Since 2002, almost 300,000 foreign nationals from countries where the September 11th, 2001, hijackers originated have been granted green cards in the United States.
In other words, nothing really changed. The political class continued to pursue its agenda.
— Leo Kiely (@kiely_leo) September 12, 2021
On September 11th, 2001, a terrorist plan targeting New York City and Washington, D.C. resulted in the deaths of almost 3,000 Americans.
Fifteen of the hijackers entered in the United States via visas that were obtained in Saudi Arabian, with the other terrorists coming from countries such as Lebanon, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates.
According to data from the Department of Homeland Security, roughly 283,000 foreign nationals from 9/11 hijacker countries have been granted green cards since the year following the terrorist attacks, paving the way for naturalization.
The data demonstrates how the federal government has made hardly any changes regarding the pace at which foreign nationals coming from nations notorious for being a breeding ground for terrorism and anti-American sentiments are issued green cards.
Take for example, about 10,300 foreign nationals from Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates were granted green cards to permanently live in the United States in the year following 9/11.
Four years later in 2006, the number of foreign nationals granted green cards had risen to almost 17,100.
More than 16,100 foreign citizens from 9/11 hijacker nations were granted green cards in 2019, the most recent year for which data is accessible.
Annually, roughly 1.2 million immigrants with green cards are brought to the United States under current legal immigration levels, which have been constant for over three decades.
Outside of those issued green cards, approximately an additional 1.4 million foreign nationals enter the country on different temporary visa programs.
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Seven of the 9/11 hijackers came in the United States on visas and subsequently overstayed their visas before or during the terrorist attacks, as we at Law Enforcement Today previously report. After overstaying their visas, these hijackers were meant to be detained or deported, however they were never dealt with in either fashion, obviously.
Here’s our previous report detailing the visa overstay debacle that contributed to the terrorist attack on 9/11.
USA- On this past weekend, where we commemorated the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks committed upon the United States by fundamentalist Islamic extremists, it’s important to understand how that could happen in the first place and understand how the current lax immigration system in the United States, among screwed up priorities in national defense, could lead to another such attack…or worse.
Breitbart News reported that of the 19 Islamic terrorists who hijacked four commercial aircraft on September 11, 2001, over one-third had overstayed their visas utilizing a loophole that remains wide open 20 years later.
The sheer incompetence of the U.S. immigration system initially cost over 3,000 Americans their lives, and residual illnesses from the World Trade Center rescue and recovery efforts cost around 4,000 more due to 9/11-related illnesses, including cancer.
Initially, all 19 terrorists arrived in the U.S. legally, with three securing tourist visas while three obtained business and student visas.
However, seven out of the 19 terrorists had either overstayed their visas just before or at the time of the attacks. U.S. immigration law at the time required their detainment and potential deportation, however none of that was done. The radical Islamic terrorists who overstayed their visas were:
- Hani Hassan Hanjour of Saudi Arabia
- Nawaf al-Hamzi of Saudi Arabia
- Mohammed Atta of Egypt
- Satam al-Suqami of Saudi Arabia
- Waleed al-Shehri of Saudi Arabia
- Marwan al-Shehhi of the United Arab Emirates
- Ahmed al-Ghamdi of Saudi Arabia
One person who is concerned about the apparent lack of concern by Washington, DC politicians who still have not corrected the holes in the system is Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), who complains DC’s ruling class has still not learned the lessons emanating from the September 11 attacks.
“Twenty years ago, President George W. Bush ignored warnings about the threat of a terrorist attack on our soil, and the dangers posed by lax immigration and border enforcement and instead focused his efforts on providing amnesty to millions of illegal aliens,” Stein said.
Continuing, Stein said:
“Meanwhile, President Biden has eviscerated effective border enforcement policies he inherited when he took office and halted immigration enforcement in the interior of the country, providing newly emboldened global terrorist networks even greater opportunities to strike the United States.”
Three years after the September 11 attacks, the 9/11 Commission released a report in which they detailed the scale and scope of the terrorist attacks, and suggested ways in which the lax US immigration system enabled the 19 terrorists to enter and remain in the country.
In their report, the Commission detailed that advisers under then-President Bill Clinton had requested a number of reforms be implemented, however they never were in the late 1990s and early 2000, which ended up costing thousands of Americans their lives in the initial attacks and thousands more in the war on terror that resulted from them.
Under a “What to Do?” portion of their report, the 9/11 Commission recommended the implementation of a biometric entry/exit system which would track every foreign national entering and leaving the United States.
The commission wrote:
The Department of Homeland Security…should complete, as quickly as possible, a biometric entry-exit screening system…No one can hide his or her debt by acquiring a credit card with a slightly different name. Yet today, a terrorist can defeat the link to electronic records by tossing away an old passport and slightly altering the name in the new one.
One person who benefited from the lack of a biometric entry system prior to the 9/11 attacks? The mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was given an approved visa because he used an alias just weeks before the attacks.
That same loophole remains in place and is readily used by hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals, who fail to leave the U.S. after their visas. For example, in FY 2019 (as Law Enforcement Today recently reported) 676,500 foreign nationals became illegal aliens when they overstayed their visas to remain in the U.S.
For our previous report on that, we invite you to:
On this the 20th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in our nation’s history (no, it isn’t January 6), it is important to recognize exactly what happened on that day and how we ended up having 19 foreign terrorists commandeer four passenger airplanes and change our country in a way we thought was forever.
In a previous report filed by Law Enforcement Today, obtaining figures from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), we discovered that over 700,000 foreigners with expired visas remained at large in the country. In fact, the GAO showed that there were 702,000 overstays in 2017.
We decided to look into it and see if things had improved in the four years since. According to the latest figures available, for FY 2019 in the GAO table we found there were 676,422 overstays.
By way of explanation, according to the GAO Executive Summary, “an overstay is a nonimmigrant lawfully admitted to the United States for an authorized period but remained in the United States beyond his or her authorized period of admission.”
There are two different types of overstays identified by U.S. Customs and Border Protection:
- Individuals for whom no departure was recorded (Suspected In-Country Overstays), and 2) individuals whose departure was recorded after their authorized period of admission expired (Out-of-Country Overstays).
So what do these numbers mean? Our immigration system is still full of holes, even 20 years after foreign terrorists exploited our system to take over four aircraft, have two take out the World Trade Center towers, one crash into the Pentagon, and one but for the bravery of the passengers that was likely headed for the US Capitol that crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Keep in mind, that 676,422 are people who came here on legal visas. That does not include those who cross the border illegally. During the Trump administration, we at least had that number somewhat under control.
Since Biden opened the borders in January, it is truly unknown how many illegal aliens have crossed the border. It is estimated that the number could top one million, with the New York Post reporting in July that there had already been over one million attempts in just the first seven months of the year.
Every month since Biden took office, the number of illegal border crossings have increased, with 212,672 apprehensions of illegal crossers in July.
When looking at the GAO numbers for visa overstays, it is important to look at the overstay rates, which are broken down by country. Just for informational purposes, let’s look at some of the countries which could be of concern:
- Afghanistan- 11.57%
- Iran- 17.25%
- Libya- 20.30%
- Sudan- 20.08%
- Yemen- 15.58%
The above rates are the in-country overstay rates and is for non-immigrants admitted for business or pleasure.
And what of non-immigrant student and exchange visitors overstay rates?
- Afghanistan- 14.8%
- Libya- 47.05%
- Somalia- 15.63%
- Sudan- 17.22%
- Yemen- 28.57%
All of this has become even more serious in the past month, as Afghan “refugees,” many of them who have been unvetted or who have little if any identification, have been admitted to the country.
A number of elected officials (Republicans only) have expressed concern about the lax process of admitting Afghans into the U.S. While some bad actors have been caught at for example Ramstein Air Base in Germany, it is reasonable to assume some have not.
What is the lesson from all of this? The United States, which remembers the nearly 3,000 Americans who died on 9/11 and the hundreds of first responders in New York City who have died of 9/11 illness since then (FDNY firefighters, NYPD and Port Authority police officers, and federal agents), we haven’t learned a damn thing.
We are as vulnerable or even more so than we were on that fateful Tuesday morning in September 2001.
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