SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

January 24, 2014

DeFranco: Terrorism doesn't just happen

The Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, 2013, was a terrorist act that was preventable, and our government utterly failed us on that awful day. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in particular failed to enforce specific current immigration laws and policies that would have stopped the bombers. DHS also failed to interact/communicate with other government agencies that could have provided information that would have stopped the bombers. While some in the media have correctly criticized the FBI’s ignoring of intel from Russia about the bombing brothers, there has been no media examination of the failures of Homeland Security. We must look long and hard at these failures because we must be sure that our elected representatives and the agencies they oversee are seeking correctives that will protect us and are not blithely, and with disrespect to the victims and the survivors, avoiding such examination and trying to pass it off to the American people as “terrorism happens.”

Furthermore, before we as a country dive into comprehensive immigration reform, we, the people, must demand that the parts of the immigration law that are good be retained and strictly enforced. One part of the current immigration system that makes perfect sense is the rule that once the U.S. grants refuge to a person in the form of asylum, that person is not permitted to travel back to the country that he claimed persecuted him. The Immigration and Nationality Act clearly spells out that the attorney general may terminate asylum status if a person returns to his home country. Furthermore, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) fact sheet, “Traveling outside the United States as an Asylum Applicant, an Asylee, or a Lawful Permanent Resident Who Obtained Such Status Based on Asylum” also definitively spells it out. Our government (and especially DHS), should pay attention to and enforce existing clearly defined laws and policies.

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