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Friday, June 30, 2006

Terrorists Are Using Our Immigration System - With Help From the Inside
by Douglas J. Hagmann,
Northeast Intelligence Network, June 29, 2006

Last Updated: Friday, June 30, 2006 04:02:44 AM


he integrity of the United States immigration system has been corrupted and the system is incapable of ensuring the security of our homeland."

* Nearly 20% of the complaints against agents of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services allege criminal activities. "Alleged crimes include bribery, harboring illegal aliens, money laundering, structuring, sale of documents, marriage fraud, extortion, undue foreign influence, and making false statements, among other things. Also included among these complaints are national security cases; for example, allegations of USCIS employees providing material support to known terrorists or being influenced by foreign intelligence services."

–Michael J. Maxwell, (former) Director, USCIS Office of Security and Investigations, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

By Douglas J. Hagmann, Director

29 June 2006: Michael J. Maxwell is a true American patriot with an impressive resume who cares deeply about the security and future of our country. Until last February, he was Director of the Office of Security and Investigations (OSI) at US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which is the part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that processes all applications for immigration status and documents filed by aliens who are already present in the United States, or the filings by U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and employers who seek to bring an alien to the U.S., either permanently or temporarily.

The Office of Security and Investigations is a “department” within USCIS, and was created to “regain the public trust in the immigration service” by identifying, reporting, and resolving any security vulnerabilities that would permit the successful manipulation of the immigration system by either external or internal agents. To be sure, OSI has other duties, but insuring that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services – a vital part of the Department of Homeland Security, is operating properly is of primary importance. Mr. Maxwell headed the operation that identifies and reports on the internal problems at the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. He took his job seriously, discharged his duties passionately, and as a result, is paying a heavy price.

Yesterday, I interviewed Mr. Maxwell about the testimony he provided to the United States House of Representatives, Subcommittee on International Terrorism and Nonproliferation, Committee on Internal Relations on April 6, 2006. The information he provided during this interview was absolutely riveting – and frightening. Terrorists are using our own immigration system to enter and imbed themselves inside the United States, and in some cases, they are receiving help from the inside. When Mr. Maxwell informed senior government officials about the national security vulnerabilities he found that jeopardize the security of the U.S. and consequently, places the lives of every American citizen at risk, they chose to ignore them. Not only did these high-ranking officials ignore the problems he identified, they actually ordered Mr. Maxwell ignore them as well, even though it was his very job was to address them. When he refused these orders out of a sense of duty to his country, he was subjected to retaliation and suddenly became a modern day “Serpico” within the Department of Homeland Security. The retaliation was so significant, Mr. Maxwell found it impossible to carry out his duties as the director of the Office of Security and Investigations.

After leaving his position, Mr. Maxwell provided documentation and evidence of the wrongdoing he found within the US Citizenship and Immigration Services to the FBI in a series of meetings encompassing upwards of 30 hours. According to Mr. Maxwell, the FBI was overwhelmed at the magnitude and severity of the issues he brought forward.

Stated Mr. Maxwell:

“The same senior leaders who absolutely refused to allow OSI to obtain the necessary resources to fulfill its mission also refused, time and time again, to act when confronted with major national security vulnerabilities my team and I identified in the immigration process.”

“Each of the security breaches described below was brought immediately to the attention of top-level officials at USCIS. These breaches compromise virtually every part of the immigration system, leaving vulnerabilities that have been and likely are being exploited by enemies of the United States. Despite the fact that each identified threat has significant national security implications, USCIS leadership consistently failed—or refused—to correct them. Instead, top officials chose to cover them up, to dismiss them, and/or to target the employees who identified them, even when the solution was both obvious and feasible.”

“As the office responsible for internal affairs, OSI received 2,771 complaints about
employees between August 2004 and October 2005. Over 1800 of these were originally
declined for investigation by the DHS Office of the Inspector General and referred to OSI. Most of the remaining complaints were delivered to OSI by the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility once they gave up jurisdiction over USCIS complaints. The majority of all complaints received by OSI are service complaints (e.g., an alien complaining that he did not receive his immigration status in a timely way) or administrative issues (e.g., allegations of nepotism).”

“However, almost 20 percent of them—528 of the 2,771—allege criminal activities. Alleged crimes include bribery, harboring illegal aliens, money laundering, structuring, sale of documents, marriage fraud, extortion, undue foreign influence, and making false statements, among other things. Also included among these complaints are national security cases; for example, allegations of USCIS employees providing material support to known terrorists or being influenced by foreign intelligence services. Complaints with clear national security implications represent a small share of the total, but in cases such as these, even one is too many.”

As I spoke with Mr. Maxwell, I sensed his passion for former job, his love for our country, and his concern for our future. As Mr. Maxwell has documented, we not only face enemies from the outside, our enemies have effectively infiltrated the very government agencies that are charged with protecting us. When he identified the threats to our national security, he was rebuffed by high-ranking government officials. The more he tried to make his superiors aware of the severity and magnitude of the problems he found, greater was the resistance he encountered.

Because of his effectiveness in discharging his duties, former OSI director Michael Maxwell lost his job, his pension, and is placing his own safety –even his own life at risk by coming forward to expose the corruption he found within DHS. During our conversation, he told me that “this is just the tip of the iceberg – there is more, much more to be told.”

We are at war with terrorists who, as part of their long-term plan of taking control of the United States, are imbedding individuals within various departments of our own government. Terrorists are presently using our immigration system – and individuals who hold positions within that system - to infiltrate the United States. In this case, one man has done his duty to investigate and identify threats to the security of our nation only to be rebuffed by the senior leaders of the government agencies who have the ability to repair the problems and close the holes in our national security.

I am thankful for the courage and candor exhibited by former director Michael Maxwell and the men and women who are currently working to keep our country safe. I am grateful that he has placed the safety and security of our nation over his own by exposing the threats to our national security from the inside.

Now, we need to act on his findings while we still can. Time is running short, the immigration system is out of control, and there are individuals on the inside – those who have already been identified, who continue to provide material support to known terrorists as the taxpayers of the U.S. continue to pay their salaries.

As Mr. Maxwell stated, this is just the tip of the iceberg. In the coming days, weeks and months, more of that iceberg will be exposed – you can count on it.

Michael J. Maxwell can be contacted through his attorney, Rosemary Jenks, President of NumbersUSA (at www.NumbersUSA.com).

LINK: Testimony of Michael J. Maxwell (PDF file)

Copyright 2006, Northeast Intelligence Network. Reprint permission is granted with proper attribution and link to this web site.

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Source: http://www.homelandsecurityus.com/site/modules/news/article.php?storyid=384
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Last Updated:
Friday, June 30, 2006 04:02:44 AM

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