I have spoken out for some time against the curious preference for convenience and comfort over national security when it comes to checking on new arrivals to the United States. And convenience has won out again: “U.S. immigration inspectors, who are the first line of defense against foreign terrorists entering the country, are being asked to do more in less time and with less money – even as the country remains on high terror alert – several U.S. officials complained.” So says WND.
“WorldNetDaily has learned that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security late last month ordered inspectors at the nation’s international airports to speed the processing of foreign passengers. International flights must now be cleared within 60 minutes of arrival. The new one-hour processing rule applies even under the code orange threat level, which is expected to remain in effect at least through the end of the month, said a U.S. Customs and Border Protection official. ‘Passenger processing time is the No. 1 priority again,’ he said.
“The USA PATRIOT Act was supposed to have done away with a 45-minute processing deadline imposed on inspectors before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Five of the Middle-Eastern hijackers managed to enter the U.S. despite problems with their visas.
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Mike Milne declined comment.
“At the same time, inspectors are taking on additional duties under a new federal security program that requires them to digitally fingerprint and photograph all travelers entering the U.S. with visas. Previously, they were tasked with collecting such biometric data from visitors from primarily Muslim countries.
“The program, called US-VISIT, goes into effect Monday at all 115 American airports that handle international flights. Inspectors say that if any flights take longer than 60 minutes to clear from the time the plane blocks at the ramp, the US-VISIT system at that terminal will be discontinued until the flights are brought under control and under the one-hour processing time.”
In other words, if terrorists with rap sheets a mile long can manage to come in on crowded flights and stay at the back of the line, then welcome to the United States!