President of the National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council Ken Palinkas made a lot of headlines this week claiming that terrorists are looking for ways to exploit our borders and sneak into the US. As the Washington Times quoted Palinkas saying:
In addition to the extremely real and serious threat that ISIS has already or will soon slip across our porous southern border, it is also essential to warn the public about the threat that ISIS will exploit our loose and lax visa policies to gain entry to the United States.
What’s wrong with this claim? First of all, Palinkas is the president of the USCIS union — basically a group of caseworkers — who is presenting himself as an expert on border policy. He’s more of a bureaucrat, just like Chris Crane, the president of the ICE union, who has testified at multiple Congressional hearings on border security and immigration enforcement. Is Palinkas now trying to get in on the action?
Secondly, there’s no evidence that ISIS or any other terrorists are planning to do anything relating to our borders. Anti-immigrant extremists like to scare up such fears, but there’s no proof. Department of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said so himself at a House hearing this week:
We see no specific intelligence or evidence to suggest at present that ISIL is attempting to infiltrate this country though our souther border.
And finally, Palinkas opposed the Senate immigration bill last year, which would’ve dedicated $38 billion to additional border enforcement, and improved homeland security by giving officials a better idea of who is and is not in the country. If Palinkas was truly concerned about who may be coming across our borders, the best thing he could do is become a champion for the Senate bill.