Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Immigration ain't what it used to be

The American immigration narrative assumes that it's a one-way street.  Immigrants  come here, they lose touch with home, and their kids grow up American.  Now, however, losing touch with home isn't that easy, even if you want to. The Taliban is here.  Terrorists are raising funds in the US by extorting money from immigrants with family back in Pakistan.

The story is going to be repeated.  In fact, al-Shabaab, the Somali extremist organization, is recruiting boys in Minneapolis and elsewhere to fight in Somalia (and maybe back here, too). 

We're going to have to rethink a lot of policy issues, from asylum (can we really make people safe by letting them stay here) to our lackadaisical approach to Americans fighting in foreign wars.  For now, though, I can't help wondering what the NYPD is doing about this.  New Yorkers are the subjects of extortion; they're very likely being spied on by Taliban agents in New York.  The NYPD is proud of its international reach.  It's one of a very few local departments that operates abroad.  So shouldn't it be penetrating and breaking up the US organizations that enable this kind of extortion?

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