suspended numerous times for violations of law and ultimately demonstrated his appreciation for our nation’sgenerosity by participating in the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 that left six people dead, hundreds of people injured and an estimated one-half billion dollars in damage inflicted, on that iconic, ill-fated complex. . . . The other terrorists who attacked our nation on subsequent attacks, including the attacks of September 11, 2001, similarly exploited our generosity, seeing in our...
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