This story reveals a startlingly obvious fact: immigrants help American intelligence agencies.
“The intelligence agencies lack people who can speak the languages that are needed most, like Arabic, Farsi and Pashtu. More importantly, the agencies lack people with the cultural awareness that allows them to grasp the nuances embedded in dialect, body language and even street graffiti.”
The U.S. government is still dealing with a massive backlog of intercepted terrorist communications (read here, here, and here) and is unable to translate them. Part of that problem is that many of the qualified speakers cannot obtain a security clearance for very good reasons. But another part of the problem is the dearth of speakers.
Allowing trustworthy immigrants who speak these languages to move to the U.S. will give more choices to U.S. intelligence agencies. There are millions of Christians in Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Iran, and Jordan who not only speak Arabic, but who are also well-acquainted with Middle Eastern culture. These individuals fear Islamic jihad and many would probably welcome a chance to immigrate to the U.S. if the door was open to them. This is a large pool of people who can greatly aid us in the War On Terror, but aren’t allowed to because of our restrictive immigration policies.
Either we can trust foreigners who have nothing to lose if they become double agents or we can trust immigrants who have moved themselves and their families to America. Although neither choice is perfect, it’s plain that we should trust the immigrant who brings his family here and places them under the watchful protection of American police over the person who remains a foreigner.
Whether it’s fighting a War On Terrorism or growing our economy, people remain the most valuable resource.