Friday, June 28, 2002

"I'm not a terrorist, but I play one on TV!"
Steven Berkoff is a British actor. It's not a name most people would be familliar with, I'm not, and I'm a big movie fan. His face, however, is easily recognizable. He's been in Rambo, A Clockwork Orange, Beverly Hills Cop, other movies. He plays a great bad guy, but in real life he's an actor, not a "bad guy." I think it'd be a safe bet to say that he's not a terrorist, and that he doesn't run around supporting terrorist nations. So here's the thing, the INS is deporting him for overstaying his visa by one day! The Guardian and The Miami Herald both report on this, though I found out about it on Fox News this afternoon. According to Fox News (and The Miami Herald) Mr. Berkoff's visa had been expired for one day, when the INS picked him up.

Here's the thing, there are a large number of aliens in the US who are from countries that support terrorism who stick around after their visas expire. There are a number of aliens who have overstayed their visas who personally knew the terrorists who attacked America on September 11th. They're still around. Osama Awadallah who was roomies with one of the terrorists and whose phone number was found in the car left by the terrorists is still wandering around the US. He was brought in for questioning, and lied, questioned in front of a grand jury, and lied, charged with perjury, and lied yet again. So this guy is freed by Judge Shira Scheindlin. A young man with definite terrorist connections (though no proof that he is a terrorist or that he helped them), from a country known for terrorists and a member of both a religion and a culture known for terrorism. He's wandering around.

Then there is Mr. Berkoff. Citizen of not just an ally, but a friend to the US. No known terrorist buddies. No known connection to terrorists. Not a member of a culture or religion known for terrorism. He's deported for overstaying his visa by one day.

Now I'm asking myself, how is it, that with the hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens they just happen to notice this single, low-threat, individual and be there on the scene the day after his visa expires? Is there something we don't know about him (I wouldn't put money on a terrorist sleeper theory)? Is the INS getting incredibly silly (well, here I could make a profit)?

Perhaps if the INS and it's officials spent more time going after high-risk, low-contributing aliens and stopped targetting low risk, non-tanned, non-muslim, non-arab aliens they'd have a better track record. But then this is the organization that keeps Aguilar on, even after he suggested spending what little money the INS has on coddling people bent on breaking America's laws.


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