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Written by retired Immigration special agent, Michael Cutler

While much attention is paid to the abject lack of security of the U.S./Mexican border, the lack of border security along our southern border is only one hole in what I have come to refer to as the “Immigration Colander.”
On Wednesday, August 22 I participated in an interview on Fox & Friends First to discuss a just-posted  Fox News report, Watchdog Alerts President Trump That Border Agency Violated Dna Collection Law For Years, Letting Violent Criminals Walk Free.
Fox News has posted my interview under the title, Government watchdog says CBP violated its DNA collection law for years.
The troubling report that served as predication for my interview included the following excerpt:
In a scathing letter to Trump, exclusively obtained by Fox News, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) said CBP’s “noncompliance with the law has allowed subjects subsequently accused of violent crimes, including homicide and sexual assault, to elude detection even when detained multiple times by CBP or Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).”
The OSC told the White House that it was taking the “strongest possible step” to “rebuke the agency’s failure to comply with the law,” as well as its “unreasonable” attempts to defend its own conduct.
Under the law, CBP was required to collect DNA from individuals in its custody, to be run against FBI violent-crimes databases. The procedure is separate from DNA collection designed to establish familial relationships among migrants at the border.
Aliens who were released by this demonstration of nonfeasance and, indeed, malfeasance, have committed more violent crimes, thereby claiming more innocent victims.
As I noted during my interview, bad guys use changes in identity the way a chameleon uses changes in coloration, to hide in plain sight, among its intended victims.
Everyone associates the arrest of suspects with the fingerprinting and photographing of those who are arrested as a means of determining their true identities and to make certain that their fingerprints are retained for future reference.  Currently DNA is also used as a means of identifying those who are taken into custody for the same reason.
Fingerprints, photographs and DNA all constitute biometrics.
The law that mandated that ICE and CBP use DNA to properly identify aliens who are taken into custody was enacted back in 2005.  During the Obama administration, Secretary Janet Napolitano asked the Attorney General to waive this important requirement claiming a lack of resources.  Not surprisingly, the Attorney General complied.
Incredibly, nothing has apparently changed under the Trump administration and, as a consequence, hundreds of thousands of aliens who should have undergone DNA screening did not  during the Obama administration and during the current administration.
During my first Congressional hearing, on May 20, 1997 before the House Immigration Subcommittee on the topic of Visa Fraud And Immigration Benefits Application Fraud, when I was asked about a common problem I encountered in my positions as Immigration Inspector, Immigration Adjudications Officer and Special Agent, I replied that one of the biggest challenges was the use of false identities by criminal aliens.
That hearing had been convened to understand who America had suffered two terror attacks in 1993 by aliens from the Middle East who had all gamed the immigration system.
Within a year after that hearing, the former INS began implementing electronic fingerprinting, albeit on a limited scale.
The terror attacks of 9/11 occurred nearly 18 years ago.  The 9/11 Commission was clear in its finding that the key method of entry and embedding for terrorists were immigration fraud and identity fraud.
Yet we are now finding out that DNA technology has been all but ignored by elements of the Department of Homeland Security.
Immigration enforcement personnel should learn from the mistakes of the past.  However, as the famed playwright George Bernard Shaw lamented, “We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.”
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