Date: March 21, 2016
Host: Jim Schneider
Guest: Mark Krikorian
President Obama has pledged to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay and to bring the prisoners on to American soil. There have been a number of criminal aliens that have been released through President Obama’s policies that have committed homicides. Then there’s the issue of significant numbers of green cards that have fallen into the wrong hands.
These are some of the concerns that are aspects of the debate over immigration in America. Joining Jim to discuss this was Mark Krikorian. Mark is a nationally recognized expert on immigration issues, has served as executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) since 1995. The center, an independent, non-partisan research organizations in Washington, D.C., examines and critiques the impact of immigration on the United States.
19 prisoners were released from Guantanamo Bay ahead of President Obama’s trip to Cuba with more likely to receive pardons soon. All this is being done despite the fact that some of the detainees have been listed as too dangerous to transfer and not feasible for prosecution. Eventually President Obama wants to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay and move the remaining prisoners to the U.S.
Guantanamo is still Cuban territory. This means that much of American law, especially American immigration law, doesn’t apply there. Congress hasn’t allowed the detainees to move here yet, but if that happens, they’re covered by numerous protections. They could file habeas corpus writs or apply for various immigration benefits.
If we have to detain them indefinitely (because no one else will take them) we can’t prosecute them because either we don’t have the actual evidence or going to trial would compromise our intelligence services. So Mark believes the safest solution is to keep them offshore so some ACLU judge can’t claim they have to be released.
Mark indicated that from statistics he saw, one-third of all the people released from Guantanamo have rejoined terrorist organizations. This is why he believes these individuals need to be detained indefinitely if necessary, at Guantanamo Bay.
When you also recognize the fact that approximately 50,000 Cubans without visas ‘walked’ into the U.S. last year, you recognize that the topic of immigration has numerous avenues that need to be explored. The problem is, does our government have the will or desire to take appropriate action?
One example may answer that question. The Senate Judiciary Committee found that in the past 5 years, 124 aliens that were in custody by the immigration service were considered not to have done anything that would require holding them and returning them to their home nations. After they were released, they went on to be charged with 135 additional homicides.
As the program moved along, Jim had Mark provide even more information while Crosstalk callers expressed their concerns on this issue that’s so very important to our national security.