INS makes security problem worse

The Immigration and Naturalization Service is notoriously inept. It has been sued for violating immigrants’ civil rights on many occasions. A few years ago, it was the subject of a Congressional inquiry and was forced to institute far-reaching reforms. Last year, it approved the visas of two of the Sept. 11 hijackers six months after they had carried out their attacks.

Therefore, it makes little sense to require every foreigner to register with the INS. It will do nothing to help our national security. It will only create bureaucratic headaches and open the door for further human-rights abuses.

If the INS wants to improve national security, it should start by looking in the mirror and reforming itself. It needs to improve its own efficiency, and it needs to respect the rights of non-citizens. Then, and only then, will it be effective in the fight against terrorism.

This registration process is a waste of time, money and energy. It also hurts our country’s image, which is critical when anti-Americanism is running rampant overseas.

We can only hope that the INS starts making some real reforms, instead of continuing to abuse its power. We are at a critical crossroads in our history, and the INS should be helping to solve the problem, rather than contributing to it.

University Wire–University of South Carolina