This Date in Obama’s Administrative Amnesty: March 30, 2011

Immigration enforcement can fight terrorism. That’s what two of the 9/11 Commissioners told Senators on this date three years ago.

On March 30, 2011, nearly a decade after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Commission’s Chairman Tom Kean and Vice Chairman Lee Hamilton testified before the Homeland Security Committee. Kean said, “border security remains a top national security priority, because there is an indisputable nexus between terrorist operations and terrorist travel.”

Kean specifically identified three terrorists “who could have been detected by the U.S. immigration system”:

1. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab
Terrorism attempt: On Christmas Day, 2009, this Nigerian national attempted to detonate plastic explosives concealed in his underwear.
Immigration Nexus: In November 2009, the CIA had listed Abdulmutallab on the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment list, but he was not added to the FBI’s 400,000-name Terrorist Screening Database, which feeds into the U.S. no fly list.  He boarded Northwest flight 253 from Amsterdam to Michigan using a valid U.S. visa.

2. Hosam Smadi
Terrorism attempt: On September 24, 2009, this Jordanian national plotted to detonate a car bomb in the garage beneath a Dallas 60-story office building.
Immigration Nexus: He came to the United States on a tourist visa in 2007 but overstayed.  Violating immigration status is a deportable offense.  See INA § 237.

3. Faisal Shahzad
Terrorism attempt: On May 1, 2010, he attempted to detonate a car bomb in Times Square.
Immigration Nexus: In 2009, this Pakistani national became a naturalized citizen, but later received training on suicide bombs from an instructor in the Pakistani Taliban.  Membership in a terrorist organization within five years of naturalization is grounds for revocation of naturalization. See INA § 340(c).

These terrorists may have come from different countries and had varied targets, but in all three cases, the immigration nexus was indisputably present.  Tighter immigration enforcement could have kept them from having access to the United States.  Immigration policy is also national security policy.

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Content written by Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.


  1. avatar

    The moral of these tragedies is……………… forgot to mention Oklahoma, the guy that shoot the Congresswoman, the three black girls that were killed by a bomb back in the Civil rights time…….all of these are terrorist attacks which involved unjustified hate and innocent people killed…………………..last the guys in MA….

    The point I am making….is that I am sure if completely sure they could have avoided it….so the fact is that it is always EASY TO TALK AFTER THE FACT AND CRITICIZE our gov……………………………………we should be thankful we have a gov that is challenged 24/7 to protect us!!!!!!

  2. avatar

    Joe Biden’s claim that illegals are “already citizens” was appalling but not shocking. Appalling because of the position he holds, but not shocking, because it just makes even more obvious the fact that this president simply believes that the law is what it says it is.

    And the national media continues to do their propaganda work. On the Feb. 9 Meet The Press, Chuck Schumer said “He’s deported more people than any other president”. Which is quite simply untrue, but as usual went unchallenged. Actual in country deportations, and the ICE arrests that precede them, are down, way down, but now they count those caught at the border as deportations, which never happened before. And the reason his supporters repeat this lie is because it’s their answer to those who say he’s not enforcing the law. And our media, in a manner that would do Pravda proud, simply repeat the figures that the president himself called “a little deceptive”.