Amer­ica’s Un­cle Omar prob­lem

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - Michelle Malkin

This phrase is now em­bla­zoned in red across the U.S. Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity web­site: “Al­ways re­mem­ber. Never for­get.” But as the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion dis­sem­i­nates its talk­ing points to mark the 10th an­niver­sary of the 9/11 ji­hadist at­tacks, the White House re­mains stone-silent about the pres­i­dent’s Un­cle Omar prob­lem.

The re­fusal to deal with Un­cle Omar tells you every­thing you need to know about the empti­ness and im­po­tence of Washington’s 9/11 plat­i­tudes.

“Omar” is Onyango Obama, the il­le­gal alien de­por­ta­tion fugi­tive who is the long-lost Kenyan half-brother of Pres­i­dent Obama’s fa­ther. The pres­i­dent men­tioned him in his best­selling book, “Dreams from My Fa­ther.” But these days, he’d un­doubt­edly pre­fer to white­wash him out of the pub­lic eye. Last week, Un­cle Omar was ar­rested for drunk driv­ing in Fram­ing­ham, Mass., and held on an im­mi­gra­tion de­tainer.

The liquor store em­ployee, yes, he was ap­par­ently drink­ing the in­ven­tory that le­gal Amer­i­cans weren’t drink­ing, nearly crashed into a po­lice car and bel­liger­ently de­manded to ring up the White House. Few in the neigh­bor­hood are laugh­ing it off. Just last month, an il­le­gal alien drunk driver with a mile­long rap sheet mowed down and killed a 23-year-old Mil­ford, Mass., man.

Open-bor­ders ad­vo­cates will call Un­cle Omar “harm­less.” But it turns out he’s not only a re­peat de­por­ta­tion ab­scon­der who has ig­nored two court or­ders to leave the coun­try, but he is also a dead­beat who owes thou­sands in back taxes and a fraud­u­lent So­cial Se­cu­rity card-holder who has man­aged to evade au­thor­i­ties for half a cen­tury.

The pol­icy that al­lowed Omar to dis­ap­pear is “vol­un­tary de­par­ture”, a se­cu­rity-un­der­min­ing mech­a­nism that al­lows il­le­gal alien bor­der-jumpers and visa-over­stay­ers to sim­ply de­port them­selves af­ter go­ing through the fed­eral im­mi­gra­tion court sys­tem. Omar lost his first case to stay in the coun­try in 1989; he lost a sec­ond bid with the Board of Im­mi­gra­tion Ap­peals in 1992.

Then, as 400,000 to 700,000 il­le­gal alien de­por­ta­tion ab­scon­ders have done over the past two decades, Omar sim­ply thumbed his nose at the law again and treated his en­try into Amer­ica as an en­ti­tle­ment in­stead of a priv­i­lege.

Omar will now ap­peal any de­por­ta­tion pro­ceed­ings a third time with the help of the same Ohio law firm that rep­re­sented his il­le­gal alien de­por­ta­tion fugi­tive sis­ter, Zeituni Onyango. Aunt Zeituni ar­rived in the U.S. in 2000 on a tem­po­rary visa. Her asy­lum re­quest was re­jected in 2004. She de­fied the im­mi­gra­tion court or­der to go back to Kenya, moved into Bos­ton pub­lic hous­ing, and hid with rel­a­tives for years be­fore win­ning a sec­ond bid to stay in the coun­try she’s since trashed pub­licly nu­mer­ous times.

As I re­ported exclusively in Novem­ber 2008, when Aunt Zeituni’s case ex­ploded be­fore Elec­tion Day, sym­pa­thetic Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials or­dered im­mi­gra­tion au­thor­i­ties across the coun­try to halt all de­por­ta­tion en­force­ment ac­tions un­til af­ter the cam­paign sea­son was over. An Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment (ICE) source fa­mil­iar with Western field of­fices told me at the time: “The ICE fugi­tive op­er­a­tions group through­out the U.S. was told to stand down un­til af­ter the elec­tion from ar­rest­ing or trans­port­ing any­one out of the U.S. This was done to avoid any mis­takes of de­port­ing or ar­rest­ing any­one who could have a con­nec­tion to the elec­tion, i.e., any­one from Kenya who could be a rel­a­tive. The de­ci­sion was elec­tion-driven.”

Now, we know there was at least one other Obama de­por­ta­tion fugi­tive hid­ing in plain view who ben­e­fited from the freeze.

More damn­ingly, we know that both Repub­li­can and Demo­cratic ad­min­is­tra­tions con­tinue to play pol­i­tics with home­land se­cu­rity while pay­ing lip ser­vice to the 9/11 dead.

Af­ter the at­tacks, DHS of­fi­cials dis­cov­ered the full dan­ger that the vast ocean of de­por­ta­tion fugi­tives posed. Con­sider the case of Gazi Ibrahim Abu Mezer, a Pales­tinian bomb­builder who en­tered the U.S. il­le­gally through Canada in 1996 and 1997. He claimed po­lit­i­cal asy­lum based on al­leged per­se­cu­tion by Is­raelis, was re­leased on a re­duced $5,000 bond posted by a man who was him­self an il­le­gal alien, and then skipped his asy­lum hear­ing af­ter call­ing his at­tor­ney and ly­ing about his where­abouts. In June 1997, af­ter his lawyer with­drew Mezer’s asy­lum claim, a fed­eral im­mi­gra­tion judge or­dered Mezer to leave the coun­try on a “vol­un­tary de­par­ture or­der.” Mezer ig­nored the use­less piece of pa­per. He joined a New York City bomb­ing plot be­fore be­ing ar­rested in July 1997 af­ter a room­mate tipped off lo­cal po­lice.

Count­less ji­hadists have ben­e­fited enor­mously from lax en­force­ment of de­por­ta­tion or­ders and asy­lum loop­holes. Ji­had plot­ters Ramzi Yousef and Mir Ai­mal Kansi also ex­ploited our catch-and-re­lease sys­tem by in­vok­ing asy­lum and evad­ing swamped au­thor­i­ties be­fore plot­ting and ex­e­cut­ing ji­hadist at­tacks.

The post-9/11 ab­scon­der ap­pre­hen­sion ini­tia­tive has been dec­i­mated.

The to­tal num­ber of ap­pre­hen­sions of il­le­gal aliens by im­mi­gra­tion en­force­ment agen­cies is less than half of what it was five years ago, ac­cord­ing to the Cen­ter for Im­mi­gra­tion Stud­ies. And the White House is dis­pens­ing de­por­ta­tion waivers like Pez candy en masse.

“Al­ways re­mem­ber. Never for­get.” Words, just words.

Michelle Malkin is the author of “Cul­ture of Cor­rup­tion: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies” (Reg­n­ery 2010).

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