My Word for October 16, 2001

The other day, Sen. Diane Feinstein said on this network that there were —  and I've got to ballpark the number here —  something like 16,000 student visas issued by this country to so-called students from either the seven nations on the terror list, or their immediate Middle East neighbors.

In other words, we let the enemy in. They are here. They are among us. They are among the people who legitimately come to this country for an education or for business, and we can't sort one from the other. At least the Immigration and Naturalization Service can't.

What's really dumb is what the INS can do. Out in Chatham, N.J., there is the story of Deena Gilbey, who lost her husband in the World Trade Center attack and collapse. He and she are Britons. He was in the U.S. on a work visa. She was in the country on his visa. She called the INS to ask what she should do, and they said ... We're deporting you. You don't have a living husband who has a work visa, so you're out of luck Adios or bon voyage.

Sen. Jon Corzine and other New Jersey politicians have stepped in to undo this stupidity so Mrs. Gilbey and her kids won't be forced from their home, but doesn't this illustrate how wrong things are?

The INS has let into the country X number of terrorists from countries on the terror list, from Saudi Arabia — home of Usama bin Laden — or other countries known to harbor Islamic fundamentalist grudges against us. Let them in. They are here.

What is the INS doing? Chasing Deena Gilbey around because her husband died. She isn't going to bomb anybody, so couldn't she be a bit further down on the priority list?

Shouldn't the so-called students from unfriendly nations who may be hatching terrorist plots go to the top of the list?

Whose big idea was it to admit students from nations on the terror list? Did we think we were going to charm them with our cars and bars, that our democracy versus their theocracy would come out in our favor?

We saw what happened and what's happening. Can we stop being dumb now?

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