Ten years ago Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore talked a good game about integrity in politics. Obama made similar statements; remember, his administration was going to be the most “honest and transparent” there ever was. But that’s not how these Democrats always play it.
In June 1998, David Schippers led an investigation of the Justice Department. His staff, reporting to the House Judiciary Committee, was charged with looking into the Clinton White House’s misuse of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to further its political agendum. The most blatant politicization of the INS had taken place during the 1996 presidential campaign when the Clinton-Gore administration pressured the agency into expediting its Citizenship USA program to grant citizenship to tens of thousands of aliens the White House considered likely Democratic voters. The end result would circumvent the long-established policies at the INS.
The handling of this pressure campaign was left to Al Gore; after all, he was to benefit the most during the 1999 campaign. He and his office were responsible for keeping the demands on, a job they did brilliantly, as emails the Justice Department recovered clearly showed.
The White House’s INS campaign started early in the election year, but ran into an immediate roadblock. The Clinton-appointed INS Commissioner, Doris Meissner, did not want to speed up the naturalization process. She warned that such a move would be construed as politically motivated. Impervious, the White House ordered Douglas Farbrother from Mr. Gore’s National Performance Review staff to look into removing any barriers to citizenship.
As early as 1996, Farbrother was reporting his efforts and results to the Gore office. Farbrother met with both the INS and the Justice Department in March of that same year, asking them to delegate broad authority to the local managers, waive “stupid” rules and recruit local people to process alien applications. Farbrother reported to Vice President Gore that unless his “reforms” were implemented, the backlog would not be “… processed in time [for the election.]”
At one point Farbrother sent an email updating Gore’s office (original emphasis): “THE PRESIDENT IS SICK OF THIS AND WANTS ACTION. IF NOTHING MOVES TODAY, WE’LL TAKE SOME PRETTY DRASTIC MEASURES.”
A week later Farbrother sent a lengthy email directly to the Vice President lamenting district managers were not given enough discretion to produce one million citizens by the voter registration cutoff day. “…Unless we blast INS headquarters loose from their grip on front-line managers, we are going to have way too many people waiting for citizenship in November…” Vice President Gore responded, “Will explore it. Thanks.”
By the end of March, INS Commissioner had seen the light or had given into the White House pressure. She delegated the authority to local managers as directed. By early April 1996, Gore’s office manager, Elaine Kamarck, was able to report to her bosses that everything was in place to naturalize over one million aliens – er … undocumented Democrats I meant to say – in time for them to vote in the 1996 election.
For aliens to obtain citizenship, federal regulations require that their application be accompanied by a complete set of fingerprints. Fingerprint cards are sent to the FBI to determine if the applicant has a criminal or arrest record. Applicants can be denied citizenship if the alien has a serious criminal record or if he denies ever having been arrested. The FBI fingerprint check is an essential part of the naturalization process since it is the only method preventing felons, drug lords, and other criminals from obtaining citizenship.
It was in this area that Vice President Gore’s pressure caused the biggest breakdown in our immigration system. To save time, FBI arrest records were not inserted into the aliens’ files; as a result illegals with criminal records were granted citizenship. Even INS files with fingerprint records were passed through the system without scrutiny or verification. Just prior to the voter-registration deadline a box was discovered in the Chicago (no surprise) INS office containing nearly 5,000 arrest reports that had never been crossed checked against aliens.
Later, it was discovered that thousands more were never properly processed. When this oversight was revealed to the public, the Clinton-Gore campaign sought to convince the media that the foul-up really did not harm the process. They cited statistics showing the rejection rate of 17% was just about what it always had been before Citizenship USA was enacted. However, the INS numbers failed to take into consideration the thousands of aliens who were not rejected, but would have under normal circumstances! If the traditional process had been followed one in three applicants would have been turned away.
In the end, the Democrats got their one million voters and won re-election. The United States got 75,000 new citizens who possessed criminal history when they applied. And who knows about the additional 115,000 citizens whose fingerprint files never saw the light of day.
In June 1998 Schipper’s investigation re-examined the criminal records of the new citizens who had felony convictions. The team pulled 100 of the worst offenders who were granted citizenship and found that 20% were charged again after citizenship was granted by the Clinton-Gore Administration. The charges included murder, rape, and child sexual abuse.
The Democrats cannot be trusted with immigration reform. Here is just one more example of the Clinton-Gore’s working mottoes: “The end justifies the means,” coupled with “win at any cost.” Today, the Obama administration would say “Never waste a crisis.”