Elusive Immigrants: An Editorial
From Poleznaya Gazeta (The Useful Newspaper)
December 6, 2002
By Boris Murin
According to a recent Congressional report, the Justice Department
is unable to determine the whereabouts of half the immigrants registered
as possible candidates for investigation in connection to the September
Whats the problem? The answer lies within
a report by the Central Financial Control Board of Congress, responsible
for monitoring and revising the Federal apparatus. The report stresses
that after entering the US the immigrants are not interested in
informing the government of their movements.
Commentary: Openness and a welcoming spirit two qualities
of which America has always been most proud, have done it a disservice.
I was always astounded by how confident and daringly agents of the
KGB behaved themselves on American soil before and during the Cold
War. It turns out America is a haven for spies and con artists of
all kinds! Coming from a police state, we couldnt believe
it. And as we enjoyed this unbelievable freedom, we could not imagine
that wed have to pay for all of this. Including for the freedom.
This became clear on September 11. Others count as the moment of
truth the beginning of the Palestinian intifada. And one wise Hasid
told me that even the Torah speaks of terror and methods of fighting
It looks like the greater the freedom, the more ruthless the terror.
The easiest thing, of course, is to blame the Federal Bureau of
Investigation. But a person is not a needle in a haystack. He has
come here from somewhere. His relatives are still there. At the
very least they have photographs of the "elusive" cosmopolite.
Not to mention that the "invisible" entered the US with
some kind of documents. Even if he is not in need of earning his
bread, he has to live somewhere. Its difficult to imagine,
you will agree, that a person of distinctly Middle Eastern appearance
should lose himself among the Eskimos of Alaska or descend to the
bottom of the Pacific Ocean.
My work is far from the difficult and necessary job of an FBI agent,
but if the fates should place me in that position the search would
begin with the mosques. Each mullah knows everything, or nearly
everything, about his faithful flock. Whether he wants to share
that information is a different question. And this is exactly where
the involvement of the Justice Department is necessary. It absolutely
must prepare laws that would require religious leaders, if not to
narc, at least to inform the appropriate agencies about their prankster
congregants. Congress, I think, would support such legislation,
their unending concern for freedoms notwithstanding.
Translated by Katya Kumkova-Wolpert
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