Illegal Aliens Worked at ICBM Base

In the past two months, groups of illegal aliens have been arrested on a U.S. aircraft carrier, at Cape Canaveral, and at the largest U.S. nuclear missile base.

*On January 22, the Border Patrol raided the U.S.S. John F. Kennedy, an aircraft carrier that was undergoing renovations at Mayport Naval Station in Florida. They arrested 11 illegals from Mexico working on the ship. Fifty-four other illegals scattered and got away. The Florida Times Union reported, "It is unknown what countries the missing workers are from." Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R.-Fla.) wrote the Secretary of the Navy: "In this time of heightened security, I was concerned to learn that non-U.S. citizens were allowed to perform work on a United States aircraft carrier without being fully vetted and screened."

*Decorated Air Force veteran Pete Gunn is director of security for the Cape Canaveral-based Florida Space Authority (a state agency). "When I saw the thing on the aircraft carrier, my hair stood straight up," Gunn told the Times Union. Gunn told HUMAN EVENTS that when he called INS to ask how he could check the status of aliens seeking employment, he was sent an INS Employer Information Bulletin dated January 3. It said: "Employers do not need to-and should not attempt to-verify ‘A’ numbers or INS documentation of alien workers in general, or even of individuals whom they suspect for any reason to be ineligible to work." (INS assigns an "A" number to each alien who enters the U.S. legally.)

*They did not check "A" numbers at the Kennedy Space Center, either. A month ago, FBI Director Robert Mueller told the Senate Intelligence Committee that for its next target, al Qaeda is likely to pick something with "high symbolic value." "Al Qaeda is also developing or refining new means of attack, including use of surface-to-air missiles," testified CIA Director George Tenet. That may be why, as the Associated Press reported, "NASA took unprecedented security measures for the Jan. 16 launch of the space shuttle Columbia, whose crew included Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon." On Feb. 18, however, said AP, Border Patrol agents arrested four illegals working "inside a restricted area of the Kennedy Space Center and the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station." The illegals were from Mexico-a fact discovered after their arrest.

*Francis E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming is the nation’s largest repository of nuclear missiles. It is home to the 90th Space Wing, whose mission "is to defend America with the world’s most powerful combat ready ICBM force." On Feb. 26, INS arrested 37 Latin American illegals working construction at the base. How did INS catch them? Was it the result of aggressive investigation? No. The Rocky Mountain News reported that on Feb. 7 base security noticed five people strolling out the main gate during a restricted period. They turned out to be illegals. It took three more weeks for INS to make its arrests.