Send The Warrior Angels Dear Lord!

Send The Warrior Angels Dear Lord!
Victory For The Lord And His People

Friday, December 7, 2007

THE REAL TERRORISM IN AMERICA











New York Times: "Immigration Contractor Trims Wages"
Hi Gang: I received a link to the New York Times article I have attached from Bruce DeCell last night . Bruce is a founding member of an organization I advise, "9/11 Families for a Secure America." Bruce, as you may know, is a former New York City police officer whose son-in-law was among the many people who were slaughtered when airliners were crashed into the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001. Bruce was not the only person to forward this article to me, several other concerned American citizens forwarded the article to me because they recognized what our country apparently is unable or unwilling to recognize, that the processing of applications for immigration benefits represents a potential area of vulnerability to our nation and our citizens. I certainly appreciate having heard from a number of the folks out there because, in addition to being helpful to me, it also is comforting and encouraging to know that our fellow Americans are becoming more aware and concerned about these critical issues. It was once stated that if you want to place a spy into an organization you are best served by putting that spy in the file room of the organization. The fact of the matter i that our government has become addicted to hiring outside contractors to do the jobs that dedicated civil servants used to perform. This may enable contractors who win those lucrative contracts to make money but it means that rather than employing government workers who are working the way up the ladder or at least building equity in the government pension system, you wind up with workers who are simply looking for a paycheck. The work performed by the support personnel at USCIS is not a temporary job. As long as aliens immigrate to the United States and seek various immigration benefits including naturalization, there will be a demand for the jobs done by these employees. Privatization may seem like a good idea to some, but to me, I believe that it makes better sense to employ a dedicated workforce of government employees. The article notes that now that a new company, Stanley, Inc., has been awarded the contract to do the support work for USCIS that they will have to hire employees to replace those who had been previously employed by the old contractor. They may pick up some of the previous employees as their employees, but it would appear that they won the contract by underbidding their competitors. This means that now those who are part of the system that performs critical backroom paperwork and other functions will suffer a pay cut of some $400 per month. I have attached a job offering from the company that is now responsible for assisting in the adjudications process where immigration benefits are concerned. The first question is, "How do you attract and motivate people who will be doing this important work?" This is a question that is apparently being asked by Senator Bernard Sanders of Vermont. Senator Sanders is right on target with that question. Another question that I would want to have an answer to is, "What impact will this salary cut have not only on morale but on integrity?" In considering this question you should also consider that a portion of the workforce will be given a "bonus" if they can boost productivity. I put the word bonus in quotes because the amount of the bonus is the amount of money that was taken out of their salaries in the first place! I am all for getting the "most bang for the buck." Certainly as a taxpayer I want our government's employees and those who are contract employees of our government to be as productive as possible. However, how do you measure productivity? I am willing to bet that the measure of productivity will be how fast the job gets done, not how accurately the job gets done. In a recent commentary I compared the work at USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) with an old episode of "I Love Lucy" where Lucy and her sidekick Ethel get jobs at a candy factory where they are supposed to wrap candy. The conveyor belt continues to speed up until the hapless duo find candy flying at them at warp speed! Everyone found that episode to be extremely funny, so much so that when I use that analogy to illustrate the issue when I speak before live audiences, the audience usually laughs heartily. Of course the scene was intended to be hilarious. The situation at USCIS is anything but funny. This represents a threat to national security. Just over one year ago, Senators Charles Grassley of Iowa and Sue Collins of Maine requested that the GAO conduct an investigation into the allegation that in 2005 USCIS had "lost" 111,000 immigration alien files relating to aliens seekinf various immigration benefits including some 30,000 who sought to naturalize. The GAO issued a report confirming that this had, in fact, happened. The GAO report can be accessed at: http://grassley.senate.gov/public/releases/2006/11282006.pdf Senator Grassley issued a press release that can be found at: http://grassley.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detail&PressRelease_id=6a0ab105-2d8f-4938-bc0d-f8323de205a8&Month=11&Year=2006 The text of the press release follows:
For Immediate Release November 28th, 2006 GAO REPORT INDICATES UP TO 30,000 CITIZENSHIP APPLICATIONS PROCESSED WITHOUT CONSULTATION OF IMPORTANT BACKGROUND MATERIALS
WASHINGTON – Senators Chuck Grassley and Susan Collins today released a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that says 111,000 alien files (A-files) were missing in 14 United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices. The report also says that as many as 30,000 immigrants’ applications to become U.S. citizens were processed despite the missing files.
USCIS is responsible for processing noncitizens’ applications to live or work in the U.S. , either permanently or on a temporary basis, or to become a U.S. citizen. For certain noncitizens, such as immigrants, USCIS creates an alien file, called an A-file, to serve as the primary file for all the noncitizen’s immigration-related applications and related documents. Not only does USCIS staff rely on an alien’s historical A-file to determine eligibility for immigration benefits, but other federal homeland security and law enforcement agencies use A-files during criminal investigations and to determine whether an alien should be removed from or allowed to stay in the U.S.
Senators Grassley and Collins requested the report after the Immigration and Naturalization Service granted U.S. citizenship to a suspected terrorist, without checking his A-file, which had been lost. His citizenship application was therefore approved despite indications in his A-file about ties to a terrorist organization.
“It only takes one missing file of somebody with links to a terrorist organization to become an American citizen. A terrorist can be unsuccessful thousands of times, but we have to be perfect all the time,” Grassley said. “We can’t afford to be handing out citizenship with blinders on.”
“We should remember that some of the September 11th hijackers had come into the country with legal visas but were allowed to get ‘lost in the system’ before they surfaced again to unleash their attack. It is unthinkable that since then, our immigration system still allows a person with known terrorist ties to become a citizen simply because they can’t find the person’s file,” said Senator Collins. “It is imperative to homeland security as well as the immigration and citizenship process, that the government do a better job of tracking all those who are allowed to enter our country and perform thorough and complete background checks before they are allowed to become citizens.”
The Senators said the missing files not only cause great concern for security, but the missing files also cause unnecessary delays for thousands of honest, hardworking immigrants trying to become U.S. citizens.
USCIS manages more than 55 million A-files. The GAO study found that USCIS may not have used A-files in processing 30,000 naturalization applications out of the 715,000 processed in 2005. DHS, which includes USCIS, agreed with the GAO’s recommendations to require A-file users to record whether an A-file was used to process a naturalization application and to correct any identified deficiencies in file tracking compliance As you will have noticed, I have highlighted several sentences that are particularly significant, in my judgement. Over the past several years naturalized citizens have used their status as United States citizens to obtain employment in sensitive jobs that enabled them to spy on our nation. Some have spied for other countries such as China. Others have spied on our nation to aid terrorist organizations such as was the case with FBI Special Agent Nada Prouty of whom I have written a number of commentaries in the last couple of weeks. Clearly the alien who is granted resident alien status and especially the alien who acquired United States citizenship has been handed the keys to the kingdom. When an airplane crashes federal investigators race to the location of the crash for a number of reasons. The most noteworthy is a desire to determine what needs to be done to prevent similar crashes. The purpose of the 911 Commission was purportedly to learn from the mistakes of our government to protect our nation and our citizens from future terrorist attacks. Yet the system by which the keys to the kingdom that immigration benefits represents is apparently being ignored. By making it clear to these private employees that they will be rewarded for moving the system as fast as possible with no incentive to seek to uncover fraud or other such factors, few if any employees will "waste time" concerned about such critically important issues. Additionally, I worry about human nature. People who are under extreme financial pressure who also may well feel disenfranchised might be more likely to become corrupted. Consider what United States citizenship would be worth to a criminal or especially a spy or a terrorists. Also realize that once an employee has accepted a bribe, such employee will be forever fearful of disclosure by the person who provided them with the bribe in the first place. Once such an employee has been "bought" that employee will forever be the property of the person who bribed him (her) in the first place. I want you to consider a quote from the article I have attached below: “The goal is to try to get this work done as efficiently as possible,” said Shawn Saucier, a spokesman for Citizenship and Immigration Services. He said the wage dispute was between the contractor and the employees and did not involve the agency. I want to know what Mr. Saucier spiked his coffee with! His statement reflects a serious disconnect: he is disconnected from reality and he is also convinced that since USCIS does not directly employ the workers at Stanley, Inc., he apparently believes that any issue involving those workers are not the concern of USCIS! What I want to know is who is going to make those employees of Stanley accountable? USCIS seems to believe that they are not involved because those workers are paid for and employed by a private company. I could imagine the management at Stanley similarly saying that it is up to USCIS to provide leadership and motivation! What all of us should be asking is "Who is in charge here?" Additionally I have done a bit of mathematical computation and figured out that if, as the article noted, Stanley, Inc. employs 1020 employees to do the work for USCIS and if Stanley, Inc., receives $225 million dollars for the life of the three year contract that Stanley, Inc., is being paid $73,529.41 per year for each employee. Of course their are benefits that presumably Stanley, Inc., must pay for each employee and each employee may not be earning the same paycheck, but it would certainly seem that in the long run it would be better for the federal government to simply hire employees and make certain that there is no ambiguity as to who is in charge. I am willing to bet that each employee would receive more money than the current contract arrangement calls for. Higher quality employees might therefore be attracted and the higher salaries might translate into better morale and a decreased likelihood that employees might be prone to compromise. Perhaps the government might even save some money by eliminating the "middleman" (Stanley, Inc.). As I have noted in so many of my commentaries and when I have appeared before Congress and other venues, while many people equate the immigration crisis with our nation' porous borders, in reality while the lack of security at our nation's borders represents a serious threat to our nation, it is only one of many critical areas of concern. The adjudications process may seem to be mundane and does not offer the opportunity for dramatic video footage as does the image of illegal aliens charging across our borders or ICE special agents executing search and warrants, providing United States citizenship and even resident alien status to aliens represents a major component of national security. Spies and terrorists certainly understand this basic principle, it is time our nation' "leaders" came to the same understanding! We the People need to make our concerns known to those who allege to represent us in Washington. Democracy is not a spectator sport! Lead, follow or get out of the way! -Michael Cutler-
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