Every generation has had their own “Where were you when….?” moment. The tenth anniversary of the current generation’s moment is in three days time.
Some organizations, sadly, are also using the tenth anniversary to promote their own agendas. The anti-immigrant group FAIR, founded by white nationalist John Tanton, has issued a report titled, “Ten Years Later: We Will Not Forget.” Fellow anti-immigrant group Center for Immigration Studies, also founded by John Tanton, has also released a report titled, “Border Watchlisting a Decade After 9/11.” A third group, 9/11 Families for A Secure America, who are yet again linked to the John Tanton Network, have released, “Report Card on The 9/11 Commission’s Recommendations,” written in conjunction with Family Security Matters.
In “Ten Years Later: We Will Not Forget” FAIR looks at immigration into the United States, questioning whether it is putting the country at risk. Predictably, they believe so. Essentially, FAIR uses this report to push legislative measures such as the REAL ID Act of 2005 (restricting drivers’ licenses to documented immigrants only) and Secure Communities (a program that splits up families and deports undocumented immigrants for petty violations). They also question the security of allowing foreign students and refugees to enter the US.
By allowing undocumented people to stay in the country, the authors claim, officials will expose the nation to further terror attacks. This is despite the fact that FAIR itself admits that all the terrorists involved in the 9/11 attacks were in the country legally.
The Center for Immigration Studies report, “Border Watchlisting a Decade After 9/11,” looks at the changes made in the aftermath of 9/11 to border security, specifically in terms of information sharing amongst officials and organizations (CIA, FBI, TSA, etc). CIS argues for tougher regulations regarding visas, including biometric analysis. They also want all visa holders to be vetted every time they wish to enter the country, and then automatically re-vetted every two years. This is despite the fact that all persons are vetted before being issued a visa.
CIS will also be holding a panel discussion, “Our Borders a Decade after 9/11.” This panel will include: CIS employees Janice Kephart (author of the previously mentioned report) and Jessica Vaughan; Rep Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), author of legislation such as the USA PATRIOT Act and the REAL ID Act of 2005; and Roy Beck, executive director of the Tanton Network group Numbers USA. The panel will be moderated by Mark Krikorian, the head of CIS who once called Muslims “vicious people.”
In the 9/11 Families for a Secure America “Report Card on the 9/11 Commission’s Recommendations,” the group grades the progress made on 26 of the 41 recommendations made by the Commission. They grade the overall progress made as of D+ quality.
The report is authored by Peter Gadiel and Patrick Dunleavy. Gadiel is a former FAIR board member who has contributed to the anti-immigrant website VDARE. 9/11 Families for a Secure America, of course, has received funds from Tanton’s umbrella organization, U.S., Inc. Dunleavy is a contributor to Family Security Matters (FSM), a front group for the Center for Security Policy (CSP). Through CSP, FSM is connected to David Horowitz and Robert Spencer, one of those who inspired Anders Breivik’s murder spree in Norway recently.
Their “report card” underscores that many undocumented immigrants in the United States are terrorists or dangerous felons, yet they provide no information to back this claim up. They also claim that it is naïve to think that the United States can maintain friendly relations with any Muslim country because, of course, Islam is inherently opposed to American freedoms.
This obviously ignores the Muslims in the US who are everyday contributing to American democracy, like Congressman Keith Ellison who is a practicing Muslim.
With these reports, these groups are using the tenth anniversary of the worst attack on the US mainland to do nothing more than promote their anti-immigrant beliefs. They are hoping to use fear to deny others freedom, the very notion that the United States was built on.