Monday, March 2, 2009

What Is Terrorist Travel? Latest Installment in Video Series

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano's refusal to even use the word "terrorism" in remarks prepared for a congressional hearing last week underlines the fact that she has yet to commit to upholding the laws that derive from the 9/11 Commission's recommendations on border security.

To highlight the importance of these measures, Janice Kephart has prepared the latest installment in her "Border Basics" educational video series, this one entitled "What Is Terrorist Travel?" Kephart, the Director of National Security Policy at the Center for Immigration Studies and former counsel to the 9/11 Commission, concludes that securing against terrorist travel is essential to eliminate the fraud that enables people to enter, stay, and work in this country for illegal purposes. The video can be viewed online at:

Among the laws based on 9/11 Commission recommendations which Napolitano is now responsible for are:

-- The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, requiring Americans and all
others to present a passport or biometric equivalent at the border.
-- US-VISIT, requiring certain non-American applicants for admission at
ports of entry to take biometric fingerprint and photos.
-- Security guidelines for countries participating in the Visa Waiver
Program that enables the United States to conduct preliminary vetting
of individuals before they arrive.
-- REAL ID, requiring identity verification and legal presence in order
for a state-issued driver license or ID to be acceptable for federal
purposes like boarding airplanes.
-- E-Verify, a highly successful program shown to be 99.5 percent
accurate that helps employers comply with federal law by verifying the
identity and work authorization of new hires.

Verifying identity, authenticating travel documents, and assuring legal status to live and work in the United States have all proven their worth in improving security. Since terrorists exploit many of the same border vulnerabilities as identity thieves, drug runners, alien smugglers, and illegal aliens to enter and stay in the United States illicitly, it is imperative that the lessons learned and reforms recommended by the 9/11 Commission remain on the front burner of policy development. And yet solid programs that work to expose, deter, and arrest fraud are at risk of stagnating or even being rolled back.

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