Michael W. Cutler - endorser

Senior Special Agent, INS - retired
New York, New York

Providing such documentation (driver privilege cards to illegal aliens) is wrong for a number of reasons beginning with national security and public safety. America's immigration laws were enacted to achieve two primary goals, protect innocent lives and the jobs of American workers.

Oregon Senate Bill 833 is new legislation that will provide state issued identification in the form of a driver privilege card to those who lack proof of legal presence in the U.S. The bill passed the Oregon legislature and was signed into law on May 1, 2013.

Providing such documentation to illegal aliens is wrong for a number of reasons beginning with national security and public safety. America's immigration laws were enacted to achieve two primary goals, protect innocent lives and the jobs of American workers. The 9/11 Commission made it clear that providing identity documents to individuals whose identities cannot be verified provides opportunities for terrorists to create false identities which enable them to embed themselves in the United States, thereby enabling them to hide in plain sight.

Aliens who evade the inspections process must be presumed to belong to one or more categories of aliens who are statutorily ineligible to legally enter the United States.

Among the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act is Title 8, United States Code, Section 1182, which establishes the categories of aliens who are statutorily ineligible to enter the United States.

This statute establishes that aliens who suffer dangerous communicable diseases or who suffer from extreme mental illness and are prone to violence or are sex offenders are to be prevented from entering the United States as are aliens who have been previously deported, are convicted felons, or are fugitives from justice in other countries. Additionally, aliens who are human rights violators, war criminals, spies and terrorists are also deemed excludible as are aliens who would become public charges or work illegally, thereby displacing Americans in the workforce or causing wages or working conditions to be adversely impacted.

The motivation of an alien who runs America's borders and thus evades the inspections process is obviously only known to that alien. There is no way of readily determining the identities of “undocumented aliens.” That is precisely what the term “undocumented” means.

It is also important, in my judgment, to clear the air about the use of the term “alien.” Although many people have been intimidated into no longer using that term it is essential to understand that it is not an insult to refer to a foreign national present in our country as an alien. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, an alien is defined as being “Any person, not a citizen or national of the United States.” There is not insult in that term or in that definition- only clarity.

If we are to discuss laws then we need to use language that is fact-based and scrupulously accurate.

In considering the issue of providing driver's licenses or other such document to illegal aliens, you must take into account that under 8 USC § 1324 - Bringing in and harboring certain aliens, a section of law that is comprehended within the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), it is a felony to aid, abet, encourage or induce aliens to enter our country illegally or remain in our country illegally.

Here is an excerpt from that section of law:

Title 8, U.S.C. § 1324(a) Offenses

Title 8, U.S.C. § 1324(a) defines several distinct offenses related to aliens. Subsection 1324(a) (1)(i)-(v) prohibits alien smuggling, domestic transportation of unauthorized aliens, concealing or harboring unauthorized aliens, encouraging or inducing unauthorized aliens to enter the United States, and engaging in a conspiracy or aiding and abetting any of the preceding acts. Subsection 1324(a)(2) prohibits bringing or attempting to bring unauthorized aliens to the United States in any manner whatsoever, even at a designated port of entry. Subsection 1324(a) (3).

Harboring -- Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(iii) makes it an offense for any person who -- knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals harbors, shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place, including any building or any means of transportation.

Encouraging/Inducing -- Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv) makes it an offense for any person who -- encourages or induces an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law.

Conspiracy/Aiding or Abetting -- Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(v) expressly makes it an offense to engage in a conspiracy to commit or aid or abet the commission of the foregoing offenses.

While at present, so-called “Sanctuary Cities” may not face adverse consequences for violating these laws, it is, in my judgment, clear that issuing identity documents and extending driving privileges to illegal aliens also constitutes violations of the above-noted provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act. It is also illegal for an employer to knowingly employ an illegal alien. It is also unfair for employers to hire illegal aliens especially when the current economic hardships, under which all too many American and lawful immigrant workers and their families find themselves today.

I know that one of the often used arguments to justify issuing driver's licenses or comparable documents to illegal aliens is that these people will drive anyway. Therefore, since they will be on the road, with or without a license, we should give them licenses to help them drive safely and so that they can get insurance.

This is an absurd argument. People will violate all sorts of laws. A visit to any jail will make this point abundantly clear. In point of fact, as I noted when I testified before the New York State Senate a number of years ago, what I said then is just as applicable today, here. Convicted felons often carry firearms, anyway. If the argument for providing illegal aliens with a driver's license is out of an acceptance that they will drive anyway, then there should be a comparable acceptance of the fact that convicted felons will carry firearms anyway thus these convicted felons should be provided with firearms training and carry permits. This would improve the accuracy of these individuals meaning that they would be less likely to hit an innocent bystander in a shootout and perhaps they could be persuaded to use trigger locks when they are not carrying their weapons.

Obviously my statement about felons and firearms is being made with my tongue firmly embedded in my cheek. However, it is essential to understand that ceding commonsense and rule of law to millions of law violators who pose a threat to public safety and the well-being of Americans is just as absurd.

America welcomes more than one million lawful immigrants into the United States each and every year. This is a greater number than the total number of immigrants who are admitted by every other country on this planet. America also welcomes tens of millions of nonimmigrant foreign visitors each and every year and a significant number of them are admitted to attend schools in the United States and lawfully work in the United States. In fact, on most months, more authorized foreign workers are admitted into the United States than the number of new jobs that are being created.

In his eloquent Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln spoke of America being a country “...of the people, by the people and for the people.”

America's immigration laws do not distinguish people by race, religion or ethnicity. In fact, the violence that is all too often perpetrated by transnational gangs of every ethnicity, generally victimizes more immigrants of the same ethnicity of the criminals than any other segment of our communities. This is not limited to the Latino community but to all ethnic immigrant community. This is not conjecture on my part, but first hand experience I acquired as an INS Special Agent.

Furthermore, unemployment and poverty rates are far higher in America's minority communities than they are in non-minority communities. It is unconscionable that laws be enacted that don't place the safety, well-being and concerns of American citizens first.

Background of Michael W. Cutler, Senior Special Agent, INS (retired)

Michael W. Cutler graduated from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York (CUNY) with a B.A. in Communications Arts and Sciences in 1971. In October of 1971 he began his career with the former INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) which spanned some 30 years, as an Immigration Inspector assigned to John F. Kennedy International Airport. He was detailed as an Adjudications Officer from 1973 until 1974 in the unit that adjudicates petitions filed by United States citizens and lawful immigrants for their alien spouses to enable them to become lawful immigrants. In August of 1975 he became a Special Agent and ultimately rotated through all of the squads within the Investigations Branch at the New York District Office.

In 1988 he became the first INS agent to be assigned to the Unified Intelligence Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration's New York Field Office. In 1971 he was promoted to the position of Senior Special Agent and assigned to the Organized Crime, Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). In these two assignments he worked in close cooperation with law enforcement officers of a wide variety of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies including the NYPD, New York State Police, the FBI, DEA, ATF, State Department, U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Customs and with law enforcement officials of the governments of Israel, Canada, Great Britain and Japan.

Mr. Cutler provided testimony to the 9/11 Commission and has testified before well over a dozen Congressional hearings in both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate on issues pertaining to immigration, especially the nexus between immigration and national security.

On March 19, 2002 he testified at a high-profile hearing that was conducted by the House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims, on the topic:


He most recently testified before a hearing on March 20, 2013 when he was called to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify on the topic:

"Building an Immigration System Worthy of American Values"

Mr. Cutler has also testified before numerous legislative hearings conducted by various states across the United States and has testified as an expert witness at trials where immigration was at issue. He has appeared on major national news programs on most of the major networks and on radio programs across the United States including his own radio program "The Michael Cutler Hour"

Finally, he has participated in debates and panel discussions in public speaking events conducted on college campuses and other venues across the country.

His website is: http://michaelcutler.net.