- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 10, 2002

The day before the September 11 attacks, Michelle Malkin warned of the dangers of unlimited immigration. . "It is a tragedy that we've now given the enemies of our constitutional republic the keys to flood our gates and trash our home," Mrs. Malkin wrote in the last line of her syndicated column published Sept. 10, 2001.

That line resonated in the days after the terrorist hijackings, as readers wrote to Mrs. Malkin saying, "You've got to speak up."

She is speaking up with her new book, "Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists, Criminals and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores."

The book "argues a simple theme: that immigration must be treated first and foremost as a national-security issue," she says.

In "Invasion," Mrs. Malkin chronicles:

•How weak U.S. immigration policy helped the September 11 hijackers. Three of the hijackers obtained their visas through the State Department's Visa Express program. Hijacker Hani Hanjour entered on a student visa, but never enrolled in classes. Hanjour and six of his fellow terrorists got fraudulent Virginia identification cards with the help of Salvadoran immigrants.

•How the travel industry and ethnic lobbying groups pressure politicians for lax immigration policies.

•How the appeals process makes it difficult to deport criminal aliens, such as the Haitian babysitter who killed an 18-month-old infant and the German woman who had abetted the sexual assault of her own 3-year-old daughter.

•How officials corrupt the immigration process and seldom pay a price for their wrongdoing. One Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) examiner was convicted for granting permanent residency to immigrants in return for homosexual acts, but was allowed to retire and keep his federal pension. A Justice Department official assigned to the IRS fraudulently obtained U.S. visas for two Russian women, including his girlfriend, but never faced criminal charges and took early retirement.

•How foreign criminals like Mexican serial killer Angel Maturino Resendiz who murdered 12 Americans are able to enter the United States and evade capture because of incompetence by the INS.

Though herself the daughter of immigrants, Mrs. Malkin has only contempt for those she calls "the open-borders crowd," who defend even illegal immigration.

"They think it's possible to overlook the fact that we have 9 [million] to 11 million people in this country who have flouted our immigration laws, and still make sure we don't have another September 11," she says. "I'm saying that's impossible. It's a deadly delusion."

Although polls consistently show most Americans favor stricter immigration policies, that grassroots sentiment is opposed by what Mrs. Malkin calls an "almost insurmountable alliance of big business, ethnic panderers, the university cabal, the travel and tourism industry and the immigration lawyers."

That alliance, she notes, includes the Wall Street Journal which has advocated an open-borders amendment to the Constitution and many libertarians.

"With libertarians in particular, I find it disturbing that these open-borders people who otherwise advocate attachment to the rule of law shrug their shoulders at the massive amount of [illegal immigrants] who've shown contempt for that principle," she says.

Born in Philadelphia to Filipino Catholic parents, Michelle Maglalang grew up in New Jersey and attended Oberlin College in Ohio, planning to become a concert pianist. But she "realized fairly early on that I was not going to cut it as a world-class pianist," she says, "so I majored in government and English."

She soon found herself in conflict with the political climate at Oberlin, a famously liberal school. "I think I was either ignorant or willfully naive about how radically left the Oberlin campus was," she says.

At Oberlin, she met her future husband, Jesse Malkin, and the two cooperated on an article in the student magazine criticizing the college's affirmative-action policies.

"The response to [the article] was so violent that it really woke me up to what a stranglehold liberal orthodoxy had; that you couldn't even issue the most mild challenge to their sacred cows," says Mrs. Malkin, now 31. "That's what really set the course for my career in journalism."

It was at Oberlin that she developed a resentment toward identity politics.

"There were self-appointed minority leaders who presumed to speak for every nonwhite person on campus," she says. "I think that the driving force of my career has been to say that those people don't speak for me. And I think that's the driving force behind the book, as well."

She criticizes "all the hyphenated groups objecting to every single reasonable immigration measure; those groups do not speak for the majority of immigrants who are here legally."

After graduating from Oberlin in 1992, Mrs. Malkin worked at NBC News, the Los Angeles Daily News and the Seattle Times before getting a column with Creators Syndicate in 1999. (Her column appears regularly on the Commentary pages of The Washington Times.) Along the way, she married her college sweetheart now an economist with Rand Corp. and gave birth to a daughter, Veronica, now 2.

Sitting on the deck of her Germantown home, which overlooks Little Seneca Lake, Mrs. Malkin admits she has sometimes confronted racism. "Growing up in south Jersey, I certainly experienced my share of name-calling, but that never bothered me," she says. She finds what she calls "liberal condescension" more damaging. "The tacit lowering of expectations it's so much harder to fight that," she says.

After September 11, writing "Invasion" was for her an act of patriotic duty.

"My parents have stressed so much showing gratitude for the freedoms we have here," she says. "I just felt this was a way to give back something."

In her book, Mrs. Malkin quotes a routine by "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno: "U.S. visas: Everywhere you terrorists want to be."

It's hardly a joke, because of policies like the "diversity lottery," which helped at least one terrorist killer stay in America.

INS officials had begun deportation proceedings against Egyptian immigrant Hesham Mohammed Hadayet, but in 1997, he was allowed to stay after his wife won permanent residency in the "diversity lottery" program. On July 4, Hadayet shot to death two persons and wounded three others when he opened fire at the El Al Airlines ticket counter at Los Angeles International Airport.

"It's become clear to us how much blood is on the hands of INS officials who remain in office, who continue to be promoted, who get salary raises," Mrs. Malkin says. "You can't make this stuff up."

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