A BRIEF HISTORY OF AMERICA’S IMMIGRATION POLICY
a Special Editorial by J. R. de Szigethy
|At left is Keith Boyer, a 27-year Veteran of the Whittier, California PD, murdered on February 20, 2017. At right, Boyer’s accused killer Michael Mejia, a member of one of L. A.’s 3 most notorious gangs mostly populated by illegal aliens and their descendants from Mexico and Central America: the Winter Gardens gang, the 18th Street gang, and MS-13. Mejia was arrested 5 times in the last 7 months, including for possession of crystal meth.|
The Trump Administration’s plan to temporarily ban all travelers from 7 nations whose governments are compromised by terrorists has re-ignited a national security debate that has been waged since the early years of the United States. Some have labeled President Trump’s Executive Order as a ban based upon religion, that being of Islam. Professionals of America’s law enforcement community recognize that the vast majority of Muslims – and followers of other religions as well – do not commit crimes.
Indeed, it only took 19 Islamic terrorists to carry out the attacks on 9/11, during which almost 3,000 people – men, women, and children, were murdered. That number continues to climb as First Responders to Ground Zero continue to die. Of the 9/11 terrorists, one gained entry to the United States via a Student Visa; the others were allowed into this country carrying Business or Tourist Visas.
On March 16, President Trump signed a new Executive Order on Immigration, temporarily replacing his original Order while it’s legality is being determined by actions taken against it by a few Federal Judges. The new Executive Order does not ban travel from residents of Iraq, nor does it include exceptions for Christians persecuted in the 6 banned countries. Such favored treatment for Christians could be interpreted as discrimination against Muslims, given that Shiite Muslims are persecuted by Sunni Muslims in each of these 6 countries, as are Sunni Muslims persecuted by Shiite Muslims in the 6 countries. Sunni Muslims are the majority in 5 of the 6 countries on the travel ban, although the percentage in Yemen is nearly equal. Jewish citizens of Israel are currently banned from entry into 16 Muslim majority countries, including the 6 currently on the Trump Administration’s ban list. A Federal Judge in Hawaii, appointed by former President Barack Hussein Obama, Jr., has issued a Judicial order temporarily halting the implementation of this new Executive Order by President Trump.
Regardless what position one takes on the current Administration’s actions, the fact is that Immigration policy has been debated – and changed – throughout America’s history. Herein lies a brief history of U. S. Immigration policy and the history of terrorism in America.
IMMIGRATION POLICY: 1776 – 1917
Most Americans can easily identify the First President of the United States: George Washington. When asked who the second President was, many Americans would be unable to provide the correct answer. That person was in fact John Adams, who had served as Vice-President under President Washington’s 2 terms in office. In 1798 President Adams signed into law 4 Bills passed by Congress collectively known as “The Alien and Sedition Acts.” This legislation increased the criteria by which an Immigrant could become a U. S. citizen and gave the President the legal authority to imprison or deport non-citizens considered a threat to America’s national security. One of these four Bills has survived and been modified to this very day, and was the legal basis upon which the Trump Administration’s actions are founded.
One of the myths many Americans believe regarding the history of immigration is that the United States has always maintained an “Open-door Policy.” This has not always been the case. The first great wave of immigration into America came as the result of the Great Famine in Ireland between 1845 and 1852. Approximately 1 million men, women, and children died during this crisis, and around another million Irish citizens fled the Famine for the promise of a better life in America. Even though there existed among some Americans a bias against the Irish, the Federal government did not perceive these immigrants to be a threat to the national security. Thus, in the first decades of the country’s history, the Immigration Policy was pretty much an open-door policy.
Attitudes towards immigration began to change in the 1870s when a group of radicals, mostly from Germany and England, immigrated to the United States, bringing with them an influence on American culture which would be far disproportionate to their small numbers. These immigrants were followers of the German radical Karl Marx, whom, in 1848, had published “The Communist Manifesto.” These immigrants and their American converts would, in 1876, establish the Socialist Labor Party.
This movement spread and on “May Day,” May 1, 1886, Socialists, working with leaders of the burgeoning Labor Union movement, revealed the social potential of what would become an enduring part of American society; the Demonstration, in which citizens would take to the streets, exercising their Freedom of Speech, demanding Social and Political change. To the radicals, the Demonstration in Chicago was considered disappointing, so on May 4, protesters again descended upon the Haymarket Square retail center for another Demonstration. A riot ensued, which escalated when a protester launched a bomb towards the Police Officers on hand. 7 Police Officers and 4 civilians were killed. (1)
From the 1880s through the 1920s, over 23 million people immigrated to the United States. The Federal government slowly began to realize that control measures were needed to be put into place to screen those who sought the privilege of becoming a U. S. citizen. This led to the establishment of a Federal immigration facility on Ellis Island in 1892. 12 million prospective immigrants were processed through Ellis Island. All were evaluated regarding their physical and mental capacities and only a small percentage were deemed by the authorities as physically or mentally unfit for citizenship, and were thus legally Deported. (2)
1917 – 1933
As the United States entered World War I, Congress passed the Immigration Act of 1917, which required immigrants to be able to speak and read in their native language. In 1918 President Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, issued an Executive Order requiring Passports or other identifying documents for those coming into the ports on both sides of the country, as well as those crossing the borders of Mexico and Canada. This Presidential action reflected a growing concern Americans held regarding the potential immigration of European Communists. Also, that year, President Wilson lobbied Congress to pass the Sedition Act of 1918, which gave Immigration officials the authority to Deport immigrants who possessed radical political ideologies. The period from 1917 to 1920 is known in American history as the “Red Scare.”
Communist radicals responded to the Wilson Administration’s actions against them on June 2, 1919, when 8 bombs were exploded at Administration targets in 8 different American cities. One such bomb was detonated outside the house in Washington, D. C. of U. S. Attorney General Mitchell Palmer. Attorney General Palmer responded to these bombings by launching what history records to be the “Palmer Raids” which began in November of 1919. Over 500 foreign nationals deemed to be Radicals were Deported, among the many thousands nationwide that were arrested. These actions were denounced by many Americans, and Palmer’s career eventually suffered from his aggressive actions. Nevertheless, President Woodrow Wilson lobbied Congress to pass the Immigrant Quota Act of 1921. Republican President Calvin Coolidge later lobbied for the passage of the National Origins Act of 1924. Both legislations established limits on the number of immigrants to America from countries that were significantly populated by ideological Radicals. Republican President Calvin Coolidge later lobbied for the passage of the National Origins Act of 1924. Both legislations established limits on the number of immigrants to America from countries that were significantly populated by ideological Radicals.
1933 – 1945
The actionable potential of America’s immigration laws would only be fully realized during the Administration of President Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat. Taking the Oath of Office in 1933, during the Great Depression, President Roosevelt inherited an America facing unprecedented unemployment, with it’s hungry citizen’s hostile attitude towards an influx of immigrants even more desperate than they were, willing to work for even less wages to survive.
Despite the efforts by Roosevelt to keep America out of World War II, that became impossible once Imperial Japan launched its terrorist attacks upon military sites in Hawaii on December 7, 1941. Over 2,400 people, mostly young men, but also over 40 civilians, including women and children, were killed, a tally that would only be exceeded on 9/11. While Pearl Harbor was the primary target, a secondary target, which was the first to receive the bombing attacks by Japanese aircraft, was the Naval Air Station at Kaneohe Bay, on the other side of the island. Of particular concern regarding the attack on Kaneohe was the action taken by Lt. Fusata Iida, who had told his pilots that if his plane was hit during the attack on the Americans, he would commit suicide by piloting his plane into a military target. Once his plane was hit by return fire by Navy soldiers and was leaking fuel, Iida’s plane did in fact crash in Kaneohe. (3)
With America now at war with Germany, Italy, and Japan, President Roosevelt utilized his authority to legally Deport or imprison aliens from those 3 countries. While the actions against Italian and German aliens appear to have been secular in nature, the actions taken against the Japanese contained all the elements of what today would be considered a ban based upon Religion. That religion followed by the Japanese is called “Shinto,” and during the War most Japanese believed that their Emperor was a living god of their religion. President Roosevelt feared that the Emperor might issue religious Edicts requiring his followers to engage in suicidal terrorists acts against American soldiers, as well as civilians.
In February, 1942, just over 2 months after Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, which authorized military leaders to detain and transport over 110,000 Japanese residing in America – many of them U. S. citizens – to internment camps run by the military. President Roosevelt’s concerns that religious fervor indigenous to Japanese culture could endanger America’s national security during the war would later be proven correct. In June, 1944, as America was slowly winning the war, Emperor Hirohito issued a religious Edict declaring that Japanese citizens should commit suicide rather than be allowed taken prisoner by the Americans. Over 1,000 Japanese would do so a month later as the U. S. military took the island of Saipan, killing themselves in their embrace of their Emperor’s promise of an afterlife for doing so. In October of that year began a campaign whereby Japanese pilots launched suicide missions against U. S. Battleships. They called themselves the “Kamikaze,” which translates as “Divine Wind,” or “God’s Wind,” an indication that the sacrifice of their lives would earn them a place in the afterlife as promised by their Emperor. 3,860 such men would take their own lives, many of whom are now known to have been under the influence of a new drug the Japanese had synthesized; methamphetamine. According to the U. S. Air Force, the Kamikaze killed approximately 4,900 U. S. soldiers. Today, in Tokyo, the Imperial Shrine of Yasukuni is devoted to the memory of the over 2 million Japanese soldiers who died in wars instigated by the Japanese Empire.
The internment of thousands of Japanese within America by President Roosevelt was criticized by few at the time, although the chorus would grow louder with the passing of decades. Isolated in military facilities, in which only American radio broadcasts, if any, were available to them, these Japanese citizens, and, Japanese-Americans, were virtually cut off from any communications between themselves and their religious leader, Emperor Hirohito.
Regarding Italians and Germans residing in America during the war, the Roosevelt Administration was far less concerned; while most Japanese regarded Hirohito to be Divine, no such claims were being made regarding the leaders of Germany and Italy at that time, Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini. Also, along the lines of religion, the United States had by that time successfully assimilated millions of immigrants from Germany and Italy; the German immigrants tended to be Protestant or of the Jewish faith; the Italians tended to be Roman Catholic. These immigrants easily assimilated into a country founded upon the common traditions and values of the Judaeo-Christian heritage.
The Roosevelt Administration instead focused on the German submarines prowling along the Eastern Coast.
The first attack by such came on January 12, 1942, when a German submarine sank a cargo ship 300 miles East of Cape Cod. Over 2,700 more ships were to follow this fate. In June of that year, what the Navy and Coast Guard had long feared – that Nazi submarines could be used to launch terrorist attacks on American soil – finally was detected. On a foggy night that month, a young Coast Guard Ensign, John Cullen, found himself on Watch duty on an isolated beach on Long Island near what today is the town of Amagansett, New York. Ensign Cullen had stumbled upon a Nazi terrorist plot code-named “Operation: Pastorius.” The mission’s purpose was to secret saboteurs into the United States with the purpose of planting bombs, the targets of which were the electrical and water supply to New York City, as well as bridges and the transportation hubs in Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Kentucky, New York, and New Jersey.
At midnight on that June evening a German submarine deposited 4 demolition experts onto the beach. The 4 Nazis buried their cache of explosives in the sand, their intent to return later to retrieve their weapons once their plans were finalized. Alone and unarmed, John Cullen happened upon them. Cullen quickly surmised that they were not the lost fishermen they claimed to be. One of the men then threatened to kill Cullen, and then offered him a bribe. Fortunately, the fog was so dense and it was so dark on that beach that all Cullen had to do was quickly run off, and within seconds he was safe.
These Nazi saboteurs were not the only ones; 4 others would be deposited on a beach South of Jacksonville, Florida, 4 days later. However, after a week in America, one of the men who had been unnerved by his encounter with Ensign Cullen had second thoughts. German saboteur George Dasch thought out what the likely outcome of this terrorist mission would be. Dasch reasoned that the young man they encountered on the beach would tell his story to the appropriate investigative authorities. A search of the beach would likely lead to the discovery of the explosives the Germans had buried. This area would then likely be put under constant surveillance, anticipating the return of the saboteur’s to retrieve what they needed to carry out their mission. Their mission, Dasch concluded, was doomed. Thus, Dasch separated himself from his accomplices and traveled alone to Washington, D. C. where he turned himself in to the FBI. The other 7 terrorists were quickly rounded up. President Roosevelt promptly designated these men as “Enemy Combatants” and ordered the quick execution of 6 of them. (4)
This would be in stark contrast to the later legal wranglings of similar such designated terrorists captured after 9/11, during both Republican and Democratic Administrations. One such case regarded Abu Zakariya al-Britani, a British citizen, aka Ronald Fiddler, who was captured by American soldiers in Afghanistan in 2002 and sent to the U. S. facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. U. S. Defense Department documents claimed that al-Britani was involved with al Qaeda terrorists. However, al-Britani was freed in 2004 after an official of the government of British Prime Minister Tony Blair demanded his release, claiming the British citizen had been tortured. The British government then gave al-Britani a settlement equivalent to over $1 million. In February, 2017, it was revealed that al-Britani had died as a suicide bomber when he blew up his explosives-filled car outside an Army base near Mosul, Iraq. (5)
1945 TO PRESENT DAY
President Roosevelt’s successor Harry Truman issued his own Presidential Proclamation regarding immigration issues on September 8, 1945, just one month after Truman ended World War II by ordering the detonation of two atomic bombs over 2 Japanese cities, forcing Emperor Hirohito to order the Japanese military to surrender. Various Historians estimate that this act on Truman’s part saved the lives of over one million people – both American and Japanese – who would have otherwise been killed in a drawn-out invasion of Japan and it’s forces spread out throughout that region of the Pacific.
At issue in Truman’s post-war Executive Order was the growing problem of illegal aliens from Central and South America crossing the border of the United States and Mexico, many of whom were trafficking two commodities; women as prostitutes, some of them teen-agers, and drugs.
During the Administration of President Truman’s successor, Dwight Eisenhower, the government of Mexico requested the assistance of the United States to stop the flow of illegal aliens across the border of the 2 countries. U. S. Attorney General Herbert Brownell, working with Joseph Swing, the Director of the INS, (Immigration and Naturalization Service,) created a successor program to Truman’s previous efforts. The fact that over one million illegal aliens had been detained in the year 1954 revealed the scope of this growing problem.
By 1958 Hollywood had weighed in on the illegal alien crisis in the classic Orson Welles film “Touch of Evil.” The hero in the film is a Mexican Narcotics Officer, with the villain being a corrupt member of America’s law enforcement community. The growing power of a drug gang, central to the plot, accurately reflected how drugs, like cheap foreign labor, was a commodity that could easily be trafficked across the Mexican border into the United States. The film opened with a car-bombing by the drug gang which resulted in the murders of two people on the American side of the border, a foreshadowing of the violence perpetrated by Central American drug gangs upon U. S. citizens today on a weekly basis.
In regards to both commodities, it became a simple case of supply and demand. During the 1950s a counter-culture known as “The Beats,” or “The Beats Generation,” emerged, centered around a group of writers such as Jack Kerouac, whom advocated a lifestyle which rejected American Middle-class values in favor of sexual liberation and the experimentation with drugs. The “Beatniks” of the 50s became the “Hippies” of the 1960s, and as their influence spread from the large cities into rural America, the demand for illegal drugs grew with each passing year. Most aliens who crossed into America illegally from Mexico were not involved in the drug trade, nor in the trafficking of young women for the illicit sex trade. However, the sheer numbers of those entering the U. S. illegally who did so with seeming impunity allowed the easy transport of drugs and sex industry workers into the United States.
By the 1970s, the demand for illegal drugs had become so great that the use of aircraft to smuggle large quantities of drugs into America became the norm. Something else began in the 1970s; the influx of immigrants, often illegally, from Muslim countries which had traditionally not been the source for substantial immigration into the United States. The vast majority of these immigrants did not commit crimes, but the small percentage of those who did so presented a new challenge to America’s law enforcement community.
During that time, followers of Islamic terrorist organizations from nations across the Globe began to quietly infiltrate the U. S. By the 1990s, immigrants associated with Hamas had settled in Oklahoma City, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Washington, D. C., and Kansas City. Sympathizers of Islamic Jihad settled in Cleveland and Raleigh, North Carolina. Immigrants loyal to terrorist leader Abu Nidal settled in St. Louis. In Chicago, a gang of African-American and Hispanic drug dealers, calling themselves the “El Rukns” received support from the government of Libyan Dictator Muamar Qadafy. In Denver, Ft. Lauderdale, and Boston, cells associated with Al Qaeda were set up. In New York City, immigrants arrived in the 1980s and early 1990s who were veterans of the war against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
Central to these new immigrant communities were the small grocery stores, sometimes called “Bodegas,” and other small businesses, including travel agencies, owned and operated by the new immigrants which featured the imported foods from the respective immigrant’s country of origin. Many of these businesses were involved in the trafficking of illegal drugs, and the sale of untaxed cigarettes smuggled into their locations. These crimes did not escape the attention of various law enforcement agencies, who quietly monitored these immigrants.
In 1989, an event occurred that shocked and stunned the residents of St. Louis. In early November of that year, an FBI agent learned of the death of a 16-year-old Palestinian girl, Palestina “Tina” Isa. The FBI agent in question knew that the Isa apartment was bugged, given that the father of the young girl was involved in diverting some of the proceeds from his Bodega to the terrorist organization run by Abu Nidal. When the FBI’s tape recording of the events of that night were examined, the tape revealed that Tina’s father had confronted her, angry that she had defied Islamic tradition by applying for a part-time job at a Wendy’s fast food restaurant without his consent. Tina’s father’s voice is clear on the FBI tape: “Listen, my dear daughter: tonight, you’re going to die!” Eight minutes of the tape reveal Tina’s screams as her mother assists her husband as he repeatedly stabs their daughter in her heart with a butcher knife. (6)
Tina’s parents were convicted of her murder and both received the Death Penalty. This murder is what is referred to as an “Honor Killing,” in which someone, usually a young woman, who has engaged in behavior which the family believes has brought “dis-honor” upon them, is murdered by members of their own family. This practice is common in all 7 countries on the Trump Administration’s Executive Order, and such homicides often are not prosecuted by the local authorities in those countries.
On April 1, 1993, Zein Isa was Indicted by the Feds on charges he participated in a plot to blow up the Israeli Embassy in Washington. Indicted along with Isa were co-conspirators Tawfiq Musa, Saij Nijmeh, and Luie Nijmeh. All four were associates of the Abu Nidal terrorist organization.
The case of Rasmea Yousef Odeh, another Palestinian terrorist, offers an example of the ease by which Islamic terrorists have immigrated to America. Ms. Odeh served 10 years in prison for her role in two terrorist bombings in Israel in 1970, one of which killed two young students. Once released from prison, Odeh immigrated to the United States and became a U. S. citizen in 2004 due to inadequate vetting by Immigration authorities. The International Women’s Strike scheduled for March 8 of 2017 was sponsored, in part, by terrorist Odeh, who is still a U. S. citizen, accordi120ng to a New York Post report.
Some Palestinian terrorists, such as Zein Isa, among others, raise funds for their terrorist organizations through the trafficking of drugs, a practice which members of law enforcement term “narco-terrorism.” Drug trafficking is one of humanity’s oldest professions. According to a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, use of opium can be traced to the Sumerians in what today is Iraq before 3,000 B. C. In the 11th Century, a secret society of Shi-ite Muslims called “The Assassins” was formed. Their purpose was to assassinate rival Sunni Muslim leaders. This terrorist organization was also known by the name “Hashishin,” a reference to their trafficking of Hashish. (7)
In July, 1996 Al Guart of the New York Post ran a story, “U. S. Coupon Scams Tied to Terror Fund,” which detailed how the first bombing of the World Trade Center was funded by terrorists in America engaged in a scam called coupon fraud. This is how coupon fraud works: every day, millions of Americans shop for groceries which they discount by redeeming a coupon on items such as soap, breakfast cereal, and candy bars. The grocery store then redeems the coupons with clearing houses and receives a monthly check as reimbursement. This is a multi-billion-dollar industry, in which manufacturers print and distribute coupons in an effort to entice consumers to try their product. The costs of these coupons are passed on to the consumer through higher prices on just about all goods offered for sale in grocery stores.
In the Post story, Guart relayed the evidence that coupon fraud was used to fund the Palestine Liberation Army, the Iraq-based Abu Nidal terrorist organization, and associates of blind Sheik Omar Abdel-Rachman. One such front for the coupon fraud was a store in Brooklyn through which immigrant Mahmud Abouhalima, a veteran in the war against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, operated. Abouhalima was among those convicted for his role in the first bombing of the World Trade Center. Prior to his conviction, Abouhalima participated in the November, 1990 murder of the Rabbi Meir Kahane, the Founder of the Jewish Defense League. In December, 2000, Palestinian terrorists opened fire on the car in which were Kahane’s son Binyamin, his wife, and their 5 children. The parents were both killed and their 4-year-old seriously injured.
One of the sources for the Post story was National Police Defense Foundation Executive Director Joe Occhipinti. With a record 3 U. S. Attorney General Awards during his career with the INS, Occhipinti became one of America’s top experts on the smuggling of drugs, cigarettes, – and humans. The scourge of human trafficking was famously documented when INS Agent Occhipinti confronted in Manhattan the notorious human trafficker from China, “Sister Ping.” This is how human trafficking works; gangs of human traffickers recruit impoverished, young men and women, in Ping’s case, in China. These victims are promised a new life of freedom and prosperity, if they agree to a Contract by which the gang will “loan” them the $30,000 – or more – necessary to transport them from their meager, rural origins to the bustling cities of America. Once in American cities, where many do not even possess the language and writing skills necessary to successfully assimilate into American society, the new – and illegal – immigrants are at the mercy of those whom expect to be reimbursed for their “loan.”
Such young women then found themselves forced into prostitution; such young men then found themselves forced into the drug trade. Some Federal Agents do not care, nor have sympathy, for those who illegally immigrate into America, particularly those involved in the sex and drug trades. But Joe Occhipinti cared, and soon became the nation’s top expert on human smuggling. The Federal government in Washington largely ignored the human plight of human smuggling, until the events of the early morning of June 6, 1993, when the cargo ship “Golden Venture” ran aground in the waters outside Brooklyn, New York. 10 of the human slaves on-board drowned in the chaos, a national scandal that Washington could no longer ignore. Agents of the FBI then sought out the professional advice and research that only one man possessed in regards to human smuggling; former INS Agent Joe Occhipinti.
Occhipinti’s expertise in regards to the trafficking of drugs, cigarettes, and humans would also become relevant in the coming decades, archived in his 1990 multi-agency task force targeting the trafficking of illegal drugs and un-taxed cigarettes in Bodegas throughout New York City: Operation: Bodega. It was in March of 1990, when Occhipinti and 2 other Agents arrested 3 men in a Tobacco store in Washington Heights on cocaine trafficking charges. The three men were immigrants from the Middle Eastern country of Yemen. These arrests were among the first in America that documented the influx of drug traffickers from the country of Yemen. Prior to these arrests, most of the drugs being trafficked into minority communities in New York were through Bodegas run by immigrants from the Dominican Republic, who acted as “retailers” for a commodity provided by their “wholesalers,” the Colombian drug cartels.
Slowly, as the years passed, the Dominican merchants lost their “market share” of the commodities they sold in their Bodegas – legal and otherwise – to Middle Eastern immigrants, most notably, those from Yemen. Now, over a quarter of a Century later, there are an estimated 4,000 to 6,000 small businesses in New York City owned by immigrants from Yemen. Hundreds of such owners closed their stores on February 2nd to protest the Trump Administration’s Travel Ban from 7 countries, including Yemen.
2 days earlier, President Trump traveled to Dover Air Force Base to be present for the return of the body of Navy Seal William “Ryan” Owens, who was killed in a raid against al Qaeda terrorist forces in Yemen, a raid first planned during the Obama Administration. In his joint address to both Houses of Congress, President Trump publicly acknowledged Carryn Owens, the widow of Navy Seal Ryan Owens.
The problem of New York Bodegas selling drugs and un-taxed cigarettes continued after Operation: Bodega was terminated in 1991. In 1997, New York Governor George Pataki made changes to the New York Adolescent and Tobacco Use Prevention Act, increasing the penalties to those Bodega owners who illegally sell cigarettes to children. Still, bodega owners continued to engage in this practice. A report by the Youth Access Tobacco Enforcement Program for the year October 1, 2004 to September 30, 2005, revealed that despite fines against Bodega owners of over $3.6 million, merchants still continued to sell this drug product to children. During that year, investigators discovered 3,457 instances in which bodega owners violated the law by selling cigarettes to minors.
One of the reasons Bodega owners engage in such illegal activities is the enormous profit they can make. A typical example is how cigarette smugglers will drive a van or truck to North Carolina, where large purchases of cigarettes are made in a State where the taxes are very low. Selling them at below-market value in New York Bodegas still generates a profit given that the taxes in New York on cigarettes is very high.
The National Police Defense Foundation has championed the case of Robert Levinson, a retired Agent of the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration, who is an expert on cigarette smuggling. In March, 2007, Agent Levinson was kidnapped on the island of Kish, Iran. Agent Levinson vanished a day after meeting with Dawud Salahuddin, an American-born convert to Islam whom, in 1980, murdered an Iranian Dissident outside his home in Bethesda, Maryland. In 2012, the FBI offered a reward of $1 million for information leading to the location and safe return of Agent Levinson. In 2015, the CIA increased the offer to $5 million.
The nation of Iran was on the list of countries banned by the Trump Administration’s original Executive Order, which includes Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, and Somalia. In 2016, the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest released a report that detailed 72 people from those 7 countries had been convicted of terrorism since 9/11. Regardless of one’s opinion regarding President Trump’s Executive Order, his action is based upon the same laws and authority that Presidents John Adams, Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and Barack Obama, among others, have utilized.
On Thursday, March 2nd, Federal authorities in New York arrested 13 MS-13 gang members, 10 of them illegal immigrants from Central America, for the murders of Nisa Mickens, 15, Kayla Cuevas, 16 and Jose Pena-Hernandez, 18, in Brentwood, Long Island, last Fall. Nisa was one day shy of her “Sweet 16” birthday. The next day, Nisa’s mother, Elizabeth Alvarado, visited the crime scene to scrub away her daughter’s blood so that other people would not walk upon her child’s blood.
In a related investigation in Houston, two MS-13 members, Miguel “Diabolical” Alvarez-Flores, 22, and Diego Hernandez-Rivera, 18, both illegal immigrants, were charged on March 1 with the kidnapping of 2 teen-age girls, one of whom was raped over 4 days, the other of whom was murdered in an Occult ritual.
On March 3, in California, Whittier Police Officer Keith Boyer was laid to rest in a funeral attended by over 3,000 members of America’s law enforcement community. Various law enforcement officials have blamed Officer Boyer’s murder on the de-criminization of the various crimes committed by Boyer’s murderer, including the penalty for the possession of crystal meth. Others put the blame on previous Administrations in Washington, D. C. which have not aggressively utilized existing immigration laws to target the tens of thousands of gang members, many of them illegal aliens or the children of illegal aliens, who commit a disproportionate amount of violent crimes in all 50 of the United States of America.
- “Bombs and the Mob!,” by J. R. de Szigethy. American Mafia, February, 2011.
- website of the National Park Service
- “No One Avoided Danger: NAS Kaneohe Bay and the Japanese Attack of 7 December, 1941,” by J. Michael Wenger. A publication of the U. S. Naval Institute, December, 2015.
- “They Came to Kill: The Story of Eight Nazi Saboteurs in America,” by Eugene Rachlis. Random House, 1961.
- “ISIS Suicide Bomber in Iraq was Former Gitmo Detainee,” by Mark Moore. The New York Post, February 21, 2017.
- “Guarding the Secrets: Palestinian Terrorism and a Father’s Murder of His Too-American Daughter,” by Ellen Harris. Scribner, 1995.
- “Sword of Islam: Muslim Extremism from the Arab Conquests to the Attack on America,” by John. F. Murphy, Jr. Prometheus Books, 2002.
J.R de Szigethy is a Manhattan-based crime reporter who can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
At right is the Wanted poster for information regarding the murders of Nisa Mickens and Kayla Cuevas.
A related Editorial by this author is to be found at this address: