Invaders On The Loose
January 1, 2003
You've seen their mugs plastered on TV: Abid Noraiz Ali, 25; Mustafa Khan Owasi, 33; Iftikhar Khozmai Ali, 21; Adil Pervez, 19; and Akbar Jamal, 28.
According to intelligence sources, these five Middle Eastern or South Asian men are illegal aliens who recently snuck into America from Canada. They are allegedly part of a much larger group of invaders wanted by the FBI for questioning. Law enforcement agencies want the public's help to track them down, but both U.S. and Canadian officials are refusing to tell us exactly how and where they might have entered.
Heaven forbid they give us enough specific information to start holding anybody accountable for the continuing infiltration of immigration outlaws into our country.
So how did the Christmas quintet get in? Here's my invasion scenario:
The journey begins in Pakistan, the operations base for an international smuggling ring that exploits one of Canada's most notoriously insecure documents -- the IMM 1000 immigration form. These forms, the Canadian equivalent of U.S. green cards for legal permanent residents, contain no photos. Just the name and age of the holders. The smugglers buy genuine IMM 1000 forms from Pakistani immigrants in Canada, then illegally peddle them in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Using false identities and bogus passports along with their IMM 1000 documents, the invaders board planes in Pakistan, transit through Dubai, travel through Britain or another European country, and touch down at a Canadian air port of entry in Montreal, Vancouver or at Toronto's Pearson International Airport.
Even if they land without documents, the smugglees can simply claim refugee status and be automatically released. Barely a month after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Pearson airport officials allowed 50 Pakistanis and Afghanistanis to invoke the magic "r-word" and walk free. More than a year later, nothing has changed.
From Canada, the invaders can waltz across our northern border. On the West Coast, they'll pass orange rubber cones that substitute for Border Patrol agents and flimsy signs that ask them to check in at the nearest inspection station. Or they may walk in full view of the useless, broken cameras installed by International Microwave Corporation under a $200 million federal contract. Or they'll be apprehended -- only to be "caught and released" by agents who don't have access to terrorist databases and who are under orders not to clog up detention space with "harmless" border-crossers.
In remote areas along the northern border with Minnesota and Michigan, the invaders can stuff themselves in cars owned by special permit holders who are allowed to drive from Canada into the U.S. and avoid official ports of entry. The program is called CANPASS; the motto is "Saving you time at the border."
On the East Coast, the invaders can follow the route of countless other illegal aliens across the St. Lawrence River and through the St. Regis Mohawk reservation at Akwesasne, N.Y. The reservation has been a hotspot for criminal alien smugglers assisted by tribal members. Immigration officials estimate that between 300 and 500 illegal aliens a month have entered the U.S. through the reservation in recent years. One Mohawk, Charlie Little Tree, estimated that between 1,000 and 8,000 tribal members currently on the reserve are involved in the alien smuggling trade.
From the reservation, invaders are packed in vans and driven through the backroads of the Adirondack Mountains before pulling onto the Thruway and straight into Manhattan to "do the jobs no one else wants to do."
Canada's Immigration Department was warned of the Pakistani smuggling ring and its roots in Montreal and Cornwall by former immigration officer Valeriu Diaconescu last fall, but the agency did nothing. Thanks to the inaction of liberal Citizenship and Immigration Minister Denis Coderre, "terrorist networks may be using these forged forms to smuggle people into Canada," noted Canadian Alliance MP Rahim Jaffer last spring. "Will it take a terrorist attack here in this country before the minister starts to act?"
As the continuing failure of America's immigration officials to stop the invasion from the north shows, even that is not enough.
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