"9/11 Commishes: Leave Immigration Loophole Open"


The chairman and vice chairman of the 9/11 Commission said Sunday that Congress shouldn't press to close a giant national security loophole exploited by the 9/11 hijackers before passing new intelligence reform legislation - even though the Commission itself urged dealing with the problem.

"We're very reluctant to see that whole bill held up just by this one provision," Commission chairman Tom Kean told NBC's "Meet the Press" when asked about a proposal favored by House Judiciary Chairman James Sensenbrenner, R-Wisc., to deny driver's licenses to potential terrorists who are non-citizens.

...Vice chairman Lee Hamilton acknowledged that Sensenbrenner's provision was part of the 9/11 Commission's recommendations, but said closing the terrorist loophole wasn't the job of the federal government.

"There isn't any doubt that the hijackers use the state driver's licenses to get by a lot of checkpoints," he told "Meet the Press." "So standards are important here."

"But the fundamental question ... whether or not, for example, you issue a driver's license, that's a state matter and ought to be resolved by the state," Hamilton contended...

See also "Immigration-reform calls block intelligence overhaul", which has several quotes from various Congresspeople, including this:

Rep. Jane Harman, D-El Segundo, the leading Democrat on the Select Committee on Intelligence and also a member of the negotiating team, pilloried GOP leadership.

"If there is another major terrorist attack on our soil -- and sadly, there likely will be one -- we will have only ourselves to blame. Congress had the chance to protect America and Congress failed."

Someone tell her that 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers had a total of 63 driver's licenses from various states, OK?