Wednesday, March 20, 2002
It is true that our exclusive national priority is security, both at home and anywhere in the world that terrorist networks exist. While our armed forces and those that work closely with them are achieving success abroad, that success is marred by the dismal performance of some other parts of our Federal Government -- most notably the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
The segment that CBS 60 Minutes aired last Sunday pointed out not only that the INS is woefully incapable of regulating the flow of individuals seeking entrance to the United States, but that they have deceived those who were seeking to ascertain the facts as to their true capabilities. Again, today, the national press has disclosed that only now, six months after 9/11, has the INS revoked the visas of two of the terrorists that committed this heinous act.
It is extremely regrettable that the INS (and the entire civil service workforce) has become virtually "bulletproof" regarding tenure. Actions (or in-actions) by civil service employees that would lead to summary, legally sustainable dismissal in the private sector, are routinely ignored and/or the individuals who are at fault are transferred or actually promoted.
It is time, past time, for our leaders in both the Executive and Congressional branches to take those actions that will instill the same sense of personal accountability and urgency in our civil service as exists in our military. Our armed forces deserve to be supported by those that are held to the same standards as each soldier, sailor, airman and marine. We (you) must not wait until another preventable disaster is laid at the feet of the INS to act.