Immigration Bill Opens Door for ‘Rumpelstiltskin’ Terrorist, Fmr. DOJ Counsel Testifies

April 23, 2013 - 12:21 PM

At Monday’s Senate hearing on the immigration reform bill, former counsel to U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft warned that flaws in the bill would make Americans much more vulnerable to terrorism.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris W. Kobach, a former Counsel to United States Attorney General John Ashcroft, told the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that the bill doesn’t require any type of government-issued documentation for background checks – so, a terrorist can just make up a name, like Rumpelstiltskin:

“The background check provisions of the bill in Section 2101(b)(8) contain no requirement that amnesty applicants actually provide government-issued documentation proving who they say they are. That means that any illegal alien can invent a new name with a totally clean record and present that name when applying for the amnesty.”

“Immigration officials will have absolutely no way to force the alien to disclose his real identity. In other words, an alien who has a terrorist background can call himself “Rumpelstiltskin” without having to prove that that is his real name.

“Indeed, under Section 2101(b)(12), the terrorist alien gains a new photo-ID document issued by the federal government that gives credibility to his fictitious identity. He also gains legal immigration status and the ability to travel outside of the United States to coordinate with international terrorist groups and then to return to the United States.”

Kobach said the Boston Marathon bombing is an example of the types of dangers posed by the immigration bill:

“As marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev demonstrated, an alien’s ability to travel internationally and gain terrorist training before returning to the United States can have deadly consequences for innocent Americans.

Kobach said Tsarnaev was subjected to – and passed – “far more scrutiny” than the bill would require illegal aliens seeking amnesty to undergo:

“It should also be pointed out that even if a terrorist uses his real name when seeking the amnesty, a background check is in most cases unlikely to produce information sufficient to stop the granting of legal status.

“Again, the case of Tamerlan Tsarnaev illustrates the point. Although Tsarnaev entered the country legally, he was compelled to undergo background checks similar to those that amnesty applicants would undergo. Tsarnaev cleared those background checks. He was also interviewed by FBI agents in 2011 at the request of a foreign government. The FBI found no links to terrorism and released him. That is far more scrutiny than applicants for the amnesty offered by this legislation would receive.”

What's more, even the current immigration system hasn't always prevented terrorists from gaining amnesty, he noted:

"The United States has granted amnesty to terrorists before. That is exactly what happened in 1986 when we last granted an amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. Under that amnesty, the United States granted legal status to Mahmoud "The Red" Abouhalima, who fraudulently sought and obtained the amnesty for seasonal agricultural workers.

"He was actually working as a cab driver in New York City. He was a ringleader in the 1993 terrorist attack against the World Trade Center, and he used his new legal status to travel abroad for terrorist training. His brother Mohammed, another participant in the 1993 attack, also gained legal status under the 1986 amnesty."

Read full Kobach testimony PDF

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