Spring 2003 Contents OAM Home Oberlin Online Home
Feature Stories
Money Matters
Family Tree, Oberlin roots
Operation Internship
[cover story] Fury and the Sound
David Rees Gets His (Bleep) On
Around Tappan Square
Alumni Profiles
The Last Word
One More Thing
Inside Oberlin
Staff Box


By Michelle Malkin '92
Regnery Publishing, 2002

Reviewed by Jan Ting '70

MICHELLE MALKIN MAKES NO PRETENSE of even-handedness in Invasion, her detailed indictment of illegal immigration and its consequences for the United States. But her single-minded focus on the problem may be appropriate given the historic indifference of most Americans.

All Americans are descendants of those who came to our country from other places. If we know our own heritage, we honor our immigrant ancestors and the hardships they endured. We see our ancestors in today's immigrants, whether legal or illegal. And that makes us tolerate the inefficiency and incompetence in immigration-law enforcement, which allows terrorists, criminals, and torturers free entry into the U.S.

Malkin enumerates in frightening detail the shortcomings--even post-September 11--in our border security. She reveals the loopholes in marriage fraud, asylum, and amnesty that have been exploited by foreigners coming to the U.S. to terrorize, rob, kill, and hide from justice in their own countries. She describes a government bureaucracy charged with immigration-law enforcement but crippled by indifference, neglect, incompetence, bribery, and corruption. Our country's alphabet soup of visa laws, comparable in complexity to the Internal Revenue Code, can be easily exploited.

At the top of Malkin's long list of villains are pandering politicians who tolerate and defend illegal immigration in the hopes of gaining the "ethnic" vote, even while creating camouflage for terrorists and criminals in a culture of counterfeit identification documents, promises of future amnesties, and orders to government officials to ignore immigration-law violations. Also on Malkin's villains' list are big business, the travel industry, the educational establishment, and immigration lawyers who, even after September 11, lobby successfully to maintain practices that allow immigration-law abuse and who oppose national security reforms that adversely affect their profits. And let's not forget judges who order the release into our population of deportable criminal aliens whose home countries won't take them back, and a State Department with higher priorities than negotiating the repatriation of these criminal aliens.

Malkin concludes her book with specific recommendations: End visa waiver and transit programs that allow millions of foreigners to enter the U.S. without visas. Require foreigners who wish to change their immigration status (e.g., from visitor to student) to apply in their home countries, where U.S. consular officials can consider local police records and intelligence. Streamline the deportation process and promptly remove those ordered deported. Stop issuing tax ID numbers to illegal aliens. Beef up interior enforcement, crack down on asylum abuses, have zero tolerance for corruption and duplicity in bureaucracy. Militarize our borders, airports, and ports of entry.

For Malkin, immigration-law enforcement is an essential element of national security. Whether or not you agree, and especially if you're undecided, this book is essential reading.

Jan Ting is a professor of law at Temple University Beasley School of Law in Philadelphia and a former assistant commissioner of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.

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