7/22/2005

FAA Certifies Illegal Immigrants

Federal agents arrested 27 illegal immigrants at the Piedmont/Triad International Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina. What were these guys doing when they were arrested? They were working on commercial jet airliners! These 27 men originally came from a variety of countries, including Sudan, Chile, Peru, Zimbabwe, the Philippines, Venezuela, Mexico, and Laos. But they had one thing in common: they almost all possessed valid North Carolina driver’s licenses — as well as other documents including airplane-repair licenses, phony Social Security documents, counterfeit green cards, and even a falsified passport.

Were these illegal aliens really terrorists? Probably not; at least there’s no evidence of that so far. But the problem is, any one of them could have been. Remember, the 9-11 hijackers used state-issued driver’s licenses to board the planes.

“Practically everybody we arrest has a North Carolina driver’s license on them,� said Thomas O’Connell of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Lots of people even come from other states, because under liberal Gov. Mike Easley, it’s really easy to get North Carolina licenses. “

What’s more, in the official AP wire story that did run, the lead paragraph was NOT about the national security threat of having illegal aliens working on jet airliners at an international airport inside the heartland of America. Rather, it was about how leaders of El Pueblo, a so-called “Hispanic advocacy group,� were going to Washington to protest the potential passage of the “Real ID Act� in Congress next month.

“If something like Real ID passed, it would be devastating for many in our community,� said Andrea Bazan Manson, director of the Raleigh-based group that organized the lobbying effort to protest tougher regulations against giving licenses to illegals. These Hispanic activists believe the proposed law “unfairly targets hardworking immigrants and could result in public safety problems,� according to AP.

These intruders have some good attributes, like hard work, but they are still here in America illegally. That very fact constitutes a threat, not to mention an economic liability, for our country. Giving illegal aliens government-issued IDs is simply wrong. They are breaking our laws and we are rewarding them for doing so. The “face� of illegal immigration is definitely changing. The stereotype of all illegal immigrants being manual laborers is clearly false. The incident at PTI Airport illustrates that fact. The FAA has to train and certify these aircraft technicians. Proper security and screening never should have let this incident happen.

That is the first part of the story. The second might even be worse. We have CEOs of big companies who have an affair with their secretaries, and that makes national front page news. Yet, when illegal aliens with false documents are found to be secretly working on jet airplanes, that story passes under the radar screen without even a blip. Are we trying to revisit September 11th?

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