“It is unfair to label Iranian and other immigrants as dangerous based solely on the activities of their government’s leaders. This one-sided post unnecessarily causes fear towards immigrants from Iran, Cuba, Sudan, and Syria. […] Immigration did not cause 9/11.”
That’s one of our own, Joe Alavi, Web Developer for Infoglide Software, taking us to task for our post on Monday, Much Ado About Ahmadinejad. But What of the Other 3,100 Iranians in the US? And of course, he’s right.
There was no intent to impugn every immigrant from these countries. Instead, we wanted to call attention to a new GAO report that warns that U.S. government is not taking adequate steps to properly resolve the identities of immigrants who apply through the Diversity Visa (DV) program. The report says, “Consular officers at 6 of the 11 posts we reviewed reported that widespread use of fake documents, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, and passports, presented challenges when verifying the identities of applicants and dependents. Difficulty in verifying identities has security implications because State’s security checks rely heavily on name-based databases.”
In making our point, instead of keying off this provocative headline from Reuters, U.S. admits nearly 10,000 from “terrorism” states, we could have employed this more balanced story from the Washington Post — Risk of Fraud High in Visa Program.
Another story from the San Antonio Express News reported that of the 10,000 immigrants who have migrated here from states that sponsor terrorism, “None of those immigrants has been linked to terrorist investigations or acts. But the program should be overhauled, the 51-page report concluded, because the risk remains high and there are other lingering problems, such as rampant fraud.”
However, Investor’s Business Daily, CNSNews and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) all call attention to one exception: Mohamed Hadayet. He earned a green card through his wife and she gained entry through the DV program. Mohamed Hadayet was the terrorist who shot and killed two people at the El Al counter at LAX in 2002. For the sake of balance, we should point out that Hadayet was an Egyptian and Egypt is not listed as a state sponsor of terrorism.
And balance is what our post on Monday was missing.
Thank you, Joe, for writing
“The post does not mention that the vast majority of immigrants from these countries are peaceful, intelligent, law abiding citizens that make a positive impact on this country on a daily basis. It is irresponsible to single out Iranians in the title of the post because there are no facts to suggest that these Iranians are dangerous whatsoever. They are coming to this country to receive an education, a better way of life, to visit relatives, etc. They are not coming to be spies or terrorists as this post suggests.”
Joe also called us out for not balancing our post with the very real accomplishments of Iranian-Americans.
He’s right about that and he’s also right about this:
“The United States was founded by immigrants in Plymouth, Massachusetts and Jamestown, Virginia. The first transcontinental railroad (one of the greatest technological achievements of the 19th century) was constructed largely by hard working Irish and Chinese immigrants in very dangerous and grueling conditions.
“This country receives tremendous benefit by welcoming immigrants because often they are very intelligent individuals seeking higher education, and end up working in various industries, giving our country a competitive edge over the rest of the world. They bring fresh ideas and perspectives and give credibility to our country as an open minded society. Just because 9/11 happened does not mean that immigration is an epidemic. Immigration did not cause 9/11.”
Thanks again, Joe, for speaking up and keeping the blog on the right path.